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May 02, 2011


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Very nice post and quite true as well.

What a wise article! I am not there yet, but I'm aspiring to your parenting methods. We live in a dusty part of the world with few household appliances, so we, in common with a lot of our neighbours, have a full-time cleaner. It's very easy for children to have a sense of entitlement in this environment - but I'm fighting against it. And I've not heard the awful, "But that's C's job!" yet...

The tough part for me right now is, "Where do I fit into this equation?"

I'd give my eye teeth right now to have something - anything - that feels like normal, average family. Where I have the energy to enforce chore responsibility instead of being on the phone arranging therapy and surgery and hearing tests.

I would love nothing more right now than to debate someone on the merits of organic vs. non-organic toddler puffs.

OMG!! SOOOOOO TRUE!!! I constantly struggle with balance, that and having the energy to do anything! My biggest struggle is wanting my children to be children and wanting to teach them responsibility. All 3 of mine have chores, but I don't always enforce them. Inconsistency is probably my biggest flaw. I am really bad about wanting them to go outside, run around and play and do some chores, usually playing wins out. I want my kids to be kids as long as they can! I remember feeling as though my parents had us just so that they had a work force. I grew up on a farm, and we never lacked for work to do! As an adult I understand more why, with 8 kids to corral my folks needed to have something to keep us busy as well as teach us how to work. I appreciate it now, I wish we had done more family fun things. I am also guilty of not playing with my children, I will watch them play, and I try to, but then I think of all the things I should or could be doing. I suppose with time and age I will get better with this! I hope! I loved this post, thank you!

Nice article, thanks for the information.

Love this, love this, LOVE THIS. I think this generation of parents (those of us raised generally speaking in the 70s & 80s, early90s) saw the kids behind us grow up with the "want of nothing" and how that created a bit of an entitlement complex which we absolutely do not want for our kids. And thus we in turn are parenting in just the way you so eloquently described. It's the relationship in life that matters.

loving this post right now and your quote. Can I steal it? ;)

I'm with you. Kids don't learn to be happy by having things handed to them or by being protected from work. They learn happiness by seeing others' happy! Every now and again, I love to whip up homemade cupcakes or pizza dough, and have my kids assist. But most of the time I like to get take out, or pull something out of the freezer. And I'm enjoying teaching my children to help me out around the house. They are at the age (well except for the 5-month-old) that they LIKE to help me. I'm taking advantage of that as long as possible!

thank you. Man did I need that this week! I need to let us all breathe a bit more. I struggle with that. Just being us and being ok with that. I do cook almost every meal from scratch, but that's how I get my happy on. The laundry however. ugh.

I'm so tired to holier-than-thou mommy bloggers who preach and scream and wave their arms. I'm a let my kid watch TV and play video games/let's read a book together/no you can do it yourself/I'm not cooking a gourmet meal for your 4 year old bum kind of mommy. That doesn't make me a Bad Mother, it makes me a Real Mother.

Duh. What kid wants his memories to be that of a frazzled, angry Mom trying to hold herself up to some self imposed, unattainable standard?

Oh! I'm so glad that you write! And that I get to read what you write.

Excellent. Just excellent. I've been feeling rather out of sorts in the motherhood comraderie dept. lately mainly because I have been a bit on the judgy side. This helped me tone down my own stress and see the bigger picture and reign in that Judgy Mom syndrome that we are sometimes all guilty of. Thanks.

Finding the balance is a constant struggle for me. I have to fight the urge have a spot house with laundry always folded and put away, kids that speak 4 languages and are always well behaved, scratch made food and clothes, not just homemade, but made from patterns drafted from my own imagination. Oh, yeah, and not get fired from my paying job.

This is a good reminder that it's ok to be lazy. It's better than ok; it's sanity saving.

Love this. I am bookmarking it for future reading when (if) I ever have kids.

I needed to read this today (and most likely everyday hereafter.) Thanks for putting it all into perspective.

Oh, Kristen. So true and honestly, the homemade cake means so much more to us than it does to them. They want the shiny rosettes damnit ;)

Accepting the balance of what you can and what you want to do is so challenging as a Mom. I think you are right though, if keeping a perfectly groomed home and gourmet dinners on the table is making you nuts and bitter, then it just isn't worth it.

I think your kids helping, wanting a bit and feeling loved is about as close to perfect as it gets.

I just want my brood to have it as good as I did as a child.

There's a statement you don't hear very often, but for me, it fits.

You're raising your kids to learn how to make themselves happy and be useful, be problem solvers and how to entertain themselves. This is a good thing and no one could ever dare hold this against you.

Dude, if I ever manage to have a blog again, either my own or whatever, I'm totally writing my own damn post about this. I work full time, outside the home, and you know what, I buy bars for the family gathering from a bakery. But if that is what I have to do to have some time for my kid (almost kids) then so be it.

Thanks Kristen, I needed to read this today.

One of the many, many reasons I wish we were neighbors.

I know that our children will look back upon memories of their childhood homes with far greater fondness than we do when we think of our own.

Great post. I'll admit that I'm somewhere between free range and tiger mom (I suppose that means I'm fine with sending my kid to the jungle and making a 4-course meal).
when my kids get a case of the "I wants" I remind them that it's good to want -- it makes them work harder.

Hehe, Sherry. I do like my organic blueberries. When I can get them :)

Very true words. Ordinary moms unite!

Oh God. That was refreshing! In this world of baby-wearing, crafty-momma-blogs, organic blueberries and CIO will cause brain damage, I often feel so ALONE in my parenting. I like knowing there's someone like me out there. Now, if you could just show up for the next playdate...

Lovely. Singing my song. xo

I honestly could not agree more. I feel so strongly about this. As you say, you think it's good for them to want. I think it's good for my kids to learn that nobody's world revolves around them. I think they're going to learn that eventually, so let's start out there. I think it will make them more empathetic and compassionate members of society someday, which is my ultimate goal. That and the diffuse, ineffable goal of happiness, as you mention.

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