Time To Dust Off The Parenting Manual?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I have never really been one to read parenting books, sure I read the What To Expect book during my first pregnancy that everyone
reads,  and then the next one throughout my baby boy's first year....
but that was about it.
But then they were put back on the shelf or I gave them to friends, donated them...never to be looked at again.
It's not that I think I already know it all, because I most certainly do not, but there are so many opinions out there and ways of thinking and parenting philosophies and each "expert" is just another person with an opinion.
And deep down I really just think that this whole parenting thing is not something that can be learned in a book anyway... it's one of those learn-as-you-go kind of jobs.
And sometimes that really sucks.

Lately I have found myself questioning myself on so many things in this parenting job, mostly with my oldest.
Is this just normal 7 1/2 year old stuff?
Am I too hard on him?
Is he old enough to be worrying about these things?
Am I trying to protect him from too much?
Am I just scared to let go--even just a little bit?
What am I afraid of?

A lot of it comes down to fear.
I am scared of failing, scared of letting go, worried I have not done a good enough job, worried that this responsibility
just keeps getting bigger... and bigger and really I just want to run screaming back to the younger years
where things are simpler even though you think they are so hard-- but then again I don't because I
love who my kids are right now, too, and although the growing up part is scary I also love to see who they are becoming right before my eyes.
I am worried that I really don't know what the hell I am doing a lot of the time.
Scared that I am not going to be able to protect these two from all the big and little things I want to
protect them from... scared of losing control of all the decisions and influences and friends, of not
being the one they look to for the answers... and the questions.... 

It wears me out just typing what goes through my head.
See, a whole lot of time has been spent in my head lately, probably too much.
I know it is because he is getting older, growing and changing, just little things here and there, slowly but I see them
because I am the mom.
This summer has been a big growing stage for him...and it just reminds me of all that there is to come.
If I think about it all too much it can really freak me out.

So, I think I will just  leave the parenting books right on the shelf where they are.
What I really need is just a beer(or six)and a good talk with my girl friends and moms of kids older
than mine that can reassure me and tell me that it is all going to be okay and I have not done any major permanent damage.
And I have a little more time before I need to worry about sexting and texting and social media ....
and it's normal to freak out occasionally about how to raise good people in this crazy, crazy world.
So I am going to love them and teach them and try to be more patient and learn as I go.
And I am meeting my friends for that beer tonight.
Wait-- I'm not gonna lie; beers.

Source: etsy.com via Amy on Pinterest

I feel a little better already, thanks for listening.
And please tell me I am not alone in all of this?
No, really, leave me a comment and tell me that I am not alone and that you worry about
all of this too, and more.
I'd appreciate that and it would help me feel less crazy.

ps- my boy makes the cutest little Indiana Jones ever, doesn't he?


  1. sometimes it does stink. But look at your kids and other kids and you will surely see you are doing something right. how you raise them is how they will be. Continue on doing what you are doing...seems to me as I have been reading your blog for some time now, you are a very good, hands on, loving, caring mama. Keep it real with your kids, talk to them, hug them and tell them you love them every single day, nip thing in the bud when the time needs nipping,be consistant and alway's there. I take it day by day and with faith as well that we are raising our children with a firm foundation and know they will be alright when they fly off into the big world. Letting go a bit is hard as I have learned...and am learning. My son just tured 18...he is almost ready to fly away from the nest. it is wierd...it is scary, but I know I gotta let him fly a bit & spread his wings, but know he will always come back. There really isn't a manual that can give the answers we need...With common sense, lot's of love, patience and endurance we will get through this...we may even giggle that we didn't have to worry so much. I am probably rambling, but felt compelled by your post to just let you know, you are not alone. This is all normal and your gonna get through this!!! Hang tight and just soak it up, enjoy the here and now, try try again not to worry yourself and know your little fledgings are right there in your nest and will always fly back. Mica @ The Child's Paper

  2. you are NOT alone.
    we all have those anxiety feelings at one time or another.
    it's just best when i give it to the Lord, and ask Him for His guidance and help through it all.
    i'm so glad HE takes my burdens and carries them for me.
    i also can tell what a loving and wonderful mother you are.
    you invest in your children.
    spend time with them.
    love them like no other!
    you are the best mom ever for those sweet kiddos...and YES!
    your sweet boy makes the PERFECT indiana jones!

  3. First, your son is so adorable!
    Second, you are soooo not alone! I feel the same and often think that I have made so many mistakes and worry about how I am doing as a mother. I think this means we are doing something right. All I can say is thank the Lord for my childrens daily ability to show me grace and love me anyway. I know it is not an answer but sometimes it's what I must cling too.
    I try not to worry too much about the future because I don't want to waste too much time thinking about what will happen or what I would like to happen because you can not plan for any of that. It will all be what it is supposed to be anyway. That is not to say that I will just be neglectful in my parenting(you know what I mean, i hope).
    Thank you for sharing your heart because it also lets us know(as your readers) that we are not alone! xo, Jen

  4. Not alone at all! I love that Salinger quote ;)

  5. Oh I needed to read this today. I've been away from reading blogs for quite some time, but I seemed to know I needed to click on this link today. I've got a son entering 1st grade in a few weeks & I find I'm questioning so much of what he does & the way I react. I'm trying to remember that not everything is as big of a deal in the long run as I seem to feel it is in the moment. A lot of deep breaths, a lot of hugs and talking together at the end of the day--these things make me feel more grounded when I start to spin.

    Beautiful pictures.

  6. Good Lord. Help us all, each and every mother!!! I have a daughter who will be 8 next month. There has been a shift, a change in her, a growing up, a maturing. It isn't bad, but it has me scared to death. Like I just know got in over my head. I have the "little kid" stuff down, I might even be good at it. But this is all uncharted, new territory. I have a five year old that is going through a very difficult phase. It's just a phase, everything is with kids and development. But is has worn. Me. Out. I want to quite, get off this ride, let someone else live with the in your face, constant whine, nagging, ungrateful, "my beautiful life is just so terrible" that keeps coming at me all day. And I love her. I love her to pieces. She is the coolest kid. Except for this awful, awful stage we are in. And then there is the 15 month old...it's like she is getting the "left over" mom, what hasn't been used up already by the other two. Wow. That was quite the whine fest right there!!! Thanks for listening. It was exactly what my iced mocha and I were needing. I leave you with this.....

  7. oh geesh. does any of us really know what we're doing? are we all just crossing our fingers and hoping for the best? ya, i thought so...you're so not alone. just give them love. all the time.

  8. these pictures of your son are gorgeous! i love every last one :) i think motherhood is supossed to come with a bit of fear... because what if we just barged on thru thinking we were right all the time and never stopped to watch or listen? the best we can do is love... and all that entails (like boundaries & discipline & an occasional breakfast of ice cream)
    be brave!

  9. I love that quote you end with. I feel insane much of the time in my parenting role. And what a relief to hear someone else is leaving the manuals on the shelf (or giving them away!) to fly by the seat of her pants. I sooooo agree that what we do as parents is intuitive and guided and sure, there is good advice in those books but I can not credit one with who my son is right now. It is true that what we face as they grow older is scarier but we will continue to fly by the seat of our pants and punt and love and hug and cry. I think being honest with my son and letting him see me in all my states of emotions has let him be able to express his own individuality and fears. We are all figuring this out together as we go alone. I'm applauding you here for your own honesty.

  10. I WORRY all the time! sometimes fear can be crippling...sometimes you just need to vent, let it go and trust God that you are getting it RIGHT(which I totally KNOW you are!)....
    you are for sure NOT ALONE girl~
    and just you wait, you think you worry about your son, it's 1000x worse worrying about a girl. UGH!

  11. Oh, Amy! You are definitely not alone. I wonder daily if I'm doing it right too. It's just such a delicate balancing act trying to figure out how to meet two completely different little souls needs. Mine are so darn different and trying to herd them each day when they both want to go in different directions is so hard. What works for one, doesn't for the other.

    My goal is to just keep them TALKING to me. Mine are 8 and 12 and they both still share and talk to me. If that's happening I know we can work through things. When they shut down on me, I think I'll need to break out the ole manual again.

    Hang in there! I KNOW you are doing a fabulous job. If you weren't, there is no way he'd pose for you for these awesome photos! :)

  12. i could have written this exact same post. this parenting thing scares the crap out of me too. you are so NOT alone.


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