I had another question come in that I thought would be good to address. This mom was wondering how my grief plays a role in my parenting. When I first thought about this question I was going to say that everything I do as a parent stems from my grief but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it wasn't necessarily true. There are things I do because I'm a parent and they work for us, not because Ty and Jacob died. There are aspects though that do stem from my grief. I'm incredibly over protective because I'm afraid she will die. But, even then, I don't limit myself too much. There isn't a clear cut answer, so yes and no. Ty and Jacob dying do impact the way I parent to an extent. So here is a glimpse into that life.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and just say it. There are moments in life when I do get frustrated with Bee. Just because I know loss, does not mean parenting is easy and I think it's something others who haven't gone through loss don't understand. They seem to look at us in an odd way when we say we're having a bad day or that our child is driving us up the wall. Often times they speak up and say things like; but this is your miracle baby, how can they frustrate you? How do you not have every ounce of patience in the world for them? Do you not love her as much because she is a very strong willed child and that exhausts you? Be thankful she is even here (this one really pisses me off, trust me I am more than THANKFUL she is here but it doesn't mean it's easy).
Having had Ty and Jacob die does not mean parenting Bee is any easier. Given, I do have a ton of patience with her but we all have our days. My daughter is a red head and has the personality to match it. She is an exact replica of me. She is me in smaller and younger form and I know what I'm in for. But please, on the days I say we didn't get sleep, know that it rarely bothers me. I waited 3 years of silent nights to have rough nights but that doesn't mean it is easy. I'm exhausted and night after night of her not sleeping does wear on me like any parent.
I am a human being, I'm a bereaved parent and I'm a parent. I still deal with all the parenting stuff. I still deal with the first time parenting stuff and I'm incredibly hard on myself because I have so much guilt and sadness that I'm only now able to figure it out. Not only do I have to figure out how to help my daughter become the best little person she can be but I have to figure out how to put my emotions aside. You know the ones that surface because I should know this already. I should know what to do and I should have had so many firsts already. These shouldn't be my firsts so I shouldn't be as emotional.
Truthfully, some days I find myself a lot more laid back than I thought I would be while pregnant with her. I do so many things with her I swore I'd never do. But you know what, they work for us so on we go.
Thank God Bee rocks and she is along for this crazy ride with me in the drivers seat. We learn together and there are days where I'm sure I drive her crazy (making her do arts and crafts bad mommy!) But the love I have for my child is so profound. No one could have ever told me I'd feel this way about my daughter. No matter how many sleepless nights, no matter how many days she goes through just crying and being grumpy because of teething or boredom or whatever, my love for her is immense. It's intense, it's amazing, it's pure, its indescribable really. But that doesn't mean parenting her is a breeze. It still comes will all the first time parent challenges.
Parenting after the loss of a child will affect how one parents but it doesn't mean you parent only through your grief, you also parent as a human being who has children. We all make mistakes, we all have rough days, we all have sleepless nights and just because we know loss doesn't mean we don't have these kinds of days. We have them too and it surely does not mean we don't appreciate or love our kids. That couldn't be further from the truth.