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Awareness Magazine
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Who’s the Boss?

By Dawn M. Staszak

 

When my 5-year-old and 3-year-old tell me “No,” I ask them “Who’s the boss?” They reply, “Mommy and daddy are. … most of the time. However, unbeknownst to them, it sure feels like the exact opposite to me.

All my married life I thought in terms of doing things “before we have kids,” but not too much thought was given to how things were really going to be “when we have kids,” except for a vague notion that I would be working and we would go on family vacations. Little did I know that when I actually became pregnant for the first time, I would suddenly develop this idea of being at home with my baby and how things would be … but, it did not work out that way. I ended up working until we were pregnant with our second, and then became a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). Wow, was I in for a wake-up call.

When I was able to be home with my son, while pregnant with my daughter, I quickly learned this is a 24-hour job with no breaks, no vacation, and no downtime (unless he was napping and that was a whole other story …). To top it off, no one understands it except other SAHM’s, because everyone else thinks I’ve got “all the time in the world.” At least when I worked outside the home I had a balance. I had two “lives,” per se — my life at work and my life at home, and I was able to go to the other for a break. Heck, I actually had one hour of uninterrupted time to myself five days a week! Of course, I am a Mother always, but suddenly being with him from four hours to 24 hours a day was overwhelming.

I went from days where the best I could muster was giving myself pats on the back when I got anything accomplished to biking both kids to an impromptu lunch outing all by myself! I went from posting humorous anecdotes on Face-book just to remind myself I wasn’t alone, to completing an entire blog! 

With all I’ve been through, I now know (and remember) that God is there for me. So, I wrote my third book for the same reason I wrote my first — because I need it. In conjunction with “venting” in my blog, I am keeping an account of all the things that helped me regain a sense of balance and connection to Spirit when I felt completely out of control and lost.

My relationship with my children has been not only learning how and what it is to be a parent, but also who and what I am all about. It’s been a two-way street. As I am teaching them about life and independence, they are teaching me about what is really important in life — love.

This is wisdom I could never get from a book or seminar.

Thanks to them, I now know — really KNOW in my heart, that however my life changes — whether I go back to work in a few months, next year, or a few years, or even if I had another baby — that I have completely gotten over the “shock and awe” of having to care for more than one child at the same time, alone all day every day, so I know I can handle it.

If I have learned anything it is this: It is of the utmost importance that you always care for yourself in order to care for your child(ren). Living daily within a “fight-or-flight” situation, “flying” was never an option, so thanks to them, I was able to discover new and creative ways to not only cope, but thrive, in the most trying days of motherhood — the diaper years. This is the time in which your children are most vulnerable, and so are you.

We worry so much about doing the right thing for our children and what influences the world will have on them. The bottom line is no matter what friends they have, what the experts say, what the teachers say, or what they watch on TV, you are the parent and what goes on in the home is the foundation through which they filter the world. As long as you do your best and are their best support through the good times and bad, loving them to the best of your ability throughout, you will have done your job well.

Ironically, being placed in a situation of caring for another human being takes you to the next level of your own personal growth. As a parent, you are given the chance to develop a strong and loving relationship with your child(ren), but at the same time, to develop a stronger and more loving relationship with yourself.

So, the answer to the question, “Who’s the boss” is all a matter of perspective. True, our parents are our “bosses” to an extent, and we’re our children’s “bosses” to an extent, but ultimately, we are our own “boss” — what a comforting concept that can be when everything feels so out of control!

Strengthen your relationship with yourself and all other relationships will fall into place. As they say, everyone we meet is a Teacher and God sends us nothing but Angels.

Dawn M. Staszak is the author of A Guru in the Nursery: 50 Ways to Remember Your Spirit While Changing Diapers, is published by Balboa Press, available at www.guruinthenursery.com or www.balboapress.com. Her first book is A Guru In The Office, and her second is A Fish Out of Water, published by RealityIs Books, and available at www.guruintheofffice, www.realityisbooks.com, Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com