Thursday, January 5, 2012

Zip it!

"See how my life is with two kids?  You're so lucky you only have Little Miss."

Really?  Really?

We hear all the time about the inappropriate comments that people make to parents of multiples (geez, how many horrible comments do you think Michelle Duggar gets in a day?), or special needs kids, or adopted kids.  But does anyone ever mention that parents of only children get snide comments/questions as well?  Hardly ever.  People look at Only Child parents as beginner parents.  OC parents have it easy.  OC parents don't have the same struggles as multi-child homes.  That's right, we don't.  We have our own struggles, struggles that are completely unique to a one-child family.

You have absolutely no idea why I only have one child.  You don't know if there were medical issues.  You don't know if there were financial concerns.  Simply put, you don't know.  And I shouldn't have to tell you.  That's my business. 

The simple fact (that I'm CHOOSING to share) is that yes, I originally wanted more than one child.  I never even considered that I'm have an only child.  But that's the way the cookie crumbled.  I got sick.  I was on medication.  I was told not to even consider getting pregnant.  By the time I was given the ok to have kids again, Little Miss was almost 5.  I didn't want 5+ years between my kids.  I was afraid of having two kids at such vastly different stages of childhood that we wouldn't be able to do things as a family.  LM was out of diapers.  She slept through the night.  She was in pre-school three mornings a week.  I didn't want to go backward again to diapers and potty training and 2 a.m. feedings.  So, that was that.  I ended up with an only child.

Regrets?  Sometimes.  There are times when I wish I hadn't gotten sick, that I could have had another child when I planned to.  There are times I wish I had sucked it up and had another child when I was finally given the ok.  And yet there is the rest of the time when I say, I love my family.  I love it exactly as it is.  I love that I can give my child the best of what I have including my time, my attention, etc.  I don't feel like my family is missing anything.  It's whole just as it is.

But just because my family is different from yours, don't assume that I have it easy.  You haven't walked in my shoes.  You don't know.  And chances are, I'm not going to tell you.  So please, just keep it to yourself.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hair Catastrophe

Selena Gomez
Demi Lovato
Miley Cyrus
Victoria Justice
Elizabeth Gilley
Miranda Cosgrove
Idina Menzel
BFF Amber
BFF Alexsia
Both godmothers

What do all these ladies have in common?  They all have brown hair.  Why is this important?  Well......

I was blow drying Little Miss' hair after her shower last night - much to her dismay since she hates having her hair dried - when she started to complain about her hair color.  "It's just brown.  I hate brown!"  But, LM, your hair is beautiful.  (And it really is.  I'm not just saying this as a Proud Mama, though of course, I am a Proud Mama, as far as the physical goes, the Kiddo gets complimented on her eyes and her hair ALLLLLL the time.)

"I hate *just brown* hair."

Sweetie, your hair isn't *just brown*, you've got these great golden highlights in your hair that shine when
the light hits them.

"But I can't SEE the golden in my hair anymore!"

Well, that's because it's winter and your hair is a little darker now.

"And that's the problem!!"

So I go through all of the women in her life and who she likes on tv and in music who all have brown hair.  But here's the kicker.  I can't even turn around and say, "Hey, *I* have brown hair!" because HELLO I dye my hair!  I spend $80 every two months to color my hair red.  I had hair pretty much the same color as LM when I was young.  But it got darker over the years.  And since my natural skin tone is paler than pale, it tended to make me look washed out.  So, I went in a totally different direction (and we won't talk about the grey hair that I kept finding!!) and went red.  It's fun to be a redhead for a while.  I've been a redhead for about a year. 

But now here's my daughter down on herself for something physical.  For something absolutely beautiful that she just can't see.  And I feel like I can't argue with her because I change what nature gave me!!  UGH!  How do I convince her that she's perfect just the way she is when I change something physical about myself to something I like better? 

It's bad enough that I'm having to deal with self-esteem issues at 8.  And really, we talk all the time about how it's more important to be pretty inside than to be pretty outside.  That it's about what you do, not what you look like.  But the simple fact is, there are mirrors in this world.  And anyone who has looked into a mirror and hated what they saw there, knows what a difficult thing that is.  It doesn't matter if you're 8, 18, or 38.  It's all the same.  So yes, there are more important things in the world to worry about than what color your hair is but for that moment, all that mattered for my Little Miss was what color her hair was. 

Hello parenting landmine.  Kaboom!