While Im away, readers give the advice.
On using privacy as a form of control: I lived in constant fear as a child that I was going to let slip one of our so-called secrets which I realize now were innocuous life details that no one but my parents would care about. And yet I remember getting in trouble many times for releasing this prized information. It made no sense to my child-self then, but now I see it as one more way my parents were trying to control both their lives and mine.I make sure I never burden my own kids with that type of pressure.
On showing up for single friends the way they showed up for you, even when youre broke and busy with kids: With no children, we have been to MANY friends childrens events, with no opportunity to receive reciprocation. It goes with the territory. My guideline is: If they died and you would go to their funeral (despite the cost), then go to the celebrations.
On wishing for a child of one gender over the other: When I was pregnant, I wanted a girl desperately. I had visions of baking cookies, and doing all sorts of girly things to make up for my deficient relationship with my mother. My first was a boy. I had a C-section with general anesthesia. The nurse asked me if I wanted to see the baby. I asked her the gender and, when told it was a boy, opted for more sleep instead.
I love that little boy more than my life. We baked cookies and enjoyed each others company doing boy things like digging for worms. My second was a boy, and I enjoyed him so much that when I was pregnant again, I was perfectly ecstatic with the idea of three boys.
My third was a girl. She does not enjoy baking and has never been open to learning any of the girl skills I envisioned teaching. She is secretive and never confides in me about the smallest of life events. I love her dearly, but it certainly isnt the relationship I dreamed of.
Before we have children, we picture certain relationships and ways of being a parent. Then the reality of each child asserts itself. Being open to enjoying the child you actually have makes all the difference.
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