The Worst Advice I Have Ever Received…

So I think bad advice is any advice that is strictly from another person that doesn’t take into account your life. There is not one word that fits everyone. We think that just because it seems like good advice that it will work out all the same. But that is not the case. Just like with life advice seems to be work out differently and varies from person to person.

So let’s get to it…..having children is so super natural that after you birth them you know exactly what to do. It is not as natural as everyone makes it out to be. At least not for me. I knew how to do the basics, but there are a lot of things that comes with having children that didn’t feel as authentic as the books and folks makes it sound. Let me squash all the folks that would love to try to “go up on Tuesday,” I love all 3 of my children. So let’s squash that now. It was never lack of love but lack of mothering skills that I thought I wouldn’t be enough for them.

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My pregnancy with each of my children were all different. Each pregnancy came with their own sets of issues. The bonding with each child also was different too. That is fine as I believe to this day that the difference with having 3 kids should always be taken into consideration with how they are raised. However when you add in the birthing experience and nursing, pumping or bottle feeding and all the things you must quickly learn, the natural instinct didn’t kick in like folks tried to sell me. Some folks said once the baby was out of your womb you would just feel like you had been having kids all your life. I have to STAWP you there, that didn’t happen. I felt like I was tired all of my life. I felt like I was overwhelmed all my life. I felt like I was not prepared all my life, but not one time did I feel like a champ of motherhood just from birthing my kids. I needed so much guidance. I got to shout out the mothers.  I don’t mean just women who have babies. I am talking about the old mothers that we lack today. It’s rare to find a mother of Zion like the old folks used to call them that would give you advice, had enough tenacity to listen, and be there for younger mothers. You see that, teach AND listen. It’s a lost art.

We love to tell folks that don’t have kids how great it will be. It is great if you are talking about the overall sense of accomplishment. We fail to tell folks the real of what to expect. Handing me my oldest child in the hospital came as a shock.  I didn’t get to connect with her right after birth due to her being premature and that made me feel like I had no clue who she was. I felt more connected to her in the womb than outside. Reality hit me like a ton on bricks. I knew how to feed her and told myself well the other things would come. It did but those first few months as she was sick, listening to everyone tell me what I was supposed to do didn’t feel as organic as everyone suggested.  I really wish I could go back and set a few folks straight about a few things. Having a baby is an outer body experience. There are more times that I felt like I didn’t know what to do or who I was becoming. That has nothing to do with the actual child but the preconception of what I believed as a mother in the early years. News flash, even after the 3rd child I still wondered if I having another one was a good idea. It was obviously, but that feeling of natural instinct is always shuttered by doubt and lack of information.

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Photo by NIKOLAY OSMACHKO on Pexels.com

I really hope that other mothers who I KNOW FOR A FACT have gone through this, would be honest. It’s not a lack of love for your child (ren) but its a lack of trusting in yourself or lack of information to the new expectations of motherhood. So let’s mark false to all mothers having this natural nurturing ways about them as soon as they birth. Overtime you get better. Over time you develop what your child needs. So although our womanly body is “made” to birth babies, the mind and the body and the emotions have to link together to make the whole experience better.  I applaud all women to understand that above thinking that it will all just come together like a jigsaw puzzle on its own.

Halloween and the Church

So I know without a doubt that my fellow PKs will get a kick out of today’s blog but you know it’s that time again for Halloween.  If you are a PK you already know what that means but for non PK friends its means preacher’s kid.  I grew up in one of the most strict environments known to church folks. No pants, no makeup and even vaseline on my lips would have been deemed too sexy.  I was not allowed to do a bunch of anything.

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Now that I have children I noticed that over the years I was paranoid to do anything Halloween.  Now let me break it on down the way the church mothers would be proud of me. Halloween represents the devil’s holiday.  Let me say now that the use and word of the devil will be magnified because that is the way we were brought up.  Dressing up in costumes that represents demons aka the devil’s friends was a huge NO NO.  So what does a child do around Halloween?  Growing up we went to church.  Yes depending on when Halloween fell if it was a choir rehearsal day or bible study day that that’s where you would find us.  I know of some kids who had Holy Ghost night where basically you had a bible study along with some treats. Again at my church it was mostly a church night of activities. So when others were talking about what they were dressing up to be my siblings and I’s response was we was saved.  Saved is when you give your life to Christ and live for HIM and HIM alone.

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We thought it was funny.  The backdrop is that my family and I came to the “church” when we were almost 13 years old.  So we had plenty of memories of trick or treating as well as Halloween parties.  To give that up at 13 was like taking a knife and twisting it. However it was what it was.  As I got older and had my first child her daycare had a little party. I dressed her as Minnie Mouse.  You couldn’t tell me that she wasn’t the cutest ever. However I told myself don’t let her dress in anything scary, no witches, and no ghosts.  I didn’t take her trick or treating either. That party was her only thing.  The second year I had moved to Philly so we dressed her up and I made them treats and watched the Great Pumpkin with Charlie Brown.  That was the end of that.  As the years went on I really just took them to organized parties and really we stayed home.

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Until last year, I took them trick or treating for the first time. I felt so conflicted.  I love the Lord but I was stepping into the Devil’s territory and all I could hear was one of them church mothers saying “the devil is a liar.”  By the way he was a liar about everything if you ask a church kid.  If your lights were cut off it was the devil’s fault. It was never the fact that someone ain’t pay the bill.  Anyway, so yes I took them.  I was scared the whole time. I triple checked their candy and was paranoid.  Halloween is a big deal to kids.  It is a time for dressing up and getting candy.  However although I thought my church was a bit extra I still believe that spirits are real.

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I don’t have an answer for what others should do.  I just know and understand the PK plight.  I will have the kids dress up this year and they may go out.  I am more on the fence of doing a treat, pizza and just eating candy.  Again because outside of the spiritual side of it all I don’t want to be paranoid about the evil people who use this holiday to evoke fear. People putting bad things in candy to harm them is enough to scare me.  However I have decided and again this is a personal decision to be more open to options and taking the sting. I remember the first year I decorated a pumpkin with my kids. I was looking around to see who saw me.  I didn’t even live in the same city as I grew up in.  I am a lot more smarter now and enjoy the festivities that I want to be involved in.  I don’t judge other parents for their choice.  My kids seem to enjoy the home activities and don’t see a big deal if we go out or not.  I know there are some church folks reading this and shaking their heads and I know.  I get it.  Pray for me.  So we shall see and I’ll post back to let you know what we decided to do.  I know there are others who share in my same sentiments so to you I say I feel your pain.  The struggle is real…….