Dueling Desires and why I believe in the Super Nanny

I am reposting this (along with all my previous posts from my previous blog-from 2013 and before).  The first time I published this post, it was misunderstood by some people who I love dearly and are excellent mothers.  So my disclaimer of all disclaimers is that any blog I write is never to attack a friend.  Nor is it to vent in a passive- aggressive manner so that friends and readers speculate and wonder if I am referring to them.  Every blog is written about things I am processing through or have thoughts on.  Yes, I’m writing as honestly as I know how to–attempting to completely own my own feelings and not wonder excessively if I will offend someone.  If I obsess, I promise you I will close my blog account.  What’s the point of a blog if you spend your whole time worrying about peoples’ responses?  So, if something I write seems insensitive, please–by all means feel what you feel.  But I hope you don’t internalize it and stay angry with me.  Chances are maybe it just “triggered” something in your own heart or experience with life.  I have found that if I step back and get to the root of what triggered me, then it’s really not the person that pushed my buttons that I need to focus on.  It’s that there might be an area that is wounded or vulnerable that needs to be addressed.  So….read on…and I’ll keep writing!

 

There’s a picture in my mind.  Dueling swordsmen.  Think Robin Hood or The Three Musketeers.  Only the two who are in conflict are my own dueling desires.

 

The desire for marriage and a family.  Versus the desire for freedom.  Ok, relax. Single hood isn’t freedom, marriage isn’t bondage.  I know that. Obviously if you are married, you’ve crossed over into what I refer to as the “unknown”.  You have more wisdom and grace than I do in this arena.  I see dimly.  My view of things is obviously single sided, pun intended.

 

I’m fascinated with my own dueling opinions and feelings toward marriage.  On one hand, I greatly desire and dream of my life mate, a best friend to share the journey with.  On the other, I’m so used to singleness and making choices that don’t involve another human being in my transient life that I wonder how easy it would be to lay down that ‘freedom’ to take on a different life altogether.  Where it’s not all about me anymore.  My direction.  My dreams.  My hopes.  My path. Where it’s about us now.  Don’t get super-spiritual on me.  Jesus is my husband and God is my Father so, no, it’s not ever really just about me.  But I’m speaking on the practical level of single life as opposed to married life.

I want kids of my own, but having lots of married friends I have witnessed many of the realities of parenting. Buckle up. We are going for a ride through the mind of your unmarried friend.  If you dare to keep reading through to the end, you may find an honest friend who is being real to the core.  Disclaimer:  the writer’s intent is not to attack or to find fault.  Do not read to put a “positive” or “negative” assessment on the writer’s words.  Read for the pure enjoyment of being invited into the writer’s journey.

 

I love kids.  I live for the quirky and even embarrassing situations they put us in.  I should know having nannied much of  the past 10 years.  Classic example and a cute little story to go along with this thought:

 

Nannying:  3 kids.  Driving them to the library for story hour.  On the way there, 6 year old Parker asks me why I’m not married.  So, I tell the kids that I’m waiting for God to bring me a husband.  I didn’t know his little mind was pondering that until…
We get to the library and he excitedly introduces me to his friend’s dad.  With all the innocence of a child, introductions begin:  “This is my nanny Liz.  (Head down and sad face).  She doesn’t have a husband.”

 

Little people are entertaining.  Precious.  You never know what will come forth from their brains purely for our enjoyment and entertainment.

 

That said, dueling opinion now approaches.  ON GUARD!  I’m relieved that at the end of the day I can hand them back over to the parents.  My mom friends say that once I have kids of my own I will feel differently.  Hmmm….. (deep breath as I tread into dangerous waters).  H-O-N-E-S-T-L-Y? Motherhood looks plain unappealing to me sometimes.  I write that not out of cynicism or suppressed desires to be a mother myself, but from many hours of childcare and child contact. Exhausted mothers. Frustrations etched into the parents’ faces because the kids are running around like “Where the wild things are”, without clear healthy boundaries. Husbands and wives having infrequent getaway times JUST FOR THEM.  Babysitters?  Who are they?  I have one friend who makes it top priority to have weekly date nights with her husband.  I know because when I lived with her and her family, she made sure to get in at least a few hours every weekend, with Super Nanny Liz to the rescue.  She also has interests and pursuits outside of her children where she employs her hubby to watch the wee ones or (novel thought), hires a babysitter.  She is my hero.

 

 I want to tell many of my beloved friends who are mothering, that they are allowed to make time for themselves. Nap times or rest times (even just an hour a day) is ok.  Mommy is allowed to have mommy time. Mommy NEEDS mommy time.  Mommy can get very ANGRY and impatient when she isn’t having Mommy time.  I feel very jealous over my friends’ hearts when I see that they suffer needlessly because they feel they aren’t allowed to have time away. Without little Johnny and little Jane.  I’m saying an hour.  Just an hour.  Money should never be an excuse, because we live in a day of “play dates” and moms can take turns watching each others’ kids.  Or, again, babysitting.  A lost art.  It’s too bad I can’t make a career out of watching all your kids.  You’re too spread out geographically=)  I would gladly watch your children so that you can have time away.  I recommended to a young mom recently that though finances are tight, there are creative ways to “pay” a sitter.  Pay with an experience.   A family trip where you include and bless your single sitter with time in a family environment.  How about having your sitter who may not enjoy cooking (uh hum…that would be me!) over for a meal?

 

I should be clear in stating that the parents are the guardians and protectors of their children.  This means, it is healthy and wise to monitor where your children are and who is going to be entrusted with their little hearts.

 

 On the flip side.

 

Not everyone knows a super nanny.  My friend Sue IS the super nanny, in my eyes.  She’s not British and she isn’t televised, but she should be teaching classes on childcare, parenting, loving well, and boundaries.  I wish she would.  I would sign up for the classes and recommend it to other parents.  But, since we don’t all have super nanny in our life does this mean parents don’t pursue things that will exclude the child in any way?  I sure hope not.  I am planning on regular times to get away with my own heart when I’m a mom.  “Just wait until YOU are a mom, Liz!  You’ll feel differently.”  Um…I don’t think that’s true.  I think I will want to have time to myself so that I have something to offer the little ones that I am nurturing.

 

I wholeheartedly and with great confidence can say that the moms I know who are pursuing the dreams of their heart may have more to offer their little ones because their own hearts are thriving.  I have seen this in action.

 

I believe in babysitters.  I believe in mother’s day out.  I am a believer.  Can I get a witness?

 

Not a criticism, just an observation:  why as a single woman do I have all these creative ideas for how to secure a babysitter when I don’t even NEED one? ha ha…

 

Growing up, my siblings and I loved having babysitters.  We would ask my parents to go out together so we could have the babysitter come.  Those are positive memories for me.  Playing outside. Making up games.  Races on piggy back. Even if my brother ended up busting his two front teeth out. Oops. But lighten up people!  Your kids are going to be ok.  They need the adventures that mom and dad can give them by opening up other avenues and experiences.  I felt secure when mom and dad would go out.  I didn’t feel abandoned and neglected. Quite the opposite.  I felt secure because they were taking time for each other and putting a value on their relationship.  When mom and dad are connecting, the children are more at rest

 

Here are the things that make me cringe when I think about what I may have to experience in order to be a mom. Making 3 meals a day FOREVER or at least until they are old enough to cook for themselves.  I don’t enjoy cooking.  I will do it because I have to.  And I guess if you love to eat you have to cook from time to time.  Whining, having to be with that same little person day in and day out, complaints, feeling like life is good if you have 10 minutes to yourself in the bathroom (until they come banging on the door).  Another thing. Why do children have a particular button that they rarely fail to push?  This button is called  “oh Mommy is on the phone now.  I was happy playing or watching veggie tales.  Now I’m not happy because Mommy isn’t giving me all her attention so I will fuss until she gives into me and has to get OFF the phone.”

 

Seriously, friends.  Do people ever think about these things before the babies begin coming and the life of parenting begins?  Am I strange to think about these things?  Maybe there’s bliss in not having too much info in advance. I wonder if every single woman past a certain age with lots of contact with kids has wrestled with this.  Numerous friends had their first “go”  with little people when they started having their own. My experience is different.

 

I confess I am most entertained with the surprising direction this blog has taken.  I think I may be getting to the meat, the core of why I wrestle with the idea of motherhood.  It’s because I don’t see enough babysitting going on! HA! So, I’ve run with a few different tangents, but maybe my real issue is not wanting to give up my identity and my dreams and desires in order to have family.  I want those things to feed my family.  I want my dreams to inspire my children to dream.  I don’t want to turn into a haggard and worn mother who loses herself.  This is a cost I don’t want to pay.. My heart is too valuable for that.

 

I have babysat some of your children.  I am  now taking your pledges to baby-sit mine.  (When the time comes). Make sure I have your current phone numbers and assurance that you will help make date nights possible for me. And please…give me comments that will encourage the half of me that would like to be a mom.  Let me know what’s really so great about it, besides early mornings.
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13 thoughts on “Dueling Desires and why I believe in the Super Nanny

  1. ha ha!!! Another single confesses! Nice! I think we've had lots of opps to be inside the behind the scenes, haven't we Jen? Thanks for commenting and reading! love you!

  2. It is funny that you do think about those things, but after babysitting for so many years you have seen the benefits of giving parents time to themselves.

    You asked what is so great about parenting…Here is what's so great about parenting. You can really mess with the kids. Point to orange and say blue. No seriously, the benefits of parenting are more than I ever imagined. The young years are tough, but the teen years are so much fun. My daughter and I are really close and I am trying to prepare myself for her leaving home in just a months. My son is such a gentleman with a great heart. We get to hang out with them, go to roller coaster parks, play sports with them, snowboard with them and just enjoy life with them. All the while we are trying to help them to follow God on their own. Yes, the mornings are still early, but it's all good.
    And yes, I guess I will owe you babysitting time, since you watched mine….18 years ago.

  3. Amy, tried to comment and not sure it went through. Let me try again =) I just want to say that looking back at my teen years, I know that you were perfectly fitted for youth pastoring for junior high! Your humor and lightness as well as perspective continues to bring me joy and lets me see a different angle to things. I was laughing out loud about “messing with the kids”. And I love what you said about your two kids and what a joy and how you've enjoyed living life with them. That's priceless and it's enough to make me consider that I' might enjoy motherhood also! Thanks!!!

  4. I like amy's post. it reminds me that they won't be young forever and life will get easier then. it also reminds me that i only have a few more years to give them good foundation. once they reach those teen years it will be the practice of letting them make their own decisions and letting them live with the consequences, good or bad, of those decisions. oh wait, now i'm scared! ok, NO teenagers in this house!! ha ha..another joy of parenting. the constant need for wisdom. the tremendous responsibility to “train up a child”.
    and yes liz, i agree about needing time to yourself. as a stay at home mom and homeschooler that time is rare. thanks for reminding me how important it is and thanks for offering to babysit 🙂

  5. Change can be beautiful – whether in getting married or having kids – it is def. different from single life – BUT can be soo beautiful, exciting, adventurous…

    Then the next change from marriage to having kids – there is something soo wonderful about creating a child who is half you, half your hubby, but all God's 🙂

    Mother hood does require sacrifice and dying to self – BUT beauty can come from that and there can be a balance of me time and kid time

    Do moms always get it right in rearing kids? Absolutely not. BUT with Spirit's help and guidance – we get there and not only just 'get there' we can soar

    There can be creative 'get away' times whether for yourself or with your hubby – it may not always be out of the house, but I have personally found the in home dates some of the most special… and if you favor outside dates – that can work out too…

    Some seasons I have had more me time than others – but it all balances with God in your life

    Kids growing -up years go by soo fast… my sis's youngest has moved out already – savor each moment…

    My desire is to speak life and encourage you – change CAN be beautiful and when Christ is the Center of your marriage and mothering – it only gets better and better…

    My husband and I are STILL learning 11 years later, I am STILL learning in the mothering department, I am STILL learning in loving myself – BUT what an adventure!
    I know folk have told you – it will be different when they are your kids – and it really will be – YOU get to hear 'I love you, mommy'; YOU get to have them run into your room Christmas morning with such joy it's amazing… maybe you don't 'give them back' at the end of the day… but really, you won't want to…

    I love you, friend, you are beautiful…you will be a beautiful wife, you will be a beautiful mother – and Father will be there every step of the way…
    ox C

  6. Liz, I've been thinking a lot about this and I feel that sometimes the things moms express mostly are frustrations. At the end of the day, we are tired and our frustrations speak louder than the blessings. Truly a disservice! But, truly understandable. It is therapy in a comic relief sort of way. I often get a kick at hearing about other moms' chaotic hilarious experiences. It makes me feel like I am not alone. However, it leaves single women or women without children biting their nails and pacing the floor, “So, THAT is what I have to look forward to? Thanks, but no thanks.”

    Often times we don’t report the 10 things that happened that day that were so precious we cried and thanked God for such sweet gifts. I was at the grocery today and I passed this older gentleman who, honestly, looked like he had been through a lot in his life. He looked at the kids and said, “Well, what do we have here? Two miracles.” And I wanted to cry. Yes, two miracles. It was a God moment for me. And so often you just don’t hear about these moments. Maybe because they are so sacred moms don’t write about them. Maybe because we feel they won’t touch others the way they touched us and will therefore seem silly. I’m not sure.

    So here are a few for you. Davi is now saying “Mama” after everything he says. “Milk Mama”, “Veggie Tales Mama”, “Shoes Mama”, “Paci Mama” and it melts my heart every single time! Sometimes at night when he can’t sleep I lay down with him. He gets so close that our noses nearly touch. I love feeling his little feet against my legs as we fall asleep. Sometimes when he laughs he throws his head back and it brings so much joy to me, he is so cute.

    The other day I was super tired after putting Davi down for his nap. I put a movie on for Lily and said that I was just going to close my eyes for a moment. A few minutes later I felt her tuck the blanket under my chin. Then she pulled it down a bit to cover my feet. Then she put a pillow over my feet so they wouldn’t “get cold”. Then she came up and said, “Is that better Mama? I love you.” Ah! It was another God moment for me. I felt so in love with that little girl and with being her Mama. My heart was soaring!

    A couple days ago I was getting her ready for school and I said, “You are so smart and so beautiful.” She said, “I think you are so beautiful, Mama.” Nearly everyday she tells me I look pretty or that she likes my hair or that my shirt “looks good on me”.

    I could go on forever. These are the moments you don’t hear about, Liz. And there are a dozen of them every day…every day. They fuel us and strengthen us. They bring us closer to the Father and fill our heart with even more love for these little beings. Some times it doesn’t seem possible…to love them even more. But, when Davi runs toward me with his mouth wide open and drool running down to give me a kiss my heart swells with even more love for him. Ahhhhh…. I love those kisses!!

    Liz, I see this ocean set before you and it is called “The Sea of Marriage and Motherhood”. It has depths untold. Beauty that will touch your heart in a way that no one else will understand because only you will be able to appreciate it fully as a mom to a certain little one/ones. You will endlessly search it out and you will be in awe at the joy it will bring to your heart. Joy anew every morning…along with those wonderful mercies and grace and I can’t wait!!! Love Tara~

  7. Ahhhh… SOO beautifully put, Tara… Thank you for expressing yourself in this way!! May we always see our wee ones as the miracles that they are!
    from another mama – C 🙂

  8. You make me laugh, Liz. I know it's not suppose to be funny, but I just know you. Thanks for being so honest. I'm sure you got some people stirred up. =) I think it is good to challenge each other. In reality married people can learn from singels just like singles can learn from married people. I just smile when well meaning married friends tell me,”you just wait….when you're married then you'll understand this or that (fill in the blank)”. As if God can't find other creative ways to work character and humility into his children. We all have our own life journey. I think that you do have the advantage of knowing what you are getting into before hand and can plan accordingly–only to be surprised by how much help the grace of God is in the momement. I think a lot of single women have a view of marriage and motherhood that can grow more and more idealized the longer that it is withheld from them. That's why I think it is so important for singles to be around families and kids and take these single years to practically prepare and not just blindly long for what they do not have. Some years ago, I had coffee with a newly married woman who had waited a long time to get married (funny I've passed her up by a few years now!). She had lived so long with the longing to be married that she was actually grieving the arrival of the real thing. Not because she didn't marry a good husband, but because marriage wasn't everything she had longed for. He didn't carry in the groceries for her or maybe take the trash out the way she had imagined he would. She found herself missing the longing because it was the longing for God and not just for a husband or family. That was a wake up call for me, and God took me on a journey of learning what marriage and motherhood is and what it isn't. Anyway, this is turning into my own blog better stop. I know that being a mom is part of my calling, and I am excited and look forward to the days of cooking three meals a day, but I will definitely call you to babysit if we ever live in the same state again, and you can definitely stay for dinner!

  9. Cathie, that is so encouraging. You have so many good thoughts and ideas. One of my faves being home dates!!! Thanks for your support and constant encouragement!

    Tara, you are such an amazing story teller! I eat your stories up. About Davi saying Mama after everything and Lily tucking you in. I think that you may have unraveled the issue when saying that perhaps the frustrations have been expressed at times from moms more than the blessings. And how maybe those parts have been shared when there's 10 other things that went WELL and blessed you that day! What a poignant thought. So thought provoking. You shared so fully, I will be digesting and enjoying those thoughts for awhile, I know.

    Maggie, you know me! ha ha. Glad I made you laugh-there really is humor in all of it! And don't worry, I'll be happy to watch your kids in exchange for dinners! What you shared about your friend grieving after marriage because she missed the longing. wow, I have never thought about missing it. I think we just wish the longing would go away or be fulfilled, don't we? That is so profound. Yeah, I'm glad you wrote your thoughts. Your thoughts on a matter are always welcomed and always insightful!

  10. Liz, you are so precious. 🙂 I love how candid and honest you have been here. You definately have some valid points! The 10 minutes to yourself in the bathroom thing, well try 5 and I'd be happy some days lol. Don't worry about cooking 3 square meals a day because there is a little thing called LEFTOVERS and TAKEOUT haha. and just MAYBE your hubby will cook sometimes! If all else fails, you pop a frozen meal in the microwave and there ya go kiddos! But, I digress… ;)….

    You are totally right that we should not have to lose ourselves, to sacrifice our hearts in order to have a family! I don't think that honors God. God's glorified when we are thriving! Nobody praises Him from the grave anyway. (literal and figurative). I'm glad that you are not willing to sacrifice your heart!!

    Having a great husband who is truly a partner will be a great asset to you. You will not be in this adventure alone should you have children. You are absolutely right – what moms need are support networks. The husband, friends, family, babysitters, who can make sure that mom has time to herself.
    I also believe that some of the best things I can give my son is 1) an example of a mommy and daddy loving each other and having a good relationship… 2)a happy mommy who is satisfied living from her heart … 3) an example of an honest and good relationship with God along with the teaching … so that means Mommy is going to have some time to herself, and that Mom and Dad are going to have to take time to focus on their relationship regularly too.

    Thanks for the encouragement regarding babysitters. I have been a nanny, and often compare my experiences with those two children to that of my own now with my son. Sometimes yes I do wish I could check out – but really, just for a really long nap! Of an hour or two of quiet if he's being fussy and demanding. Truly though, I enjoy him so much I sometimes lay awake just looking at his little face and body. (he looks like a chicken when he's super tired, arms n legs spread out and relaxed haha.. with the face of an angel of course!). His little smiles and laughs and new things he's learning to do really add so much joy to my heart every day! It can take a little time to learn to adjust to having someone in your life constantly if you are an introvert (I am, too). But I'm starting to see him as kind of an extension of myself. I'm sure he sees it that way too for now haha.

    Love you 🙂

  11. Yes the open mouth kissies are very heartwarming, even with the drool 🙂 And one of the best moments of my life is when I go to sleep next to Josiah, his little tiny arm holding holding me as my arms are around him… 🙂

  12. Sara Jane! WOW, your words were so full of encouragement and I loved your examples…take out, leftovers…ah, music to my heart =) What you said about having a good network–so true, perhaps as an unmarried woman who has no kids I am seeing things from the perspective of doing it alone. I have great admiration and respect for ALL the single moms I know–I know it must be so challenging. I loved how descriptive you were in describing how even just short breaks revive you and the miracle of who your son is keeps you in awe. Sara Jane, you have a lot to offer. You have an amazing gift of communication and your comment really really impressed and inspired me!

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