Free to Raise.

A few weeks ago a group of mom’s was together, and the topic of free range parenting came up, there where laughs and shock, and lots of stories of neighbors or kids we knew who had this as a lifestyle. I was tired that night really, really tired, and couldn’t chime in and muscle myself into a conversation about something I feel so passionately about. No, I don’t free range parent. I am free to parent.

Simple as that.

No theories. No experts. No books.

Just my learned experience, shared experiences, and my gut reaction to what my husband and I feel is appropriate.

And I think that is good. I hope most people parent that way. That they don’t prescribe to the notion that they need to label themselves. Because here’s the great/not-so-great  🙂 thing about raising kids, the minute you say, I will never, you will get a kid that pushes your resolve on that. The more kids you have in your family, the more clearly you see, how your personality and your kids, all play together. How all these strengths and weakness, have different ways of needing to be molded or supported.  The best support system a family can have, extended family and family friends. The more opinions and experiences that you are exposed to as a parent, the less hard you are on both you and your kid. Go with the flow, let your kids take you on a parenting experience. If you go into it with the best of intention and a little bit of stubbornness and authority, chances are  your gonna have great kids.

I feel free to parent my kids as I see fit at that time, place and child. You should too. I won’t judge. Promise. I might ask a question about it, but its not to make you feel less confident as a parent, but for me to maybe learn something and add it to my parenting.

That’s is it.

Be free to parent.

 

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Why I Mowed My Lawn on Mother’s Day.

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If you are one of my neighbors you probably saw me out there, pushing that little gas mower around while my husband played with the kids. You probably thought, really? It’s Mother’s Day!

What you probably didn’t see was the bliss in my face as each row of grass was neatly cut after I walked by. How I may have paused at the top of the hill while the sun filtered through Crab Apple blossoms.

When I was a kid, I used to think my dad was a jerk cause the minute he got home from work, he played with us as my mom when out and mowed the lawn. All I could think was, hasn’t she worked enough today?

Fast forward, many years, I am at home with a babe of my own, getting frustrated as Art mows our tiny city lot as I hold a crying baby who won’t nap because the lawnmower is going. I call my mom in a voice that must have been filled with tears. She laughs a little as I explain my frustration with what seems an ongoing and weekly yard struggle. My mom gently, in only a way mom can, tells me that when we were little, she would wait for the minute my dad was home so she could start mowing. I was sitting there on the phone thinking “Really, Mom?!?!”  She explained when you mow the lawn, it blocks out the rest. It’s just you, the outdoors and that long grass that gives way to the blade leaving a neat space behind you.

I understand now, the need for a little room to escape, yet the simple pleasure of a job well done. All neat and tidy, no little hands undoing your work behind you.  I understand how the warmth of the sun, the sweat of good work, and the breeze, all pull you back to your center.

As a parent your work is never done, but if you can somehow find a way to let your work give you a little pleasure, or escape, your life will be so much the richer for it.  This is the real thing about parenting, you let people do the jobs they are good at, or need to do to grow

This Mother’s Day I thank my mom for knowing where to find her center. I thank my husband for knowing its all about walking the thin line between getting things done and relaxing. Most of all I thank my family for giving me a center to pull back to.

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Transitioning.

I can feel it coming, its not here yet but it will be, sooner than I think. Its hard not to wish away these days with the boys, full of chaos, yelling, stinky feet and sticky hands, but someday it will slow a little, and I will welcome that. It’s hard not to feel the guilt of wishing it away, but honestly, I do.

Someday there will be more hours between the chaos, then where will I be? Who will I be? It feels almost like a failure as a SAHM. That moment when, yup the kids don’t need me 24 hours of the day, so that makes me pretty much useless? This moment of transition is weighing heavily on my mind as I think about my future mixed in with my children’s because the biggest lie of motherhood is that when you become one you have an firm opinion on everything. I don’t. I am still learning, right there along with my kids. In the trenches of life everyday, those glorious, muddy sunlit trenches. Its hard work raising little peoples, while you are still raising yourself. That gray area where you are still figuring things out is where all the doubt creeps in. Its creeping. My mom friends who all retained some of their identity by keeping a part time job, or full time career, whether by choice or necessity, will more than likely make it through this transition easier. I feel like I am at the beginning of college and told I can do whatever, except I am getting older and I at the BEGINING. It’s frightening, what if I make bad choices with my work, my home, I am not just screwing it up for me, but my family. They would be the collateral damage. It’s happened.

Trying to jumpstart my fried brain, carry on a conversation that doesn’t revolve around development stages, to motivate myself with out little voices pushing me on, these things scare me.

I think people get offended when I talk about this, that just raising my kids isn’t enough. It’s not. Sorry. As much as I love my family. I need something to fuel my soul that I do for myself.

Where are you in the journey? How do you fuel your soul? Do you feel yourself growing, right there along with your kids?

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