- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Friday, May 14, 2010
This weekend my friend Diane and I are giving a baby shower for our friend Hildy. This is a happy, amazing event, given the fact that Hildy was resigned to the idea that she might not ever have a child of her own. You see, she spent much of her life working on her career. As the years past she realized she forgot to have kids!
Many women in the past generation have done this. Then when they are in their late thirties and early forties, they decide to have children, but many times it is difficult to get pregnant and keep the baby due to their age. Hildy got lucky, and is going to be the mother of a little girl sometime in late July. We are beyond excited, and so happy for this new baby to come into this world.
Having a baby is a decision that should be given great thought. As a parent I can tell you that parenting is one of the most difficult things, if not the most difficult thing, that you will ever undertake.
To understand that everything you say or do can have a deep impact on this child is an awesome responsibility, yet many, many, people have children without much thought to it. You have to take a test to drive, to graduate from school, to get certain certifications, yet there is no test to be a parent. Anyone can do it no matter who they are, no matter their age, or what they have done.
This morning I watched a news story about a 4 year old boy who was murdered by his step father while his mother watched. He was beaten for a couple of days before he died, and then they buried him in a remote canyon in Utah. I have zero capacity to understand how anyone, let alone the mother, could harm an innocent child. How bad can a four year old be that you would want to torture and eventually kill him? These people had no right having children, yet they could.
My daughter works in a hospital and has shared stories with me of children that have come into E.R. from severe abuse. Many times it is abuse from a parent or the boyfriend of the mother of the child. They are burned, beaten, and unfortunately killed, without ever having anyone come to their defense.
Having a child is the most important job you will ever have. It is a job that will require patience, understanding, time, love, caring, and many times, letting go of your own needs and comforts. It will require discipline, but not violence. It will require calmness, nurturing, and lots of love and support.
I know young girls that think having a child will give them that "white picket fence" illusion of life. It will not give you that. It will not make a bad relationship better. In fact if you are thinking of having a child to make anything better, think again.
A child is going to be an individual that will not necessarily be or do what you want. You will not be able mold this little person into your little sculpture. You will have the job of caring for, providing for, and nurturing this child. Think about it, are you what your parents want you to be? Or are you your own individual self with all that that implies?
Having a child when you are a teenager is not a good idea. You are not mature enough, or experienced enough to have that job. Before you decide to have a baby, make sure you have grown up, figured out who you are and what you want out of life. Don't bring a child into your life for your own selfish reasons. Being selfish does not go along with being a parent if you want well adjusted children.
It is sad to see and hear about all the child abuse that goes on in the world. I am positive that if people had kids when they were mature enough and capable of doing all of the things that it takes to raise a healthy child, physically and mentally, child abuse would decline. What a world that would be!
So if you are thinking that having a baby would be just the thing that will make your life happy, make sure you think about all that that entails. This is not just about you when you bring a child into it. Wait until you are ready and willing to give what is necessary to raise a child.
I can not imagine my life without my daughter. She is the heart of my life, and my experience of motherhood has been a journey and a constant learning. I made many mistakes that I wish I could take back, but can't. I was young and immature, but became conscious of changing my own dysfunctional behavior so that she would not be affected by it. I have learned that being a parent is the most important thing that I will ever do. It is a blessing that I am grateful for.
My friend Hildy is ready to be a parent....way past ready, and she is going to be a wonderful, attentive, loving, mother to her little girl. We are happy for her, and ready to babysit! Can't wait!