Friday, March 17, 2017

Family Values

I realized this week - for the first time actually - that being a parent is going to be tough.

Having a newborn was tough. It was pure survival mode for me. But Cam wasn't relying on me to make rules, enforce boundaries, and instill values that will set him up for his best life. He just cried 24 hours a day for no reason.

Brian and I eloped with no pre-marital counseling. We entered the world of parenthood by complete surprise. Everything in life for us has been "go with the flow," and our flow has looked something like this:


(Please do yourself a favor and Google Image "whitewater rafting crashes." I have seriously never laughed so hard this early in the morning.)

Two things happened this week that made me realize I need to establish some family values.

Real family values. 

Not cheesy ones like this:


Those signs are so cheesy to me. 99% of you reading probably have one, so apologies in advance. 

In this house we do real??

Moving on...

Brian and I had a conversation last weekend that led me to ask him the question, "What will we teach Cam about this when he gets older?"

We didn't have an answer.

After some thinking and praying, I realized there will be areas where we must have a zero-tolerance policy in this house, and whether Cam likes it or not, it will be for his own good.

And then, on Wednesday morning, I was driving to work listening to KLove, and the following situation came up on the radio show:

The host, Amy, had made a commitment to speak at a women's conference one weekend. Her son's basketball team, however, is now headed to a state-wide championship game that same weekend. She has attended all of his games so far, so she felt like she needed to honor her commitment and attend the conference.

All of the parents of the teammates and everyone who called in to the radio said Amy needed to go to the basketball game to support her son.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!

What does that teach her son about honoring a commitment? That you can agree to something until a better option comes along? 

Let me tell you a quick story:

I played the drums in 6th grade band, and it was about mid-year through 6th grade when I had a sudden revelation: 

Band is social suicide.

One day, I mistakenly agreed to my mom that I would stay in band through middle school if she didn't make me do high school marching band (even nerdier than middle school band). 

You'll never believe what happened next.

The world's worst mother made me honor my commitment. 

My parents endured three years of pouting, crying, shouting, anger, depression, frustration, and absolute misery on my end. I threatened to kill myself and because I was a hormonal adolescent, I really wasn't kidding. I wanted to die and I wanted my mom to be responsible and explain this to everyone at my funeral.

Yes, it was that bad. 

Nevertheless, she persisted. 

Even my dad at one point was like "Cindy, we should probably just let her quit band before she actually goes off the deep end." But if you know my mom, then you know my mom.

So I played the drums for three years and miraculously I survived the ordeal.

And here I am today, adding the first item to my list of family values.

Strawberry Family Values

#1.  In this house, we honor our commitments.


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