Monday, February 6, 2012

Parents: To Be or Not To Be

I remember someone as saying, "Before I got married, I had nine rules on how to bring up children.  But now, I have nine children and no rules."  Yep, this is what parenting is all about in many cases.  Each child is unique and special, that what is applicable for one is not necessarily applicable for another.  Although we try to be good parents, there are times when we feel 'beat' and inadequate or unable to cope with parenting.

On the flip side, there are many golden rules that also hold fast for children of all ages; some of which can be discipline, or teaching children to tell the truth, be clean, show respect towards others, etcetera. Before I proceed with my discussion about the topic, I'd like to welcome Ann Marie Dwyer to grace my pages for this week with her invaluable feedback on the world of parenting. Lets give it up for Ann Marie (Red as she calls herself) and read what she has to say. 

Writer of the Week

Ann Marie "Red" Dwyer is Momma to ten children and engaged to a man who will bring an additional five children to the brood. She homeschools the two youngest children, who are both autistic. Her experience spans parenting from pregnancy to grave, including toddlers, teens and grandchildren. She writes on diverse aspects of the struggle of parenting from fertility issues to discipline to the empty nest. Her blog offers tips and tricks from saving money and time while tackling some of the difficulties of parenting. 

Alongside parenting, Red has been a woman of diverse professional skills that have helped her keep her family intact and fed.  Should you want to know how to balance your family life with children while trying to keep your professional side sane, Momma Red has answers for your concerns.  You will find more about her interactions with others regarding parenting at her blog Momma's Money MattersIf you have a question, feel free to ask her via the blog or email.

At the onset of 'parenting', the mother has to go through the stages of pregnancy (except with cases of adoption).  A lot of complications happen many times because the mother is not aware of what is expected of her for the initial delivery, and how her co-operation can make for a more healthy delivery.  Dr. Pandula Siribaddana writes about the stages of labor and delivery that every 'first-time mother' should be aware of.  Miraculous Pregnancy by M. J, Joachim also deals with the same topic with a Trimester-wise account of what to expect.

In days gone by, the 'dad' was not allowed to enter the labor room while the 'mom' struggled with labor pains.  The most common scene depicting the dad during this time was his anxious, impatient, to-and-fro pace outside the delivery room.  However, these days, it has become necessary that the 'dad' take an active role in not just being by the delivery table, but also in the exercising program designed for the 'pregnant mom'.   Is your husband scared of the result of you being pregnant?  Does he feel left out from all the 'pregnancy fun' (- the backaches, the tiredness... etc. etc.)?  Why not let him be part of your nine-month trip down pre-mom-hood with these helpful tips for including husbands during childbirth and delivery?   I had to smile when I read this article.  There are many 'husbands' who would willingly claim ignorance.  (They can't try their luck now, can they?)

Yep, your baby's born.  Now the actual fun part begins.  Who's turn is it to change the baby's diaper? (Suddenly there's no one in sight but you, the mom.)  I loved this next article on 'how to change a baby's diaper'.  Kathrine Mills very humorously starts the article 'It strikes terror in the hearts of grown men, makes the most dependable person run in disgust and even the kindred mother's heart turn away in fear'.  Uh oh... terror in the heart of grown men?  Now come on, surely you aren't scared of changing your baby's diaper?  (Yep, you sensed right.  An evil smirk from me again.)

With babies, arrive the next topic: Why breast feeding in public should not be a controversial issue.  I loved a pic that 'Red' passed around  on Facebook yesterday, which illustrated an ill-clad woman (yes, with almost-totally revealing breasts) at a restaurant , and a breast-feeding mom.  The image spoke volumes to me.  Why is it that women who expose their breasts (please excuse my candid approach to this topic) by the way they are ill-clothed, totally acceptable in social circles, while a mom who has to breast-feed her baby as and when the baby demands it, is not acceptable?  I do not understand the logic behind it.  A 'Warped Social Mindset'  is how I can think of labeling it.

While 'abortions' have been legalized in many places, and with Planned Parenthood assisting many abortions, it would be careless of me not to mention this article 'No Escape: Abortion Unveiled'.  Parenting begins at the point of conception, so it will be worthwhile to take a look at this article to understand the procedure involved in an abortion and what a pregnant mother or anticipating father can expect when opting to abort their baby.  It is your decision in the end; so make it the best one while you're at it.

While on the topic of autism, since Red mentions 'autism' in particular, I've added a couple of articles related to this illness and what one may expect from an autistic child.  Autism is a mental health illness that has been looked at in a very negative way by the public in general all over the world. There are three main areas that affect the child  - speech, stereotype behavior and memory.  When there is a deviation from expected childhood milestones, a parent can expect their child to probably fall under this category.  Like any other physical illness such as diabetes or heart problems, autism too needs to be medically treated on a long term basis.  It may be unfortunate for a child to suffer thus, or for parents to have to deal with it, but having a stigma attached to it, is the last thing that one needs when dealing with this pediatric illness.  The most astonishing part though; these kids have such beautiful memory power, its amazing at how easy they can grasp things and remember them for life.  These attached articles on autism gives a mom's (Glory Lennon's) viewpoint and approach to dealing with autism.  Also attached is an article by Dr. Deborah Bauers.

Recognizing autism in toddlers - by Glory Lennon
Recognizing autism in toddlers - by Dr. Deborah Bauers
Tips for easing anxiety about outings for children with autism - by Glory Lennon
Autism:  Special love for a special child - by Glory Lennon
Acceptance issues with autistic children: Parents and the world - by Glory Lennon
Funny parenting stories (autism) - by Glory Lennon

Illnesses aside, many first-time parents are not aware of what to expect from their baby as he/she progresses into toddler-hood.  Parents can be taken by surprise or are not adept enough to deal with 'sudden' movements or mischief as we may call it, by a toddler.  How to keep children safe while playing by Karen Louise Hollis is an article that highlights different phases of childhood and what is in store for parents and children alike.  This was an interesting read and informative.

What about teenagers?  Many moms curse the fact that they hit menopause just about the time their child hits the prime age of 'teenage'.  There can be a better balance with dealing with your teenager if you have the right outlook and know what to look out for.  Understanding your independent teenager which is part of Effectively Human centers around important aspects such as observance, awareness and communication, which are vital to dealing with a teenager without losing your sanity.

Since we are discussing the many aspects of parenting, it becomes necessary to discuss one aspect of parenting which has been vital to many couples: Adoption.  So many couples all over the world have found completion and fulfillment of married life by adopting children, especially in cases when either of them have had reproductive issue. Now here's the part that many couples are scared of initially:  Is it possible to unconditionally love an adopted child?   The answer might not be surprising...  but it is worthwhile taking time to read this article by Carol Gioia and  think of all the children who have been adopted and the families that have been enriched by them. In my opinion, it can be unconditional love if one chooses to love unconditionally... and similar with the case of an adopted child.

My tip for this week....  those who are planning on getting married should definitely watch the movie 'Licence to Wed'.  This movie says it all.  :))))  Are you up to the challenge?

This is me signing out for this week.  Next week's post is on 'Local Guides'.  I request readers to write in 'with 5-8 sentence blurbs' about the place (city/town, NOT COUNTRY) you live in, telling me why I should visit your place.  If you have a 'local guide article' or a pic to add to your blurb, I would be more than happy to accept them for my post.  Please send your entries to  .  Entries from your locations all across the globe are welcome. :)

Image credits:
Holding hands
Parenting skills


  1. Wonderful article Mandy!!!
    Love always,

    1. Thank you Lori. Thank you for your constant support. :)

  2. Wow, you done a great job here!Thanks for including me and my Justin. :-)

    1. You're welcome Glory. (((Hugs))) to you and Justin. You're a very brave and caring mom. :)

  3. What a beautiful display of parental love and the challenges met by so many.
    Great job Mandy !


Amanda Dcosta - Writer,