Old Fashioned Family Values

Debbie - South Haven, Michigan
Entered on February 15, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family
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When Jerry and I got married we didn’t think that we would be able to have children. However it wasn’t even a month after we were married that I got pregnant with our first daughter. While I was pregnant I tried to eat right, get plenty of exercise, take my prenatal vitamins and get regular checkups. After 12 hours of labor our first daughter was born. Two weeks later my husband and I took our new baby in for her two week check up and found out that she had Neroblastoma cancer; we were devastated and became extremely lugubrious. I think it was at that moment that Jerry and I both became overly protective parents. We ended up taking our new born baby (Mary) to Children’s Hospital in Detroit Michigan. For a couple of months while Mary was in serious condition, we were fortunate enough to stay at the Ronald McDonald House “Which just so happened to be adjacent to the hospital.” Jerry and I prayed for the doctors to endeavor. The doctors had to retrench one of Mary’s’ kidneys, one of her fallopian tubes; and one of her adrenal glands when she was only seventeen days old. She had to have chemotherapy for the first three years of her life. The chemotherapy was to ameliorate her odds for survival. We debated having any more children because we didn’t want to put our other children through what Mary had to go through. After some research and talking to doctors they told us that Mary’s cancer was very rare and only happens to one in several million babies. It wasn’t genetics, or anything we did or didn’t do to cause her cancer. About a year and a half later our second daughter was born, then two years later our last daughter was born.

At that time in our marriage Jerry worked at Herman Miller in Zeeland Michigan. I was lucky enough to have a choice as to whether or not I worked outside the home. I did, however; try to go to work part time but I felt guilty for not being home for our children. Jerry and I discussed it and we came to the conclusion that we didn’t want them to be raised by day care. The biggest reason I felt that raising them was my responsibility, and I wanted to install the family values in them that I wanted them to have. So to solve my feelings of guilt I chose to stay at home until they were all in school full time.

My first job outside our home was part time at Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast. I made and served breakfast to the guests, and I was part of the housekeeping staff. My kids would be anxious for me to come home from work because I would bring home some homemade chocolate chip cookies. When I worked part time I was able to be at home in the afternoon to cook dinner and make sure they did their homework, chores, etc. I eventually turned into the Girl Scout, cheer leading, and minivan driving, super mom. “I really miss those days to.” When I lived at home with my mom and dad they had seven kids to provide for so we didn’t get to do much. So when I started having my own family I wanted to do more with my kids.

Now that our daughters are grown I am so glad that I had the opportunity to choose to stay at home and raise our daughters. Now I have some great memories that I will never forget. In today’s day and age there are so many kids being raised by day care centers! I know it’s because of so many single moms or dads and they have to do the best they can. When I was raising my daughters I taught them to respect their elders and authority, to be honest, compassionate, hard working and responsible. If they wanted something they had to work for it, “they would certainly appreciate it more.” I personally believe in old fashioned family values. To me part of those old fashioned values would be to teach our kids the pledge of allegiance and put God back in the schools, but that is my opinion too. I think that kids would be more respectful and maybe there would be less hatred and violence in the world if there were more old fashion values being taught. I don’t think I turned out so bad, and neither did my children.