Sunday, March 29, 2009

Different Strokes

Over the last few weeks, the Hoos, the girls and I have had the opportunity to hang out with four other families for events and activities. We feel very fortunate to have started to develop a network of other people that we genuinely enjoy spending time with. It helps that we all:
  • Have two kids
  • Spaced our kids 2-3 years apart
  • Are two-income families
  • Almost all (4 out of 5) attended college with our spouse
  • Have similar values in terms of family coming first

The clincher is that we all have kids. It does make a difference in terms of expectations and planning. We all know about eating dinner early and working around nap time, none of us are phased by a meltdown, and none of us expect to actually eat a meal in silence or stay up/out too late.

For perspective, married friends without children came over for dinner on a Sunday night a few weeks ago and stayed past 10. The Hoos and I almost passed out from exhaustion.

Also interesting is that no matter how similar we are, everyone has their nuanced way of parenting. A way that works for them. All of the people we have been hanging out with are great parents and they have wonderful children. I couldn't raise their kids and they couldn't raise mine (nor would they likely want to after experiencing a tantrum courtesy of LP or listening to AK shriek with joy while eating).

What do I mean by all this? I mean don't ever buy another parenting book. There is no one-size-fits all way to parent. Starting with a base of good,strong values and lots of love, chances are things will work themselves out making for a less stressful, more enjoyable life. And happier, healthier kids.

1 comment:

KNA said...

I loved today's posting. There is such an ease being with the kids and other families or other parents who get all the extras (aka baggage) that comes along with kids. You just never know when there will be a great day, meltdown, sickness, going to bed at a reasonable time, mealtime, nap time and so many other moments in the day that can be so unpredictable. For some reason there is often a little anxiety being around married friends without children. They just aren't there yet to full grasp these moments. Great posting! All the moms out there will feel exactly what you have been feeling. It's so nice you've found such a great group of families.