Posted by: Joan Spiller | April 22, 2010

On babies, child rearing & being a parent

A friend of mine told me she’s pregnant recently and it’s invoked a whole bunch of emotions as we discussed various things i.e.: how horrible giving birth is .. come on now – if you don’t think that AND you’ve actually DONE it I can only conclude you were either high .. or have memory loss from the trauma! I once remember some comedian say “if you wanna know what giving birth is like, grab your bottom lip and pull it over your head..” they knew what they were on about! Oddly, my friend has slowed down asking me questions about my thoughts on childbirth, not sure why???

ANYWAY it did send me on a bit of a sentimental (emphasis on the last bit of that word?!) journey the other evening, as I recalled how incredible it was to “be” pregnant. Ignorance was bliss, I knew nothing about babies, children and child-rearing (or I’d have been a lot more stressed I am sure!) I reckon if we thought about it too much, we’d put ourselves off ever having babies..

I often wonder how come I got so lucky with CJ. She’s an incredible woman. Good lord, I have a woman for a kid, not a child.. Its just dawned on me.
Geez, I feel old 😉

I digress..

Someone she’s been working with alot lately said “CJ is a beautiful soul”. And they’re right.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times I’ve hated what she’s done and wished I could (legally!) whup her upside the head. Unfortunately, she prob’ly could take me now, what with all her pilates and tae kwon do classes.. so I tend to wait til she’s not looking then hit her and run ..

But let’s go back to how lovely she is, instead of what a fantastic parent I am *grin*

OK let’s not, she might read this and get a swelled head. Suffice to say I am eternally grateful that whatever I did (or didn’t do?!) worked and she turned out to be a sassy, beautiful, intelligent and enjoyable-to-have-around human being. I was always quite proud of the fact that I actually LIKED my kid when I knew so many mothers who loved their kids but didn’t like ’em that much!

So I wanted to give my friend some advice on having babies, bringing up children and what not. And I realised I didn’t have a clue where to begin!

I guess I had a few basic rules .. for example:

Rule 1. I’m in charge – you are not.
Do as I say or there will be consequences.
Mark and Matthew got that off me, don’t you know!

Rule 2. I am your Mother. By MY definition, this means that I will do everything in my power (and then some) to protect, nurture, educate and raise you ‘right’. You will not always like what I choose to do in an attempt to carry out rule 2. In which case, refer to rule 1 and get over it.

I think because I was reasonably young when I had CJ, I also had this silly notion that I wanted a kid that people were happy to have visit twice.
Not one of those kids where everyone was jittery the entire time you were with them and collapsed into a heap of strained exhaustion when you left.
So I was not helluva tolerant of bad behaviour!
I like to think it made life easier all round if she just KNEW she wasn’t allowed to be a brat lol

At the same time, I also think kids should be allowed to BE kids.
At no time should they have to worry about my adult life, my adult (or other!) issues, my hang ups.
Time enough for them to realise there is a bunch of crap on this earth that can and will launch itself at you without notice.
This would probably be one of my unbreakable rules if I had to pick one.

Heck, I remember one time when CJ and I were scraping through (and I mean scraping) life after I left her fathead er father … we had NO money.
NO money.
I took her to school one morning (walking, petrol was cheaper back then but I still could afford to walk more than to drive!) then walked to the supermarket and took a big bag of lettuce scraps and broken carrots out of the vege bins so we could have salads for tea that week.

Did CJ know of this?
She had yummy salads .. and that’s all that mattered.

Anyway I might ponder on some more of my “unbreakable rules” and post them later .. I am finding this quite an interesting topic to mull over!



  1. I remember my mother telling me I couldn’t treat my children like dogs … this was after I’d told Ben to ‘sit’ when he was going to have a biscuit. Well hell, I didn’t want him wandering aruond getting crumbs everywhere and he was only about 1½. I figured I’d had well behaved / trained dogs, why not do the same with kids. Only trouble was I learnt early on I coudn’t put the kids outside when I’d had enough of them! Well not in winter anyway hehe


  2. I somtimes get questioned about my lack of eagerness to have children … I’ll refer them to your blog spot ….!!


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