Wednesday, April 25, 2018

How Infertility Shaped My Parenting Style

If you've been following along here for any amount of time then you know that Infertility is a BIG part of my life.  Never in my mind did I think I would suffer from this horrendous and life seizing disease.  Not only has my Infertility Journey shaped who I am as a person but also how I view parenting and raising children.

becoming a Mom is a dream come true

Momming these girls is rewarding and fulfilling every single day

For seven years I was plagued with the daily battle of Infertility.  Pregnancy announcements, pregnant women, babies, and then parents/children in general were major triggers for me.  Being in the presence of these triggers had the potential to make me check out, become negative, or really really sad.  Each month I would get my hopes up and try to have a really positive attitude about all the things and then my period would come and my world would turn upside down...again.

One of the most challenging things for me during this journey (and still today) are the behavior's of children and the subsequent parenting that they come from.  During the woe's of Infertility the last thing I could handle were inattentive parents that seemed to have no discipline for their children.  It's one thing to allow your child to run rampant in your own home, but when you are out and about or at someone else's house, turning a blind eye to your child's behavior is disrespectful.  Not to mention relying on other adults to correct your children for you so that you're "not the bad guy" is one of my pet peeves.  My emotional state from Infertiltiy exacerbated my feelings on this and would bring up some major anxiety.  It literally felt like a slap in the face when I had to be around unruly children and their parents who did nothing about it.  

 being silly is still allowed

Still today I share some of the same sentiments.  Even though I am over the hump of my Infertility depression I am raising my daughter's much differently than I probably would have if we'd gotten pregnant that first month we tried back in 2008.  I am a disciplinarian and try to be very mindful of my children's actions and behavior's (and mine too).  I have very high standards for my daughter's behavior's and insist on them being respectful of other people's property and to use their manners.  Although, Finnley is giving me a serious run for my money - so I'm a bit contradictory with her... It is a rarity that my girls are out of eyesight at friends houses and if they are I routinely check on them and give action/behavior corrections all the time.  

 life isn't supposed to be all about rules, fun can still happen

I have not baby proofed my house, with the exception of cabinet door locks (that are rarely used), because I believe it is important for kids to know that there are things that are OFF LIMITS even if they are within reach.  It's required me to do a lot of redirecting and to really keep an eye on my girls, very few things have been broken and the most important part is they understand that some things are off limits.  This has made it so much easier to take them out shopping in stores, to crowded antique stores, and to other people's houses.  They KNOW that they cannot just help themselves to anything they wish, that they must ask first, and that most things are probably OFF LIMITS.  While it might be quite a bit of work in the early years it totally pays off as they get older since these standards have been a routine since day 1. 

parenting as a team on the same page is essential and traveling with the girls is easy because of the foundation we've built with their behavior
And here's the thing, we take our girls everywhere with us.  I take the girls everywhere with me and while it might not always be seamless and extra behavior corrections happen I never dread taking them with me and actually enjoy all of our outings.  Flying 10 hours overseas is nothing to us, it's just like driving the 10 minutes to the store.  Spending all day in Disneyland is not stressful because we know we can handle our girls.  Meltdowns happen, frustration arises and arguments are inevitable, but building a foundation of expectations and reaping the rewards is incredibly satisfying.  It's never too late to start but the earlier the easier.

having the girls solo during parts of our trips are some of my favorite times and I look forward to them

I don't ever want my family to depart leaving someone battling Infertility with the same feelings of hurt, angst, irritation, and anxiety that I often felt myself.  So if you're ever around us and you think I might be a little "too strict" with my girls, it's because I want them to be good people and I don't want to set off an emotional battle for an Infertile woman.  But mostly because I think children should be respectful of their surroundings and learn to control themselves.

♥ Ashley

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♥ Ashley