We all have our own way of doing things and more often than not, we think that our way is the right way. At least I do. Now being born under the sign of the Fire Monkey it is hard for me to sit back and not be judgmental since it is a trait I was born with. It is a known fact that monkeys have superiority complexes. This is not our fault. It is like being born with freckles, or brown hair, it just is what it is. I like to think though that I do have an open mind, that I make an honest attempt to look at both sides or perhaps many sides of a story. But when it comes to children (and animals) my superiority complex comes into play and tunnel vision sets in. There is no room for peripheral vision.
With Charlie Sheen dominating the headlines I couldn't help, along with all of America, but get a healthy dose of what was going on, even though I tried not to read any of the articles. But you couldn't go online without being hit between the eyes with something like this; Charlie Sheen Talks Unfounded Addiction Accusations; Leave it to Charlie Sheen to upstage the Oscars or Charlie Sheen is served with restraining order, children taken away.
I was one of the first to jump on the "bash Charlie Sheen" bandwagon. I mean how could you not? This is straight from the script of a Lifetime Movie, full of sex, lies, drugs, alcohol, violence, ex-wives, manic rantings, and sadly, children. Now I do not profess to know what goes on in the Charlie Sheen household. For all I know those children are the most loved and well adjusted children to ever come out of Hollywood. And Charlie, compared to many other parents you are probably not so bad, a bit freaky (some might say out of his mind crazy), a spoiled brat, a little too full of yourself, but in reality, you just happen to be in the public eye. And right now all eyes are on you. So we get to watch your circus tent fall - and the whole freak show is somewhat entertaining, if you can forget momentarily that there are little children involved. And I'm not talking about Charlie and his little angels.
Along with the drunkenness and disorderly conduct, there are the women, porn stars, prostitutes, "models", waitresses, you name it. I mean Charlies current little angels look nice enough, after all, they are goddesses. And there is no doubt that having two "moms" around must make things easier. Oh wait, I heard the "goddesses" just sometimes play with the boys, they have nannies to do the actual caring for them.
The ugly and scary truth is that how Charlie is raising his children might possibly be a whole lot better than the way many parents are raising their children, parents we don't even know, we don't see or we don't want to acknowledge. I don't even think the word "raise" should be used in that sentence. Someone needs to look behind the closed doors. Actually, take them off their hinges. " And if it can't be family, friends, concerned teachers or neighbors, well then so be it, enter CPS.
I remember years ago in my Lamaze class the instructor said to all of us expectant parents, "remember, this child is joining you in your life, you are not joining theirs." At the time I thought, well, that makes sense, try not to lose yourself. But the minute that baby was born I had joined her life. She had changed me and the way I looked and thought about most everything. Even the way Madonna dressed. Simple things, that when you were childless had no real impact on your life. But now you were "raising" a child. It was up to you to introduce and help instill values, compassion, kindness and all of those other virtuous qualities by your own actions. It was important that this child wasn't just "joining" or being dragged along as an accomplice in your existing life. Things were suppose to change. Parenthood was supposed to change people. For the better. It was about putting others before yourself. I am now sure that at the time, that Lamaze teacher wasn't a parent.
You see it all the time, parents using their children as pawns, as weapons for getting back at one another. Neglecting children for our own selfish desires has to be one of the most damaging things we can do to those little souls that we have been entrusted with. I think for many divorced or separated parents it is a major concern what goes on when the child is in the care of the other biological parent, but almost more worrisome is who that biological parent may drag home. And I'm not talking stray kittens or puppies here. Who are these strangers that are now going to have a great influence on your child? How are they treating them, what are they teaching them? Mother/Father, it doesn't seem to make a difference, one can be as selfish as the other. Once a person is back on the "market", for many it seems that the mating instinct again becomes much stronger than any maternal/paternal instincts or to the responsibilities that we had decided at one time to take on.
Parenting is a serious undertaking. The most serious thing any human can do. There are no tests, no exams, no studying required. No mental health evaluations that need to be taken. No home or background checks. If you want a foster child or to adopt a child, the CPS will come out and check your home, do a background check, fingerprint you and give you educational materials, but if you want to procreate on your own, well it is your God-given right. Go for it. Wing it.
But if you give parenthood a moment's thought, and even hesitate momentarily about parting with your freedom, maybe you shouldn't do it. If you can't give a child the attention, time, and love that he/she will require and are not ready for your life to change, and it will as sure as day turns to night, then maybe you shouldn't do it. Maybe you can find a different way to inflate your ego. Maybe just get yourself some fish. Show off your fish tank. You can't do too much damage if you at least remember to clean the tank occasionally and feed them on a regular basis. Or perhaps on your way out the door, you can remind one of your goddesses to take care of it for you.