Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm THAT Mom

An impromptu blog carnival inspired by Flo.

Most traditional parents, when they hear about unschooling, they think that we are a bunch of neglectful, indulgent parents. Because the media doesn't try to portray the involvement and the connection of the parenting, people just don't get it. What others see as indulgent or neglectful, we see as supporting and trusting.

I'm that mom whose kids don't ask me if their friends can sleep over because it is their house just as much as it is mine, and while I usually ask THEM if it would be convenient for me to have friends over, I don't want them to feel like they need my permission to entertain their friends in their home, even while it is still also my home.

I'm that mom who won't go in my kids' room without their permission, and I'm that mom who has no expectation about the condition in which they keep their rooms.

I'm that mom who takes care of dirty dishes when I see them - who supports my daughter's cooking by trying to keep the kitchen clean enough so that she can easily cook again when she wants to.

Of course I'm that mom who trusts her kids to sleep when they need to and eat what and when they need to, and really, to do what they need to do when they need to do it.

I'm that mom who doesn't have expectations of my kids. Expectations that they need to strive to achieve or fail to meet.

But here's the deal, fellow unschoolers:
I'm also that mom who doesn't have a close relationship with my 18 year old daughter, and continues to hold the space for her to connect with me when SHE wants to. I maintain an open, joyful heart for her for when she wants to be closer. I know that she is doing what she needs to do just as she's always done and I completely trust her and her process. I'm that mom who respects her request to not ask her questions and stay out of her business, no matter how badly I want to be closer. I'm that mom who doesn't go to her dance competitions because she is more comfortable with just her dad there.

And I'm that mom who is trying her hardest to be completely supportive of my 14 year old daughter and her desire to be normal and go to school. The mom who is learning to be excited along with her as she is SO excited to start high school in a few weeks. I'm that mom who holds the space for her to come home any minute, that tells her that there is nothing she has to finish with regard to school, with regard to anything - she is in complete control of how much or how little she wants to partake of her experiences.

I'm that mom - the mom who signed my daughter up for NBTSC for the half she wanted to sign up for, then called and emailed to sign her up for the other half she wanted to add, then cancelled her registration when she no longer wanted to go, without worrying about the non-refundable $100 deposit, even though everyone else thought she should go, including her sister. I'm the mom who told her it was really okay for her to decide that back to school shopping and freshman orientation is more important to her than camp.

Yeah, I'm THAT mom.