On Friday, I rambled at some length about an epiphany most people probably had long ago, but which had recently struck me full force. It was this: there is no mold. No pattern, no role, no archetype can be adopted or assigned to a person and fit perfectly.
At some point, finding our true identity becomes a mixture between authentically defining who we are at different stages in our lives and strategically envisioning who we would like to become. The paradoxical “perfect is the enemy of good” has become my mantra, and nowhere in life has that lent me more strength than in parenting. Check this out…
Of the four births of my children, 2 took place at birth centers, 1 in the hospital, and one at home- and I would do every one of them again. How’s that for paradox? Mom’s sometimes line up on each side of the “natural spectrum” and shout at each other from each side that one end is where all of us should be. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Each of those births was right for different reasons, but most importantly because each felt right for our family at the time, and every baby and birth is different. Born is best, people. Born is best.
I’ve homeschooled (well)- and loved it! But I’m currently teaching and sending my kids to public school, which I also love. And once upon a wonderful time, I also taught in a charter where my children were likewise enrolled. Some of my best teaching lessons came from those years at our quirky, special charter in small-town, TX. There isn’t one RIGHT way to educate each child, because no single system can be a fail-safe for every learner. What matters is this: kids need to learn in a way that challenges them without defeating their spirits. The end. So, not that anyone needed it, but you now have my permission to, unschool, homeschool, employ the Charlotte-Mason method, or even private school your kid.
Speaking of lining up on opposite ends of the spectrum, I wanna know- who says? Who says there are two main political camps? At risk of stepping into upheaval, I venture this: we ALL fall somewhere along the conservative/ liberal spectrum at different places on the continuum! Believing in the sanctity of life and family values does not exclude the possibility that one might support more restrictions on the purchase of firearms, be an advocate for migrants and asylum seekers, or even a supporter of welfare programs. Likewise, a left- leaning, liberal -minded soul may feel strongly about reducing the deficit or support the growing number of charter schools or even be a proponent for raising the retirement age. I find myself passionate about a number of political issues that might label me conservative, and a host of policies that make my very traditional friends and family shudder to hear.
There’s so much more paradox inside me to explore. I’m an extrovert who can’t shut up, but I also require a substantial amount of alone time to feel altogether sane. I’m a perfectionist who literally can’t manage her own calendar. I am mostly self-centered and still learning to show a genuine interest in others’ well being (or even just their birthdays), but am only recently learning to self care.
I could do this all day, so I should spare you now. Please confirm my suspicion that each of us finds these opposing natures within themselves…
Hit reply to tell me… how do you find yourself a paradox?