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God has blessed me tremendously with an amazing husband, Doug, and two gorgeous little boys, Gavin and Joey. It has always been a dream of mine to have a large family but God may have other plans. I had a series of 6 consecutive early miscarriages when trying for baby #2. We are currently trying for baby #3 after our 7th miscarriage. I am faithful that God's plan is perfect, even when I am not happy about it. I love comments and meeting new followers so please don't be shy!

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Monday, February 28, 2011

My Place Is In the Home

I know that this might be a controversial post. I am not trying to offend anyone. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts with me. Even if they aren't similar.

Ever since I told friends and family that I planned to stay home with my children (whenever they came into the picture) I heard one of two things. Either I was commended for choosing to stay home and raise my children, or, usually from other mothers or mothers to be, I would hear how they wished they could stay home with their children but they have to work due to financial reasons. I always bite my tongue when I hear the latter.

What financial reasons? I would argue that it is cheaper to stay home. I save the money on gas, childcare, and work attire. It's true. I own one pair of high heels. I wore them once. I spend most every day in either sweatpants, jeans, or sometimes, pajamas. I would never win any fashion contest. I have used the same jeans and sweaters for 5 years. My children wear hand-me-downs from their older cousins. They don't have picturesque bedrooms. They have a place to sleep, a place for clothes, and a place to sit. Don't get me wrong. They aren't slumming it but while I would love to have window seats and bookshelves from Pottery Barn Kids, they have $10.00 bookshelves from Walmart. They serve the intended purpose. We don't go on cruises, get manicures, or drive luxury automobiles. Our big date nights usually include doing our grocery shopping and picking up some Chinese carry-out. We can food, bake bread, make pasta, and have a garden to save money. We do what we need to do in order to make it possible for me to stay home.

Being a mom is the best job in the world and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love knowing that I am the person raising my children every hour of every day. So,
when those moms say that they have to work, I don't want to offend them but I think they have their priorities misaligned. I would much rather clip coupons, vacation on my living room floor with a movie, hunt for bargains and sales, wear 6 year old sweat pants, and be a good parent for the rest of my life. I don't doubt that working moms love their children. I just think that moms belong at home. Money is not a good enough excuse for not parenting your children. All day. Every day.

Friday, February 25, 2011

So much for October

Every month I find myself daydreaming about the potential due date of my not yet conceived child. I was so excited about the possibility of having a baby at the end of October. October is by far my favorite month. I thought about how nice it would be to cuddle a newborn as the weather is getting cold outside. As the snow begins to fall, building a fire and staying in for 3 or 4 months sounds ideal to me. But... then after a number of negative pregnancy tests, my period starts to cement the fact that there will be no October birthday for my next baby. Maybe delivering a butterball turkey for Thanksgiving would be fun!

I have decided that I need to have a different attitude about trying for baby #3. I need to make this less about when I want a baby. I need to focus less on what I want and try to think about what God wants for me and my family. It is so hard to try to relinquish control, but when I realized that I am not really in control here anyway, it is actually kind of liberating.

I am going to do what I can to make sure that if God wants to bless us this cycle with a pregnancy, that I have done my part. But, should this cycle pass without a baby on board too, well, that is how God wants it. It may be hard for me to understand since I think I am ready right now but, He has proven to me over and over again, that His timing is perfect.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Welcome Womb- My Experience

I have mentioned using Welcome Womb in my other posts but haven't really spent too much time really talking about it. I am a bit scared to talk about it too much since I know that just because I used it once and had a healthy pregnancy, doesn't mean that it is a miracle cure to recurrent losses. But, on the other hand, I feel guilty keeping it a secret if there are other women who want to try it. I have decided that rather than tip-toe around my use of the herbs, I am going to go ahead and shout from the rooftops that it saved my pregnancy and I couldn't be happier that I tried it. I am almost convinced that without it, I would not have had my Joseph.

I had every test to try and diagnose a cause for my recurrent losses. My GP, OB, and RE all ran various tests searching for a reason that I couldn't stay pregnant for more than a few weeks. Aside from being heterozygous for MTHFR and PAI-1, they were all in normal ranges. My RE prescribed progesterone suppositories that I used from Ovulation on and when I got pregnant I continued the suppositories. I kept testing to see if the lines on the pregnancy tests would get darker and they did. For a while. Then they stopped. As they got lighter, I knew that the only reason I wasn't bleeding was the progesterone. They ran a blood test and confirmed that I had miscarried. As soon as I stopped the progesterone, I bled.

The next time I tried lovenox injection and the progesterone. Same thing happened. I miscarried again. Over the 18 months of trying, getting pregnant, and miscarrying, I had tried every combination and variation of medical methods to stay pregnant. Nothing was working. I was so devastated. I was so tired of getting "pregnant" only to have a week of hormonal outbursts and stress only to end with spotting, bleeding, or betas dropping. I had quit thinking of cute ways to tell my husband that I was pregnant. I would simply show him a positive test and tell him not to get too excited. I was just tired of the roller coaster.

I had read on a message board about Welcome Womb where women had tried it and stayed pregnant. After being willing to inject myself with blood thinners leaving bruises all over myself, and shoving progesterone in places that are rarely discussed outside of TTC (trying to conceive), and swallowing handfuls of pills, vitamins, and any other suggested item, why would I stop at herbs?

When I got pregnant again I told my RE that I didn't want to do the Lovenox. He agreed. I told him that I didn't want to use the progesterone. If I was going to bleed, I wanted to just bleed. I didn't want to have to wonder if I had lost the baby but just wasn't bleeding because of the suppositories. He thought I should use the Progesterone but wouldn't think I was horrible if I opted out. I did opt out. I took my vitamins, baby aspirin, and folic acid and started the Welcome Womb as soon as it arrived in the mail.

My first 2 betas were done before I was able to to start the herbs. They were 14.5 on 12 dpo, 24.5 on 14dpo, and then 51.4 on 16dpo. I started the herbs the afternoon of 16dpo. On 18dpo my beta jumped to 124. I have to think that it was the herbs that helped my HCG finally climb to the levels they were supposed to be. Then, I actually made it far enough to schedule my first ultrasound to hopefully see a heartbeat.

When I was 6 weeks 4 days pregnant I went to the RE and, for the first time since Gavin, I heard that breathtaking sound of a heartbeat. The fact that Joseph is here now is all the proof I needed that the Welcome Womb worked for me. This time.

I fully intend on trying it again when I get pregnant. I am not selling Welcome Womb. I am not affiliated with the company in any way. I am just a mother who was able to bring home a baby after losing 6 in a row. How can I not want to share this possible solution to recurrent losses with everyone? I am not saying that it will work for everyone and I did use it with my doctor's blessing. I am now looking forward to learning if it will work a second time. I will post my experiences when I have an opportunity to try it again.



God gives us all that is green.


Monday, February 21, 2011

How We Met

After I graduated from college, I moved home. I had no job lined up. I had no real plans. I just couldn't turn down living rent free in a huge house that, while owned by my parents, could be all mine for as long as I needed it. I found a job. Found a better job. Then another. Then a great job. The same could be said about my boyfriends. But, I soon found myself single and still living in my parents' house.

Their house is on a large plot of land that has a total of 3 houses on it. Their house, what we call the Barr House, and the farm house. Living in the Barr House was a woman in her late 50s. She was the mother to the two women living in the farm house along with a man. The threesome was living in the farmhouse for a few months and while I was aware of them, I figured that if the guy wasn't dating one of the sisters, then he was certainly gay. I had never heard of a straight guy living with women unless he was sleeping with one of them or exchanging make-up and fashion advice.

I had recently decided to get a dog so that I wouldn't be lonely in the big empty house anymore. I was outside trying to wear him out since he was a very "active" puppy and saw one of the girls from the farm house walking with her dog up the lane. We chatted for a few minutes and she invited me up to the house for margaritas with her and her sister. She seemed like someone I could hang out with so I accepted the offer. That was the day that I met "the guy" that lived in the farm house.

It was April 15th and Doug was frantically working on filing his taxes online. He didn't pay much attention to me since I think his priority was his taxes. But, that was it. I met him on tax day. There were no fireworks. No love at first sight. Just margaritas, a cigarette, and a glance.

Over the next weeks I began spending more and more time at the farm house hanging out with the girls and having a few conversations here and there with Doug. I learned that he was, in fact, straight, and single. I was shocked to learn that not only was he not dating either of the girls, he never had. Over time Doug and I started spending more time talking until the moon would be shining and we would agree that it was time for me to walk, with my dog, back to my house. This started happening nearly every night so it was pretty obvious to everyone that we were in a budding relationship. Everyone, except Doug.

I thought I had made my intentions as clear as if I had an airplane write it in the sky. The girls knew it. Doug on the other hand was acting as if I was just a really nice girl that he liked to hang out with. Which was nice and all. Don't get me wrong! I just thought that after a couple of months of getting to know each other he would have at least tried to kiss me.

One Sunday afternoon, after hanging out most of the day, he asked if I wanted to go to dinner with him. I instantly got butterflies thinking, "He finally gets it! Yeah! A date at long last." As he tells the story today, he makes it clear that this was not a date. I don't know how asking a girl to dinner is not a date but at this point, it isn't worth arguing over.

About a week after the dinner, I managed to get a 5 second full frontal hug. I should say that the only reason I got a hug that lasted at least 5 seconds is because I admitted to him that if I didn't, I had to buy lunch for my co-workers. I must say that I am a bit thankful for the threat from my co workers. If they hadn't made this little wager, I may never have gotten the hug. Doug may have never realized that I was liking him as much as I was. Who knows if I ever would have convinced him that I was going to be his wife one day if I couldn't even get the guy to hug me!? Asking for a hug was maybe the best thing, and possibly the most awkward thing, I ever did.
Friday, February 18, 2011

Playing God

Because of the recurrent losses, I have spent a great deal of time on various message boards both on the giving and receiving ends of grief and loss support. My heart absolutely breaks into pieces every time I read about a mother losing a baby either late in pregnancy or shortly after delivery. I am not exaggerating when I say that I truly have tears in my eyes when I hear these grieving mothers share their tragic stories of losing those precious little lives that they barely knew but loved with every fiber of their being. I can't find words to describe how much pain I feel for them and their precious babies

It is for that reason that I can't seem to find much to say to women who electively terminate a pregnancy. I know that these decisions aren't made without a great deal of thought, research, and advice from doctors and other professionals. Doctors and professionals who won't be standing with them on Judgment Day. This is just my opinion, but I still think that to terminate a viable pregnancy is to decide to play God. If that baby is living in my womb, with a beating heart then that baby is who God chose to give me. I read a story of a woman who had a baby diagnosed with Trisomy 21 (Downs Syndrome) at approximately 20 weeks gestation. They were also told that he had an improperly formed heart that would need a transplant at birth despite being told that "they do not do organ transplants on trisomy 21" infants. She was also told that the baby would need a colostomy bag for the rest of his life. She terminated the pregnancy.

I am sure that any mother who heard this prognosis would be devastated. Utterly broken. Where I guess I differ is that I could never terminate that baby. If God gave me the gift of that beautiful miracle, it was for a purpose. Who am I to determine that his life was not going to be good enough? I have faith that God's plan is perfect. If He chose me to be the mother to a special needs child then I will embrace that role and love that baby for as long as God chooses to let his heart beat. For me to terminate a baby would be akin to me telling God, "Thanks. But no thanks. Your plan was good when it worked for me, but now that it inconveniences me, I am making my own plan." I am not going to judge the women who chose to terminate for that is between the mother and her Creator. I hope they make peace with God before they learn how long an eternity is.





Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mind Games

I think it is funny how whenever I am trying to get pregnant my mind plays these crazy games. There is a website, www.countdowntopregnancy.com, that enables women to track their pregnancy (or possible pregnancy symptoms) from ovulation to their positive test. While this is a great deal of obsessive style fun, I have to think it is pretty comical. Some of the funnier ones are diarrhea, gas, and fatigue. Don't get me wrong. I am always tuned into my body waiting for any sign or symptom that I might get the two pink lines at the end of the month but, really? Gas, the runs, and being tired? Isn't this symptoms of eating really greasy pizza and chasing after a 3 year old and a 7 month old?

With Gavin the only symptom I has was that I had one teeny spot of blood when I wiped. I was not due for my period for at least 5 more days and history told me that when my period came, she showed up in full force. Spotting had not been a part of my vocabulary. So, at that moment, I knew that it was likely implantation spotting. Then the next night I was laying in bed and all of the sudden I realized that I could smell the air freshener in the bathroom. I couldn't just smell it, I could almost taste it.

When I was trying for my second child I payed a lot of attention to every twinge, pull, cramp, ache, pain, well.. you get the point. I was obsessed. I would check the site to see if it was a good sign. I would see how many other women reported the "symptom" and either become just a bit more hopeful or swear that I was just noticing something that most women wouldn't notice. The truth is, it is all just ridiculous. I had restless leg syndrome a few nights before my positive home pregnancy test. I had extreme thirst before another. I had cramping before, yet another. While this sounds like I had pregnancy symptoms, I failed to mention all of the pregnancy symptoms I had only to be greeted by my period knocking down my door. I had cramps, extreme thirst for nothing but water, gas, diarrhea, back pain, cramps, metallic taste in my mouth, again, you get the point.

Better yet, these are some of the symptoms on the list of "Most Common Early Pregnancy symptoms."

Acne breakout....................................Decrease in Acne
Dry mouth...........................................Increase in saliva
Fatigue.................................................Restlessness

With these being symptoms, it is no wonder I swear I am pregnant every month! Even right this minute I am thinking about how thirsty I am but noticing how I have a lot of saliva. I am exhausted but probably couldn't sleep. Is that a zit? Maybe. Don't I usually have more zits that that?

I would love to hold an unscientific experiment. I would like to ask women who haven't ovulated yet and tell them that there is a possibility that they are pregnant. Then, give them a list of the 60 most common symptoms of pregnancy and have them record which ones they feel for two weeks. Something tells me that most of these women will write down about 20 symptoms. Even before they have ovulated. Of course, I will never be able to run this experiment but I challenge myself each month to do just this so that I can recognize how silly I am being when I think I must be pregnant because I farted 3 times on a Tuesday while thinking about salt and vinegar potato chips.

I really hope that I can get pregnant (and stay pregnant) so that I don't have to go through this waiting and wondering torture for very long. I must admit that since I have started this blog, I have managed to be much less obsessed with trying to get pregnant and staring at my chart waiting for it to telling me the future. But with that all said, I am going to go to countdown to pregnancy and see what symptoms are the most reported for 4 days past ovulation. Oh... the games my mind likes to play.
Monday, February 14, 2011

My Sweet Valentine!








Gavin
Born 2/14/08
(click above to read his birth story)




Gavin at 1 year old.






Gavin on his 2nd birthday.














Gavin is now 3 years old!!!











He has been and always will be my best Valentine's Day gift ever.
Friday, February 11, 2011

Do You Believe in Santa Claus?

One year for Christmas, all I wanted was a Cabbage Patch Kid. They had come out with a new version that had corn silk hair instead of the string yarn hair that was useless when it came to brushing or styling. After all, isn't that what most girls want to do with a doll. Comb its hair? I went to the local mall with my parents and climbed into the big burly man's lap and looked him in the eye.

"I want a corn silk Cabbage Patch Kid, " I said, making sure that his eyes told me he was familiar with the doll. I left the mall feeling pretty confident that Santa was going to make good on his end of the bargain.

When Christmas morning finally arrived I ran down the stairs eying all of the wrapped packages on the floor. I knew the shape of the doll box quite well and wasn't able to scout it out. I had that nervous excitement pouring over every inch of me as I eagerly anticipated finding the box amidst the heaps of gifts. Even though I couldn't see it right away, I knew it was there. It was under something or behind something. Or, maybe Santa hid it somewhere special as a big surprise at the end.

I opened all of my gifts and while they were nice, they weren't nice enough to make me forget about my Cabbage Patch kid with the corn silk hair. After the last gift had been handed to my brother and we watched him open it, I waited.

I waited to hear my parents say, "Oops! We almost forgot! Santa left a special gift in the (insert whatever plausible room here) for you Maria!" But as the wrapping paper was all balled up and thrown away and my brother was busy playing with his toys, I realized, there was no doll. Santa knew that was what I wanted. I made it very clear to him. Why would he do this to me? And then it all came into focus. He couldn't really exist because if he did, he would never disappoint me like this. It was then obvious. Santa was a big fat hoax.

It is no wonder there are so many people who say that they don't believe in God. For whatever reason, adults find it necessary to tell children about how God is good and does good things to those who believe in Him. If you ask God for something and pray about it, God will give you what you ask for. Maybe adults still believe this because that is what they were told by their parents. But this is like telling the fairy tale version of the Bible and skipping the part with the villain because it might be too scary for young ears. Then when those children grow up and ask God for something and they don't get it, well, the only rational conclusion is that he isn't real.

I took this from a comment on a friends blog:

But for some to preach that there is an all-knowing, all-powerful merciful entity that pulls the strings of every single thing that happens to every human being, every moment of every day, is ludicrous. Perhaps creation was the brain child of some superior being, but I cannot believe that an all-knowing, entity does not know that 250,000 men, women & children will be killed by a tsunami that could have been stopped with the wave of an all-powerful, merciful hand. And, to award the saving of a single life to the entity that could have prevented the entire disaster is ridiculous.

By this thought process, one would then assume that in our world there would be no sickness, death, crime, pain, suffering, loss, etc. Just because God can do something doesn't mean that he will. Everything does happen for a reason and the Bible talks about what happens to us if we sin. We, every last one of us, are sinners. We knowingly sin against God and the price we pay is a tsunami that kills 250,000 men, women, and children. The Bible doesn't hide the reality of this. For some reason, we like to hide behind the cloak of God being Santa Claus and then when we are hurting and God doesn't take all of our pains away we feel like we have been duped just like when we realized that Santa isn't real.

I think we, as adults, parents, grandparents, and friends need to share the truth about God. The good, the bad, and the sometime hard to stomach truth about God. We can and should pray to God for His will. His will should be what we desire. We can ask for patience, understanding, and peace for when we don't understand His plan for us. I don't want my children to grow up feeling like God owes them something. God created us. He gave us life. We will always be indebted to Him.
Thursday, February 10, 2011

All Skewed Up

My grandmother is a spry 98 years old. She has probably told me the story of how her and my grandfather met at least a dozen times and I am always so touched by the innocence and the way she is always eager to share how she met her first and only love. She tells of how her sister persuaded her to go to a local dance and how a young man asked her to dance. She danced with him and at the end of the night they went their separate ways. A week or two later he showed up at her front door and was, like they always did back then, invited in for a visit. He sat on the couch, grandma on the other side and my great-grandmother firmly planted between them. This is what dating was like. They were later married and went on to have 6 children. My grandmother still wears her wedding band despite the fact that my grandfather died at least 25 years ago. If only it still worked like this. I am not saying that I followed all of the "rules" when it came to dating, love and marriage, but I came pretty close when I met Doug.

I watch couples struggle with their relationships and I have to think that it has everything to do with the fact that we, as a society, have come to accept a really skewed approach to love. Today's couple seem to fall into one of three categories. The first is the closest thing we have to traditional couples. These are the couples that meet, date for a while, move in together, get married, and then have children. In that order. This, while not ideal, and severely frowned upon by Grandma, would be likely accepted as "How it is these days."

The second category are the couples that meet, date, move in together, and then maybe have children with the possibility of marriage at some point in the future. They live like a husband and wife. The make decisions as a household. This works for them right up until it doesn't. Inevitably, they separate. They have an "easy out" with no real commitment other than the inconvenience of moving out. They think that living together is what is in the best interest of the kids. And it might be. Right up until they agree that, "Things just aren't working out." Then the kids end up in the same situation that kids with divorced parents are in. Feeling unloved, unworthy, and with a really strange perception of how love is supposed to look.

Then the third group. These couples get married. Maybe it is because the woman wants to feel secure in the relationship, she insists on an engagement. She plans the wedding. The man figures that he loves this woman. He enjoys spending time with her. Why wouldn't I marry her? Then, after the honeymoon is over and the woman wants to go out to dinner more, or maybe the man wants the woman to keep the house cleaner, or any other various disagreement, they realize that they made a mistake. Divorce. There may have been a kid or two by the time they come to this decision but they aren't going to stay in an unhappy relationship. Right? Then, they meet the man/woman of their dreams. They see what love should have looked like and think, "This time I am doing the right thing. Let's get married!" Then... "This isn't what I signed up for. He/She drives me crazy." Since they survived divorce before, they can handle another one. Maybe another kid or two are now thrown in the mix. Marriage for these couples are like what "going steady" used to be. It is just a commitment a little more intense than just dating.

Doug and I didn't follow all the old fashioned rules but I think the fact that we at least did things in the right order really helped us to establish a good foundation for our marriage. We talked about everything before we sealed the deal. We knew each others plans. We knew their goals. We are in this together. We stood before God and made a promise that we both will keep. One day, many many years from now, I look forward to sharing my story of love and marriage with my own grandchildren. I sincerely hope that their stories of love and marriage don't vary too much from my own.



P.S.
Doug- I am so happy that you chose me and that we will grow old together. We will have shared every story of our individual pasts and then every other story we be "ours" since we will always be together. I love you!
Love,
Maria
Saturday, February 5, 2011

Beautiful Song

I heard this song today while I was working out and it brought me to tears. I had to share this.




Friday, February 4, 2011

Who Needs Two Arms?

As much as I want to have a large family, I find myself wondering about how on Earth I will survive when I have another child(ren) to care for. I am just now starting to get good sleep on a routine basis again. Joey hasn't yet started crawling, cruising, and causing general mayhem but I know it isn't going to be long. While Gavin is starting to become more independent in his play, he is also upping the ante on limit testing. This is, of course, requiring more patience and time on my part. And on top of caring for the boys, I need to prepare meals, do laundry, and maintain livable status on housework. So, while I know I want more kids, I still find myself thinking about how I might be a little crazy to think I can spread myself any thinner.

Amidst this internal discussion of how many children will I be able to care for I start to wonder about parents, particularly mothers, who "know" when they are done having children. I guess there is a chance that I will, one day, wake up and know that I am "done" but right now that just seems like such a drastic conclusion to come to. Isn't it God who decides when we are "done" having children? Didn't he design our bodies to stop producing eggs when we are done having children? I just can't fathom ever being so sure that I didn't want any more babies that I would be willing to subject my body to a surgery to ensure that I wouldn't have any more children. On top of laying down for surgery, I would have to willingly admit that I am intentionally circumventing God's plan. To me, that would be like saying, "Thanks, God, for giving me two arms to use and enjoy over the years, but I am going to have one amputated since I'm done with it. It just doesn't make sense to me. Why would I want to change anything about my body that God created to perform such awesome miracles, like growing a human, and intentionally breaking it so that I can no longer experience God's greatest gifts. I just can't understand this.

I know that both times I have seen my OB/GYN for my postpartum visit she has asked me what type of birth control pills I want to take.

I tell her, "None."

"Oh, so you are going to use condoms, then?"

"Nope. I am going to be breastfeeding so I know it is unlikely for me to ovulate while I am doing that." I explain.

"Uh, okay. But you realize that you could get pregnant even while breastfeeding."

"Yep!" I reply, perhaps with a bit too much enthusiasm.

I don't get into the discussion with her about this but, just like getting a hysterectomy, preventing a possible pregnancy is really trying to take God out of the equation. He is our creator, not a player on my team that I can decide to bench when I don't want his opinion. I feel like I need to always keep my focus on Him and let him be the leader especially when it comes to my fertility.

I have to put my faith in God that he knows what I can handle and when I can handle it. It is tough since I want so much to control everything in my life right down to wanting very much to have an Autumn baby. I have to tell myself over and over that what I want and what I need are very different and God is only going to give me what I need. This might be a very long cold winter with no pregnancy and will need to keep praying for God's will. In the mean time, I am going to enjoy every single second of my children that are here and creating future children. And many years from now, when I feel like I am tapped out and couldn't possibly even entertain the thought of adding to my family, God will make the decision of me being "done". Until then, bring on the babies!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

But I Want to be a Dinosaur, Mom!

Over the past few years I have heard several stories about parents, who, in some capacity, support their little boys dressing like little girls. Every time this topic comes up I really wish that I could take their mom into a dark alley and offer her a cup of coffee and a tongue lashing. No matter how many times I hear them explain how they came to the decision that it was okay for their young child to cross dress I am still utterly baffled.

It is our job as parents to lead, teach, guide, and support our children on their path of life and this is just one example of many where many children today are allowed to make adult decisions and the parents stand back and say, "Well, I want my child to like me. I know it isn't the best decision but what is wrong with my kid being happy?" I hate to be the master of the obvious but kids aren't that smart. They aren't thinking about anything other than immediate gratification. It is our job as parents to make the decisions that keep them safe and healthy. If happiness can also be made a part of that equation while not jeopardizing their health and safety, then great.
When a young boy wants to wear a dress around the house, eh, okay. Probably not my preference as a parent of two boys, but I am not going to make it into anything larger than it is. When my 3 year old tells me that his crayon pouch is his "purse", again, not a big deal. When he wants to wear a dress to the grocery store and carry a purse, that is where it is our job as parents to model for him appropriate gender roles and explain that, "Ladies wear dresses, honey. Boys get to wear pants. And mommies (or women) use purses. Boys use wallets to carry money. Maybe Daddy has an extra wallet he can show you how to use!" Issue over. If it is brought up again, same explanation. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Now I know that the moms of the boys dressing like girls would say, "But it wasn't like that! He was heartbroken when I said no to the pink tutu. He was really devastated!" Over that cup of coffee, this would be my alternative scenario. What if your son wanted to wear a Barney the Dinosaur costume? Not just around the house but everywhere. To school everyday. To the mall. To grandma's house. Would this be okay? My guess is that most people would say that it isn't appropriate to wear a Halloween costume everyday. What about if you had a little girl who wanted to wear a bathing suit to school... in Ohio.... in February.... I don't think any parent with any common sense would hesitate to say, "No Way!" I don't see how this is any different. Regardless of what kind of tantrum, tears, and heartbreak would follow the answer would still be no.

I just wish that parents weren't so concerned about their kids liking them. If they like us all the time then we are not doing our job. I am not saying that we need to be mean or abusive but our kids deserve (and actually want and need) to have limits and boundaries set for them. We are responsible for molding their behavior and actions to be appropriate for our world. It isn't appropriate for our boys to go into Target dressed like a dinosaur. Our daughters won't wear bikinis to WalMart in winter (or ever!). And when our young men want to wear a sundress to the grocery store, the answer should always be no. They might cry now but when they are well adjusted adults they will thank us for not allowing them to look like fools in public.

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