“Mom, when are you going to talk to me about where babies come from?”
Studies show kids, who feel they can talk with the parents openly about sex, are less likely to engage in high-risk sexual behavior as teens. If you are feeling uncomfortable about discussing the subject with your children, then it might be a good idea to read up a little on the topic or even to reach out to a friend who may have already experienced the “talk” with their own children. The fact that these parents have already gone through this may enable them to provide you with a list of pros and cons that could be very productive and helpful.
The truth is, the more informed you feel on the subject, the more confident and comfortable you will feel, and this will make it so much easier to approach the subject with your children. You may even want to do a “trial run” of your opening remarks with your friends or discuss them with your spouse. It is very important for your children to hear this information from you as soon as possible before they start being influenced on the subject by their peers or from information on the internet. You, as the parent, should be the trusted point of contact for your child at all times.
All of this interrogation from my son lately has led me to wonder when it was that I started to have the same questions for my parents. I do remember being a few years older than my son is now, when I approached my parents with the laundry list of questions. My parents handed my brother and I a book called Where Did I Come From, written by Peter Mayle, which is still available to purchase all these years later. My brother and I still get a good chuckle when we remember this book.
As a parent, I’ve had to do a fair amount of research in preparation for these discussions with my own son. One thing I have found which may already be pretty obvious to all of you is the belief that “honesty is the best policy.” It is important that you stress to your child that there is never a bad question to ask, or that none of their questions should be “off-limits”. You should be able to have an open dialogue with your children, in order for this to run more smoothly and to be ultimately more beneficial for your children.
You need to inform your children not only about “how babies are made” but also the emotional feelings involved between two people when babies are made. It is important to discuss the facts, but also the responsibility involved and the possible consequences about entering into a sexual relationship. Being able to give age-appropriate information to your children is the best way to proceed, in my opinion. Although you would probably much rather be reading Green Eggs and Ham to your children than sitting them down and discussing puberty, you are providing them with information that will educate them and protect them for the future. Try to relax and let your child know you respect them and trust in their ability to make good and responsible decisions. One day they will thank you for it.
“You know you’re not getting any younger.”
“Age is nothing but a number.”
“You are only as old as you feel.”
I don’t know about you, but all I seem to be able to hear is that teacher from the “Peanuts” cartoons when people start to utter these cliches. Turning 40 can and should be a momentous occasion in a person’s life. Some people embrace it, while others, such as myself, had to be dragged kicking and screaming toward that big ol’ number. Many of you are juggling children, husbands, jobs, errands, finances, and at the end of the day, you feel like a wet dish rag rather than someone fresh off the set of “America’s Next Top Model”. But taking your attitude from “feeling frumpy” and getting out of that housecoat and slippers to “feeling fabulous” and getting into that slinky little dress is easier than one might think.
By making a few tweaks to your daily routine, you will begin to see positive changes in the way you feel about yourself and, in turn, others will see the changes in you as well. With an improved positive and healthy attitude, you will soon realize that getting older is not as bad as you think, and maybe the best is yet to come. Here are some tips I would like to share that I have greatly benefited from over the past few years.
1. “EXERCISE, EXERCISE and EXERCISE!!!” Now friends, this tip does not mean going up and down the stairs doing laundry. NO!!! I am talking real exercise. We are in a world where we never have enough time, so if your idea of exercise is just walking around the cubicles at work on your lunch break then do it! Find a half-hour in your day to do this for yourself. I promise it will help with your physical and emotional well-being.
2. TURN OFF THE TV AND GO TO BED!! Now I will admit that I am totally guilty of NOT doing this at times, but it is really important. Trust me, as you get older, you want to wake up looking well-rested, rather than looking like you could pack for a vacation in those bags under your eyes! Getting a full night of sleep not only helps with the way you look in the morning, but it improves your attitude 100% as well. You do not want to end up taking a catnap at your desk while at work. Get your zzzzzzzzzzzzzs.
3. EAT YOUR VEGETABLES, OR TAKE A MULTI-VITAMIN. How many times did we hear this one? I will admit that I would much rather sit down to a pepperoni pizza than a bowl of salad, and I do not always eat as well as I should. Taking a multi-vitamin is something that has helped me to feel better and has given me more energy. Once I turned 40, I also turned to “One A Day Women’s” Multi-Vitamin, and it has really helped.
4 LAUGH. This one is one of my favorites. Laughing makes everything better in my world. Try to find some humor and laugh at least once a day. If that means having to put on a funny movie, going to lunch with some friends, having someone hold you down and tickle you, or, if all else fails, head to the dentist for some laughing gas. Do whatever it takes to get this done or the joke’s on you!
5. SPLURGE ONCE IN A WHILE. Now this can apply to a lot of different things. It can be anything from a new outfit you have been eyeing, to a new pair of shoes, to a book you’ve wanted to read, a scented candle, a bubble bath, or even your favorite bottle of wine. Life is short and you need to take time to enjoy the things that make you happy. Getting older is much more enjoyable and less torturous if there is a smile on that face of yours.
6. DRESS IT UP!!!!! Most of the population comes home after a long day and immediately puts on their favorite pair of sweats and a t-shirt to start an exciting evening full of cooking and cleaning. Once in a while, you need to take off the old comfy clothes and put on the little black dress. Every once in a while, plan a night out on the town. It can range from dinner with your significant other to drinks with friends or family. Dress up and go have some fun. You are guaranteed to feel better about yourself. PLEASE REMEMBER IT IS NOT WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE, IT IS WHAT YOU FEEL LIKE INSIDE!!! IF YOU FEEL FABULOUS THEN YOU ARE FABULOUS!!!
If you are a mom, the following most likely sounds very familiar on some level. It seems like just yesterday I was laying in a hospital delivery room after a luxurious 29-hours of labor to hear the doctor say “It’s a boy!!!” From that moment on, it has been a constant struggle to try and make time stand still to keep my little baby just that — a little baby!
You constantly tell your children all the time, do not rush growing up. Stay a kid for as long as you can. Are we really giving them this advice for the sake of our children, or is it more for us? How ironic it is that children spend their entire childhood wanting to be older than they are, while we as parents spend our childrens lives wishing they would stay forever young.
How does this happen? Where does the time go? Please stop the ride, I wanna get off! Truth is, my friends: you cannot stop the ride. You can only hope to slow it down a little to enjoy it for as long as possible. You look once, and your children are small and look to you for everything. Then, within the blink of an eye, you are waving to them as you drop them off for their first year of college. I am actually holding back tears now just thinking about it.
As each day goes by, I see my son growing up so fast before my eyes. He is growing taller and acting older, and it is sometimes bittersweet, as I have to let him go a little in certain ways. I have to let go of his little baby face and embrace his big boy face. I have to let go of the goo goos and gaa gaas, and try to embrace a boy with ideas and thoughts of his own. I have to let go of my little boy wanting a hug and kiss from his mommy before school, and try to embrace a growing boy who would rather have a high-five from his mom so people will not make fun of him. Sigh. These are the things that come with our ever-growing and changing children.
My son has just turned eleven years old, and he’s asking me about the birds and the bees (GULP), asking me to buy him the new brand of deodorant with the chocolate scent in it because the girls like it and then– get ready for this one folks– my son is about to take his first trip on a plane ALONE!!! Am I ready to throw up?? Ummm, YES!
I wish there was a way to give some magical advice to all of your parents out there, or some remedy to stop it from happening, but unfortunately, I can’t — because truthfully, it doesn’t exist. All I can say is your children WILL grow up. They WILL change, and although they will not need you in some of the ways you wish they still would, the fact of the matter is your children WILL always need you in some way. There is a song that I have heard, and each time I hear it, I think of my little boy who is now growing into a wonderful little man who I love more than myself. I will leave all of you with a piece of it. Please enjoy every minute you have with your children while they are still young.
Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older.
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday?
When they were small