Pardon my absence, but August is a strange one. August seems to be the month that challenges me the most. I feel rushed and scatterbrained all month; I still have the twinges of my pregnancy woes that come back to haunt me (August of my pregnancy was one of the most stressful times of my life which only worsened my ante-partum depression – written about HERE).
My baby boy has turn 18 months old, and while I still love motherhood with all my heart and love the ways he’s learning independence (he can walk down three stairs unassisted, can help prepare pizza and tacos and his favorite words are now Cow and No) the beginning of the toddler phase is proving a challenge. There have been moments where I’m not the mother I want to be, mainly because we’re in the limbo of wanting to communicate and not being able to. This will pass and I will learn how to better control my own feelings when things start spiraling down that path. It feels good just to write that.
And I can still say while experiencing all the ups and downs I look forward to the day we really start planning for our next child – I know he (maybe she) is there, just a little out of my grasp right. There are the little, “baby things” that we come across and put behind us that make me pray that this is not the only time I get to experience little clothes, little shoes, little hands needing to be held just so and cuddles in your arms that fit so securely.
But, enough of the mopey stuff. August is a strange one and apparently so I am. While discussing family life with a coworker I had quite the reaction when I assert my opinion that I will do all within my power to keep my families schedules and lives from conflicting with things like family dinners and healthy quiet time. My coworker (who I usually see eye to eye with and who is the mother of two college students and a high schooler) was quick to tell me how this is “against the norm” these days and that I need to be ready to be “different” if this was what I was going to try to do (not to mention it would be darn well impossible).
I ended the conversation around that point the best I could, but wanted to point out that we’re already quite different. We live on lower incomes and tight budgets. We believe that good food costs good money. We believe in empty closet space. We haven’t hooked up our TV to even get the local channels yet and are often the only family on the block out in our yard. We read books that are still printed on paper and few to none of my sons toys run on batteries. Are we prepared to be “different”? Yes, I think we are.
While I won’t deny my children the chance to explore things that interest them or delve into activities at which they excel I still believe that they don’t need to do everything, nor do their parents, just like I don’t believe they need every toy or every new outfit. I don’t want to be a chauffeur for their entire lives and I want to give them ample time to unwind and be a kid (or a teenage).
I hope my children experience different sports, clubs and activities (and I will encourage more activities as the child ages and is in more control over their schedule); however, that doesn’t mean that their schedules need to be packed from the age of 3 to do so.
So I guess I am different, quite the strange one after all.
Just call me August.