Friday, February 5, 2010

Hop on over!

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This week's topic: What aspects of your parents' parenting do you want to continue in parenting your own kid(s)?

When I first read the subject for this week, I kind of sighed. Not because I don't love my parents, I do. It's just that our parenting styles are very very different. It's not that I intentionally do things differently, but I'm a different person then they are and HH grew up with an incredibly unusual upbringing so for us, we have to find a happy medium.

A few things that I do 100% hope to carry over in my own parenting:

1. Unconditional Love: I know everyone says they love their kids unconditionally, but my parents do this so incredibly well. No matter what we did or how we screwed up, my mom would meet us with a hug and tell us we'd figure it out. I called home at 17 sobbing because I rear ended someone. My dad didn't go on a tirade about me wrecking my car (although I did have to drive it with a beat up front bumper for awhile), he made sure I was okay and reminded me that it was an accident. There was no yelling, there was no judgment. When your 21 year old daughter shows up with her 24 year old boyfriend and says she's pregnant, it's a lot to take in. I hope that I can be as supportive and non-judgmental as my parents were and still are, even when they don't agree with the choices I make or the things I do. And if you know my brother, you know you pretty much have to be a saint to deal with him every day!

2. Parties: We didn't have a lot of money growing up. We weren't poor but my parents definitely lived pay check to pay check. Even so, birthdays were a big deal. There were parties, presents and cake. Always. Same goes for end of the school year parties, when I went from 5th grade to 6th it was a big deal because we were going to middle school. I had every girl in my class over for a sleepover on the last day of school. There was cake and streamers and we felt like the coolest girls ever. I remember when my brother was in HS he and his friends had just started dating (and if you know my brother, you can stop laughing now), for Valentines day three of them came over with their girlfriends and my dad made heart shaped pizzas. It was the little touches that as an adult I remember and want to do with my children. So when I'm going crazy with the cakes for birthday parties or trying to find matching streamers, that's why. My dad always made our cakes, he even made the top tier of my wedding cupcake tower. It's something you don't forget.

3. Family Reunion: My brother and I hated our family reunions as teens, we have one every Christmas with my dad's extended family. My grandpa had 4 sisters, so it's their families and I don't know them all that well. (both of my grandparents have passed) The only upside was getting an early Christmas gift, but we had to sit on Santa's lap for that to happen. I spent most of the evening hiding out with my cousin. I'm 28 now and I think I can count the number of Christmas reunions I've missed. (2) My parents were always insistant that we go every year. Even when I was in college and working 3 jobs, you'd better believe I took that Friday before Christmas off work so that I could be there. Now, it's a tradition I carry on with my boys. I'm sure they'll go kicking and screaming as teens but I think it's important for them to have a sense of family. I hope that when they are older, if my parents have passed, they'll feel them in that room the way I feel my grandparents when we go.

There is more, my parents truly are amazing and wonderfuly people, but I'll end it here. I do a lot of things very different then what they did with me, but I hope my boys know they can always ALWAYS count on me the way I can count on my parents.

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Sara J said...

I love the party ideas! My family didn't have a whole lot either and birthdays were always a big deal; if not with friends then at least with the extended families. I'm hoping to do the same thing too!

Paige said...

My parents didn't have lots of birthday parties but I had a HUGE party for my 16th. I'm still hemming and hawing on what I want to do for Aellyn.

andrea said...

we are a party family. we have a party for everything and nothing! and, we can do it on a shoestring budget, because, well, we have too.

everyone should be so lucky to feel love all the time, no matter what.

the pictures are fabulous!

Brooke said...

That was really sweet. I loved that picture of your dad and Ian.