First of all, I would have been ecstatic to be allowed to wear mom jeans! Jeans were one of the few things that remained consistently sinful throughout my childhood and adolescence, though the reasons varied: either they were “men’s clothing” and not appropriate, or else they were ultra-female and sexy. I would have loved to own a durable pair of pants so I could climb trees properly. BUT ALAS.
Anyway, somebody commented on one of my posts on Homeschoolers Anonymous and said “I would love to contribute Kay – about how moms even need to know it is ok to buy themselves clothes too.” Yes please! Write me a guest post and I will post it! I don’t know what it must be like, trying to balance girly stuff with being a mom, but I know it must be hard. (Side note, I’m as old now as my mom was when she had me. Heavens.)
Speaking as a kid, though, I would have LOVED to see my mom take some time to be pretty and smell nice, rather than descending further and further into the abyss of baggy jumpers and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. For that matter I would have loved to see her do just about anything for her – so that she felt like she had some kind of identity outside of homeschooling us. Because, you know, if we don’t turn out like she expected, she feels like she failed as a person.
What’s she going to do when all my siblings are grown and gone and there’s nobody left? I don’t know.
If I have some kids someday, I’ve thought a lot about how to interact with them. (I guess a lot of ex-homeschoolers probably take the thought of eventual parenting pretty seriously.) This is sort of my bucket list.
Maintain a distinct life and identity apart from the kids.
NEVER make your interaction with the kids be about your issues.
Remember that how you behave will have a lot to do with how they think God behaves.
Never be angry around the kids, ever. IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT THAT YOU ARE UPSET, IT’S YOURS. Being upset is *your* problem to deal with, not theirs. If you’re mad at something else, don’t take it out on them, they don’t need to know. If you’re mad at them, don’t take it out on them, they don’t need to know. They should NEVER feel like they are responsible for keeping you happy, or making you not angry.
Don’t punish in anger. If possible, don’t punish.
Be a safe person for them to be around. If they have a question, they need to feel safe asking you. They shouldn’t be scared of you, or your reactions, about anything EVER.
Avoid knee-jerk reactions like the plague. Don’t do ANYTHING unless you have a reason that makes actual sense. ALWAYS be prepared to explain reasoning, if asked.
Expect NOT to be the center of their world. They’re not there to make you feel good about yourself.
And that is the end.