A couple of weeks ago we hooked up our old video camera to the tv to watch some home movies. We saw Summer's 5th birthday (a few days before Nicholas turned that age), AJ's 2nd and 3rd birthdays and other times of the kids just playing. Watching my children's stages and growth had me thinking of my journey as a parent and the different stages of growth I've been through as well.
Attachment parenting was a natural choice when Summer was born, even though I didn't know it had specific, almost unspoken 'rules' about how to do it 'right'. When I found that out, I started doing more research into natural parenting. I started out parenting by instinct but lost some of that in trying to follow other people's guides. I read a lot - books, magazines, internet forums and websites - trying to find the right information. Some of it was helpful. A lot of it was time used up that could have been spent discussing ideas with Cary and seeing how they could work with our family. Instead, I armed myself with new ideas and then informed Cary of how it was going to be. Then I would be mad when he didn't see it that way too! I really have spent a lot of time reading about how other 'experts' suggest we live a simple and natural and connected life. I kind of wish now that I had just lived my own life.
We moved into Steiner homeschooling, to relaxed homeschooling, then to Life Learning /Unschooling. The deeper I go into Unschooling, the more I see how beautifully it ties in everything that has resonated with me along my lifelong Spiritual journey. The Power of Now, Law of Attraction, the Golden Rule, and just a desire to be a Mama who loves spending time with her kids and sees the value in every single thing about them. For most of my life I have believed that 'Everything I Need will be Provided'. It's always been so. It encourages me to allow that same Trust to operate in the lives of my children where I have at times had doubt.
Cary and I have had our ups and downs over the years but for the most part we coast along well. A few weeks ago, we had an argument that took me by surprise. I took some time out afterwards and asked for guidance to give me some insight into preventing that pattern. I realised that I have a different level of communication with my kids than I do with Cary. I have put so much into being a Mama that I have neglected being a Partner in a deep and meaningful way. And I confess here publicly that I listened better, and gave more respect to, my children. In reading the different parenting books and advice over the years, I didn't factor that I could, or maybe should, apply those aspects that resonated with me, to my relationship with my husband.
So here I am....letting go of any rules that are not mine...letting my instincts guide my choices....making respect for ALL (not just my kids, but Cary, myself and everyone I meet) a priority. My life continues to get richer and deeper! (My golly...what will another 10 or 20 years bring?!) I know there are more lessons for me in the area of living an authentic life of deep connection...I am aware of a subtle longing inside of me for..for..? I'm sitting with that and in the meantime, I am enjoying the joy of individual moments and when there is some quiet, I ponder the root of that ache.