Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Parent of the Week: Adriana

This week’s Parent of the Week, Adriana, is dear to my heart. Not only is she a coworker of mine, but I also count myself lucky to call her my friend :) Read on as she gives you some parenting encouragement, wisdom, and a funny story!

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.

Tell me a little about you – Who are you? What do you do? Hobbies? Do you dance in the car?
My name is Adriana and I am originally from Medellin, Colombia.  I came to the United States 11 years ago with the purpose of vacationing.  I met my husband and I am still here. I am a happy mother, a wife, a graduate counseling student and currently a research assistant at the University of Texas at Dallas. Guess what?  I get to see Dr. Hurst DeLuna in action almost every day and let me tell you she is really great with children.
I love reading with my son and whenever I have a chance I like to visit his school and do story time for the whole class.  My best singing and dancing performances happen in the car, that makes the morning rides to school and work so much better.

Tell me a little about your child.
My child is my favorite comedian. He is always finding or making up reasons to laugh. He is outspoken and always makes sure that others notice that he is around. I would say he is a thinker and observer. In fact, on Thanksgiving weekend he showed everybody that he has been trying to figure out certain things about life.  Let me tell you the story: My husband’s parents got divorced when he was little, and his mother got married again. My son sees his grandmother’s husband as a grandparent, but he also shares a lot of time with his real grandfather. In other words he has ‘two grandfathers’. We were all waiting at the lobby of the hotel to meet with my husband’s step brother and sisters- some of them were meeting my son and me for the first time. Everybody got there with their respective families, my son was looking at everybody and when things got a little bit quiet he decided to inquire about something that didn’t seem clear to him. He said out loud, “why does Linda Major (his grandmother, whom he only calls by name) have two husbands?”  I wish I had this moment on video; it was hilarious. My mother-in-law’s reaction was great too.

What surprised you most about parenting?
What surprises me the most is how much I have learned about myself since the day I became a mother. There is no part of my being that hasn’t been touched by the fact that I am a mother. I never thought that I would enjoy taking a position where there was not previous training, the work hours are 24 hours seven days a week, no vacation, no pay check, zero promotions or even the right to resign from the job. Not to mention the multiple roles you have to play- physician, nurse, nutritionist, entertainer, teacher, psychologist, cleaning lady, teacher…etc.

Parenting is the hardest job I have ever done in my life; it requires physical and emotional strength.  In this job I have learned to delay my gratification to eat, go to the restroom and even sleep. I have had to show and develop abilities of self control and keep my cool when I really want to scream and run away (you all know what I am talking about). But guess  what? This is the job that I enjoy the most. I feel blessed for having the opportunity to be a mother and see my child grow and develop. I have grown most as a person in the last four years than in all my years of life and for that I thank my son.

What one tip would you give other parents or parents to be?
This question puts me in a philosophical mood...I would say look at parenting as an adventure, be open to all the things there are to learn in this journey and especially to the things our children can teach us.  Have the courage to be imperfect, there is no such a thing as a perfect parent or a perfect child and if there is, they are not human. Our children don’t expect us to be perfect. What they need is not perfection, but love and support. It is healthy for our kids to see that we make mistakes and are vulnerable people too. They will learn more from our actions and the way we live our lives than from what we tell them is good or bad. Our job is to love our children in a responsible way, create great memories with them and be ourselves what we want them to be.  They will know for sure we make mistakes but they will never forget that they were loved. One day they will be repeating history, they will be trying to be better parents than their parents- exactly the way we are trying now. We didn’t have perfect parents either, but I am sure we all can tell if we felt loved or not.

How have you had to be Avant Garde as a parent?
I am not ‘super mom’ even though I wish I was. The day has only so many hours. I have learned to thank myself for all the things I do day by day. Instead of ending my day thinking about the things I did not accomplished, I am choosing to end my days making a mental list of the things I did, including the little things. 


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