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May 12 2014

My Job as a Parent is Not to Model Being Perfect

By at 4:59 pm

My Job as a Parent is Not to Model Being Perfect

The 20th-century philosopher Fred Rogers said, “My hunch is that if we allow ourselves to give who we really are to the children in our care, we will in some way inspire cartwheels in their hearts.” Then he put on his sweater and changed into sneakers.

Maybe I can come clean to Noah and the world that this parenting thing is pretty darn challenging. That I have no idea what to do quite a bit of the time.

Another modern philosopher, Louis Szekely, albeit from a different school of philosophy than Mr. Rogers, has his own take on this: “It’s hard having kids because it’s boring….They read Clifford the Big Red Dog to you at a rate of fifty minutes a page and you have to sit there and be horribly proud and bored at the same time.” Szekely, also known as Louis C.K., certainly speaks his mind. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 7 2013

Parents Have Feelings, Too

By at 10:19 am

chocolate cookie

The chocolate cookie was the last straw. My 5-year-old rejected the plain cookie. Before that, she decided she had to stage two things in the dollhouse. And just before that, she’d delayed our departure–she to her friend’s house down the street, me to the Y for Zumba class–by three apple slices. Although the only thing at stake was my on-time arrival to class, at that moment, I felt as if the sole request I’d made on behalf of myself all morning was strategically being buried by a conniving small girl out to get me with each of her extremely urgent, immediate needs. One minute late to class, even that, felt way too late. The cookie took me right over the edge.

The mother I’ve aspired to be these last 18 years is not just one able to put my needs aside for the children’s needs; I’ve worked–hard–to be one who kept her cool. Yelling is bad. Anger, in fact, seemed to me, a negative emotion–one I especially wanted to avoid in a particular direction, from me toward my kids. I guess I equated endless selflessness with good parenting. Even more so, I equated endless patience with good parenting. And I desperately wanted to be a good parent. Read the rest of this entry →

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