Saturday, May 9, 2015

Kristin Alvick Graf's Manual on Motherhood: Winging It

Recently I put out a query to my Facebook friends: should I let my daughter give up on drum lessons after only 2 sessions?  Many friends responded by saying she should stick with it, that they wish their parents had made them see though a few more things they had started.

Well, the month of lessons I had paid for is over and my daughter is no longer a drum student.  I figured I was already making her do one thing she didn't really want to do--school track--two such things might be too much.  And a school sport is cheaper.

I thought about making her stick it out for another month, but finally took her word for it when she said she was no longer interested.  Would she regret it? Was it the right decision?  I honestly don't know.

Once again it becomes painfully obvious that, when it comes to parenting, I really don't know what I'm doing.

When I started this gig 19 years ago, I read the books and asked for advice.  I weighed input from friends and family, seriously considering each issue carefully.  At his point, however, I'm just winging it.

Did I ruin my kids by not weaning them at 12 months, or letting them have a pacifier?  What about  not allowing them to spend the night at that one kid's house, or letting them eating peanut butter crackers for dinner?  Was I teaching my kids the right things?

After this last round of "Spin the Wheel to See If I Just Ruined My Kid's Life", I decided that my choices as a parent may or may not lead to my kids having a stint in therapy/never fulfilling their potential as a rock star/knowing what a "normal" mother is like.  And I've made peace with that.

The way I figure it, I taught them to read and to look both ways before crossing the street.  Everything else they'll have to figure out on their own.  A little intellectual ability and a little common sense should see them through just about anything.

So if my daughter comes to me in 20 years saying she wishes I'd made her stick with drums, I'll tell her the God's honest truth:  it was too expensive.