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March 24, 2009

Just another brick in the wall

When you first realise you're going to be a parent, you have all these ideals and standards. Things you decide you will never make your kid do. Things you see other parents doing that you vow never to do. Mistakes you clearly see others make and promise yourself you won't do the same.
One thing I was certain of while I was pregnant with my daughter was that her childhood would not be totally conventional and that I would not be your average Joe (Josephine?) parent. She would be allowed to be a 'free spirit'. I would give her a choice when it came to religious or spiritual affiliations for example.

Can I say HAAAH now? All you parents out there are laughing, right?

Sigh, then cold, harsh reality hits and you get into year 3 or 4 of being an actual parent. You hear yourself saying things like: 'Eat your peas!' OR 'Because I SAY SO!!!' OR 'On the count of three, go to your ROOM!'

I have always been a rebel (usually without a cause). I've always had strange ideas regarding life, religion, spirituality etc. I don't want to live an ordinary life. I want to explore different schools of thought and ideas. I want to live my own life not someone else's idea of how a life should be. And yet and yet - then you have a kid and you HAVE to put them through this 'sausage machine' for want of a better phrase. They have to go to school, they have to get up on time to be in time for the school bell, they have to wear uniforms and say yes sir, no sir, listen to their teachers and respect authority. They HAVE to. It's what you do. My parents made me do it and I have to make her do it. To try and live in some Utopia and pretend that society as it is does not exist is not realistic or achievable. I have to let her live her life and ultimately make her own choices eventually when she's old enough to do so. I just have such a tough time seeing her go through this and seeing the struggle in her little head. She asks me why must I sometimes and honestly I have no better response than 'Because you must...' or 'Because I said so...'. That SUCKS! Don't get me wrong. I have absolutely NO inclination of raising a child who has no respect or no idea of right and wrong. I absolutely believe that children should have boundaries and rules. I just don't know if I believe in society's rules as an absolute.

So, I don't have all the answers, who knew!? My parents probably faced the same dilemma raising me and my sister but they probably didn't examine it all that closely - they simply did it. In the meantime I will simply have to bite my tongue, try to give her as good a childhood as possible and continue to remind her to eat her peas.


  1. Life is about people- respecting them ,and not being selfish. In my opinion. Previous generations didn't really have the luxurty of self-examination- now we are 'enlightened', and we just worry about everything.
    School is, and will always be, for certain personality types- crap.
    But it's also a place to learn how to deal with crap. She needs that- so don't worry.

  2. Thanks Scott for your words of wisdom. Yes thisis all true - agreed. Still worry tho' - it's called being a parent - sigh.

  3. There's always Waldorf, hey?

  4. Janine: Ja I guess so. Am happy with her school so far though. Read this article: http://www.newsweek.com/id/45571

  5. Why do people have to eat peas?


    When I was a kid, my parents constantly cooked vegetables that we didn't like and made us eat them, even though there were plenty of nutritious vegetables that we DID like. What was gained by that?

    If your kid doesn't like peas, find a different way to get those pea-ish qualities into them.

    There are things that have to be done because it's society -- and to those things, like my having to go to work, and kids having to wear pants, I say: You have to do this because right now society makes you -- so do it until you find a way to change it and get rid of that quality.

    Then I let them run around without their pants on at home and not eat their peas. But it's okay - they're only 2.

  6. Briane P: Yes all very true - I was using peas in the metaphorical sense. She actually loves her greens and I almost never cook peas. Running around without pants and letting the rules slide in the privacy of our own home I totally agree with! :)

  7. Yes, so true. One of the promises I made as a new parent was never to bribe my daughter with treats to get the desired results. I tell you, chocolates and The Spur do work wonders though!!!!

  8. Growing up, I had very strict rules and guidelines, and I never thought anything of it until I became more and more aware of how different some children's home lives were to mine.
    Hhhmm, thinking back- I honestly had no pre-conceived ideals or standards when it came to raising my own children because I REALLY didn't want any(I had other plans for myself), and I'd hardly had any time to think about what I might do as a mom when I fell pregnant at 17!