Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Reflections on Pitfalls and Real Life

Lately I have been thinking and praying a lot about a pitfall into which I often fall. It is the dangerous habit of comparing myself and/or my children with others. I know that this is a significant challenge I face as I begin the homeschool adventure with my boys. I could easily drive myself crazy by comparing what I'm doing and teaching with what other moms are doing and teaching.... and more dangerously, by comparing how well my boys are learning and developing and behaving with what other children are doing.

I really enjoy reading blogs and I get a lot of inspiration and encouragement from them. I find myself in awe of what other moms and children are doing. The problem is that when I read these blogs I often pile expectations and a sense of inadequacy on myself without even realizing it.

I have been praying for the graces to be able to embrace my own calling and situation, to do my best to discern what I need to teach and do each day, and to love my boys unconditionally and take them where they are and help them learn and grow at their own paces. For me, a particularly challenging aspect of parenting and teaching is knowing when to push hard and challenge my children to do things they may not want to do or may be afraid to do.... and when to let go of my own issues and timelines and "let things slide" for a while, giving them more time to develop skills or confidence. It's harder than it sounds. It's a lesson that needs to be learned and practiced over and over again.

And so, I'm praying hard and trying to be fully present to my children each day. I'm trying to keep my planning and goal-setting in the proper perspective. I'm trying to allow God to be the Teacher and Leader of us all.

I think I need to find or write a simple prayer to help me avoid this pitfall. I need to post it at my computer, in our schoolroom, and many other places around here. I'll let you know if I come up with something helpful. (Your suggestions are most welcome!)

Finally, a few comments about the purposes and realities of blogging... Several of the mom-blogs I read were commenting on this last week... emphasizing that blogs don't really show the full picture of family life. Yes, the posts and pictures often show wonderful family moments, events, or projects. However, they don't usually show the nitty-gritty realities and challenges of daily life. Honestly, who would want to read or write about the perpetually-dirty kitchen floor, the incessant whining of a five year-old, the disgusting detritus living in the mini-van, or the grueling daily event that is bath/story/bedtime? We all have pull-our-hair-out, wish-I-wouldn't-have-screamed-about-that moments. Blogging is not meant to be a tell-all expose.

The purpose of this blog is to share reflections and insights on our family life, particularly our life of faith. I also share many of the projects, events, and interesting (?) anecdotes that happen around here. For me, this blog is a journal. I really enjoy recording thoughts and events of significance to me. I gain insight and save memories in the process of recording thoughts and images here. I love sharing these things with my family members and friends, especially those who live far away. I also welcome the opportunity to reach out to people I haven't met, but who share this same journey of life and faith with me.

And so, dear reader, I am glad that you are here. Please pray for me and my family and I will pray for you and yours. Please don't feel inadequate because you don't do the things I post about here. (Only crazy people plan six weeks worth of Easter Garden Parties that include making about 8 different kinds of cupcakes! ;) ). Please know that our family is very far from perfect. Also, please don't judge harshly what you read here. I am trying my best to do what I'm called to do and I offer my thoughts and experiences with sincere humility. May we travel together on this journey of family, faith, and life.... helping one another avoid pitfalls, grow in holiness, and embrace the blessings and graces of each day.

1 comment:

  1. Garden parties! Great ideas. Thank you for the reminder we all have "moments."I like to quote Rhett Butler when it comes to what other people think! : )