I've been thinking about yesterday's post for two days. I have been wondering, just wondering, if it came across as preachy and sanctimonious.
If I came across as the kind of person who thinks they're better and wiser than others,
thinks they are the best parent ever,
thinks they have something new to say when they're actually stating the obvious,
thinks they are someone who has all the answers and needs to tell everyone what those answers are,
but has, instead, just come across as one of the biggest windbags of blogdom.
Because, if I did, that would be really sad.
I know most parents on this planet love their children AND like them. I'm not the only one. I'm one of billions. I'm also not the only one who sees their children as their friends. I am not the only one who can list reason after reason why their kids are great. And I'm not the only one who says "I love you," countless times.
I'm not special or unusual or particularly amazing as a parent. I'm not blowing the lid on any secrets, nor have I found the Parenting Meaning of Life.
I wasn't actually writing anything most people didn't already know. So what was the point of yesterday's blogpost, then?
Well, I guess, like so many of us, I was just writing my thoughts. But sometimes I wonder if those thoughts are read differently from how I intend them to be read.
I can't always prevent that. But I can explain a bit more about where my thoughts come from and what I believe.
• I believe respecting others is the most important thing you can do as a human.
• I am a pacifist, the kind who believes passionately in non-violence, in peaceful resolution to conflict.
• I am a dreamer who wishes everyone could accept each other, treat all living things with kindness and compassion, and take care of the earth.
• I'm a mum who is learning every day how to be a better parent, mentor and friend to my kids.
All these things inform my words—
the words I think and the words I write.
And sometimes I think that makes me come across a little bit, "Hey, lookit, I've found the Golden Ticket! The Holy Grail! The Secret! Everyone should listen to me (who is awesome! and wise!), right now!" And I think perhaps I also sound a bit, "Gosh, everyone, let's all live more like this, because then everyone can get along and be happy! Tra la la, skippety skip!"
You know, a mix between Pollyanna and some hairy dude on the sidewalk, holding up a sign saying, "Meaning of Life. $1."
Which is kind of weird. :)
So in the interests of full disclosure, I thought I'd add something to yesterday's blog post.
I have controlled and do control huge aspects of my kids' lives. I suggest when it's time for bed, I suggest brushing teeth, I say yes or no to icecream. I suggest maths and I say no to things. I get cross and have asked my kids to go to their rooms. I have, in fact, slammed doors! I have cried and felt hopeless and even found myself saying those words: "Perhaps you should go back to school." I have not been the best, or greatest, or wisest parent sometimes.
But sometimes, I've done okay, maybe even better than okay. Sometimes, I've done something that rings so true and so right and brings such joy to my kids, that I've quietly said, "Good. That was good," to myself and notched one up for me as a Mum.
And I've found the more I journey down the path of our Freedom Experiment—into natural learning, unschooling, life learning, whatever it's called—I've felt more solid as a mother. More sure of myself, who I am, and who I want to be.
I say "Yes" so much more.
I say, "This is what I think, but what do you think?"
I say, "No, I don't think so, but here's why."
I choose communication and friendship over control.
And I've found that this way makes us happier.
I feel like I'm learning SO MUCH, ALL THE TIME.
So then I share, here, what I'm learning.
And I truly hope my words come across as my own discoveries,
about myself and about my family,
NOT as some "Declaration on the Way to Live as Discovered by Me which is the Right and True and Only Way by the Power Invested in Me and So Forth."
Because no matter what I write here, these are just words,
and I'm just one person
amongst the wondering, thoughtful, heartfelt billions.