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September 11, 2005

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I seriously love you. If you read my latest rant, you'll see why. Thanks for this post.

Put your right foot forward Then your left foot out
Do the Bunny Hop
Hop, hop, hop!

Dance this new creation
It's the new sensation
Do the Bunny Hop
Hop, hop, hop!

Let's all join in the fun
Father, mother, son
Do the Bunny Hop
Hop, hop, hop!

Somehow the lyrics seemed appropriate :-)

And yes, please be gentler. I know that I'm too hard on myself too, and we're both doing a good job. Well, at least you're doing a good job. I'm doing a fair job. Or an okay job. Or.... am I being too hard on myself again?

Well, I'm always interested to read about your approach to parenting and discipline. My son is nearly two and I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing, apart from monitoring my own attitude. Simplistic, I know, and I dare say an incomplete method.

I'll tell you one thing, though. I started reading Between Parent and Child (before I lost my copy, coincidentally enough) and by the end of chapter 2 I was afraid to open my mouth again, lest something obtuse and insensitive unwittingly fly from it. Earthen vessels, indeed!

Jamie. Three points.

1. Keep trying to be nice to yourself. As a rabid perfectionist, I commiserate, and I want to share with you the thought that has helped me the most. I was beating myself up for something once, and a really close friend said "Nobody should ever say anything like that about a child of God." Think about it.

2. I'm sure that you don't give yourself enough credit for the kind of parent you are, but I will pray that you, and all parents, will always grow closer to the examples set for them by the saints. As Mrs. OIncredible always said, "Do you have any idea how much evil would fail to take root if more people were just good parents?"

3. Also from the Incredibles, in Elizabeth's amazing Edna Mold voice: "No Capes!"

God bless--

Excellent- I loved reading this entry! Well done! Thank you.

Swoop! Limp? Hop!
Inspired!
Sarah

Mmm... peanut butter cookies. Alas, I'm nursing and there is a fairly dubious "history of food allergy" in my family (but not nut allergy.) I didn't know it was recommended till 4 years into this pregnancy and nursing thing. I'm guessing either you have no food allergies in your family or I am following advice not everyone thinks is simple ordinary prudence.

And I think I relate to the actual point of your article, but I'm still not sure I put enough pressure on myself to Do It Right, let alone too much. What happens most with me is that I derail the possibility of even doing things decently well by striving for perfection -- e.g., the idea of trying to make spaghetti squash for dinner plus my level of culinary skill = decision for Boston Market when the time comes and rotten squash eventually. But if I *had* actually made it, it would have been organic and from fresh, not some box mix dinner with refined grains in it or something! Nosirree, not gonna buy anything like that, just gonna get pizza for dinner... again.

In college our rallying cry was "Done is good." It was meant to reinforce to a group of largely perfectionist women that it was better to finish something than to work to make it perfect so it never got done or we made ourselves sick about it.

I never thought about an acronym for it before, but you'll notice that the acronym is DIG. Which could mean that adopting the "Done is good" attitude will help you just dig in and get things done.

El Chico started preschool this week. They're still easing into the full lengths of the sessions so he's only been there for 2 1/2 hours this week so far. I am simply amazed at how much emotional space that time has created for me. Knowing that he's with two other capable and engaging adults who will be working on the same things I work on at home with him ("If you want him to stop talking, just say, 'Please be quiet.' Pushing him won't make him stop talking.")has quite literally shifted the burden off my shoulders for those brief periods of time.

I think that part of your perfectionism in parenting might be a result of the fact that you're homeschooling and don't get that break of a few hours to let someone else do the reminding and nudging and breaking up of squabbles (let alone scrubbing off of paint and honey and snot). So you're really holding yourself to a much higher standard than the rest of us who don't homeschool are held to. If you're going to start treating yourself the way you'd treat your friends, remember to give yourself a huge handicap for being the only adult in charge all day long.

If it helps you any, know that I didn't wash the dishes last night at all. I was too busy watching last year's season of "Lost" on DVD.

and Dr. Sears' advice on biting is the best I've seen/heard! just push inward so they let go! counterintuitive, but gets the job done, which is to say, gets your breast out of a tight spot, and a little baby is not doing something "bad" anyway! Why look for a way to make mothering harder than it really is? Making it a joy, or finding the joy that is already in it, placed there by God in his infinite wisdom, has to start with a basic grasp of reality.

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