Tuesday, July 20, 2010

why I love parenting, or a day in the life at Casa Naranja

I was just listening to Tell Me More, on NPR and the interviews were with dads, one stay-at-home, and a parenting perspective informed by the article in the current New York Magazine All Joy and No Fun; why parents hate parenting here. That is so interesting, I was just thinking the exact opposite.  I haven't blogged in over a month not because I don't love blogging, believe it or not I do, but because life is oh-so-full, in a good way.  I so often wish I was a committed, monetized blogger who blogged at least a blurb with photos every day, but for right now I am not. 
When Ethan and I were looking for houses, and we looked, trust, we had a few priorities.  Ethan: different neighborhood, good sized yard.  Connor:  pool, trees.  As you can see, we were on the same page.  Anyhoo, we looked and looked and he was getting to the point of abandoning our search when doncha know the perfect casa fell into our laps, and we scooped it up.  From the moment of signing the contract to closing was 48 days, then two weeks of painting to actually moving in.  All this to say that during all this time, since early June when I last blogged, that I have been awash in the love and joy and yes, dare I say FUN, of parenting.  Why is it that parents don't have fun?  I'm not sure but I believe that it has a lot more to do with the person than the position. 
I'm a SAHM, that's stay-at-home-mom for those unfamiliar with the acronym, homeschooling my newly minted 7-year-old daughter and 4 1/2 year old son and part time my 4 year old niece and we have fun.  I don't just mean I watch my children have fun, I mean we have fun.  Period.  About two weeks ago, just after we moved into our new-to-us house, Maco took Augustus for a playdate with Frida so Magdalena and I were on our own.  We went for an early evening swim and I played with her like I remember playing when I was a little girl.  We jumped up and down in place for ever, just exhilarating in the feeling of plunging in and out of the water, the sounds and sensations, it was incredible.  We raced, we had an underwater tea-party, we pretended, we played; basically, we had fun. 
Some parents work outside the home, some parents work part time, some parents work inside the home, some parents go to school and work, some parents have domestic help, some parents have endless resources, some parents have to make do, some parents are single, some parents have family support, some parents are on their own.  There are endless parenting styles, parenting philosophies, personalities, etc. Here's the big but, but if it sucks, and it's awful, why not examine the parenting situations and expectations, rather than "parenting". 
In addition to being a SAHM homeschooling mom, I'm also an AP, attachment parenting, style mom.  You can check out what that officially means here.  What that means to me is that I (in my best moments, I do, in my worst, I'm still figuring it out) parent with love and respect, mostly by the golden rule.  That being said, not only does it feel good to parent this way, but surprise surprise, it feels good to children, and GASP! it's effective and practical.  So here you have a completely different take on the whole "parenting makes us unhappy/depressed and the more the harrier, not happier" thesis. 
Examine the expectations, examine the parenting model, examine the behaviors, examine the time spent with those little people, quantity counts, quality counts obviously, but so does quantity. 
Ok, that's enough of a rant.  Photo essay and words about our life to follow!

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