I was on my way home from the gym last night and this country tune came on the radio as I was flipping the channels, and boy, did the lyrics really catch my ear! “Livin’ life like a Sunday stroll/ Free and easy down the road I go.”
How many of you are stressed out, nervous and anxious about your parenting path? About discipline? About homeschooling? How much is too much, or is it not enough? How to deal with family members? With friends whom you suddenly feel apart from?
I think actually when your child is three or four years of age, this can be a hard time for mothers. Presumably you have made it through the whole “your child is still breastfeeding?” and the whole “your child sleeps where?”, but now the discipline questions and the school questions really come to the forefront. It can be so isolating to feel as if you are parenting and looking at school choices so differently than everyone else!
I want to encourage you to hang in there! What choices you make now do matter for the future, and I find we are in a strange dichotomy in society today with parenting: we seem to have either the “hover parents” who are scared to let their children out of their sight and hold on so tightly, or we have the parents who seem to treat parenting a child as if it is an inconvenience. And I guess somewhere in between is those of us who are trying to make thoughtful choices whilst not losing the forest for the trees! And please, if you are judging yourself that in the past you were not mindful about your parenting choices and are now trying to change, please congratulate yourself on your success, on your baby steps of progress, and stop beating yourself up over your perceived “failures”. Life and parenting is a journey, and we all have to start somewhere!
Rest easy, my friends. Lighten your load for this month of February and take it day by day. You really don’t have to have all the answers today. Some of parenting is just experience, and growing in confidence. No one has really asked me with my third where he sleeps or how long he is going to breastfeed or when I am going to put him in school. And if they did ask, it wouldn’t bother me to tell them. I feel happy and confident with my parenting and schooling choices, but I also don’t feel the need to judge anyone else’s choices.
If you seem happy and confident, then people tend to leave you alone. If you seem anxious or stressed, people want to step in and “help”, which typically includes suggestions to cry it out, wean, send your child away to school….Try to see their motives as positive, and if their motives truly are not positive, feel free to tell them the topic is really not up for discussion!
Most of all, be joyous and have patience! It takes time to figure things out in parenting, and in ten years, you may see some things in parenting much differently than you do now. Be that free and easy soul and relax into your loving family.
Thanks so much for this post! I am starting to homeschool my 5 yr old and am still breastfeeding my 20 month old, and I am getting questions and “looks” for both. I needed to read this post this morning!!!
Just what I needed to hear today! Thank you!
Very well said! I agree about the younger years being difficult as if so many are shaking their heads at your decisions or waiting for that ceiling to cave in and when it doesn’t – there can be criticism out of insecurity. What has helped us in our journey is to grasp tightly to our instincts and block out all the rest. Listening to your baby, listening to your heart is the first step and then trust yourself to do what you know deep inside your soul is best. While the Robert Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken”, doesn’t totally encompass this, his last line does…”Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Perhaps one day, attachment parenting and homeschooling will be more mainstream – but until then, hold your head up high that you are doing the very best you can do for your precious family.
I am really enjoying your blog, Carrie. Thank you for bringing these soul reminders to your readers 😀
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Lovely, lovely post today- THANK YOU. My oldest is four, and kindergarten registration is in a few weeks. My parents are out of the country right now and don’t know our decision to not enroll her, and start homeschooling this year (our previous thoughts were to start in first grade.) It might not be pretty when they get back next week! I know she would have fun in kindergarten, and yes: she only gets to do kindergarten once. But you know what? I know that, and I want to do it together!
Your blog is such a blessing to me! While I benefit from all of the information you so graciously share with us, I feel like this topic appeared at just the right moment for me. Thank you!
thank you for this post, thak you for this blog.
just carrie on:-)
Sara from Hungary
This was so helpful. Here in Wales UK my daughter would just be starting school 5 afternoons a week!!! She’s not but I so needed to read your post as life has been very stressful lately and parents have been trying to step in and offer help…send them to school, stop breastfeeding etc etc. I needed to remember that I managed fine the first time round and will manage again second time around. My boys are 20months, 8 and 10 and girl is 3!!!
This is a post I am going to print out and pin up. I need reminding to take it easy while I do the inner work on building my confidence.
Thanks so much for your inspirational blog! It’s amazing to me how many of your posts speak directly to feelings or situations I’m currently experiencing. Thanks for the uplifting words.
Impeccable timing as usual, Carrie:)
I feel like I sailed through homebirth-ing extended breastfeeding, and co-sleeping pretty easily but homeschool thing has caused me so much stress! I guess it is the most public parenting decision I’ve had to make, and it does affect the tenor of our days. Yes, it does feel isolating a lot of the time.
Most of the problem seems to be my own “nerves,” and when we have a rough day then I start questioning my choices. I gather this is really common.
Honestly I was praying for some help today. So I will take it from you, and rest easy for this month. It is good not to have all the answers, but to take it day by day.
You really have no idea how absolutely perfect this was for me to find tonight. After a very difficult and trying day and feeling very much like I am not being the parent I want to be, finding this was nourishment to my soul.
“If you seem happy and confident, then people tend to leave you alone. If you seem anxious or stressed, people want to step in and “help”
This is so true,Carrie! It is so important to love your child more than what other people think.