Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Becoming Benson... Part 1

It's tough being a parent.
Okay... wait.
Let me rephrase that.
It's tough being a good parent.

There's so much pressure,
and not just from the world or other people.
I feel pressure from myself to make sure that my children have their basic needs met.
Clean clothes.
Clean bodies.
No cavities.
Properly dressed
You know,
the normal things.
These things aren't hard to do at all,
the things that come naturally,
but they are time consuming and if you aren't willing to give up some almost all of your personal time,
the basic needs of your children will not be met.

It's hard to be selfish and to be a parent.
Okay... wait.
Let me rephrase that again.
It's hard to be selfish and be a good parent.

I have been blessed to have a girl and a boy as children.
No pressure to have any more right?
Thank you Mormon society.

as a parent,
I feel so much more pressure raising Benson as opposed to Aniston.
And it has everything to do with gender.

 I want to raise Benson as a gentleman,
as a guys guy,
as a guy who opens the door for women,
as athletic,
as smart,
as the kind of guy who will stand up for his sister even though she is older than him,
as someone who parents love and want their daughter to marry.

That's a lot of self imposed stress and anxiety.

So I frequently ask myself as a Mom,
how can I accomplish this?
How do I know for sure that I am doing the right things when it comes to raising a son?

The answer?
There's no freaking way to know,
and I HATE that!
It sucks!
I want a guaranteed gentleman out of my son,
but unfortunately that's impossible.

So what do I do currently to make sure my 17 month old turns out to be a good man?
Yeah I just read that line out loud and it makes me sound a wee but crazy...
Like crazy in the way I see pageant moms as crazy.

But here's the thing.
I honestly think that the only thing I can really do to encourage my son to grow up a gentleman,
is to surround him by men who set that example for him.

He loves my Dad,
and I am pretty sure that my Mom has never opened a car door ever when my Dad is driving.
I'm pretty sure I never have opened the door when I ride with him.
Even when I sit in the back seat,
he has trained my brothers to open the door for me.
Even if my Mom is driving, 
he still runs over and opens the door for her.

I'm doing my best to surround Benson with positive male role models who will encourage and teach him with their actions.
I'm also praying like crazy for inspiration as to how to raise my son the best that I can.
I'm weak...
So I pray a lot.

As Benson grows older,
and develops likes and dislikes,
makes friends,
develops a deeper personality,
and stops throwing temper tantrums,
(that does stop eventually right)
I hope that I have done that all I can do to influence him into gentlemanism.
Pretty sure I just made up that word.
And I love it!

I have seen first hand though,
that even if you are fantastic parent,
sometimes a child just doesn't grow or mature the way that you would like.
Sometimes your children will make you question your parenting abilities.
Even if you are THE BEST parents ever!
It's probably a blessing that I have had that experience in my life because it will help me to be a little less harsh on myself if that happens to me as a parent.
At least I will be able to see that my grown children's choices do not make me a failure as a parent.

Raising children is an amazing blessing.
It is also a crazy intense opportunity.
I am grateful to be able to raise children,
even in this crazy insane,
and sometimes angry world.

How do you best teach your children manners and etiquette in a sometimes lacking world?

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