Adventures in Unschooling

A bad day, a wonderful husband and a box of books from Amazon.

Posted on: February 7, 2009

For those who read my blog post 100 things about me, you might remember that I am addicted to buying books. One of my resolutions was to borrow from the library more often instead of buying. It also lets me read it first and see if it’s worth keeping on the book shelf. Yet, I couldn’t resist these activity books. They were a temporary ray of sunshine into a bad, dreary day.dsc040721

I won’t have much time to even look at these since I have a mountain of library books to get through but they look pretty cute at a glance.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and spend the morning accidentally hurting myself on door frames and table legs as well as tripping over the dogs, the cat and the kids! I also had a headache and felt dead tired.

Anyways, my bad mood affected the kids and they became increasingly whiny and grumpy making my day even worse.

Then I logged on to the cyber world and started to feel attacked. It was very clear from the posts of so many that they felt that my tiny little bit of structure was wrong. I took it all very personally being in such a sensitive place in my parenting journey and being in such a foul mood. It obsessed me all day and I check back a gazillion times  to see if anyone else had “advice” to give to me. I’ll go more into this a few paragraphs down.

By the time my husband got home I was one big ball of frustration. Frustration with myself for being so grumpy, frustration at my kids for not understanding that I needed a break, frustration at the online mamas for thinking their approach was better than the one I liked and even going so far as to imply that it could hurt my kids.

My husband wanted to do all he could to help so he arranged for family to watch the kids so we could have a couple hours to ourselves. Just as we were heading to our date destination I started to get a migraine and groaned to myself that, yeah, this was a perfectly awful end to a pretty awful day.

This didn’t deter the best husband in the world. He took me home and dimmed all the lights. He gave me an aroma-therapeutic massage from scalp to toes. Then he helped me wash up in the shower ever washing my hair. It was so wonderful to be pampered so thoroughly when I felt so miserable. Then he settled me into bed. He tried to read to me but his voice just echoed into my head so I had to ask him to stop. Then he let me sleep while he went and picked up the kids, put them to bed and brought me a yummy snack. What a guy! That certainly made today’s mood better.

Now it’s the next morning and I feel ready to say my piece. Everyone hopes that they are doing the best they can for their kids. Some even think they definitely are. The truth is that you won’t know until you can see the adults they grow into.

We are all different and we all expect our kids to grow up with certain qualities. I want my boys to be good to women. I want them to respect the earth and others. I want them to have the drive to follow their dreams and be truly happy.

I have made some decisions about certain topics inthese blogs for myself. I am still going to read the recommended material but I doubt my decision will change about these:

*I will still tell me kids that they have done a good job when I believe they have.

*I will not, as I have not for months, make a mountain out of mole hills but I will insist on cooperation when it comes to brushing teeth, holding hands in malls and cleaning up their toys when I need the space.

If I invest so much time into making them happy and well adjusted at every turn I will expect them to do things that they may not want to do at times. I see the house as a co-op. We all live here. We all share it and we should all contribute in making it a nice place to live for everyone.

I have little time left for myself after I meet everyone’s needs. I need my kids to give me some respect and do their part in our home. I will be understanding of the root causes of whining, fighting, fussing etc. and make sure that their needs are being met but I will also expect them to share in the joys and responsibilities of our family unit.

We are far from dictators. Our kids get to make suggestions for what activities we do when we go out. They pick their day time activities almost ALL the time. They pick their own clothes and books to read. They pick the movies we rent. We basically allow them to be a part of our everyday lives.

I am tired of people trying to make me feel like a bad parent because I don’t do everything they do. I do an awful lot and where I stop is where I think I shouldn’t or can’t go anymore. It’s like when I used to go to ASAC meetings and there were a couple moms that would sneer at the non E-C moms or the moms who give their kids soothers. It’s not enough that we breastfeed, co-sleep, live for our kids. I disagree. I think we all have different ideas about what we want and each of our approaches are tailor made for each of our kids.

What makes my husband and I’s marriage so strong is that we work at it. It doesn’t always tickle his fancy to empty the garbage but he does it because he doesn’t want to me feel uncared for. I want my kids to realize that other people’s needs are important. I know a couple husbands who only do what they want to and their wives are ready to leave them, sitting on the couch playing video games.

The world isn’t just about what we want. And about the natural consequences I do believe in making kids clean up their messes. It doesn’t have to be mean. There is nothing wrong with saying, “My what a mess you have made. Let’s a towel and mop that up.”

Anyways, I am not wanting to be vindictive but rather to say that although I appreciate the opinions of others but I reserve the right to keep whatever pieces of wisdom for myself and say, “No thank you” to the rest.

It’s like when I talk to others about the dangers of vaccination. I make my case, let them make their decision and never bring it up again. I think it’s my right to educate but I don’t expect everyone to see everything the way I do. We are responsible for our own kids and only an idiot would listen to someone else’s instructions and follow them to the letter.

Anyways, that was intense. I think I am all done now. It’s just that I let all of this eat me up yesterday and I thought it would be therapeutic to release all of that.


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  • None
  • withoutloveweallperish: 50 books for $10!! As a book lover, that sounds like Christmas come early! Lovely library set up, need to set up one of those for myself!
  • theworldismysoyster: Sure. Just none of my kids. :)
  • goobrobinson: Hi! I'd like to seek your permission if I can reuse one of your pictures for my next post? Specifically the second picture.


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