The Parent I Am vs. The Parent I Thought I Would Be
I am much different parent than I thought I would be. Let me back up a little before I take you out on a tangent and lose you along the way.
Do you remember those days before baby? Those idealistic days reading parenting books, sleeping in late, and thinking the baby really wouldn’t change your lifestyle “that much“. You were determined s/he would have very few toys and the ones she had would be simple, wooden, open-ended toys, and she would never watch T.V. and never ever have refined sugar (until she was at least 2). Only one of these came into fruition , my daughter has yet (to my knowledge) had any pop, that is soda for those of you non-Minnesotans out there. Oh and by the way you non-Minnesotans should totally start commenting on this blogity blog thingy. I know you are out there. Come out come out where ever you are!
Disclaimer: If you are a mom who stuck to her guns, I applaud you! Stop reading now! It’s great your children never zone out in front of TV for 15 min while you gulp down blazing hot coffee, they have never touched plastic, never consumed sugar and you have NEVER EVER raised your voice at your child(ren) in anger and frustration. Your honor I am SO guilty of all the said offences.
This post is for moms, especially those perpetually frustrated, perfectionist, idealistic moms (like me). Those moms whose children’s bed rooms/play areas are strewn with plastic (gasp) “Happy Meal” toys, cartoon character toys, plastic blocks, etc… This is for those moms whose initial parental idealism is so far from their current reality and they strive for their ideal but keep falling short, giving in and letting go their so-called ideals.
My children have many open-ended, wooden toys. And it’s not that I am completely against plastic either. What I have learned throughout my years as a parent is we can’t completely avoid it (plastic crap toys) unless we are über-vigilant. I personally feel being the über-vigilant parent is more destructive than a couple of well-meaning plastic toys from grandma. We don’t live in a bubble, grandparents bring gifts. I don’t want to become the gift Gestapo, but with Christmas coming I do want to set limits. Where are these limits? How do I set them? And with whom? How to we remain consistent while allowing our life to flex here and there? This is my struggle.
And this struggle, if you haven’t guessed is about more than toys.
I think how did I get here, in this plastic madness? When did I lose my values of simplicity? Or did I ever really ever lose them? When did I become the mom who yells who loses her patience far more than I would ever like to admit? I don’t know, but if this is resonates with you in any way holla back. Please don’t leave me hanging out here, k.
So here I am surrounded by 100’s of books, close-ended toys, dvds, and plastic, striving to align my parenting ideal with my parenting reality. Where do I start? I figure it ultimately starts with me. Oh that’s great, just what I need more self-evaluation! Yay!
Does this is sound like you? If so, where are you in your journey towards your personal ideal? I would love to hear what your struggle is/was or how you triumphed!
Let me leave you with this quote,
“I am an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going but I’m on my way.”
Update: Hubby and I were talking about this last night. He said, “Happy kids are important.” We talked about the values we want our children to have in regard to their stuff and the people around them. People and things should be respected and cared for. People before things. We don’t want our kids to treat their belongings as “disposable” and we especially don’t want our children to treat people and their relationships as disposable either.