Friday, December 20, 2013

On Parenting

It’s not laying down the law and expecting obedience.  
It’s constant conversation.




It’s not he’s your brother, you have to love him.  
It’s acknowledging that sometimes he will piss you off, and you need to respond appropriately.

It’s not this is how you do it.  
It’s let me see how you do it.




It’s not perfection.  
It’s messes, and mistakes, and seeing the wonder – and pain – of learning.

It’s not do what I say, not what I do.  
It’s I’ve made mistakes, and so will you.

It’s not listen, or else.  
It’s love all the time, even when she is being unlovable.




It’s not this is how it will be.  
It’s fluidity – this works today, but maybe not tomorrow.

It’s not I know better.  
It's this is what I know.  

It’s not I know what you are going through, and this is how you get through it.  
It’s let’s figure this out together.  




It’s not my way or the highway.  
It’s noting the differences between you and between them and understanding both.

It’s being okay with the differences.

It’s worrying that the differences will drive you – and them – apart.

It’s praying daily that love will triumph.




It’s doing your best for today.

It’s having faith that you have done your best.

It’s not easy.

No one said it would be. 





28 comments:

  1. This is why you are a wonderful parent! My natural parenting style is the first sentences. Thanks for the perspective and reminder!

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    1. Well, you are a wonderful parent, too. You just need some coaching. Which is why I'm here. ;)

      Ladies, and gentlemen, my husband.

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  2. It's clear that you're a good parent, Andrea!!
    Love this.

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    1. Thanks, Alison! And I have to say here that while I know what parenting is, I'm not always consistent. These statements are for me to remember as much as anyone else. :)

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  3. I love your thoughts on parenting!!
    Beautiful family picture!!

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    1. Thank you Kim! That picture is probably the most accurate depiction of our family life.

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  4. This was very lovely. It's obvious you're a great mom with a very lucky family!

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    1. Thank you so much! I like to think so at times, and other times, I think they're not so lucky. But I'll always take the encouragement. :) We all need it.

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  5. Wow, this really hits the nail on the head. Great job!

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    1. Thank you so much! Now, to put this plan in motion every single day...

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  6. I don't know that I could have that level of patience. I commend you for your abilities.

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    1. Thanks, Tammy! Believe me, there are times when my patience is not as ideal as what I've outlined here. This is a list of aspirations, most days.

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  7. Yes. Figuring it out together. Every day. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. The moment I realized that it was all about figuring it out and not knowing it all, I felt much better about my performance as a parent, no matter how many times I am left wondering how to do it.

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  8. Smart lady, you. Good for all of us to get that reminder. Even the ones that seem so innocent - like "I know what you're going through" can backfire.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. And yes, our best intentions often backfire Especially when kids get to that age when parents are thoroughly stupid. ;)

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  9. I love all of this Andrea. You're a good mama :)

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    1. Thank you Sarah! Your encouragement means a lot. :)

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  10. First of all, I love the pictures of your family (especially the top of the Eiffel Tower one!!! I wonder how many people recognised that one!)

    Second of all, I want to be a mom like this.

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    1. Thanks Jennie! You have an eagle eye for the details in that photo! That was a couple of years ago when I was fortunate enough to have visited Paris twice in the same year. :)

      I also want to be a mom like this. Some days are easier than others.

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  11. This is so perfect. Difficult sometimes, but so very true.

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    1. Thanks, Greta! I find it difficult most times. :)

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  12. Love this, Andrea. So true and such a great reminder. :)

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    1. Thanks Kim! It's a good reminder these days for me, too, when my kids are home and for the love of God why can't they put their dirty towels in the hamper?

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  13. I love every bit of this.
    And also, I kind of want a Be a Smart Cookie t-shirt for Christmas.

    Fingers crossed.

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    1. Thanks, Julie! That smart cookie shirt - gah! It's on constant rotation, and a prize from school for reading 100 books last year. I might convince her to give it up if she considers you a worthy recipient. I'm not - I only read six. Maybe seven.

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