How I parent when people keep shooting each other.

Wow.  So much violence. So much hate.  So much hurt. 

 

Dallas shootings of police officers.  Philando Castile.  Alton Sterling.  Orlando Pulse Nightclub.  Stanford rape case. These incidents are only a hint of the hate and horror happening around the world. 

 

As a human, it is hard to hear this news.  Why are we doing this to each other?  How can someone be convinced that the right thing to do, that the solution to any problem, real or perceived, is to rape, beat and murder?

 

As a mother, I find this news even harder.  I can imagine, and almost feel, the pain (because I know I can’t truly comprehend) of the parents who have lost their children.  Lost because of hate and fear.   I truly cannot imagine the pain and devastation I would feel if my child had been one to carry out a hate crime.   

 

I know I can’t protect my children from the hate and fear in this world.  That is out of my control.  And that is scary.  Terrifying. 

 

As I was scrolling through the news, reading sad story after sad story, I saw this comic from Fowl Language Comics.  The perfect reminder I needed. 

 

 

Of all of the things that I want to teach my children, the most important is this:   

 

Every person is important.   EVERY PERSON.  You can’t become un-important by who you love, what you wear, where you live, who you pray to, the family you were born into, the colour of your skin.  You just can’t. 

 

And every person is as important as every other person.

 

So this is how I carry on with all of this cruelty in the world.  I focus on the important people in my home.  My children.  My husband.  Me. 

 

Did you catch that?  I didn’t leave out anyone.  My husband, my 5 year old, my 3 year old, my 6 month old, and me.  We all made the list. Children are amazing, and so important, because they are, after all, people. 

 

But guess what, Mama, SO. ARE. YOU.

 

You and your baby are JUST AS IMPORTANT.   

One is not more important than the other.

 

How do you raise children who won’t hate someone for their sexual orientation?  Gender? Race? Religion? Class?  Any other meaningless difference that humans hate each other over?

 

I believe that one way is to show your kids how important YOU are.  Make time for your workout.  Take your daily walk.  Take that bath.  SIT DOWN and eat healthy nourishing food with your family.  Do not make yourself less important than your family, because you aren’t.

 

You are a person and you can’t become un-important because you become a mom.  You just can’t. 

 

I have been training a mom of an 11-month old baby.  When we first met she was hardly eating all day, feeling exhausted by the afternoon and ravenous by the evening.  Yet her baby is eating homemade, nourishing food.  Her husband is coming home to healthy meals and taking delicious lunches to work and school. Her brother-in-law is staying in their home while attending school, also being well fed and cared for.  There is even a dedicated container of food just for the baby in the fridge that no one else eats from, to make sure he always has what he needs.  She is taking such good care of everyone in her house.  Except for her.   We have been working on this.  She is making time to sit down and eat, time to get away from the house (ALL BY HERSELF!) and time for a weekly workout session with me.  The difference is obvious.  She looks happier, stronger, and confident.  I am so proud of her and what she has done in a short time for herself and her family. 

 

I see women everywhere putting themselves last.  Their children wear the latest and greatest clothing while mom continues to feel uncomfortable in clothes that do not fit her ever changing body.  The kids are in every activity they could dream of: swimming, soccer, hockey, baseball and dance, so there is no money or time for mom to work on her own health.  The kids are eating lunch but mom doesn’t even sit down as she cleans up from this meal and preps for the next. 

 

We could go on and on here.  The point is- not only are you not taking care of yourself, you are missing out on teaching your children a valuable lesson. 

 

Every person is important.   EVERY PERSON.  Moms included. 

 

My heart goes out to all of those who are dealing with heartache caused by someone thinking they and their beliefs are more important than another human life.  Please know I see you and I am hurting for you.  And I am planning my workout for tomorrow right now to show my kids that every single person is important.  As my children get older the conversations about difficult times such as these will change.  I will tell them more and shelter them less.  But my message will be the same.  You are important.  I am important.  We are all important.