Wednesday, November 10, 2010

parenting: do what you love

photo from

A couple of weeks back the ever-inspiring Joslyn of Simple Lovely shared about her ongoing effort, as a parent, to identify just how to best foster curiosity, creativity and other lovely traits in her children. As a fan of Terry Gross and Fresh Air and of Jason Schwartzman, I easily connected with Joslyn's post.

My own children are not terribly interested in after school classes and, although I often wish they were game to sign up for more organized activities, I don't push it. They prefer to devise their own "investigations" which I try to ensure expose them to as much as possible that I hope might spark an interest, a broader world view or just a good discussion. I looove the idea that simply letting my kids see me pursue my own passions - and allowing them to partake - may be at least as important, or more so, than consciously seeking out the right enriching activities, classes or experiences for them.

Joslyn's "walk the walk" statement is something I've wholeheartedly believed in with regard to parenting in general, but somehow I hadn't considered that doing what I feel strongly, passionately about is just another way of walking the walk. There is little that is as powerful as what a parent does when it comes to influencing our children. My kids don't hone in on my intentions with regard to projects I set up for them, they simply see what Mom spends her time doing (cleaning, working... and sharing in pretend play in those less frazzled moments). It would be in all of our best interests if I could lighten up a bit, not worry that my girls are alway engaged in something I deem to be of importance.

That said, I am going to try to get back to checking out more books from the library for me instead of just for the kids; experimenting with projects that I have been meaning to try out while they're awake; playing music that I want to hear. Oh oh, sounds a bit selfish as I re-read that last big sentence. A little selfish might just be a good thing. Might even help the kids to see how important it is for Mom to take care of herself. As parents, we all know how easy it is to consistently put ourselves last. And that darned guilt. (The never-ending to do list, including update my blog, get fit, organize the house, catch up on... everything! adds to the challenge. I guess that's a separate issue.

So I'll give it a shot. I'll attempt to live my passion more and let my kids see what really draws me in and inspires me . I anticipate several false starts, but as I tell the kids I best keep at it if I really believe in it.

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