Sunday, January 15, 2017
Do you ever feel judged by the way you parent? Most of the time, I can say that I do not feel judgement regarding my parenting. Of course this may be because I'm oblivious to it, or honestly just don't concern myself with it. On the flip side, I truly hate to admit this....I really do, but I do care what people think about certain things. I hate admitting that, and it's been a real struggle for me to learn to not overanalyze every little thing that people say, do, don't say, don't do. Honestly most people could care less what I say or do unless it directly affects them. I lived so much of my life wondering if I had offended that person, because they didn't wave to me in the hall. Or what I did to upset that person, because they didn't reply to my email. Or why that person never invites me to his/her get togethers. I have gotten past so much of those feelings of insecurity and not being good enough, but it is something I have to work on constantly. I think a lot of this progress in overcoming those feelings has come with age. I have realized I am truly doing my best (most of the time), and if that's not good enough for people...then so be it. I also know that the only opinion that matters is God's. Although I know this, it is still difficult not to worry about others' opinions as well. As I said, much of the change in me has come with age, experience and the lack of concern or obliviousness of people's opinions regarding my life and choices. As long as I'm doing the best I can to live the way God is leading, then I have to just know that is good enough. One area where I still get confused glances or an occasional snide comment is with my children and their extra curricular activities or lack thereof in most cases. I am not a fan of busyness....yes you've heard this time and time again....and I will forever say it, because I'M NOT! There are things that I strongly encourage
force upon my kids, but only if I think it will benefit their body, mind, soul, spirit. If they try it, and it truly is not a good fit; then that's that. I don't believe in signing my kids up for every single available activity there is. Honestly I would be in a horrible mood if all of our time was taken up with practices, rehearsals, performances, games, meetings, classes, etc. It has been hard to find a balance in this area, because my people are so different. I have a few, who would be happy in their rooms with a good book and good tunes, all day long. I have one, who loves to go and go and go and go and go, and doesn't mind having something every single day. I have a few, who are somewhere in between. When I was a first time mommy, I remember thinking we needed to do all the "good" stuff; and there is a lot of "good" stuff. My firstborn was one who easily acclimated to about anything and didn't mind going and going and going. It wasn't until the the 5th came along, and my 3rd child was about five; that she enlightened me that we didn't have to sign up for everything offered. When I asked my smack dab in the middle child what she wanted to sign up to do outside of school, she thought about it for a while and replied with...."I just wanna be a kid". I remember the feeling of relief that came over me, because I was exhausted from being on the go. But also there was a tad bit of guilt, because most of her friends were involved in something outside of school. She had no interest in doing anything "extra", because she wanted time to read, climb our tree, play outside, draw and rest. Because she is exactly like I was as a child, I completely understood this desire; and we allowed her to "just be a kid". However, I did find myself concerned with her not being involved in something that would help grow her passions. Even still, I have done my best to be very intentional about what we sign up to do. If they want to try it, and it's too expensive or too time consuming; we just explain this. And you know what, they get it. We made a decision a few years ago, that we would not sign up for anything that took up our entire weekends, so we could be spontaneous; and that has been a huge blessing. We have been able to do road trips and adventuring and play games and just be together. We have also been able to rest which is extremely important in our house. We are a group that needs rest and most of us require quite a bit of downtime too. Last year was the first time in a few years that we took something on on Saturdays. We signed Cal up for baseball through the Miracle League. Neil Payne read about the commitment involved, the opportunities, etc. beforehand. Cal LOVES baseball, but he has never played due to his special needs. This was an opportunity we could not pass up for him, so we let him try it. His game is over by noon and lasts one hour max, and the whole family LOVES LOVES LOVES watching him. It's one time, we don't have to battle the alarm for ourselves or the girls. We may slowly take on more activities on the weekends and weekdays, but for now; we are content. The main thing I want to give my children and my husband is time devoted to just them. So when people ask me what my homeschooling child does for socialization, I say...she plays with her friends and spends time with her family; and that's good enough for us.