Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rethinking my Parenting

No, I haven't been abducted by aliens (unless they wear cupcake, sports, and backhoe pajamas). I've just been in the midst of a great book! (I Was a Great Mom Before I Had Kids) It's so very real, and even if only in my head, *sorry, had to rescue some "moomies" from Ethan*, I'm learning to lower my expectations (as yucky and stupid as that sounds-a little Homerish?). We have these grandiose expectations that we'll be home and as productive as June Cleaver, but work and be as successful as the women on tv (for only an hour a week...), and we have our own expectations that we'll get dinner on the table, all the rooms will be clean (including bathrooms), our kids will have manners and be extra-smart, my babies will have baths, have the right birthday gifts, we'll have great marriages, etc. You get the idea. I'm actually working with the book, wrote down all my expectations (yes, indeed impossible) and am adjusting. What can I do without? What is just fluff? and the best question: what would you do if you had an extra hour a day? It was hard (well, easy to answer: pray, exercise, and blog), but does that mean I'm leaving the fun stuff out of my day regularly? Am I slaving to do the junk that doesn't matter to me, only to other people? Hmph. I'm still working on me, and I think it'll be for the better! : )

Today is my anniversary. Yay for us! Don't you love dedication? I love that I don't have to second guess my marriage and its stability (well, except for when I'm really whiny and demanding). My husband is so patient and really helps. I'm learning about husbands too in the book. They don't have a clue what we want. They try to tiptoe around to avoid setting off the hairpin triggers (I learned)! I promise to tell him what I need. And we are resolving to spend more time on us, and less on the kids. Sometimes they just rule our schedule. Not this year. We have to be important and strong to keep our family strong.

I've decided to forego the slumber party manual. Number One reason: my mom summed it up in my last post comments. Number Two: time has elapsed and the stress is leaving my body. Number Three: you have to experience it to understand. No amount of me telling you shall help. Suffice it to say that you need sleep (beforehand, Silly, there'll be none that night), lots of food and drinks, lots of activities (lest they tell you how "Boring" this is, or how "Bored" they are, and ask "What are we doing NOW?"), and have a set, and understood, time for them to go home. You will be crushingly sleep deprived and full of stress, again. Enough said.

We are rounding out the school year, we have today, tomorrow, and Monday as our last days of school (who has a last day on a Monday, really?). The kids are ready, and I think I'm ready. After the slumber party, and along with other things my kids shouldn't know, I'm considering home schooling. I have checked out some curriculum and texts, and of course, I have a degree for it. I don't like what they are learning (oh, sure, their teachers are great!) from the kids at school. They know too much and our dinner conversation last night consisted of the word A-S-S. We had to explain the meaning (which they knew), and Clay explained how a kid at school told him, and was pointing to it in a horse (non-fiction, of course) book. It's stuff like this all the time. I just don't know what they'll learn in another two or three years. They have had an amazing experience at their school, their teachers have all been the best, so it's not that (and I love that I can get my hair done with no babysitter required...). I just care about the humans they'll be in 10 years. and 20. and beyond. I want them to know about compassion and respect (which Clay is losing at an alarming rate) and honor. I think I'll teach them this summer while Ches is working and we'll see how it goes.
They want me to teach them, but they don't understand it's not all fun and games. It could be old hat by July, and they'll want rid of me! But, we'll make an effort, and see how it could be. Maybe I could use the devotion and dedicated time to my kids. I just know I've only got 10 and 11 years with them before they go to college. I want to give them my best. I just have to figure out what that is.


The Mom behind the Chaos said...

DO IT!!!
Homeschool those sweeties! There is a homeschool conference in Springdale this weekend- Friday and Saturday. I am going and I would love to see you there!! AND I am starting a co-op this fall. We will meet on Friday afternoons to learn and play together. Let me know if you are interested!!

Good luck with your decisions...those are some of the same reasons we keep ours home.

Holly said...

Thank you. It's tough. I did talk to Mary Claire's teacher today, and she was soo sweet and helpful. : )
Where is the conference and when is it? and what's a co-op exactly?

thanks, dallas! : )

Gigi said...

Happy Anniversary Holly! Hope your night out was fun and happy.

Clay has tons of compassion. When precious Mary Claire tumbled down the steps, it was Clay who got to her first, wrapped himself around her and comforted her as she cried. When Ethan awoke from his nap, sweet little Clay brought a diaper and wipes downstairs. He is extremely thoughtful and kind. All the kids are kind, considerate and loving. Sissy is the epitome of caring and loving. She is a total 'giver' in all that she does. Ethan is charming and sweet (and has you wrapped around his little finger) and he is so loving with his little kisses and hugs.

Having said that, when said children are in the midst of invited children and the crazed look comes over their faces and they fail to recognize their name, simple commands, that is totally normal. They have the world at their feet and are so blown away at being given this much power, they are unrecognizable. Hopefully we have all been that excited or overly-excited in our lifetimes?

Just wait until I win the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes. You won't recognize me either, well, after the surgery and makeover and new car, etc. and who knows if I will ever return from my frequent trips to Italy? lol

Sometimes you have to sort of step out of the picture to see things as others do. These are the best children in the world!!

Raising children is not an art form it is a priesthood, not for the faint of heart. For those ready to face the challenges of the really really bad times, the euphoric hallelujah's of the fantastic times of happiness and success, and all that middle ground between the good, the bad and the very ugly, the rewards are innumerable and very satisfying.

Whatever decision you make will be the right one for you because in the end, it will be you who makes it happen. (Re: Home School vs. Public School vs. Parochial School)

By the way: I feel like I am sitting in a chocolate ice cream cone with a bad smell. For future notice, all painting will be with a more 'Lisa LaPorta' type color and a 'green' type paint with no obnoxious odor. Wonder what Lisa would put on these walls to diffuse the chocolate? The trim can't be painted the perky Marine Gloss White until I can take full breaths without covering my nose with my t-shirt.

Have a great day!