Thursday, January 20, 2011
Becoming a parent is easy (relatively)... being a parent... not so much
And then you're a parent. And after the happy hormones wear off and you have to get up 5 times a night to comfort your crying, pooping bundle of... joy... reality hits you like a brick in the face.
It doesn't get easier, people. As a matter of fact, it gets much, much harder. But you love your kids, and you would do anything for them. They're your precious princes and princesses, and they deserve only the very best in life. So you decide to homeschool. And that, my friends, is where the trouble begins. Because now you have entered a whole new world with a whole new set of problems. First you know nothing about homeschooling, and you're overwhelmed and scared, and you ask, as anybody else the dreaded socialization question.
Then comes the all important question, what kind of homeschooler will you be? Of course all homeschoolers are very outspoken and passionate about THEIR way of homeschooling. You learn about eclectic, classical, Waldorf, and unschooling. And you stumble through them all, together with your children. You confuse them to no end, and they take it in stride... more or less.
But sometimes they don't, and they start acting funny, and now you're confused. As a parent you are never done. When you homeschool, you are always there, starting first thing in the morning, and you won't get a break until bedtime. And of course bedtime is right around your own bedtime, so you fall into your own bed at the end of the day, exhausted and drained.
I have two children living in my house. And lately things have not been going so well. There has been a lot of sarcasm and bitterness. Much bickering and fussing over nothing. I have no idea where this came from, but it wears me out.
I'm in a parenting class. Each term we read a parenting book and we try to analyze and figure out how our children tick. You'd think that after four books I'd be a professional. Shouldn't I be able to know exactly why my kids do certain things and how to handle them? Well, I don't. As a matter of fact, it seems that the more reading I do, the more I learn about parenting, the less I really understand my children. I found myself wrapping them in bubble wrap, treating them like they were the king and queen of the world. I think they truly believe that. And I think it's unhealthy, and it backfired big time.
The constant questioning of how this and that might make them feel did just one thing. It left me behind. I'm so worried about them, that I forgot to be myself, and to sometimes put myself first.
Being a parent doesn't mean that your children always, always have to come first. You are not a bad parent if you choose to come first every now and then.
When my son displayed signs of screen addiction I had to pull the emergency break. Something had to change. And that something wasn't something at all... it was someone! Me!
I have to relearn to follow my gut. I generally do well, when I follow my gut. Parenting should be no different. If I follow my gut, I know I will somehow do things better. I will be a better parent and a happier woman. No excuses necessary.
And that's where it gets difficult. I have wonderful friends, and I value them and love them. But I also feel like I'm being watched with eagle eyes. How does she handle that situation? They may not think much of it at all. Maybe that's just me and my own insecurities. Either way I have to stop worrying so much about what they may think of how I parent my children. Because in the end I have to decide, and I have to live with my children every day.
Happy Day, everyone. Enjoy your kids!