Over a decade ago now we belonged to a rather involved home school group with eclectic though fairly religious members. They met a great deal, but I, terrified of being behind the wheel back then, did not make it to many get togethers unless either my husband (now ex) took us, or we got a ride from someone. There was only one mom I felt comfortable really talking to. Her name was Lisa and she was lovely. It was nice getting to know her. I was sad to see her eventually move way. Even though I’ve left religion behind and would perhaps not be accepted by her these days, I remember her fondly, and I hope all is well with her and her family.
One Sunday Lisa invited to take me to a mother’s tea the group was putting on in a members home. We went. I did my usual group coping technique: Attempting to become one with the wallpaper. I sat mute and listened and drank my tea as the others talked.
The only thing that gets me talking in a group is alcohol. Most recently I have a fuzzy memory of drinking too much gin and chatting up a fellow at a Sherlockian convention about Turing and how improbable it was that we’d ever create actual self organizing/conscious AI. He asked me about my head the next day. Such a sweet guy.
But here it was tea, so wallpaper I became and sat and observed.
At one point a rather intense discussion started among these mothers (all stay at home, homeschooling moms) about whether it was the duty of a good wife to have dinner waiting for her husband. It got heated. One mom, Michele (names changed to protect privacy) insisted that the view was outdated and her husband regularly made dinner for their family. That he respected the work she did at home. Another insisted it was important to have dinner waiting.
It almost came to fisticuffs. I could see the headlines now, “Smack down at the tea party.” Eventually another mom intervened and suggested we change the topic.
Later, Lisa said,
“I couldn’t read you at all! You didn’t say anything! What did you think about that argument? I always have food waiting for my husband! Who do you think was right?”
Apparently I was supposed to have an opinion.
“Well, Michelle’s husband is a professor, I can see him having time and energy after work to do extra chores. Your husband works manual labor in a factory and is tired and hungry when he comes home. My husband has a long commute and often I make dinner though it usually isnt ready right when he gets in. He likes to cook and sometimes he does.”
Three different families,
three different perspectives, choices, decisions.
That is how I like to approach life’s decisions and the perspective I try to keep, to keep myself from being overly judgmental.
I really don’t care about you in terms of how you live your life.
Isn’t that swell?
Now if you treat your kids like shite, I’m going to judge you.
Other than that, I do not believe there is one parenting technique, one approach to learning or schooling, one approach to scheduling, or living in general that trumps all others.
For that reason,
I’m not going to preach at you on this blog about there being one perfect way.
just share ours with you.