In my whirlwind tour with some of my favorite bloggers I am honored to receive a post from one of my favorites, Karen at Taking The World On With A Smile!
Honored? Taking The World On With A Smile! only comes out once a week. So this is a big deal to me! I follow a number of blogs for a number of reasons: funny, creative, motivational, athletic, and last but not least, parenting. I follow Karen’s for the parenting. She offers a lot of warm illustrations about her two kids and their growing up, that I can only hope for when my kids are their age. Her teens seem happy, level-headed and a joy to be around. I started reading her blog hoping to get some insight into parenting and now return for the pictures of what can be.
But I don’t want to give her style away in the intro but before I leave add “full of surprises” to the list describing her:
I’ve never guest posted before so when Andy asked me if I would, I was a little nervous. What would I write about? Usually, I write about people so in the end, that’s what I decided to do. OUR LIFE IN 3D is a versatile blog covering a wide variety of topics including finance, staying fit and raising kids. Mostly though, Andy writes about his girls. When I “met” Andy (and up until very recently) he was a stay-at-home-dad — “just trying to stay above water.”
Being able to stay-at-home and raise your children is not always a choice or a luxury that everyone can afford. Sometimes a spouse finds themselves in the position of being the stay-at-home-parent even though that wasn’t exactly what they’d envisioned when they were mapping out their career path. I was extremely fortunate and chose to stay-at-home. Whatever the circumstance, my hope is that every stay-at-home-parent ultimately finds their position to be the blessing that it’s meant to be.
When Andy stopped by my blog back in January, he mentioned he was looking for guidance; my kids are eleven and thirteen. I have a few more parenting-years under my belt, compared to his girls who are two and four-years old. There’s no rule book when it comes to raising children. They don’t come to you all pink or brown or beige-like with an instruction manual neatly tucked inside the perfect swaddle they’re usually handed to you in, and there’s a decent chance you’ll never be able to replicate that perfect swaddle again either. After a few lame attempts, I gave up — completely. It didn’t really look that comfortable to me anyway and my kids survived.
What I’ve noticed over the past few months is that, whether it’s a delayed nap, a derailed football game or an impromptu party during what should be “work-time”, Andy seems to take it all in stride with humor and gusto making the most out of some of those unplanned moments with his girls. As far as offering guidance, parenting for me, is all about trusting your instincts, getting to know your children, letting go every once in a while and having faith that all kids are capable. Each family dynamic has its own set of unique circumstances that effect and help to mold the personalities of our babies. Just like children, no two families are alike.
From what I can see, Andy’s got a great handle on the parenting-thing. He’s mastered the number one requirement as far as I’m concerned. It comes across crystal clear; Andy adores his girls – all three of them! He’s a true dad, in love with his family, happy to be wrapped around the precious fingers his little girls wag at him.
I have a son who’s awesome and a daughter, so here’s a little of what you might have to look forward to from those lovely lassies in the years to come, Andy….
Surprises! Lots and lots of surprises! Girls are full of funny, happy, tearful surprises. They are sensitive, loving, bossy beings who enjoy playing sports just as much as they enjoy playing house. They feel just as comfortable in soccer shorts and cleats as they do in their brand-new frilly dress although, they will expect you, dad, to notice their new-pretty-dress as you kick around the soccer ball with them. There is no one else that they want to notice them as much as you. When they go to school you will miss them and all the noise joy they used to make. Fear not, girls are chatter boxes and will tell you all about their day. And I mean, ALL about their day. If you think they like sparkly, feather-y, fur-y things now, just wait a few years. They can never have enough stuffed animals and they will never get rid of any of them. It’s a good thing you are financially savvy as you may need to build an addition onto your house. For certain, your girls will never cease to amaze you with their endless love for you and the uninhibited way they express it, so embrace it, enjoy it and savor the moments in it as I know you do. Your girls have the ability to be sunshine on a cloudy day. They are a blessing and I know that you know that, too.
Andy, you may have started out just staying above water but there’s no doubt, you’ve become the life-raft your girls will continue to cling too, for many years to come.
Can I use you for a reference? Karen, thanks for that parenting accreditation! Its easy to parent when they are so cute like this. I see you still slipped in some advice too (well done! :)). I still feel like I am swimming up stream sometimes. And thanks for taking the time to write this, taking valuable time away from your clan. I know its a big week and weekend!
If anyone else has some time and something to say feel free to say it here as a guest blogger. I know you write better than me, have something to say and are just waiting for the right opportunity to say it. Leave me a comment and I will get back with you. I may get my life in 3D back to some sort of normal in a few days but I & we would really love to hear from you…about anything!
Thanks again Karen. Check her blog out! Its better than a good book.