Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Today I am me...

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Dr. Seuss.

I love Dr. Seuss.  He had a way to explain things, didn't he?  

I haven't gone on a trekk to see the Dalai Lama or the Pope or in some journey of self discovery.  As life has been unraveling, I've come to realize that I am me.  And Me is perfectly ok.

I'm a mother above all things.  I love my kids with all that I am and all I have and I hope one day they will remember the things I do with them with fondness.  I don't read parenting books, or blogs about parenting, or ask people how to handle a particular situation with my kids (unless it's people in my inner circle).  It's not that I think I'm smarter, or better than any other parent.  It's simply because I am unique as are my children as are all other parents in the world.  So what may work for someone else doesn't necessarily works for me.  I am who I am, and my kids are who they are so we will have to figure out our relationship as we go, without having other people's opinions influence it.

I'm also a working mother.  Before anyone gets their feathers ruffled, I'm not implying moms who stay home don't work.  I get up every morning, get dressed up, put on my stilettos and head to my office.  I spend most of my days surrounded by other professionals, discussing things that would kill most people with boredom.  And I often feel judged but the moms who chose to stay home with their kids, because I don't spend every waking hour with them.  I bring my kids to work with me from time to time.  They love telling people about my office, and how "cool" it is that I have this, or that in here.  I think they are getting a chance to see that women can have a career and still be simply moms at the end of the day.  One day my daughter will have to choose between staying home or having a career while simultaneously raising a family.  Regardless of her choice, I'll know I raised a woman capable of making the best choice for herself and her family. Do I want her to follow my footsteps?  No, because she is not me, her path will be her own.

I'm a homeschooling mother.  I don't fit the stereotypical idea most people have of a homeschooling mom.  I didn't chose this path for religious reasons, I chose this path because I believed it was the best choice for us.  I still do.  I homeschool off the beaten path, starting with my curriculum choices.  I decided when we started that trying to recreate school at home wasn't going to work for us.  I guess you can say we approach school our own way.  I allow my kids to learn from videos and computers, and while running outside, and from encyclopedias. I don't think learning is restricted to textbooks and quizzes, so I allow my kids to narrate back to me what they learned rather than having to write it.  Does that mean I think other families are wrong if they do use quizzes, and worksheets?  No.  You do what works for your family.  It's that simple.  Yet I see so much judgement between the homeschool community for those who do things "off the beaten path".

I volunteer my time.  I'm sure there are some who think I should be spending more time with the kids rather than spending time doing charity work.  But I believe in paying it forward.  Spending time with a child who may have no one to encourage them or to say a kind word to them makes me realize just how blessed I am to have such an incredible support system of family and friends.  I want my kids to grow up watching me pay it forward so one day they will do the same.  Let's keep the kindness alive.

I am opinionated, and stubborn, and determined.  I speak my mind, and yes, from time to time, I stick my foot in my mouth.  I love fiercely and I defend myself and my own the same way.  I don't conform to the norm, I don't want to be a cookie cutter version of someone else.  

I often tell the kids they don't have to do what others kids do just because it's the "thing to do".  Do what you feel it's right for you; not because Suzie Q. said it was what the cool kids are doing.  And who decides who the cool kids are anyway? There is so much peer pressure out there for our kids.  Starting with when girls are old enough to date and wear makeup, and get belly button rings, and the list goes on.  I want my kids to be ok being who they are, not who their friends think they should be. 

Always remember "there is no one alive who is youer than you". And that's good enough for me.