Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Discovery, Awareness and Laughter. - Susan Dunk

There is wonderful insight in a woman's story of where she has come from and what she has learned. Thank you Susan for meeting women where they are at... You continue to omit the facade of fake opinions and cliche lines and encourage others towards a real attitude of continued maturity and growth.

Discovery, Awareness and Laughter
by Susan Dunk

I got married super young- a month before my 21st birthday. We had our first child, Rebecca Joy, at age 22. When Paul and I decided to have children, we couldn’t wait to be parents. We thought we would be God’s gift to parenting - that we would parent the “right” way and that we knew everything we could possibly know about being great parents. We were after all – 22.

“A man cannot begin to learn what he thinks he already knows.”~Epitecus

I had read one book on the subject and was prepared for anything. Rebecca was born January 25th 1998 and it began. We had no choice, we were in it for real, and there was no handing her back at the end of the day or choosing another line of work. We were stuck. It was then that we realized we had better change our position of “all knowing” to “all about the learning”. We learned by watching great parenting styles and by watching some “OMG-styles”. We learned from reading and we learned mostly from our children, because children don’t come with an instruction manual-it’s “learn as you go!”

It wasn’t “wrong” that I got married at 21 and started a family the next year, it was just stupid…ok unwise. It is rare to find a 21 year old who knows who they are, and I certainly had no idea. Looking back I can see that I was desperately trying to find my identity in my “doing”. From my career at the time or my role as a wife and mother, I dove into the things I did with intense rigor because it was the source of who I was. On the outside I looked fantastic: juggling mom, wife, work; doing, doing, doing. The problem was, at the end of the day my goal to be a great wife, mom, working woman was more about me than those I was meant to love. Not to mention that I constantly compared myself to other women because I was driven to BE the best mom/wife because my worth was so attached to it. When you aren’t the first in your circle to have your child toilet trained-what the heck is wrong with you?!?

Fast forward to today. Paul and I celebrate 15 years next month and we have 3 incredible kids: Rebecca 13, Isaiah 9 and Nijel 4. How did I get from there to here? A lot of fights, a lot of tears, a lot of apologies, a lot of laughter, a lot of fun, and a lot of love. I’ve listed a few things that I’ve learned along the way:

Discovery. Discover who God made you to be. This is not what you “do” for your life but who you are. There is a reason you were born, a reason you look the way you do and your makeup is what it is; from your personality to your preference, discover it and live it. When you live out who you are, you give permission to your children to be who they are.

Awareness. Be aware of what’s going on inside of you and listen for what’s going on for those you love. Certain seasons of our life will require more emphasis than others, and we will see this when we are aware. When you become aware of mistakes you make as a parent, be courageous and repent to your kids. It is by far the single greatest action I have taken with my husband and my kids.

Laughter. Every day laugh. Laugh at yourself. Don’t take things so personally, or yourself so seriously.

To check out more of Susan you can take a look at her and her husbands blog at

1 comment:

  1. Ruth Robertson Shelley: Nicole....I have to say I am really enjoying your blog. The posts that are being written are wonderful. We can all learn from each other. Thanks for doing this.