September 16, 2012

My parenting dream

My parenting style was atypical this past week.

I not only sent my children off to school, I welcomed them home.  I picked up my daughter at school.  I took my son to his trombone lesson.  I had the pleasure (pain) of reminding them to do their homework.

A few years ago I found these tasks laborious. Better to delegate them. Partly because they were stressful:  wrangling children into doing homework and chores isn’t my strong suit. This week, I wanted it to be.  I have always loved my children, but the more time I spend with them, the more I like them.  The more I appreciate them for who they are.  The less I try to perform as a parent.  The more I try to simply be their mother.

Frequently there is the perception that being a parent isn’t a a bona fide dream. It is.  The further I go down this mothering path, trying to engage with my children as human beings, I’m increasingly convinced that parenting is among the most daring of dreams. As a parent we have very little control, but so much at stake. Perhaps because of this Theodore Roosevelt said, “It is impossible to win the great prizes of life without running risks, and the greatest of all prizes are those connected with the home.”

True that.

  • http://whenyouwakeupamother.com Chrysula

    Could not agree more. Love the nexus of so much at stake and so little control. Except that I also hate it, if you know what I mean. Sigh. Just last night a long chat with one of my children, where I asked lots of questions to invite her thoughts on solving a particular household problem, was so revelatory. And so binding between the two of us.

  • http://www.jennysdailyblessings.blogspot.com Jenny

    I love this.
    XO

  • Sally

    Wonderful Whitney. Thank you!

  • Elise

    As our family has approached the beginning of a new school year, I’m finding that both thinking through and addressing household/family issues in a collaborative manner is making the time we spend together more meaningful. I’ve marveled at both the sheer number of hours our morning and evening routines occupy and the sense of togetherness and unity we develop as we approach them as family time. No substitute for time in any relationship – especially true at home.

  • Lyn Anderson

    Wow! So well said! This expresses my feelings and experience exactly! It was my privilege to provide growth and educate my children at home for over thirty years. The more I was with them the more I wanted to be with them and the easier it got. I enjoy their different personalities and relating to them as individuals.

  • http://gooddisruptivechange.com/ Susan Alexander

    Great post, Whitney.

    When my daughter was born, I left the practice of law and spent 10+ years as a full-time parent. I loved it. The whole experience just happened to be my strong suit – just about everything about parenting seemed to come naturally to me, and when I needed help, guidance, etc., I found it.

    Now that I’m working on what amounts to my own Dare Dream Do adventure, I’ve wondered, sometimes, whether I should have kept a toe in the water somehow, professionally, in all those years I didn’t work outside the home.

    Here’s what I’ve decided: It’s OK that I didn’t. I really enjoyed the full focus, and I’m sure my daughter did too (and she benefited tremendously from it).

    Starting something new at this point does seem scary sometimes. How great it would be if it were all established and thriving at this point – but it’s not, and that’s OK. I make it a point to let myself get caught up in the process.

    I’m way past the Dare Dream part, and immersed in the Do part. I’m thankful for that. There’s nothing easy about it, but it’s great just the same.

    Again, great post. Thank you.

    :-) Susan

  • https://canscorpionssmoke.wordpress.com/ Steve Chapman

    This is lovely Whitney and brought a smile to my face as I returned home from my 5 yo daughter’s school run this morning. It is these short moments together that are so full of love, joy and imagination that I wish would last for ever.

    I sometimes catch my self losing sight of how important she is to me as work challenges pile up so I’ve taken to involving her more in my work, asking her questions, getting her wonderful and insightful perspective on things and getting her to provide the art work for my website and conference talks! She gets me to slow down, think differently and bring more play into my sometimes serious world.

    We both love this role of ‘creativity mentor’ that she plays for me and playing with her is a lesson in what life is all about.

    I love the post Witney – has inspired me today. Thanks.

  • http://mmmmblogspot.com Maria

    So true and well said. Being a mother has been and continues to be my greatest dream, adventure and accomplishment.

  • http://morkels.wordpress.com Anne

    Your talks have inspired me this week as I have realised that I have become a recent participant of ‘disruptive innovation.’
    We moved countries this last year which involved uprooting my family of 3 sons and this also meant an early retirement from my profession.I have tried to make sense of this ‘disruption’ and realised how it has blown fresh air into all our lives. I have begun to write to record this change and have joined the ranks of being a blogger! I will be reading your book from cover to cover!

  • Pingback: Whitney Johnson You Have a Good Kids

  • http://confessionsandcookbooks.blogspot.pt/ Susana

    I agree with you completely. And I have just read this when arriving late at work from leaving my children at school this morning, as my mother usually takes them but couldn’t today, and I love doing it myself.
    We’re going to move to another country a few months from now, and I’m contemplating getting a job there immediatelly or spending some time as a full time mom and pursuing a hobby that I have, to see if it works out. I’m thinking of it as my opportunity to change my professional direction to be more available for my children.

  • http://morkels.wordpress.com Anne

    Hi Susanna, it looks like you are about to do what we did just over a year ago. You might relate to some of my blog because of this. You can find me on: morkels.wordpress.com

You might also like…

  • A Portion of Thyself: Thoughts on Mentoring

  • rsz_julieann-caramels-03

    Rowena Montoya | How I Started JulieAnn Caramels

  • dont-change-mothers-letter-love-for-her-daughter-alya-naseer-paperback-cover-art

    Alya Naseer : Don’t Change, A Mother’s Letter of Love For Her Daughter

  • ourhappyplace

    Today I Can