I've been thinking a lot about my mothering and the way it's changed over the years. 

Maybe it's my impending temporary single motherhood or our current book club book (Glitter and Glue. It was a good read) or perhaps it's the corresponding eyewitness account of my babies becoming people. I'm certain partial credit goes to Gabe's heart condition and realizing that time isn't guaranteed.  No matter what has brought it on, I'm noticing that I've entered into a new land.

I used to be a mom that obsessed over birthday party themes and made brownies out of beans. Now I lean more towards store bought cupcakes and tossing a carrot stick to balance the fourth jelly sandwich this week. I still try to substitute whole wheat flour into my baked goods which usually results in dense muffins, but overall I've chilled out.

As a homeschooler, I notice this evolution even more. 

Quite a few of my friends have kids starting preschool and I catch glimpses of the mom I used to be. Worried about memorizing letters and numbers, sure they'll fall behind without constant structured lessons.

Sometimes I worry that Gabe is getting shortchanged by my more laid back methods. But then I watch him construct an entire world out of sticks and rocks and realize I should be more concerned that Josie missed those moments than the other way around.

I guess I'm conducting my own personal experiment to see which school method produces the most advanced child. My money is on neither effecting much one way or the other. 

I used to feel justified in giving parenting advice. 

I mean, hello, look at my amazing kids!

Then somewhere over the years I realized that all the mothers have amazing kids and, what do you know, we are all doing the best we can with what we've got.

I'm quiet now on the how tos of motherhood and weary of anyone claiming to have any actual answers. Breastfeed or formula, homeschool or public school, socks or no socks. None of it makes me stand on my platform and shout the best way. 

I enjoy watching other moms do their thing. Sometimes I take note and try their ways at home. Other times I make mental notes on what I don't want to do. But either way, I learn from each and every mom I encounter.

My babies have turned into little people.  

I guess that's the goal of this whole thing.  To have them need us less and less.  I like to think that I'm flexible and moldable enough to see where I need to lay off or bunker down and then follow through with it.  Each year is bringing brand new obstacles.

Motherhood seems to be the one thing in my life where the longer I do it, the less I feel like an expert.  And I'm totally OK with that.

99% of the time, my kids are playing with boxes.  At least they are enjoying this part of moving.


Sweet Tea said...

Will be joining with you tomorrow on the "first day of the month" photos.

Sweet Tea said...

Will be joining with you tomorrow on the "first day of the month" photos.