Recently I've heard a lot about 'philosophies', more specifically parenting philosophies. I've heard some fascinating ones, some whacky ones and some just plan weird. I'm not going to bash anyone's philosophy, I admire parents who put so much thought and study into how they parent their kids.
Forget free-range, attachment, authoritarian, whatever, my own personal parenting philosophy at the moment is called "survival". Having three young kids who all have their needs is full-on. There's little sleep, a lot of hair pulling and many deep breaths. My house is filthy and messy, the floors are sticky. There are piles of clean and dirty washing. My kids don't eat as healthy as I'd like and some times watch too much TV. I'm often nagging. The baby can be found sucking on a dirty sneaker. There are plenty of things I'd like to change and do differently, but often it's just about getting through the day as best you can.
If we get through the day without any major injuries; the kids are clothed, fed and vaguely washed; if I haven't had to yell too much; we laugh a little; have a hug; we get a few hours sleeps, well that's winning. Believe me, there are days when all this doesn't happen, a lot of days.
There are days when this does happen and then Lil-lil tells me about how she stood up for a friend who'd been picked on at school or Goosey tells me about how she shared her special toy with someone at preschool or I hear them tell their little brother how much they love him. That's a super-winning day. Because despite all my many flaws as a mother, we (Skip and I) must be doing something right to have three such lovely kids.
Each day I try to remember that this will all one day just be a chaotic memory. They will be able to do more for themselves, want me to do less for them, would be horrified at the thought of curling up next to me to sleep. So in the middle of the night when I've rocked D back to sleep for the millionth time and I see him sleeping peacefully, I try and push the frustration aside and soak in a little of his baby goodness. When Lil-lil has left a pile of paperscraps, playdough and textas making a creation, I try and focus on her creation and not the mess she's made. When Goosey, stands there hand on hip, defiant, pushing me to the edge, I'll hope that she keeps just a little of her feistiness as she gets older, because it will take her far.
Do you have a philosophy? One that works?