Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Parent of the Week: Ali

Can I just tell you how excited I am about this week's Avant Garde Parent of the Week? Well, first off, I just had about 24 typos the first time I typed that sentence. That's how excited.  It’s one of my most favorite bloggers ever (and fellow Texan), Ali from The View from the Johnsons. I can’t start talking about her blog because I’ll never stop. Just go read it. But first- read her Parent of the Week post.

And, as always, if you would like to be an Avant Garde Parent of the Week or have someone you would like to nominate, please email me at deluna.jamie@gmail.com.

I’ve never guest-posted on someone else’s blog before. I hope you can’t see how nervous I am! (Be cool, Ali. Be cool. Be cool!) Luckily, Jamie has these handy questions that I can answer…

Tell me a little about you- Who are you? What do you do? Hobbies? Do you dance in the car?
I feel like we should start with the most important question first: I TOTALLY dance in the car – and sing, and eat, and dress, and live… have I mentioned my car is disgusting? But, the rest… hmmm… Who am I? That’s a loaded question. I guess the short answer is I’m just a normal girl, who, out of dumb, blind luck, and blessings from above, stumbled into the most amazing life I could have ever imagined for myself. I’m a wife to an amazing man and a mom to two pretty awesome kids. Which leads us to…

Tell me about your kiddos.
Spencer, boy, October ’03 and Elizabeth Ann/Elizabeth/Lulu/Elle/Belle/EA (We’re still trying to decide what to name her. Sad, since she’s 4 ½), girl, June ’06.

What surprised you most about parenting?
You can’t find all of the answers in a book! Try as I may, I never could find the instruction manual that went with my newborns. I can be an annoying perfectionist (if my husband is reading this, he just choked on the words “can be”) – and there just is no “perfect” in parenting. It’s one day at a time. You are constantly learning from one another; constantly getting to know one another; and, just trying to do the best you can with the resources you have. (Thank goodness we parents can add AGP to our arsenal of resources now.)

What one tip would you give other parents or parents-to-be?
When you first get that brand new baby home… it SUCKS. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you love him/her. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you would lay down your life for him/her. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you would totally gouge the eyes out of any person who posed a threat to them. But… it. is. not. fun.

Your self-centered life is over. It doesn’t matter if you are tired. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel good. It is not about you anymore and that’s a hard adjustment to make.

Couple that with the fact that you and your baby don’t know each other yet, or how to get along. And never mind trying to differentiate those cries – is that a “hungry cry,” a “hurt cry,” a “tired cry?!”…

Let’s just say, I’m the first person to tell a new mom, “Call me if you want to bitch. I will tell you, ‘No. This is not fun.’ But, I can also tell you that it does nothing but get better and better. And, you will do nothing but fall more in love with that child.”

How have you had to be Avant Garde as a parent? 
Did I mention I’m a perfectionist? Well, perfectionists of the world, you can forget about that. There is no manual to tell you how to be the perfect parent to your child. There is no one who knows your child like you do. I’ve had to learn to trust my maternal instincts and confidently do what’s right for my family.

As a matter of fact, I just heard a study that concluded that trying to be perfect for your children is detrimental to them. They are left with the belief that anything less than perfection is failure. So, I’m turning over a new, imperfect leaf.

My new, innovative idea? Love the devil out of them. The dishes can wait. The clothes can be wrinkled. The cookies can be store-bought. Giving that 75th hug? That. Can not wait.

P.S. I’m not sure if you all knew it, but Jamie is my virtual BFF. So, if you had your sights on her, back off! She’s mine.

Thanks, Jamie! xoxox


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