Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Balancing Act

I'm not the only one who had something to say about the NY Times article.

While we're discussing hot-button parenting issues, I've been thinking a lot about this and this.

The hardest thing about parenting for me has been the constant tightrope walking.

Don't introduce solids too early! But don't start too late, either! (I think we already covered the Other Great Feeding Debate.)

Is your child getting enough creative time? Enough active play? Enough time alone? Enough time with other kids?

Why can't she sleep? Is she overstimulated? Understimulated? Bedtime too early? Afraid of monsters?

What the Dooce and Amalah posts have me pondering is this: How can we best reassure our kids that Mommy and Daddy are capable and in control, while still helping them to understand that we are human? Because I think that's a really important lesson for our children, too. Raisin needs to know that Daddy will sometimes need a break, and that Mommy makes mistakes. She needs to know that's OK, so she can give herself permission to screw up sometimes, too.

It feels like yet another tightrope on which I have to balance. And yet, the mechanism to deal with a failure is built-in. It's an opportunity to forgive myself and show my daughter that strength is sometimes just perserverance in the face of weakness.

This weekend, Raisin ran into the kitchen carrying DH's glasses. "No! Raisin, those are Daddy's," I scolded. She looked surprised and hurt as she handed them carefully to her dad. She'd seen them in the bathroom and brought them to Daddy, thinking he might need them. When I thought about it later and realized what I'd done, I apologized.

I hope she'll come to respect our discipline more if she knows we discipline ourselves. That she'll trust us more knowing that we question our own trustworthiness. That if she knows that we are trying to be good parents, she'll be more ready to accept the times when we are not.

God, I hope I'm not wrong.


Becki said...

The thing that my pastor said when I was in the throes of PPD with my second child is what has stuck with me the most: Love covers a multitude of sins. Most of us fall off of our crazy parenting tightrope several times a day, but if we love our children, and consistently act in what we believe to be their best interest, in the end it will all be okay. God, I hope so.

(BTW, Thanks for your comments on Cooking with Whine!)

Jenny said...

Amen! I love this post.