Saturday, September 24, 2011

Not My Job

This week I read a blog and a facebook comment that got me thinking about parenting decisions.
The essence was, "What's the right thing to do?"

I did a little research on-line and the consensus is that people make about 35,000 decisions a day. Not all of them are life changing but still that's a lot of deciding. Now, a lot of those decisions can be 'fixed' if I mess up. If I pick a bad restaurant - I don't go there again. If I make a friend who isn't friendly - I stop seeing them. If I hate my career - I can retrain and switch jobs.

But when the decisions I'm making are about my kids it ups the ante. There's no re-do. I won't really find out what mistakes I've made until it's too late to 'fix' them. And I certainly haven't set out to mess my kids up. I want them to have the best and most of what is available to them. Balancing all that with a sense of civic responsibility and morality of course.

Homeschooling was a big decision for us.
I think it's the right decision. I think we're doing it for the right reasons. I think they will have lifelong benefits.
Does it matter that it is righter (yes I know that's not a real word) for one kid than the other? Does it matter that part of the reason we do it is because I like to teach them? Does it matter that they are missing those 'normal' school experiences? I don't know.

BUT - I know that it doesn't matter enough right now to change our decision.
AND - The biggest part of what keeps me sane while I'm making these big decisions is knowing that they can't have it all. And it's not my job to give it to them.
They won't have me at home attending to them and a role model of women in the workforce.
They won't have the most personalized education available and a bevy of teachers who will inspire them.
They won't get to wander museums at their leisure mid-week and go on classroom field trips.

Fifteen years down the road I guess we'll all find out how it turned out. And if they hug me and tell me it was the best years of their lives then I'll let out a big sigh of relief. And if they scowl and grumble and say I've deprived them of a 'normal' childhood then I'll apologize.
And tell them I tried my best.


Cathy said...

My belief is that we as parents, try our best to provide the best possible experiences for our children as they grow up so that they can become strong and independent adults. We can second guess ourselves all we want but I have to think that the choices we make at any specific time are the right ones. If you feel the choices you have made are the right ones, then they are.

Anonymous said...

I concur.....there are no rule boods/terms of reference for each parent and the decisions they are involved in. Parents can only instil guidelines and values, teach right from wrong,demonstrate compassion, give love freely. At the end of the day, we look in the mirror, sometimes question our decisions, but our hearts and love guide those decisions so they are undoubtedly the right ones for that situation, at that time in life....You both are doing a GREAT question...Love Grampy Peter

Mama Bear said...

Thanks. I really appreciate and respect your insight.

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