|Posted by Kirstin Parkin on January 26, 2016 at 11:15 PM||comments (2)|
Down the road, your friendships will probably seem like the most important thing in the world to you. Your family life will probably take a backseat to your social life, and the opinions of your friends will likely carry more weight than the opinions of your family. There seems to be a misunderstanding about what friends are these days. The term Frenemy is a real thing. The plight of mean girls is terrifying to me. The idea of ‘friends’ crushing you by withholding friendship or being cruel to you, makes me want go Ninja-Mommy on these future friends. Obviously, I’m not allowed to do that, but those that know me, know that I have a super-strength momma bear side to me. Just ask my family. I don’t care who you are, if you mess with my girls, you will deal with me. I almost feel bad for the kids down the road that mess with you.
I would much rather, however, prefer you choose your friends carefully, and with a grain of salt, than choosing friends based on popularity. The reality is, for me anyways, that very few of these kids will make it into a substantial place in your future. Likely, you will lose touch with most of them before you’ve reached twenty. The number of friends I have from high school? Two. And I see them two to three times a year. My closest friends live on the other side of the world, the other side of the country, or have just entered my life since becoming a mom. I can count on my two hands those who make the cut. It’s my own doing to be sure because friends have the ability to hurt you. Badly…. And I’ve been hurt.
It’s the ‘friend’ that dates your ex boyfriend less than a week after he dumped you. It’s the ‘friend’ who dumps you for having an opinion they don’t like. It’s the ‘friends’ who judge you for dating a boy they don’t like, or tease you for cutting you hair into a short bob. It’s the ‘friend’ who chooses sides when you break it off with your high school sweet heart, and it’s not your side. Its ‘friends’ that give you horrible nick names that stick around the whole school year. All this happened to me, and thankfully it was before the internet and social media took things to a whole new level.
My friendships have mostly, always been temporary. As soon as I get a taste for the real person, I’m usually quick to move on. Life is too short to waste it fostering friendships with people that don’t understand or deserve you. I have found it safer in my life to be alone than to be around people who aren’t genuinely my friends. It can be lonely, but loneliness hurts less than betrayal in my opinion, which is why I ask you to consider your friendships carefully. The true friendships I have are incredibly cherished by me, because I understand what a rarity they are. Popularity is fleeting, but true friendship is priceless.
Please remember, that it’s important to be a good friend. That means being kind and considerate. It’s being empathetic as well as being supportive and encouraging. It’s listening instead of talking, and being inclusive instead of exclusive. It also means saying no when someone treats you poorly, or tries to convince you to make bad decisions. It’s being thoughtful about what you say and how it impacts others. It's means being comfortable being yourself, without pretending to be someone who you are not.
I pray that you will have a few happy, healthy friendships as you grow, but you’re already luckier than most, as you each have a sister, who will forever be your best friend. For that, you are eternally blessed. xo
|Posted by Kirstin Parkin on September 16, 2015 at 1:50 PM||comments (2)|
There will come a day when you will see something, or learn of something so heartbreaking that it makes your heart bleed. It’s so hard to hear of such tragic stories without feeling totally overwhelmed with the pain, or sorrow, anger, or fear.
The suffering that exists in the world is infinite. It is seemingly unending and there are no justifications to explain the horrendous evils that permeate our world. The News tells us about the worst things happening around the world at all times. Sometimes, the tragedies happen close to home, other times they happen to someone we know. Perhaps it’s about people, or maybe animals, or the environment, and frequently, it’s happening to millions of people on the other side of the world. War, missing women, good people with terminal diagnosis, random acts of violence, targeted hate crimes, school shootings, cruelty to animals, innocent children lost. These things are happening. All. The. Time.
My hope for you during such pain and confusion, is that you can try hard to focus on the good. Look for the people who are helping. Look to see all the people who care. See the good. They’re there but you need to make the effort to shift your focus from the bad. Feel all the sadness that comes with hearing about devastation. It’s okay to cry, so cry. And then let it go.
Focus on your life and making it the best it can be, because ultimately we don’t know how long any one of us will be around for. While we don’t know what disaster is lurking around the corner, we cannot live a life in chaos and fear. We must keep faith and remember for every ten stories of sorrow and sadness, there are hundreds of stories of happy blessings that just need to be told. We need to share the good tales with happy endings. As much as Evil exists in the world, so does Good, and that’s where you need to focus.
I’m thinking of so many people while writing this. A little two year old girl abducted and killed. Incomprehensible. A little boy hit by a truck and died. Unimaginable. A sweet man diagnosed with ALS. A high school friend killed during a police altercation. Another stabbed and killed over drugs. Millions of refugees desperate to escape Terrorism and Extremists. Girls and women stolen and sold into the sex trade. Animals suffering neglect and abuse.
The only thing that I can think of is that these things are unacceptable and cannot, will not, be stood for. Our modern society is evolving to a place where equality will not only be a reality for everyone on the planet, but it will be a fundamental belief that will be defended by every country in the world. The advancement of globalization and social media are connecting people in a way that has never happened before. People are ending modern slavery with a Gofundme.com account, and rallying around people with change.org online protests. Cell phone videos are exposing violent abusive people and providing evidence. Police are tracking down pedophiles by pretending to be young girls on the internet. Things are changing. Things are improving. The atrocities inflicted by people in power spark revolution and change.
Please remember that for every criminal there are numerous police officers working to put them away. For every ALS death there are many scientists working to find a cure. For every natural disaster, there are countless people who swoop in and help as many people as possible. For every senseless death, there is some lesson that can be learned. There is still good. I cannot control the bad in this world, I can however choose to live in positivity, love and optimism.
I Pray to God numerous times a day, and it never changes: “Dear God, please keep my family safe, keep us healthy, and keep us together. Amen”
|Posted by Kirstin Parkin on March 2, 2015 at 8:40 PM||comments (0)|
I’m nursing yet another battle wound that I received simply because I’m your mother.
Miss M smashed me in the mouth with a toy while we were all in the bath tub together. It wasn’t intentional, but my tooth went through my lip and instantly my mouth was filled with blood. Miss B was mortified because I looked like I came straight from a horror film. You know when your teeth are coated in blood and your whole mouth looks like your about to die? That was how I looked to my three year old. Miss B was terrified and very mad at her sister for hurting her mommy. Miss M just laughed.
So I got to rock a fat split lip for three days, and even now on day four, its sore. And I’m reminded of how much abuse I take from you girls. I have had scabs on my face from your little finger nails gouging my skin, I’ve chosen wedding outfits based on what covers the teeth mark bruises on my arms. You have both ripped out clumps of may hair on numerous occasions. I am routinely kicked, jumped on, head butted and scratched. I’m surprised I still have my hearing left after the glass shattering screams that have blasted my ears. That is the stuff that people don’t tell you about parenting. How these little beings that you love more than anything in the world will lash out and hurt you when they’re really mad. Or bored. Or frustrated. Or sad. Or hungry. Or tired. Or just totally by accident.
I’m not sure if all kids lash out like mine do, but be rest assured that I certainly don’t tolerate it. While writing this, Miss M got a time out for pulling out a handful of her sisters hair.
That stuff doesn’t fly with me but it happens whether I allow it or not.
Thanks to these tantrums, I’ve had to reconsider my whole parenting philosophy because what I was doing wasn’t working. When Miss B was about 12 months old, she started biting me. Breastfeeding bites are one of the worst things ever. EVER. Same with the soft skin of your inner arm or when they bite down on your finger when you try to sweep a choking hazard out of their mouth and they wont let go. I tried everything to stop her biting, but NOTHING worked. Until I bit her back.
For the record, I DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT, but apparently my kids learn by consequence because once she experienced the pain of being bitten, she stopped. It was a friggin miracle.
Now when she lashes out at me, all I need to say is ‘do you want me to do it to you?’ because she knows I will. We don’t spank in our house, but I reserve the right to use self defence. Judge me if you want, but I have slapped my kids back when they hit me and let me tell you, they hate it.
I have never spanked as punishment, but I have to educate my kids on consequences and remind them that their mommy is a person and has feelings too. My husband and I decided to teach them that if they hit someone, they will likely get hit back. It’s a good life lesson in my opinion. I am working on teaching them not to hit in the first place, but that is part of the evolution of education, and a lesson that will continue to be taught until it is learned.
My intention in writing this, isn’t to make my kids to feel guilty one day when they read this, or for the world to think that I’m complaining about my spirited daughters, because I don’t mean to do those things.
I can (and will) write one day about the incredibly sweet, kind things that fill motherhood too, like having your daughter play with your hair, or give you a big hug when her sister hurts me, or asking me how my day was. There are so many examples of kindness in our kids, and even though this blog post is about the painful side of parenting, I know I’m not alone in the trenches. I know I’m not the only one with battle wounds. And I know I’m not the only one who wouldn’t trade it for the world.
|Posted by Kirstin Parkin on March 28, 2014 at 3:00 AM||comments (0)|
When I was a young teen, I ruined Christmas. I pre-opened every single present that I could find in our house. I was sneaky too. I’d use a razor blade to slice the tape and then I'd reseal it with perfect precision. I not only opened mine, but everyone else’s too. I ruined Christmas. And I only made that mistake once.
It’s hard to have patience. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Patience is wisdom in waiting. I hate being patient. It has NEVER been my strong suit, however, ruining Christmas ’cured’ me of being impatient. I can wait now. I waited for my husband to marry me. I waited to have babies. Waiting is easy. Having the patience to wait for a surprise is hard, but the surprise is usually worth the wait. Especially when you're pregnant.
My grandmother always told me that learning the gender of your baby was the biggest surprise that life will give you. She encouraged me to wait until my labour day to find out if a son or daughter would be our blessing. She died before Miss B was born, but I listened to her. We went the whole pregnancy answering people that asked if we knew what we were having. ’A Baby’ was my tongue-in-cheek reply. My mom generously offered to pay for a 3D ultrasound, but the idea of seeing our baby before his or her birthday was not for us. I spent my pregnancy thinking of boy and girls names, and decorating the nursery with greys and yellows with hints of green. I was good with that. The only thing I knew FOR SURE was that I wanted my husband to tell me gender. It just wouldn’t be the same hearing it from our doctor or a nurse. Hubby had to tell me.
Flash forward until I was 15 hours through a late night labour, 8 hours on the epidural and 4 hours into pushing, that moment happened. And my mind went blank. When the pain was over (I had a high epidural, so I felt all the tearing, crowning, ring of fire etc. Fun eh?) and that purplish, grey goopy baby was put on my chest, I had nothing. The only thing that was going through my head was ‘its over’ as I looked at this mass of black goopy hair. I heard nothing, time stopped. Then my husband broke through my shock with ‘ it’s a girl!’ “It’s a girl!!???”
That was the biggest moment in my life. I still get goose bumps when I tell the story.
We did it again two years later.
I expected a boy this time based on having a totally different pregnancy, but ultimately I teetered between imagining what our life would be like having two daughters versus a daughter and a son. Not so secretly, I was happy imagining two girls, because, well, I know girl stuff . I was terrified of having a son. They scare the hell out of me. But I knew I would get over it as soon as he was born because love is unconditional. I can pretend to like worms and trucks and baseball. We can buy all new baby boy stuff cause putting a boy in a pink excersizer or sleeper is socially unacceptable. I can figure out how to change a poopy blow out diaper when there's a penis to work around. No problem..... Flash forward, 4 hours later, with 20 minutes of pushing....
“It’s a girl!!!”
*Shout out to my fellow mommies out there that find out gender ~ all the love and respect! I LOVE when my friends find out the gender of their babies (& tell me!). This is our story