Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Big Job

I've been thinking a lot about jobs lately.  About getting a job, having to apply for a job, my nonpaying job.  Here's the thing about being a stay-at-home mom, I am never going to be promoted and I am never going to feel like an expert.  

Each one of my children is incredibly different, so one particular parenting technique or strategy that works well with one will not work at all with another.  I have one quiet, shy child, one funny child, one super cuddly child and one rowdy take no prisoners child (yup, the baby).
**Not pictured: the quiet, shy child.  And of course they are more than the brief one or two word descriptions above.  So much more.  And I love them all individually for who they are and who they will become.  I will not confine them to being "the funny one" or "the quiet one."  
My long term goals include having all the children become college educated, clean living, do-gooding, well-mannered, involved, concerned, caring grown ups.  I want them to know more than me without learning the hard way.  I want them to have less darkness and more light than I do.  I want them to feel grounded and loved.  

Love liberates.  That is a Maya Angelou quote that I think about often.  She also said "love doesn't bind, love doesn't hurt, it liberates."  I want my children to grow up feeling liberated.
Yet another great album cover picture right? 
But damn, those are lofty goals.  And my short term success is well, shaky at best.

Here are just a couple lessons I've learned recently that I want to share because we are a village and all.  Hopefully my shaky parenting skills will help other mothers.

Lesson # 1--Set those channel locks on your TV/cable/computer. Like now.  
I can't even tell you the story I want to tell you.  I have been censored people.  Censored by my conservative husband.  He has never once told me not to put something in here.  Sure he cringes when I type the word fuck.  He has a nervous look when I get way honest about some of my battles with sadness.  But I have to respect his decision about this one.  Just use your imagination.

Lesson # 2--Save the bug.
The other morning, my oldest son pulled a bug off his neck and showed it to me a few minutes before we were leaving for school. I freaked out, took a picture with my iPhone and threw the bug outside.  My first thought was "holy shit, we have bed bugs!" and went straight to "we're going to have to get rid of all our furniture."  After the panic was over, I looked up the bug on the Internet and realized it was a tick.  My first thought was "holy shit, he has Lyme disease!"  

I called the pediatrician and they said I should have saved the bug and brought it in.  They would figure out if it was a dog, wood or deer tick and have it tested in the lab.  Um, wow, okay.  For now we are watching for the telltale bulls-eye rash and fever that means concern.  Thankfully no signs of trouble so far. But people, save the bug next time so you don't end up spending countless hours researching ticks and Lyme disease on the great, fucking scary world wide web.

Lesson # 3--Sleep more.
For years my husband has been telling me how much he loves sleeping.  He calls it his hobby.  And he is really good at it.  I hate sleeping and always have.  It's a waste of time, I would say.  I could be doing something productive, like worrying or researching scary diseases online.  

Well, four kids and almost 11 years of parenting have taught me husband was right, sleep is amazing.  I'm not ready to list it as my number one hobby or go to bed much before midnight, but I get it, it's good.  When I do get more than five hours of sleep, I think better, I parent better, I look better.
It's no wonder sleep is hard to come by with this over crowded bed, but aren't they so cute?

And I am going to need my sleep, I have a mighty big job ahead of me (and no raise in pay). I have four little wonderful souls to love and liberate.  And not totally screw up.  

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