Tuesday, May 13, 2008

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: PARENTING IS LOVE IN ACTION

My Crush believes that there is a standard to parenting. That any parent regardless of ability and capacity to parent knows there is a standard and should rise to the occasion of good parenting because they are parents. He is right and wrong. Just because someone births a child doesn't make them a parent. And just because someone says they love you to a child doesn't mean that it's true. Not if you believe love is a verb.

I believe parenting is a choice. It is commitment to children in the highest order. It is a selfless act of love. My soon-to-be Ex husband doesn't get that concept of parenting...selfless acts of love. I have no doubt that he loves his children. But I am baffled how he can dole out his time with them. He tries to see them everyday. I say tries because some days he has other things going on. Or he has plans or he is working overtime, or he is tired, or he has to do laundry, or he has to do...whatever. But I say so what! These beautiful children will only be children for a bit longer and he will miss all their best moments.

Once Margeaux was really sick. She started throwing up blood at around 2:00 am in the morning. My Ex was not home, he didn't come home, he didn't call. I called our pediatrician who said get her to the emergency room---we have a children's emergency room here. I called my Ex-I paged, I beeped...no answer. I get ALL the children up at 2:30 am in the dead of Winter and take them all with me to the ER. I get my Brother at 6:00 am who rushes to the hospital. He then goes back to our house and My Ex is there laying the bed. My Brother maintained his composure as he tells my Ex that we are all at the ER. When my Ex arrives at 8:30 am, he says to me : I got your messages. I said well when you came home and didn't see your family didn't you think this was serious. He said: I thought you were using the children to hurt me. WTF! I thought I was going to faint. I said what in my character, our history and my life, would make you even think that I would use my children to hurt you. How do you get there with that? He apologized. But so what? He thought that about me. And I swear it still hurts. IT STILL HURTS!

In that moment I realized what I was dealing with. A person with a small spirit who never knew me as a woman or as a parent. There is no convincing in love.

What I know is this: Raising children and loving children and caring about children is not a part-time deal. It is not when you feel like it, it is not when you have time. It is not when you feel good. It is not when you get yourself together, it is not when you have more money. It is not when you get your education finished, it is not when you get back from finding out who you are.

I am a PARENT. Parenting is LOVE in action. All day. Everyday. No Exceptions. No Excuses.

1000 Things I want to Do Before I Die:
11. Drink Beer in Belgium
12. Sail on the Nile in Egypt
13. See Victoria Falls in Zambia
14. Ski in Aspen, CO.
15. Pray at Goree Island.

18 comments:

Kay C, The Quiet Storm said...

Sending love and comfort your way. It has taken me almost 30 years to realize that some people are incapable of showing love. Yes, it hurts when we feel we deserve it and can not receive it. Especially when we pour it out by the truckload.

Love is a verb, it is also a choice. I don't know how we came to know it as a feeling. But loving yourself will get you through.

pserendipity said...

Girl, remind me next time I come to this blog to bring my church fan, okay? Cause I always find myself saying "Preach!"

Lovebabz said...

Happy Mother's Day Kay C. The Quiet Storm. Thank you for sending all that love and comfort my way! How divine!

dejanae said...

nothing but the truth

Don said...

I would like to see you make a greater effort to teach your soon-to-be the joy and rewards of being able to allow himself to become vulnerable towards the love that he has to feel within his heart.

That is, before you send him packing.

Lovebabz said...

Dear Sister PSerendipity,
Oh I know-- right. I ought to chill out a bit! LOL!

Dejanae,
I am tired of folks making excuses about parenting!

Don,
I was married to him for 12 years. I cannot re-raise a Grown Man. I can only be a help-/partner/lover/mate. I cannot be his Mother. He is already gone.

Tony OH said...

The hardest lessons for men is they must learn is that, " You can't turn a Whore into a housewife and you can't turn a housewife into a Whore!"

That being said, " Some women will never be good parents!"

Lovebabz said...

Hey Tony OH!

Hhm I just think that when we expect people who are not interested in parenting for real to be parents that we will always be upset and always be let down.

Mizrepresent said...

Preach Lovebabz, parenting is all the time, and even when there is no time, it is overtime...i know this much, sometimes spouses, boyfriends don't see what we sacrifice, don't understand the sacrifice of raising our gifts...it is sad, and so disappointing, but you being a good parent will indeed make the difference.

Lovebabz said...

Sister MizR,
I hear so many excuses why folks don't seem to want to parent and they are PARENTS! As if children can sit and wait until parents get a clue, grow-up and actually put their children first. So many excuses and none valid.

Ok I am stepping down from the pulpit...LOL!

laurie said...

Amen, amen, amen.

CapCity said...

AMEN!!!! U did say u were a preacher or something, didn'tcha? ;-)
And I wanna, no I GOTTA go to The Goree Islands in this lifetime! MUST see the doors of no return....

Sharon said...

24/7/365...
It is just as simple as that!

Lovebabz said...

Sharon,

You are RIGHT RIGHT! RIGHT!

Trish said...

I like what you say about not wanting to re-raise a grown man. My soon to be ex works two blocks from our house, where his children live and play every day, and he can't bring himself to see them more than 3 times in the week. One evening, and one weekend overnight. And now he's asking for one weekend a month off so he can "take care of himself" and be able to be the kind of dad he wants to be. So he can travel out of town and have fun to make his life here more bearable.

He's a high-rolling administrator, and his need to be out of town never came close to what it is now, since he left our marriage and started a relationship with a woman 5 hours away. I am with you in believing that parenting is a choice, and I agree with your Crush that there is a standard that parents should rise to. Especially when they have the intelligence and wherewithal, and the relatively undamaged psyche to do so.

And I continue to be amazed by the people who prioritize themselves so far ahead of their children. And I teach the children who are the result of parents like these, as well as the kids who have been made a priority and have been well-loved. It is so easy to see the result. It is easy to see the neediness in the kids who have lost an intact family, or those who have parents who are too busy to readjust themselves and the way they think about themselves to step into their role as parents.

And while it's sad for the fathers who distance themselves and for the kids who are distanced, it draws us closer to together. Is it selfish to enjoy that part and relish the extended time I have with them as a result of their dad's choices?

Your "What I know" paragraph is perfect. Parenting IS a full time, all of the time, all of yourself activity if you're going to do it well. And we are doing it well, and our beautiful children will be so rich with love.

Lovebabz said...

Hello Trish!
Thank you for your very thoughtful post. I am so tired of hearing folks (men & women) whine and give all kinds of excuses about what they can and cannot do for their children. Love is a choice. All the way around. Love is a choice.

Quaker in a Basement said...

Aspen? Bah! Colorado has better places. But come on anyway!

Lovebabz said...

Ok Quaker in the Basement Bah it is! Skiing in Bah is a go!