How to Be a Parent: taking a breather

abby boid
With everything going on around you: the kids shouting; the dinner burning; that song on the radio you’re straining to hear; the fireworks (still) banging, do you ever lose your train of thought?

I do, often.

So I recap, often

One week into NaNoWriMo, this is my recap. More for my benefit, than yours. But if you are new to this blog, or just pop in now and then, you may find it helps you work out what I’ve been waffling on about all week, and it could give you an idea of the sort of thing that might follow over the next three weeks.

Come the new year, I may need to start back at work. There are a few changes we are making to our home, and I have increased how much time I help out at the local school. I’m not sure how blogging is going to fit into all this. I hope I can carry on my once a week habit, but if not, I thought it would be nice to pull together all the thoughts I’ve had on parenting over the last year and add to them.

I’ve explained a little more about myself. And then I’ve expanded on one of the main problems of modern parenting as I see it: it was great to see the post I wrote on the nonsensical, contradictory, confusing information given parents strike a chord with so many of you. It’s nice to know I’m not alone and hey, you’ve gotta laugh, right?

I had a bit of a wobble and wondered why, after criticising all the ‘advice’ out there on parenting, would I then want to add to that advice? Why on earth anyone should listen to what I have to say when it comes to parenting? In a nutshell, you shouldn’t unless you find what I write either uplifting or comforting or if it strikes a chord with you. I won’t provide you with a stab at a parenting philosophy. I will instead try to give you a philosophical take on parenting. If that’s the sort of thing that floats your boat, read on.

I’ve been a little nostalgic and reflected on what a ‘how to parent’ guide might have looked like a couple of generations ago. Yes, the guide was simple. But t’s not something I want to go back to. How about you?

It’s all good fun laughing at stereotypes of parents when the stereotype is so extreme it can’t possibly be real. But what when others, such as politicians or marketing experts, use these stereotypes to divide us and to satisfy their own vested interests? We can be left thinking that no parenting sub group is particularly good. But we all are. We are great. So it should be easy to define what a ‘good’ parent looks like, shouldn’t it?

It seems there are lots of people out there with the answers. But do they really have our best interest at heart?

I prefer to take my advice from Aristotle and Mary Poppins. Here’s why.

If you want to know a little more about Aristotle’s notion of human’s not doing more and more and more to be better and better and better, then hug a tree. Or read this post about flourishing.

But how do we flourish? Wondering that, I’ve been left with the somewhat daunting notion that as society has become more open minded to all sorts of parenting styles, parenting has perhaps faced an existential crisis of confidence. We have tried to fill the void with stuff we consume, but it’s not working.

But still, when you think of all the ‘stuff’ that many of us have, more specifically all I have, shouldn’t I just have this whole parenting lark sewn up and be enjoying this position of relative privilege?

There are some vague ideas in my mind as to where the next few weeks will take me. Perhaps I’ll look at needs vs wants. Perhaps I’ll see if so called ‘middle-class’ parenting problems are worth the blogs they’re written on.

What I do know is that, before the end of the week, I’d like to talk about children a little more. Because really, they are what ought to be at the centre of a reflection on parenting. Don’t you think?

I hope to see you here during the week. If not, I’ll do a few more of these roundups before the end of November, probably on the weekends. Maybe catch up then.

Hope you have a lovely lazy Sunday.

Cog x

___________________

I’ve realised that over the last year how many great bloggers I have started to follow.  I am endeavouring to share some of my favourites at the end of each NaNoWriMo post I do. Here is a recap of the ones I’ve mentioned this week.

Steve Rose at Steve Rose’s Blog

Olivia Fitzgerald at Put the Kettle On

Sonia Cisco at The Ramblings of a Formerly Rock N Roll Mum

Clare Flourish

Young and Twenty

Katie Kirby at Hurrah for Gin

Jo Sandelson at Heir Raising

Southwark Belle

13 thoughts on “How to Be a Parent: taking a breather

  1. Olivia FitzGerald says:

    Ah stop! I’m blushing now! Ha ha!!
    I’m always fascinated by your take on parenting and the way you throw in philosophy (I’ve never studied philosophy and I think it’s really cool).
    To quote Time thief, ‘blog on!’ 😉

    Like

  2. Grace says:

    My daughter is one and I am a single mother. Needless to say, I take a lot of breathers!

    Our children should be the center of our parenting, yes! You’re absolutely right. Matter of fact, our children should be at the center of our life every day.

    I hope my daughter continues to be my reminder to breathe, relax and slow down. I hope she’s always demands my attention. I hope she interrupts me ten more times before I finish this comment. I hope she colors on the wall at some point, needs me in the middle of the night, stays up until dawn, and stays the primary reason that Excedrin stays close by! I’ll take it. Because if those human/messy mommy moments were to ever go missing from my life, the silence would kill me. She’s my heart.

    Many parents today make it okay to be “too busy.” We justify it with “there’s work to be done and bills to be paid.” “Dinner isn’t going to fix itself.” “I’m almost done with this call. Hold on! Sit still. Be quiet!”

    As parents, we never have enough hours in the day.

    We wake up and we rush through it; same hustle and flow until sundown. Then we have the time and our children become our center once more.

    But, for me, I demand more of myself for her. I quickly learned to say, “It can wait.” It’s not always easy, no.

    “Mom” means that we should make it a point not an option.

    Work will always be there. The bills, dust and laundry, will always be there, too. Tomorrow you are not promised the hand of your child to hold or your heart to beat in your chest.

    Love them today.

    Her smile makes it 100% worth it every.single.day! ♥

    PS. Hi, I’m Grace. I’m a professional rambler, posing blogger, college student, child advocate, and one heck of a hot mess! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Abby Boid says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and for your gorgeous, thoughtful comment. Sounds like your little girl is really really lucky. Oh, and she will definitely colour on the walls at some point! It wipes off the shiny-painted walls easier I find. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Grace says:

    Reblogged this on Uncommon Graces and commented:
    I’m an amature blogger, professional rambler, full-time college student, part-time daydreamer, wanna-be poet lost in thought . . . and a new parent.

    My daughter is one and I’m raising her alone. I’m a single mom. Needless to say, I take a lot of breathers! I’m also a fan of Aristotle and Mary Poppins.

    So when I ran across this blog, it immediately caught my attention. The ending brings to the attention of the reader that our children should be the center of our parenting and our desire to be the best parent we can. I agree.

    Our children should be the center of our life and our parenting every single day.

    I hope my daughter continues to be my reminder to breathe, relax and slow down. I hope she always demands my attention. I hope she interrupts me ten more times before I finish this post. I hope she colors on the wall at some point, needs me in the middle of the night, stays up until dawn, and stays the primary reason that Excedrin stays close by at all times.

    I’ll take it.

    Because if those human, messy mommy moments were to ever go missing from my life, the silence would kill me. She’s my heart.

    Many parents today make it okay to be “too busy.” We justify it with: “There’s work to be done and bills to be paid.” “Dinner isn’t going to fix itself.” “I’m almost done with this call. Hold on! Sit still. Be quiet!”

    As parents, we never have enough hours in the day.
    We wake up and we rush through it; same hustle and flow until sundown. And then we have the time and our children become our center.

    But, for me, I demand more of myself for my daughter. I quickly learned to say, “It can wait.” It’s not always easy. Sometimes, school and life obligations are just as demanding of my attention.

    But “mom” means that we should make it a point—not an option.

    Work will always be there. The bills, dust and laundry, will always be there, too. Tomorrow you’re not promised your child’s hand to hold, the sun to come up or even your life.

    Love them today.

    Her smile let’s me know I’m doing something right. That’s a start. And she makes the exhaustion, stained carpet, overflowing laundry baskets, dirty dishes and dirty diapers, worth every minute. ♥

    Like

Tell me what you're thinking

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s