Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Triage Parenting

Finding the humor in parenting would be easier if my children didn't drive me crazy.

I have come to accept as normal the occasional desire to beat the tar out of them.  I don't, of course, but used to feel guilty for sometimes wanting to.

In the last week Bridget has gotten into my make-up at least once a day.  Add to that the temper tantrums and throwing up on some poor unsuspecting airplane traveler, she's had a heck of a week.

Two means nothing.  I know people say they're terrible, but they're not so bad.  It's three that sucks.  No really, I mean it.  Three is so much worse than two.

I have stopped reading the blogs of women who make me feel inadequate.  Okay, in all fairness, I haven't been doing a lot of blog reading at all recently, but I'm definitely not reading the one's that make me feel like I'm not doing a good job because I'm not baking bread while teaching the Science surrounding yeast.  Or because my kids haven't memorized the Catechism, or the Psalms.  I just don't have the patience for it anymore.  And I don't care if I'm doing a good job by someone else's standards.  The only opinions that matter much to me are my God, husband, parents, children, and my own.

I have begun practicing what I call "Triage Parenting".  I have my roots in Dr. Sears and Attachment Parenting, but have come to realize that with a husband and four children who all need me, idealism isn't always my friend.

I've figured out that I am going to spend many of the next years balancing carefully the wants and needs of a number of people.  Needs come before wants, and there is a hierarchy there.  Sometimes I'm going to get it wrong.  And that's okay, too.

We're too hard on ourselves.  We're not perfect, and we're not going to be.  It's not that we shouldn't strive to be better, it's just that it's not always easy to know if what you're doing is right.  And this is one of those jobs that you won't know how well you did until they're all grown up and it's too late to fix it.  No pressure, though, really!

So, I'm not reading the parenting books anymore, or the blogs.  Unless there's a specific issue that I want to check out.  I'm more interested in how people are getting through the day-to-day in their homes.

As for us, I ordered Piper's Kindergarten curriculum.  We (with Reagan) have decided that he will go to public school this year.  It's a big change and I have mixed feelings about it.  But I know that I can't have a baby, work, homeschool Piper, keep the house, and do everything else that I do and still have time to take advantage of all of the homeschooling enrichment opportunities there are for Reagan.  

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