Friday, September 21, 2007

Who knows best??

My daughter, Klara, has been begging me to take dance lesson. She will be turning four in a couple of weeks, so I finally gave in. She started taking dance lessons last week, and is in hog heaven!! However, I can't help but get a bit irked as a mom sitting out in the lobby.

There are always some moms who try to get their kids involved in activities before they are emotionally ready, and, of course, some of those kids are in Klara's dance class. I've seen them games, story time, art class. Our society constantly drives it into our heads that the sooner our kids get out of our arms and into organized activities, the better. Not true. After going down this road several times with several of my kids, I have finally learned that our children will let us know when they are ready. Before then, we are just making our children and ourselves miserable for nothing. Who needs to add more stress to their lives??

I was talking with one of the moms at Klara's dance class. Her child was crying and beating on the door trying to get to her mom. Her mom, obviously frustrated, finally got her daughter and mumbled, "I don't know why I let my sister guilt me into doing this!"
I commented, "Guilt? You listened to guilt? Nothing good can come out of that!" Meanwhile, my 14-year-old daughter, Kelsey, was trying hard to shrink into the chair and disappear (she knows me very well).
She explained that her sister made her feel guilty that her 3-yr-old daughter was not involved in anything. I asked her who knew her daughter better, her or her sister? Motherhood is one of those jobs in which it can be very tempting to listen to the "experts" instead of your gut. I don't consider myself an expert, even though I have been labeled that on several occasion. I am always learning. Every day holds a new lesson. But I know who the best teacher is--the spirit within me.

Listen up to that "ancient mother" voice inside. She knows best. After you listen to her, then listen to your children. They have a lot to teach us as well. But when it all comes down to it, the soccer gear is stashed away, and the tutus are stuffed in the dress-up clothes bin, remember this--you are your own expert.

1 comment:

Connie said...

Hannah, I know what you mean about mom knowing best. I recently put my 3 yr.old in preschool. With her older siblings being 11 & 16 I THOUGHT she needed time to play w/ kids her age. While she is perfectly happy playing w/ her bro & sis, she dictates how & when they play, I was mistaken to think she'd benefit from playing w/ other 3 yr.olds at school. She liked it for a couple days, then she got shoved down the slide, pushed down by a "friend", and even cut her finger on something outside. She is not a little wimp, and can really hold her own. But she seemed to feel very vulnerable, and was deeply upset over these little things. When she started screaming each morning that she didn't want to go to school I was torn. B/c society tells us that we need to have them with thier peers, I thought I was doing what was best for her. My husband was not so convinced & in fact didn't want her going to preschool in the first place. After talking with her (a 3 yr. old!) I discovered that is was simply that she wants to be w/ her mommy. And you know what? I am very happy. Going to preschool is not something that will make her who she is, being with her mommy, playing and getting lots of hugs & kisses is. So, needless to say, against what others say-such as-"Oh, she'll get over",or, "It's just a phase", we have decided that we can do everything at home with mommy & bro & sis. There's lots to learn about all the animals at our house, the bugs outside (that keep showing up in little jars in the house!) and how to color pictures any way we want to, not how we're told to-all right here at home. It's nice to hear someone else agree that it's okay to hold on to them as long as we can. With my oldest having just turned 16, I am not ready for this little baby to be 16 any time soon. But, I know it will come all too soon!