Name a controversial topic and it's likely that I can see points on either side. I'm not big into Astrology but I've always found it fitting that I am a Gemini. I often have "two minds" - it is just so hard to decide what side of the fence I want to be on! As with any trait it can be seen as a strength or a weakness. It is good when I can speak with others on a topic with compassion and really listen to what they're saying. It's difficult when I am weighing a decision - especially one that affects my family.
Something that has been a huge relief to me recently is this epiphany:
I DON'T NEED TO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS.
I know. Wow. Really? I don't need to know everything! I really feel like school and the way our modern society "works" now makes people feel like they do. I know I was rewarded pretty well for getting the "right" answers.
So feeling like I need to know the "right" answer can be pretty tough for someone who is also pretty good at seeing things from multiple viewpoints. Add to the mix parenting. Ahhh, parenting. The arena where everyone has an opinion AND *their* opinion is the right one! (I know mine is) <-- that's sarcasm - my self-deprecating humor if you didn't catch it.
Ever since this post there have been some thoughts nagging around in the corners of my mind. After I posted I re-read the blog I was responding to and started reading some comments too. Most people just absolutely LOVE what she wrote! And there are hundreds of comments. huh. Well, I wasn't really surprised, it was just another way that I was being "different". And I was kind of glad that I didn't read the comments first, because they didn't influence my first reaction.
But it did make me think about her post more and what I wrote. And my friend let me know that she totally agrees with me AND the original post resonates with her. And that made me think too... I'm beginning to think there are many times in life where people are expressing similar, if not completely the same, feelings, sentiments, experiences, but using different words. What I mean is, that the life I'm living as a mother with small children may look very similar to the life she's living. There are moments that we are having that are probably very similar. But I keep coming back to one idea that she was expressing: "Parenting is hard". And for me it just feels better to re-frame it. Yes, parenting is challenging sometimes. Yes it sometimes throws stuff at you that does not smell like roses, or look like rainbows glowing behind your kids' halo encircled heads. Not every moment has magical fairy dust dripping from it. But the dichotomy of "Chronos" and "Kairos" sets us up for more drudgery than sparkle. There can be more than these two things. If we can learn to just "be" (which I'm still not that good at!) and accept each moment as it comes there is something else. And if we get really good at that I believe we will naturally experience more Kairos moments.
Ok, new tanget. I'm not sure if I've beat that horse (monkey-idea?) to death yet, but I'm moving on. I titled this post, "I see both". There is another video clip making the rounds on Facebook (where I get much of my mental stimulation these days - is that a bad thing?) Here is a link to it: Father Goes Into Baby Crib.
In the beginning when the baby was crying I felt my inner-mama bear getting agitated. Then I laughed through the last couple of minutes of the clip as the baby sweetly slept on her daddy and he tried unsuccessfully to get out of the crib. I had a good long belly laugh.
Most of the comments on the actual video on you-tube are of the "this is so cute!" or the "what a good daddy!" variety.
For a different view point on this video you can click here. As you can read, the viewpoint here and the comments are quite different. As a mother who sleeps with her children I understand where these people are coming from.
However, I also understand why most people think the father in the video is a good dad and that the video is cute. He did NOT let his baby cry herself back to sleep. And as one commenter pointed out, clearly the little girl finds comfort in and loves her daddy. So I did find his attempts to extract himself very humorous.
And that's what I mean by I can see both sides. I could not bring myself to sleep train our children and I don't think that is how humans are meant to fall asleep. But I also see how hard this Daddy is trying to do his best for his baby. To me what the video highlights is that our cultural norm of having babies sleep in cribs has made things more complicated than they need to be. I'm not trying to make individual parents feel bad or that they are doing things "wrong", I just feel like there are a lot of things that are generally NOT RIGHT in our culture which makes it difficult and confusing for individuals who are trying their hardest to be the best parents they can be within the societal parameters they are used to.
For me this means questioning just about everything and finding the path that is best for our family. It is exhausting sometimes but it is worth it. Here's to creating a new culture where all of our needs and perspectives are valued from baby to daddy.