Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lazy parents we are not. :-)

I don't tout myself as an amazing parent and I question what I do almost daily, but I do think that overall I do a pretty good job.  I think I'm so very inspired to do that because of the lack of parents that I had, the lack of parents I see a lot of kids have, and the difficulty in the beginning of my relationship with Zane.  There's a lot to make up for and I guess ultimately what it comes down to is if I'm going to do this (raise kids) then I'm NOT going to half-ass it and I'm going to do my best to not screw them up to the core.  You see I wasn't sure I'd be raising Zane myself until very late in my pregnancy.  I was almost completely certain he was going to be adopted and I knew who would be adopting him and so much of that was the simple fact that I don't know how to raise kids.  I was 19, drunk, and high on whatever I could get my hands on when I got pregnant.  Fortunately for the both of us, I've always been able to know right from wrong, especially when it came to other people, so the drugs and the drinking stopped as soon as I knew.  I couldn't wait to get them back, since that's what I knew and what I was good at.  The concept of teaching someone life was beyond untouchable.  So, when the potential adoptive family pulled out, I freaked!  I hadn't let any of my family know that I was considering adoption yet, because I knew they'd all be disappointed and mad at me or worse, want to raise him themselves.  All of a sudden I found myself in a foreign country.  I was against the whole idea of putting him up for adoption to someone I couldn't know, because my thought process was "I'm doing this so someone can do a good job.  If I don't know if they will, then isn't it at least better to end up with your screwy biological parent rather than your screwy adoptive parent."  This meant I was keeping him all to myself.

I think I did a lot of things terribly wrong during the first couple of years.  In fact, I didn't become a conscious parent until a while after I met Jon.  Some things about this man and this boy tell me that God is with me and every decision I make no matter what.  Jon was the first person in my life to love me FULLY and show me that I rock (which I still don't fully believe, but regardless...that's what he's showing me.)  That, in turn, has inspired me to have the belief in myself to be the parent I know my kids deserve.

So when I get questions or hints at the thought that maybe I'm a lazy parent I get equally mad, sad, offended, unsure of myself, confident, and excited to keep on doing what I'm doing, which is constantly self-analyze and evolve right along with the kids.

Having two lazy parents myself, I know good and well that the LAST thing a lazy parent wants to do is spend time with their children.  To think unschoolers could possibly be lazy is crazy talk.  This is a fuller-than-full-time job.  And, I know.  I've worked full time while raising Zane and I've stayed at home both while Zane was a baby for a short time and now that I have both kids.  Being home with kids all day, every day is more demanding than anything I've experienced before.  Rest assured.  :-)

Adding the full responsibility privilege of the children's education on your willingness to LISTEN to them is no easy feat, my friends.  What was easy was waking up at 6am every day, making breakfast, making lunch (keeping in mind we don't really do packaged foods, this is all FOOD being made) packing some papers into a backpack, rushing Zane through his morning routine usually involving some sort of meltdowns, coming home to spend time with Stori and Jon, volunteering many hours at the school, juggling nap around school-out time, picking Zane up from school, forcing him to do homework even though he just finished 7-ish hours of schoolwork, making snack, resting for a bit, making dinner, family walking, spending time with Stori while Zane played with friends or games or whatever else he wanted to, baths, showers, put Stori to bed, listen to Zane read me a Story, read Zane a story, supplements, goodnights, relax.  Repeat.  That was easy because it was monotonous.  It's easy to do the same thing over and over again.  It's annoying, frustrating, and BORING too, but easy no less.

What's not easy is keeping our brains active and going without forcing the issue.  It's not always easy to inspire a child.  Much easier to "make" a child (do this or that).  Not easy to find all the answers the child wants.  Much easier to let the teachers do it for them.  Not easy to decide what you're doing out of habit and programming and what you're doing intentionally from a conscious decision.  Much easier to do what the magazines, books, masses tell you to do.  Not easy to teach lessons from all things that happen.  Much easier to yell when children don't do the right thing and then spoil them out of guilt.  Not easy to face the scrutiny of people who think you're lazy.  Much easier to go with the flow and hide in it.

I think when people think of us as lazy it's because we allow our kids to learn what is appropriate for their brains and hearts to handle at any given time.  I've just recently heard about this and haven't read too much into it yet, but am super drawn to the idea that we learn different things and different ways at different stages in life.  I've thought that myself and am so turned off by the ideas of teaching babies to read, toddlers their ABCs, or preschoolers math.  That may LOOK like we're sitting back and not doing anything when in all actuality there's a LOT of observing, thinking, planning, and dialogue going on.

Ultimately, I think the whole thing comes down to being symbolic of a language barrier.  There are parents who hover and are on top of everything their kids do and there are parents who observe and are into everything their kids do.  These two types tend to butt heads a lot because both have their filters through which they see the others and since both parties ARE conscious parents and both parties are trying to do things RIGHT but both parties are doing things in opposite ways; they tend to believe they can't get along or even accept what the other is doing.  When in all actuality these two forces are just part of the symbiosis of basic physics.  For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  We are all doing the same, opposite thing.

That being said, I'll make you a deal...  I'll recognize and embrace the fact that you have a story and a reason behind what you consciously choose to do without looking at your choices with disapproval and you reciprocate that for me.  Game on??  ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment