Monday, December 1, 2008

Learning (This time it's all about me)

Soooo, my last post was all about Grasshopper learning to use the potty (or not really learning to use the potty. I'm choosing to be optimistic). Today, the learning is all about me. Here are quotes I just pulled from my email exchange with Mir this morning:

me: Are you feeling better today?

Mir: I am still feeling crappy, but I suspect in a couple more days I'll be alright. I'm drinking, drinking, drinking. (Er, water and tea and juice. Not that kind of drinking. Shutting up now....)

Did you have a nice holiday? Did you do the potty training...?

me: I shall point you towards my blog for the answer to the potty training question...(note: yes, I am lazy)

Mir: Oh, ahahahahaaaaa... just read your blog (sorry I'm so behind, I have like 500+ unread entries in my reader). That sounds about like what both of my kids did when they were not interested in potty training. Heh. I swear I'm not laughing at you.... But yeah, I think you were wise to let it go.

As someone once told me: No one goes off to college in Pampers. It'll happen. ;)

me: I expect to be laughed at, cause we really were doing song and dance routines to keep that kid on the potty...

Now I have to get ready for my MOMS Club meeting which is going to apparently include a guest speaker who is a Life Coach and is supposedly going to teach us all how to find deeper meaning in stay-at-home motherhood (or some such rot). Whee! Good times! (I'm an officer and can't skip.) note: yes, sometimes I am both judgmental and snarky at the same time!

Mir: It's good that you're not jaded or anything. ;)

me: That's me, the classic enthusiastic joiner!

I'm providing this riveting dialogue between people who clearly need more sleep to illustrate that I tend not to put much stock in things like Life Coaching. I'm sure that for many people, having a life coach is a wonderful, fulfilling experience. To me, it just sounded like a money-suck. And a time-suck. As Mir rightly pointed out, I can be rather jaded.

Amazingly, I actually enjoyed listening to the speaker, (I even *cough, cough* learned something) and even more, I enjoyed the debate that some of her questions sparked among us MOMS club officers. I know, I know, me enjoying talking? About ideas? and my kid? Who would have thunk it?!?

The primary piece of advice that I took away from the meeting was to view motherhood as a life-long learning experience. To think of myself as a student, rather than as an expert. So simple, yet such a divergent way of viewing things.

I absolutely hate to be wrong (really, who likes being wrong? Hello? Anyone?) and also, when it comes to motherhood, I feel like I can't afford to be wrong. If I screw up at parenting I'm not just wrong, I'm ruining a person. Possibly for LIFE. This is where that oh-so-powerful Mommy Guilt comes into play and I feel like I must do exactly the right thing in this exact moment or I am a failure. Seriously people, this is how my mind works. Weep for my husband.

What this Life Coach pointed out was that it's really not possible to be an expert at something the first time. Never potty trained a child? Then don't expect to be an expert at it. Expect to be a student. Again, so simple, right? I have had this important tidbit of information given to me number of times through the years (thanks for the lectures Dad!) but I never applied it to parenting. Parents are the ones with all the answers. At least, that's how I always thought it was supposed to be...

The best part is, I love being a student. I miss college. Not for the parties and the sense of having the whole world out there waiting for me to grab it (although those were nice). I miss being a student. I miss learning new stuff everyday, and having philosophical discussions about it all at night. I have been letting my need to be an expert prevent me from enjoying one of the best opportunities to be a student that life has thus far presented to me. At the risk of sounding like a paid spokewhore for Life Coaches R' Us (and also like someone who has spent too much time in mission-statement meetings) I have had a paradigm shift. And I'm admitting it, right here on the Internet before all and sundry.

I don't know how long this new healthier way of viewing motherhood is going to last, but I hope for a while. After all, admitting you have a problem is the first step in recovery, right?

Please tell me in the Comments if you think I just need more sleep, or if this is really a good thing?

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