Everywhere we go, everything we hear, everything we see has to do with children and it constantly tugs at our heart. Children are something Stephen and I want so badly but can't seem to get right. It is on our minds and in our hearts 24/7. We understand NO child will EVER replace Ty and Jacob but when you prepare to bring a little one home from the hospital, you set up the nursery, you take all the classes, you buy all the clothes, diapers, bottles, wipes and toys and you are left empty handed (and twice for us) how do we turn those every so present urges to mother and father into something? It is very hard to mother when my children are not here. We are constantly talking about what we want to name our next children (boys: Noah, Isaiah and Matthew are what we have discussed lately : girls: Matea, Sophia, Fiona and Evelyn) we envision that dream, like we did with Ty and Jacob. We envision bringing them home and bathing them, taking them for walks, changing their stinky diapers, being sleep deprived....we both envisioned that twice now and have been left with empty hopes and dreams. We can no longer envision bringing a baby home, we can no longer envision hopes and dreams only to have them dashed again. We are left with desires we cannot fill. We are left with decisions we wish we never had to make. We are left with planning things you should only plan when your 80. We have no little ones to parent and that makes being a mother and father hard. How can we be a mother and father but we do not parent? Where do we put those urges? Do we put them into others children? Do we put them into our cats? Even if we did, we are still left with a huge hole in our heart and nothing to fill it. Some say we have it easy because we don't have to deal with the stress, the hustle and bustle of everyday life with children but I welcome the stress, I say bring it on. I would give anything, take anything to have my boys here, to have someplace to put all this motherly instinct to.
Stephen and I parent in a much different way then those with children. When you are an angel parent you don't plan 1st birthdays, you don't potty train, you don't teach children colours, letters or numbers, you don't teach children about others who have gone before them, you don't plan how to design a "big girl" or "big boy" room, you don't talk about the transition from crib to toddler bed, you don't talk about milestones....angel parents plan funerals, they design headstones, they teach others about perinatal and infant loss, they go broke from all the bills that pile up because they have no energy to get out of bed to work, they let things pass by, the days mesh into one, they plan how to decorate their children's graves, they plan 1st angelversaries. It is a different lifestyle to be an angel mom. I know once we even do have children (biological or not they still will be our children) it will still be a different style of parenting then normal "moms" ones who do not know loss do not know what they have, do not know how blessed they are. Most only see how stressful being a parent can me and I'm sure there will be times when I have little patience for a child of mine if they are miss-behaving but what I have over those is the knowledge that life is so very fragile and that little things do not matter. Who cares if my baby vomits all over my new shirt (it's only from Goodwill) it means nothing. Who cares if I vomit all over myself while I am pregnant....I'm blessed to have life inside me. Who cares if we have the latest gadget, or fancy floors. The blessing is what graces those fancy floors, the blessing is time away from gadgets with family.
Being an angel parent is one of the hardest things we must do. Just because our children are not here does not mean they don't mean something to us and we want to live on in their name and remember them. We want others to acknowledge their short but precious lives. Figuring out how to incorporate them into our lives leaves one to determine what is appropriate to others. I feel like we have to protect our children and their memory but others may find offense in the ways we do it. I don't really care and that may be harsh but how do you think angel parents feel when someone tells them a picture of their child who is no longer here is offensive. I will remember my boys in the ways I want to. I will not not cater to others needs or feelings when it comes to remembering my boys nor should I have too. Being an angel parent and figuring out how to take cafe of the motherly instincts is hard. All I want to do is care, care for the life that was inside of me for 9 months, I want to change diapers, I want to be up all night, I want to be chasing after a little one, I want to be kissing boo boos and ouchies, I want to be teaching ABCs and 123s but I don't get to do any of that. Instead I visit two graves every day, I sit and wonder how it would feel to have little loving eyes looking back into mine. I wonder how it would be to lay in bed all day with your baby next to you, being lazy for the day. These are all things as an angel parent I have not had the chance to do, not even once. My cats are the closest thing I have to taking care of my motherly urges but it is not the same. I know that being an angel parent will make me a different parent if we are ever blessed with children. I know I will have so much more patience and flexibility because I know things don't matter, I know life is so much more important and I think being an angel parent, that is one of the greatest lessons I have learned. It's about life and time not materials.
Stephen and I have also decided when we have kids we are NOT doing the whole extravagant Christmas thing. There is no point to all the stress or greed. We will decorate and have fun as a family and our kids will get one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to wear, one thing to read and one thing to donate. We can do things like decorate cookies and sing carols...spend time together and eat good food. It's not about commercial or material crap, family and life are more important, we've learned that over the lat year. I don't remember any of the presents I received as a child, sure there was probably a barbie or something I REALLY wanted...but I don't remember the gifts, what I do remember is the time with family. The Christmas breakfasts and dinners, the time playing with cousins and friends, the snow ball fights, the snowmen (as it usually snows in Christmas) I remember time not things and I want my kids to have the same. I want them to remember time. It means so much more to be to remember family traditions (my brother and I use to open our gifts to each other Christmas Eve) Life is about the memories not the materials.
I think for any holiday or birthday we will do the same and if people want to buy our kids things, we'll limit it and ask that they donate something as well. Our kids will have everything they need and a few things they want but they will not be spoiled by greed. I also think a large chunk of gifts will be homemade. Some may think homemade gifts are a cheap way of getting out of giving a real present but I think homemade gifts mean so much more. Thanks to pinterest, I am becoming a huge DIY. It fills my need to learn new things...I love learning new things and will share my DIY journey on here once we have the room to really get down to it. I see many funny blogs in the future....for the "mishap" DIY projects...