Hello my name is Rayven and I’m just a parent. One thing I’ve noticed on this parenting journey, which has become even more obvious since I plunged head first into the homeschooling world, is that there are labels for everything. You are either this or you are that. I swear cruising parenting forums is like taking a seat at a well-stocked bar. Your liquor choices include*but certainly aren’t limit to*:






Gender Neutral

Tiger Mom

TTAC *I will not directly link to that groups website on this blog EVER!*

And those are honestly just the ones that come to my mind first. Then on top of the groups you have the list that go with them, Ten Things Every Parent Should Do, Free-Range Don’ts, How To Ruin Your Child, Ways To Ensure Your Child’s Happiness, Top Ten Dangers Lurking In Your Home, and well…you all get the idea. By the time you’ve made your selection and read through the various lists, suggestions, and how-toes for that choice the bartender is shouting last call. You’ve spent your whole night stressing the selection that you forget to enjoy what brought you there to start with.

What brings us to the bar of parenting? Why it’s the very beings that make us parents, our children. No child in the history of mankind has ever come with an instruction manual, and so far none of the “this is it!” guides have had the same results with every family that has implored their use. Children aren’t stereos or pieces of furniture from Ikea. They are individuals with individual needs, wants, desires, and predispositions. It would take an ingredient list over a mile long just to scratch the surface of the children in our two-child home. So why sit down and try to find one that fits before we have even had a chance to see the various individual flavors alive in our children?

Yes I enjoy reading various thoughts and opinions on the subject of children and raising them, but I don’t take all of those as the end all and be all of my parenting selection. I don’t have to lock into one drink; in fact I personally prefer water. Why? Because you can add the flavors you want as you need them, and start over with a fresh batch if the situation calls for it. Allowing you to always have your own fresh perspective, instead of the haze created by stacks of “parent tested methods”, plus it’s very refreshing and never goes out of style.

Some of these methods I have tasted and enjoyed and some I avoid like the worm at the bottom of a tequila bottle. At the end of the night I have to remember one very important detail that no matter what the books may say I am still a parent, and more importantly the parent of General Disarray and Professor Chaos. No one else can claim to be their mother that honor lies solely on my shoulders, and with that honor comes the knowledge that I know them. I know them better than someone sitting thousands of miles away writing a book ever will. Yes there methods may seem interesting, and sure some of it may work, but what exactly do I as the mother of these two children need to add to my glass of water to get these two boys to adulthood? And more importantly can I even use the same glass for both?

For now I’m going to be a parent running on instinct and a few pieces of advice to give me a pinch of extra flavor. I’m going to be too hard for one group, too leant for another, depriving of the “finer things in life” *designer threads and a brand new car* according to one group, and spoiling them rot according to the other side. I’ll be sheltering them because of our homeschooling and my stance on the influence of individuals over my children, and at the same time I’ll be too permissive because I will allow them to stay home alone during the day when I return to the workforce.

No matter where I turn at the parenting bar I will be screwing up, so I say fine! Let me screw up! I’m going to stumble through this parenting thing sober and focused. I’m going to do my job as their mother, and will they come out perfect because of it? Hell No! Why would anyone want a perfect concoction though? It loses its’ personality when it’s all the same. I want a little more of something and a little less of something else. I want perfect imperfection. Will my children reach adulthood with plenty of stories for their therapist? Probably. Does it make me a horrible parent because I don’t think one size parenting approaches fits-all and I have no desire to force myself into one? No, I don’t think so; I’m sure someone somewhere does. But they aren’t on this journey with the people I’m on it with. Embracing this journey and letting it mold me instead of molding it into some prepackaged ideal, is what makes me human. It’s what makes me their mother and no one else’s.

So when we sit down at the parenting bar tonight and I order a glass of water with two shots of lemon and a dash of sugar, instead of gazing helplessly at the selection on the wall, you all will know why.

Copyright(c)2011 Rayven Holmes


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