For a year and a half I have been blogging about parenting. However the continued positive feedback I have received has been evenly split between those that are parents and those that aren't. From heartfelt emails from teenagers to comments from single ladies in their thirties without children, I have seen that I have touched a much wider audience than I had ever expected to.
My biggest surprise came last year when my husband called to tell me that a customer called him from out of state and asked if he was related to me. The customer, of course, had some work related questions but wanted to mention that he and his wife had been thinking about school for their child and was able to find their own way with the help of a couple of things I had written about. My blog was shared with them by someone in their local homeschool community. Needless to say, I almost dropped my cell phone!
From that moment on I realized the true impact of anything I wrote about. I also realized that my inner drive to keep writing was something I needed to honor by continuing to write. With that said I have to admit I write a lot more than I post. Most of it ends up sitting in a folder because I am unsure of whether or not it will serve the highest good of my readers. My usual gauge is to note how I am feeling when I write it. If it's not something I am nervously excited about then I know that's not my post for the day. I understand the power of my words and I do not ever want to sway someone to do something that could change their or their child's life forever in any negative way. Sure there are people out there just looking for any excuse to not take responsibility for themselves but I will not willingly put anything out there knowing that it may be easy fodder for someone like that.
In taking all of this into account I am starting a new writing journey. I have wanted to write my own story for many years now but couldn't envision how it could help anyone. About a month ago I had written a new About The Author where I shared a little more about who I am and how I became the parent I am today. The emails started pouring in. Little did I realize that my life experiences and what I learned from them were enough. That is what drives me to continually be a better parent. And that is what drives me to write. And so my new journey begins where I take all of it and write about it not only for myself, but all of you who continue to inspire me to keep going.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was half asleep, nursing our one year old when the phone rang. It was my mother in law calling us in Nashville to see if my husband was on a plane in the Northeast. Since this was such a confusing question it took a minute to get past how frantic she was to find out why she was calling in such a state. She had seen the news about the plane hitting the first tower.
After assuring her that there was no reason that my husband would have been on one of those flights and that he was home and totally fine, we turned on the news just in time to see the second plane hit the tower. Little did we know that someone from the company my husband works for was on one of those planes. Our first born, who was four at the time, must have heard our reactions because he came running into the room asking what was wrong.
For a split second I was overcome with the urge to tell him what we just witnessed but I stopped myself. I also realized that in that moment there must have been many other parents who felt that same urge, and without thinking, blurted out what they just saw. Thankfully my husband and I were on the same page and we told him that there was something bad that we just saw on the news and that it would be ok. It was just very sad. There is nothing like the innocence of a child to remind you to be responsible.
In the years since then, we have only taught our kids about current events as long as they were pertinent to their lives. Our oldest does know what happened on 911 but I waited to tell him until he had the emotional maturity to understand it. I never wanted him or his siblings to live in fear due to what happened.
When I was in junior high, I remember a rash of kids in high school becoming depressed and feeling hopeless because they were shown The Day After, a movie about a small Kansas town after a nuclear holocaust. This was a fictional movie created as a result of the tension that the Cold War had created and the emotional toll it took on these kids was one that no one would soon forget. Clearly remembering how that affected so many teenagers has always dictated how we have relayed certain events to our kids.
To this day, I fail to understand why there is a push for kids as young as kindergarten to learn about slavery never mind 9/11. They don't have the emotional maturity to understand any of it. Most adults don't even fully understand. In fact, I wouldn't doubt that learning about violence in the adult world, now or in the past, affects some of children's attitudes and emotional development as they get older. Although I don't watch the news anymore, I still continue to filter the things I do learn about to our children. I am grateful that what they do learn about and how they learn it is totally in my control.
Photo credit - Sister72
Since it's the time of year where we are putting the final touches on our planning for the fall, I wanted to repost this from June. It is just as important for you to schedule what you'd like to do for yourself. This is just a reminder...
** If you'd like to see the original post and comments as well as the slideshow, please visit http://www.theintuitiveparent.com/1/post/2011/06/liberal-arts-living-ii.html.
June 24, 2011
This is my 2nd annual Liberal Arts Living blog. I hadn’t planned on this being an annual thing but I decided that since I have done a whole lot more living since my blog a year ago, I wanted to share with all of you. My only hope is that it will inspire you to get up and do something new.
Over the past year:
• I decided to publish a book; which most of you know already.
• I learned how to knit.
• I learned how to sew wool felt playthings for my kids.
• I learned how to get over my fear of singing in front of everyone.
• I have learned about adding more raw food recipes to our family food choices.
• I learned how to grow my own organic garden.
• I am learning how to play the bass; something I have said I wanted to do since high school.
• I made my first herbal tinctures.
• And most recently, my husband, 14 year old son and I decided to participate in the NH 48 Hour Film Project. We had to write, shoot, edit and complete a 5 to 7 minute mini-move with all work being done in the 48 hour period.
There are a lot of new things that are in the works for the next year but I will keep those under wraps until I actually do them. A lot of them are new for me. The ones I am most excited, as well as nervous, about are the ones where I will be out there helping other parents.
How does all of this fit into my parenting? I am living the kind of life I want my kids to live. A life not filled with “I always wanted to”s and “someday”s and certainly NOT “when the kids move out”s. What kind of example would that be for them? If I haven’t been always learning something new and actively pursuing my interests, I do fear what kind of message that would give my kids.
Would it tell my daughter that to be a stay at home mom is to be boring, or bored? Would it tell my sons that their future wives couldn’t pursue what their interests were unless it were making an income? Would it tell the kids that mom can’t start living her own life until they are out of the house?
Instead I am showing them that you can be an involved, loving parent with close relationships with your kids without smothering them or living your life vicariously through them. I am showing them that parents need to feel fulfilled and it makes them better parents. I am showing them, and go look this one up for yourselves, that the key to staying younger is to always learn something new. I could sit here and just “tell” them about all of this, but actually doing it shows them that I would know what I was talking about if I did talk to them about it.
I hope I have inspired you to get up and just go do one new thing. I don’t care what it is or how crazy it sounds! There is no excuse good enough not to. Would you do it if I told you your kid's future happiness depends on it?
As a Parent Coach and Mentor, my passion lies in empowering parents to make the best decisions they can for their children and their families as a whole. As a well-trained coach, I can be your facilitator and accountability partner for long-lasting, meaningful change that has a permanent, positive impact for your family. By focusing on the values that you hold most important in your life, I can help you create and maintain the type of parenting relationship you want to have with your children, now and into their adulthood.
I am a homeschooling mom of four children in Massachusetts. I am also the author of a book called The Herbal Beverage Book, which can be found on amazon. When not coaching, writing or spending time with the family, I enjoy Hayao Miyazaki films, new and classic Dr. Who episodes, anything related to American history and a great glass of mead.
. . . . . . .
This blog is a collection of thoughts, articles and perspectives I have at any one time. While I am pretty consistent in my beliefs, life changes and evolves along with experiences. You may feel a connection with me through my writing yet I never want any of my readers to misunderstand that the connection you feel is with a perspective I have shared and not me as a person. I am continually humbled that I am able to connect with my readers, and I hope to continue to be able to for many years to come, but it doesn't make us connected in any way beyond this. If you connect with what I write and know me as an acquaintance, this in no way reflects that I have any knowledge of you, your situation in life or that I am writing with you in mind. It is merely that I have shared a human experience that most likely very many others have had has well. This also goes for anything I post on my Twitter account, Facebook Page and Facebook personal page. I wanted to make this disclaimer as clear as possible so you know that any misunderstanding you choose to have is not my responsibility.