Parenting Is Even Sweeter Than A Cinnabon

After a busy of week full of physical therapy appointments, and sitting marathons it was nice to simply hang out and home and enjoy the sweetness of fatherhood.  Some of my very favorite times of the day is the time right before Noah goes to sleep.  When my wife and I just hold and cuddle our wonderful son.  I love it!

Time Flies When Your Having……

I don’t about you, but our days seem to fly by.  It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks the local department stores will laced with holiday decorations, and shoppers will be setting their alarm clocks extra early in order to assure their spot in the Black Friday lines.

It’s also hard to believe that in the midst of all of that Christmas shopping and holiday fun, our little boy will be turning one year old.  Wow.

Time really does go by fast, which is why it’s so important that we are intentional about slowing down and enjoying the sweetness of parenting.

Fatherhood Is Sweet

down syndrome baby boy fatherhood better cinnabon

Being a dad is sweet!

I love being dad.  Seriously. Before Noah was born I would dream about what fatherhood would be like.  It all seemed so awesome: The thought of having a little boy (or girl) living with us.  Having toys scattered throughout our house.  Being able to sneak into his nursery late at night and watch him sleep.  Teaching Him about The Bible.  Giving him gifts.  All of the laughing.  The fun.  The cuddling.  It all seemed so surreal to me.  So fun.  So great.  I couldn’t wait!

When my wife was pregnant I suddenly became very aware of parents out with their children.  I’d see dads at the mall with their kids and it seemed like they’d give anything to not be there (or be with them.)   I’d talk to dads at the driving range who were there not to hit golf balls, but to “escape” their wife and kids. (That reminds me, I haven’t touched my clubs since Noah was born.  It’s all good.)  And I can never forget the numerous times I saw parents screaming at the top of their lungs for their children to, “Put that down!” while we were at Toys R Us buying items for Baby Noah’s arrival.

I understand that sometimes kids need to be corrected, and that parenting is often difficult and tiring;  but come on.  Can’t we agree it’s still sweet?  Very sweet!

I wish I had a time machine and could go back to the future to see those same parents when they were registering for baby items (perhaps at the same store) for the same children they are screaming at now.  Their faces full of joy in anticipation of their beautiful baby that would soon be here.  I wonder if they would have ever guessed in a few short years they’d be back at that same store, but instead of joy, their faces would be covered in frustration?  I bet not.

It’s Hard Work, But It’s Sweet

downs syndrome baby boy sweet parenting

Parenting is hard work, and being a parent to a child born with Down syndrome brings with it additional responsibilities and challenges, but it’s sweet. Sweeter then a Cinnabon with two extra icings.  Don’t every forget that.  When times get hard, and stress seems to be the only visitor knocking at your door, don’t take it out on your children.  Take time to stop, and remember what you saw your precious little child for the first time.  Maybe take a look at some of those old photos or home videos again. (Just not the one of you having the baby.  I still don’t know why people record that…does anyone actually go back and watch that?  Seriously..? )

No matter how tough, stressful, or busy things become, parenting is a sweet privilege.  Will you take a few minutes today to stop and remember the sweetness of parenthood?

Parents, what are some of your best tips and tools for other parents who need some help in this area?  How do you stay calm, and not take your stress and frustration out on your children?  What keeps you fouled on the sweetness of parenthood?

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About Rick Smith

Hi, I'm Noah's Dad and I'm passionate about giving the world a window into our life as we raise our son who was born with Down syndrome. I also enjoy connecting with other families, so let's stay connected.

Comments

  1. PJ is 4 and half months old and I understand how you feel. That being said, I also have four older boys ranging in age from 5 to 13. I adore all of them!!!! Being their mom is the best thing that God has ever given me. But there are definitely times when I feel that I’m being pulled in so many different directions that I just want to go off for a few hours by myself and take a break. My husband feels that way also at times. He has so many people depending on him at work and he comes home and has more people asking things from him. He wouldn’t change it for the world. But I do think that if you don’t take time out for yourself, give yourself a break when it gets hard, then you won’t have enough to give your children. Sometimes, it’s just going for a walk or the grocery store alone. I’ll go to McDonald’s and get a large diet coke, drive down the street listening to country music as loud as I want to. Then when I get home I feel ready to be mom again. 🙂

  2. My son is now 19. The challenges have been many and constantly continue. He is loving, easy going and smart in ways I never would have thought. He is the second of four children. Life is a challenge no matter what your issues with your children. With Neil, the challenges are just different. The important thing with us was never letting him think he is different and expecting the same behaviors and responsibilities as our other children. It has made him strong, independent,and a hard worker. I am proud of whom he has become.

  3. thanks for your blog, its an encourage and inspiration to me! my husband is a pastor and we love the storybook bible too! my son’s favorite story is noah! today we celebrate the birth of our sweet daughter who was also born with an extra chromosome. during the tough times i just remember that she was created in the beautiful image of God and that she is a precious gift!

  4. When I was in college, I volunteered at a community hotline for parents under stress – my friend and I were in the first and only training session where non-parents were accepted. When other volunteers shared stories about feeling overwhelmed or even angry with their own children I was shocked. But I continued because I felt it was important to intervene with friendship and compassion when parents called in worried they would neglect or abuse their children, and this was the purpose of the volunteer organization.

    The time I spent with that organization gave me strategies and also permission to intervene with kindness in all the years following when I happened to observe stressful situations or actual abuse in public places.

    One hot late summer day I was at a photography studio hoping to get a nice picture of my almost one year old son and his almost three year old sister. I had enjoyed about four hours sleep the night before, was late for our appointment, the air conditioning in the shop had failed, and my daughter was uncomfortable in the dress she wanted to wear in the picture. I was *begging* her with gritted teeth to calm down so I could finish filling in the paperwork and straightening up her brother’s outfit, when another woman strolled over and asked very sweetly if she could ‘hold the baby’ so I could take care of my daughter.

    I think I just said, “Oh.” I wanted to tell her that I had been the one to offer help dozens of times, but she was very gently taking my son from my arms, so I turned to my daughter and tended to her. She was so relieved to see me back to my usual relaxed and friendly way of interacting with her, she calmed down immediately. It was the same heat, the same discomfort from lack of sleep, the same being late for our appointment, but someone was there for me when I needed a casual intervention and an extra set of arms.

    In the years following, I recognized that startled look of recognition in many of the temporarily stressed out moms who accepted my support and offer of help in similar situations. We are the lucky ones. The sweetness in our lives gives us the strength and stamina to be the parents our children deserve almost all of the time. And of course we have to add into the mix the natural inclination of our children to want to be independent and establish their own identities, emphatically; exploring the full meaning of the word “no” and demonstrating to us that they know just how to push the right buttons to produce interesting reactions in us or their siblings. Sometimes our children want to explore their ability to control situations that are otherwise out of our control.

    But there are parents in our communities who have never had a friend, who have never had warmth or acceptance from their parents, who don’t understand how to fill themselves up with gratitude, faith, joy or sweetness, and have absolutely no one in their lives who can share that with them or teach them where to find it. They may have had expectations that their child or children could fill that need, and not understand why babies and children are just the opposite of what they expected.

    Somewhere in between are others who have experienced grief, loss, or terrible events that have knocked them off their equilibrium and they can’t find their way back on their own.

    And then there are families who argue and yell and bump into one another and create a commotion who are actually enjoying healthy and supportive relationships. They just have a different way of being.

    I don’t know if any parent knows what amazing little rascals they will hold in their arms until we get lost in the incredible sweetness of being with them moment to moment, being able to look back to those first moments and look forward to sweet moments we can’t imagine in the future.

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