Archive for the ‘Home-schooling’ Category

The “Yes Mom” Revolution (Because I said So)

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

While shopping at the grocery store the other day, I overheard a mother say to her son, “Why, because I said so, that’s why.”  The little boy asked very innocently again, “But, why?”  He seemed to truly want an answer.  She repeated, “Because I said so.”  Then he pleaded with her, “Why can’t you just tell me why?”  Of course, by this time his mother was fed up and angry and she answered, “Because I’m the mother.”  She left the little boy looking so frustrated, confused and defeated.  She never did explain why. 

So I have decided that I am starting a revolution! Not the kind with guns and guillotines.  No blood, lost limbs or rolling heads.  No burning of vehicles, flags or bras.  The only casualty will be those left behind.  I am starting a parenting revolution.   A revolution that will not only free the world from the dictator type of parent but it will free them from themselves. 

I am revolting against the so called tried and true, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  I am rising above the old adages, “Just wait until your father get’s home.”  I am a mutineer of mommisms, “Clean your plate, there are starving children in Africa.”  I am a dissenter of corporal punishment, “Stop jumping on the bed or you will get a spanking.”    I am going for the jugular.  I am aiming at the heart of America, declaring my independence from arbitrary rules, expectations and the injustice of saying “no” just because you can.

My Declaration of Independence:  I hold this truth to be self evident. That all children are created equal; that they are endowed by their parents, school and society with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the right to ask why, not eat spinach if they don’t want to, and to jump on the bed.   

If I you think I’m off my rocker or if I have offended you, you may want to consider what American writer Peter Stone has to say, “This is a revolution, damn it! We’re going to have to offend somebody!” 

Actually, the parent I am mostly concerned about will probably never read this blog.  But for most of us, I am certain that you have questioned some of the words that came flying out of your mouths.  I know I have.  I admit that I have been guilty of some of the old adages myself.  We have all done it.  It’s like there are moments when we are on automatic pilot repeating what our parents said.  I remember once yelling, “This place is a pigsty.  If I have asked you once, I have asked you a thousand times to clean your room.  Just wait till you have kids of your own someday.”

The problem is these adages, mommisms, and negative outbursts do cause harm to our children.  It teaches them that they are small and powerless and the world is big and scary.  It teaches them to comply to arbitrary rules, to follow authority without question, to let someone else do their thinking for them and avoid thinking for themselves.  And, it is simply not respectful.  Kids are people too and deserve respect. 

So, the next time my daughter asks me why the sky is blue, why she should wear sunscreen at the beach or why does she have to go the grocery store with me, I will take the time to explain.  And if I don’t know the answer, I will look it up or come up with something but I will never leave her feeling defeated like the mom in the grocery store left her little boy!  Viva la Revolution.

My First Blog Ever

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

This is my first blog ever.  I have decided the best place to start is to explain myself.  I have this burning desire to live my life as fully as possible.  I also want my children to do the same.  Let’s face it, we only have one life to live, and it goes by so gosh darn fast.  As my musical hero Dave Matthews sings, “Life is short but sweet for certain.”  I want to experience as much sweetness as I can during my short stay on this planet.   

I know many of you feel the same way.  We all want to live a life worth living.  A life filled with joy, love and adventures.  A life with no regrets.  A life sweet for certain.  Ask yourself, when you are on your death bed, will you regret that your carpet wasn’t clean enough or that that you didn’t spend enough time at the office?  I doubt it.  If you answered yes to either of these questions, then maybe this blog isn’t for you.  For the rest of you, you are in the right place.    

 Maya Angelou has great advice for those of us that truly want to live a full life.  She says, “… go out and grab the world by the lapels.  Life’s a bitch.  You’ve got to go out and kick ass”. 

And the only way to grab the world by the lapels and kick some ass is to go out on a limb, take a risk and say “yes”.  Thus, the birth of the “Yes Mom”.  A philosophy and a blog designed to inspire, encourage, arouse, motivate, tickle, entertain, consider and awaken each of us to a sweeter life. 

As a “Yes Mom” I say “yes” to my kids.  “Yes Maggie, you can play in the rain, wait for me while I grab my rain boots.”  “Yes, Casey, you can set up your drum kit in the middle of the living room.  Maybe you can teach me a fill?”  “Yes, Riley, you can go to the Foo Fighter’s concert in L.A. with Ashley, do you need a ride?”  

As a “Yes Mom” I say “yes” to new experiences.  Like dining on Peruvian food, singing in a rock band, boogie boarding with my kids, biking, hiking, and paddle boarding, taking my kids out of school to unschool, appearing on the Dr. Phil show, and starting a new blog about all of our crazy and sometimes unconventional adventures.  

It is vital that we are not a road block to ourselves or to our children. I know that sometime we all fall into the trap of automatically saying “no” to our kids or to the world and choose comfort and security over taking risks or trying new things.  But saying “no” too often will keep us from the sweet nectar of life.  Yes, life can be scary, but a life driven by fear is no life.  Like Albert Einstein said, “anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”   I will admit that there are times I had to step out of my box, take a deep breath and say “yes” with all my fingers and toes crossed but the risk was well worth it. 

Today our family went to the beach.  It would have been easy for me to stay in my beach chair and “people watch” which I did for a while and I enjoyed it.  But, that desire to live fully began to burn deep inside me so I squeezed into my wetsuit, grabbed my boogie board and jumped in.  So so sweet.  No regrets!