It might be the relatively low ebb I've been operating on the last two weeks, the fact that – after a relatively snow-free (yes, I am in Canada) winter – I came to work in slushy armageddon this morning, that the last few pounds have turned into the last several pounds, the planning now for activities in August when I can hardly even imagine what we'll look like by then…I don't know. But I need a break! Levity please, enter stage right.
I was truly heartened to hear readers owning up to a mix of parenting styles and, better yet, to how comfortable many of you sound with the parenting you are STRIVING for. That's key isn't it? Take the self-judgement and blame out of it. Do your best, adjust as needed and then just accept the kind of parent you are (are still becoming).
I am a working Mom. Do I do my best? I try to. My style – strong authoratative flavour with a pinch of permissiveness, garnished with authoritarianism. Hey, we have places to get to on a schedule. I cannot use every "putting on coat" opportunity as a teaching point. It just isn't going to happen.
I yell. Oh how I yell. Not often, but when I have to. I don't say anything demeaning or humiliating, I don't shame. It's not about my child's character. It's about his behaviour. Period. We get past it. I am sensitive enough to notice that I am not crossing his emotional boundaries – you know how you can sometimes see someone's face fall when they've just heard something hurtful? I think I've have managed to avoid that.
I'd say we generally get along really well. He's pretty reasonable, I try to accomodate with an eye toward safety, good health, progress in education and long-term social and emotional well-being. The rest is me – flawed, human. I sincerely hope he is learning something from that too. I certainly wouldn't trade being a parent for anything – anything.
What I am really trying to say with this ramble…is thanks for making me feel so much better today. Seriously. When readers write comments that shows "hey, I'm doing my best, I've taken some lessons from my own childhood, I make mistakes, but I am giving it my best effort and I'm okay with it" (all far better expressed than I've just summarized here), it actually makes me feel relieved. There is a connection in that I find very reassuring. It's the reason you should get out of the house when you have a new baby and go join that play group. The other moms may or may not become your friends, even best friends, but they are like you. It isn't all rosy all the time but you can make peace with that and still enjoy the whole thing.
Some may let the house (or their hair) go when things get overwhelming. Be of no doubt that those things happen to me to. But when I feel overwhelmed, I need levity. I need to see the lighter side of the whole parenting/homemaking process. Call it a salve for my winter-beleaguered soul. This somehow allows me to tolerate leaving the upside down house with what my mother would call "a rats nest" for hair (I've got a lot of wavy/curly stuff) in the knowledge that it will eventually not always be this way.
So with warning that it could just be my mood that's causing me to see the humour in this stuff, here's a bit of levity to get you through…
Scroll down and read "Patience of a Saint".
Have a great weekend.