Friday, December 9, 2011

Applesauce and Self-Doubt

I had a beautiful mommy-moment today. I had finished grinding the applesauce and was stirring in the scraps of peel when Peter came begging to be picked up. He helped me stir in the peelings, then watched intently while I added cloves and cinnamon. He was so happy to help me stir and watch the colors mix together. I grabbed one of his spoons and fed him a bit of warm, homemade applesauce. Life was good.

Helping make salad

I needed that moment today.

One of my former professional mentors visited today and again gently questioned my decision to stay home and intent to homeschool. She doesn't intend to criticize; I think she truly believes we would be better off if I was working in schools again. I know she thinks I would be an asset to a district. (Too bad none of the districts thought so back in 2009!) :-) I respect her and value her opinion, so it was hard to reply with conviction that this is best for our family.

A friend was venting tonight about being publicly criticized for how she handled a behavior incident with her children. Someone else chimed in with support, "I LOVE seeing people discipline their children. I am the person rolling their eyes at the people who refuse to acknowledge their fit-throwing, space-invading, snotty children when they should be yelling or perhaps spanking them for their behavior." My heart broke a little. Wasn't the conversation about how parents shouldn't be publicly humiliated for not being perfect parents? Then why is the correct response to imperfect children supposed to be loud and public humiliation?

Sometimes I feel like I am making all the wrong choices. Maybe Peter should be falling asleep alone and sleeping through the night by now. Maybe I should put him in a class or something so he learns to play with his peers and deal with the colds that come with childhood. Maybe I should start restricting when he can nurse so that he will wean precisely at two years old. Maybe he needs harsher discipline instead of more freedom. But then I make applesauce with him, or watch him climb alone at the playground, or open my arms to as big a hug as a little boy can give. I must be doing something right.

Hey, he plays piano. That's gotta count for something. :-)


  1. Beautiful.

    That's about how well I play the piano, too.

  2. Follow your instincts and ignore the well meaning persons. I think the people who most undermine good parenting are those who want to help by criticizing or suggesting that what you feel is best for your family is harmful instead.

    I've two of my kids to adulthood and looking back at all the well meaning interference I ignored I am not sorry I ignored any of it. Good people, totally wrong for my family.

    Anyway, just wanted to encourage you.

  3. @Amanda: Thanks! And kudos on your ability to play an octave by chance. :-)

    @Ann: Thank you. I sort of know that, but when I'm doubting myself like this, it's good to hear it from someone else. Thanks for your thoughtful words.