I’ve been in a strange place lately.
I find myself questioning almost all of the values that I’ve been die-hard about for as long as I can remember.
I’m not talking about issues of faith or morality, but rather my personal value system.
These are the things that I would have “fallen on my sword” over in the past and now I’m thinking I may have had it all wrong. Or maybe I was just too “black and white” about these issues now I’m realizing that they are shades of gray.
Either way, it’s unsettling to question things that I just knew were right for so long.
Women should stay home to raise their children and take care of their home. Working outside the home has a negative effect on children and husbands.
Babies should be breastfed for a full year. Anything less is a cop out. Low supply shouldn’t be an excuse; you can make enough for your baby if you try hard enough.
Children should be home-schooled. The education and nurture of a child are better left to the mother in the home.
Toddlers should never watch TV. It will cause them to have a lack of imagination and self-entertainment skills. The flickering lights will probably even cause ADD.
If a child doesn’t like vegetables, it’s the parent’s fault for giving them a taste for junk food.
Obviously most people would have labeled me an absolute psycho b*tch if I’d gone around shouting these things from the rooftops, so I generally kept them to myself. I’d sometimes share my point of view on these topics but would always couch it with, “I know it’s not for everyone, but…”
And on the inside I thought these really were the only right ways to do things.
Boy have I been given a run for my money!
I have had to work full time to support our family while Andy is in school and I’ve actually grown to love it. It gives me a sense of satisfaction and structure to my day. I often find that I’m more optimistic and motivated after a workday than during a weekend day.
Despite my best efforts, I had to supplement my baby’s diet with formula. I stopped breastfeeding after 6 months because I just wasn’t producing enough, regardless of how often I pumped or how much fenugreek I took. Pumping 1oz at work while the baby is at home eating 4oz quickly depleted my freezer stash and forced me to consider other options.
Some kids are better off in school. They are hard-wired to be social and outgoing and they become cranky and irritable if they are home all the time. Some kids thrive on the “competition” available in a classroom but will be unmotivated in their classroom of 1 at home with mom. Based on her current behavior patterns, Grace might be one of those kids.
Sometimes I need the 45 minutes of peace and quiet that an episode of Sesame Street will afford. Maybe my toddler even benefits from chilling out on the couch for a while. Maybe she will learn her ABC’s or how to count to 10 in Spanish or the benefits of sharing. Maybe her brain won’t rot and she won’t develop ADD.
It’s possible that after 6 whole months of eating homemade, organically grown pureéd vegetables, your toddler can still develop an aversion to anything and everything even resembling a vegetable.
I still battle with almost all of these things. Part of me thinks that if I did some of them the others wouldn’t be an issue.
It’s so good that God knocked me off my high horse over the past year and a half. I’ve realized that He had a purpose for me to work full-time besides just generating income. I haven’t only helped Andy on his path to becoming a doctor, I’ve also had my extreme value system rocked to the core.
I think I would have ridden into the sunset on my high horse had my circumstances not challenged every single one of those ideas I’d always held.
I don’t judge things on face value as much anymore. You never know the circumstances behind the things you see. Life isn’t black and white and these things aren’t right or wrong across the board.
My favorite thing about getting older is realizing how much I don’t know.