It’s so funny to hear people’s reactions once they find out that I am a 2x Olympian, and Olympic silver medalist. I always get the, “why wouldn’t you tell me that?!” or the, “You think you would want to mention that when we first met!” The truth is, I’m very proud of my athletic accolades on the track. The thing that stays at the top of my mind though, are my kids. I’ll most likely lead conversations that way. I have three boys! Two are 11-year-old twins, also known as the Twindigs (twins run on my paternal side). My grandfather was a twin, and my great grandmother had 4 sets of twins and 20 kids total! I also have a newborn 4-month baby boy.

My three boys!! The Twindigs, Dontay, 11 (right), Duaine, 11 (left), and our newest member Syre, 4 months

I can’t believe I’m starting over! As a mom, I continuously think about what type of parent he might need. But also, the type of parent I want to be. I have compared how the twins grew up, to how Syre is being brought up right now. I was much younger when I became pregnant with the twins. There were A LOT of speed bumps I was hit with on the way, but I’ve also learned a bunch. One thing that I figured out is what type of parenting style works for me. I guess you can say that I’m more of a liberal parent?

There are different definitions of what being liberal is, but for me, it’s just simply being open-minded. In this case, being open-minded about what my kids are capable of understanding, seeing, and hearing. I remember the exact situation that led me to this conclusion.

Telling our kids the truth

The twins were in 3rd grade at the time, so 8 years old. The boys were outside in the backyard with their dad, while I was in the house enjoying “me time.” The oldest twin (older by 1 minute, which he takes seriously), Duaine, came to me and asked, “Mom, how are babies made?” Now… A lot of things went through my head within the short pause I had before answering.

3rd grade Twindigs, Duaine (right) Dontay(left) with me!

I know it’s true when people say they saw their whole life flash before them. Although my situation wasn’t that extreme I calculated a lot of thoughts about how to handle this situation. How he might perceive me from my answer very fast! The one thought out of a million of them that stuck with me was, “I don’t want to be the Santa Claus mom.” Although, I don’t see anything wrong with telling your kids about Santa Claus. Up until that point they knew about him. But why don’t we tell our kids that we buy the Christmas gifts!!!

Children want to see their parents as their rock stars, their providers, and their protectors. I feel like I am all those things for my kids, so I decided to answer the baby question with the truth. I looked at him, being very aware of my reaction and what face I made, and answered simply. “Babies are made from sex.” “Okay,” he said, and skipped away. He went back outside and his dad asked, “Did your mom tell you? “He replied, “Babies are made from sex.” He continued to play with no further questions.

His dad came to me and said he didn’t know what to do, he froze. All he could think to say was ask your mom! I told his dad that if he was able to logically come up with a question he deserves to hear an honest answer and we both agreed with that and decided to move forward that way with our parenting. The rule is, if our kids are capable of conceiving questions or different logics, we are responsible for answering them truthfully.

We don’t give our kids enough credit

Sometimes we don’t give our kids enough credit- yes, even 8-year olds. It was then that I realized that Duaine’s logic didn’t take him further than that question, so there was no reason to elaborate on the answer. I look at one of my roles as a parent to be a guide through life or even a cheat book through life. I owe it to them at a minimum to be honest. What have you done or what would you do? Can’t wait to read your comments below.

So, before I go, this is a special part of me, welcome to my life! As you follow me here and on Instagram, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at me going through the growing pains of being an entrepreneur building my brand, The Elle Demus Training Platform, you will see that the stories and questions from the Twindigs get more interesting, and baby Syre is living his best life being the first baby to get my boobs full time (breastfeeding)! What can I say??? It takes a Nation.

-Mommi Shin