Tuesday, October 5, 2010

you're damned if you do and damned if you don't

So as I walked today(and jogged a little) I thought about certain things that I do and don't do because of my childhood.  I just recently finished the book Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and it really resonated with me. I won't go into too many details about the book just yet. I belong to a book club and it's our current selection and I know some have not read it yet.If you have NOT read this book...you should. stop reading this blog right now and go get the book. It's that good. It really got me to thinking about how I was raised and how it made me into the person I am today.For example.....My mom used to always make macaroni and hamburger and tomatoes. Huge pots of it that would last for days. I guess because it was cheap and nourishing. I still love it to this day and when I make it;I make a HUGE pot that will last for days. BUT we also had "Klick" and fried bologna a lot and if I never eat Klik again it will be too soon. I find this goes for many people. Some things they enjoyed as kids,they hate as adults and some things they enjoyed as kids, they still like.I find this is the same with behaviors as in food.When I walked to school in minus 30 degree weather in my snowsuit,bundled up so tightly that only my eyes were sticking out...friends and their parents would pass me in their cars and not stop to pick me up. If I know the child on the way to school I ALWAYS stop and ask if they want a ride!

There were very few places we lived when I was a child that had showers. As a result I always took baths and had to rinse my long hair under the faucet of the tub or get that hose thingy to rinse my hair. I have thick hair so whether it was short or long.....it took a while to rinse. To this day I rinse and rinse and rinse and rinse even though I have a shower with good pressure. I never think it's all the way out.

I was a latch key kid.I loved the freedom and independence.I learned to be responsible to get myself home in one piece.I did not have to be home at a certain time, and I could do whatever I pleased. But I didn't like the loneliness. Now I am a stay at home mom and LOVE being here when my kids get home.

I was in Brownies when I was a kid and LOVED it.I learned so many things and I loved being with my friends in a place where I belonged. Unfortunately this IS something that I would like for my kids but there is no opportunities for that here in my small town.

We didn't have a lot of money growing up so we didn't always have a lot to eat. Now I eat too much. my pantry and fridge are always full. And I mean really full. I don't know if I subconsciously think that it will all end and I will end up with no food? so I'm storing it? but that's just the way it is.

Because we didn't have a lot of money(there's that sentence again) I spent most of my time at friends' houses and went to relatives places for events and holidays.As a result: I love to entertain. I like having everyone over to MY house. That goes for the kids as well. I would rather have them here.

My mom worked and was usually out of the house before I went to school. I had to do my own hair and DID . I braided it and put it in ponytails and pigtails and barrettes and clips and headbands. I liked it but I DID miss my mom not doing it for me. As a result I always want to do my daughter's hair. She has refused to have anything in her hair for years.She barely likes to brush it. Only recently has she decided that she LIKES pigtails(or pink tails as she calls them) and wants me to do her hair daily! I love it!

The list goes on. Some things I have held onto because they were  part of my childhood and some things I have let go of, in spite of the fact that they were a part of my childhood. My mom did the best she could and some of those things she did for me and taught me; I continue to do for my own kids. But some of the things I do the exact opposite. You can only do what you feel is right. I know my kids will grow up someday and take some of the things we taught them to heart and carry that on with their own children. BUT some of those things will never enter into their parenting repertoire. That's okay with me. I don't need my children to copy me but to learn from me. I don't want to ever judge them and say "that's not how I raised you!" In the end it all really doesn't matter. Everyone is different and two people can take away two very different views from the same situation. This is evident even in siblings. I just want them to be happy and healthy and for that I am doing the best I know how. I'm not sweating the small stuff any more!


  1. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this;)

  2. welcome to the blog world! I look forward to reading your words!

  3. Wow, Erin, your last paragraph says it all, very insightful. It's the most important rule you can follow in parenting. Having raised 4 children who are now adults and have their own families, I went through years of stressing, debating, self doubting, weighing the alternatives, sleepless nights. In the end it worked! I learned from my past, and as a result, I allowed my children to learn and grow as the individuals that they each are.
    Parenting is a constant tightrope walk, and you will fall, and often! But you're doing great so far, and I'm impressed!

  4. WOw, Erin I really enjoyed reading your blog. I must say it has made me look at things in a way different way. The line that really made me think is where you said "everyone is different and two people can take away two very different views. Thank you. I look forward to reading more.


I truly appreciate your comments and look forward to reading them!