There are a few blogs I subscribe to for inspiration, aspiration, laughter, tips, tricks and ideas. I love these women bloggers and can not wait to grow up and be like them.
One blogger, in particular, Amanda Blake Soule is an amazing woman. At least on blog. She makes it a point not to put her family not-goodness on line, choosing to use her blog space to chronicle all the wonder that is her life with her family on their homestead. The good stuff looks really darn good, if I do say so myself. And she and her husband, Steve, seem to have a symbiosis that is rather breathtaking in its honesty and simplicity.
Here's the thing: As much as I admire Amanda and all that she stands for; as much as I want to be her and have that kind of magic mothering instinct, I'm just not wired that way. I am not the kind of mother who can let her children leave scraps of paper all over the place (though I do it). I am not the kind of mother that gently explains the ins and outs of life, or coddles the sick or injured.
In my house, unless you're dying, broken or on fire, you better not be crying about an injury.
I am not the kind of mother who humors children's interruptions. In my house, I will very un-politely tell the child to shut up and find something else to do, because grown ups are talking.
I never was a co-sleeping kind of mom, either. Past the age of three, The Trolls were far too old to spend a night in my bed.
I bottle fed, used disposable diapers and let The Nugget fall asleep in his high chair (more often than I care to admit). Both my boys were c-sections.
I tried flash cards and labeling everything in the house, but I just didn't have the patience to keep teaching a toddler how to read. The Nugget didn't learn to tie his shoes until he was seven.
I swear, I yell, I spank. I don't make The Trolls brush their teeth all the time. I let them leave their room a mess, and only sporadically enforce other chores.
I refused to vaccinate The Trolls until they were school age and I had to (because I couldn't claim religious exemption, what with my not going to church and all). I usually make them eat organically, except for candy. And the sweet tea. And occasional adventures at Dunkin Donuts.
I ship them up to Massachusetts every summer so I can get a break (all the while, my heart breaking until they are safely home with me), where their Loli will feed them anything and everything they want.
We have date night, and prayers and books. We snuggle - all four of us - in bed just about every night. I mostly make them do homework, and we have family dinners just about every night. There are no video games or TV during the week.
So, while I am not perfect and will never be SouleMama, I do my best. My kids seem pretty OK, for now. But just in case, I already have therapy funds set up for them.