As the summer of change and growth comes to a close, we're slowly getting into the routines of getting everyone to school on time. S is doing awesome with riding the bus and totally getting into the Kindergarten groove. M's school does a staggered start so today is only a 1/2 day where Friday is her first "full" day (3 hours). We've had two successful mornings getting out the door WITHOUT shouting (on my part), constant reminding (again, my part) and no tears (their part). I'm trying a new approach of giving them the end result of "we are leaving here at a certain time" and letting them work out the steps that need to be taken in order to get there. So far, a total change from last year's attempt to get out the door where all of us would be upset or angry to start the day.
A few weeks ago, I posted about setting expectations for the girls and a reader gave me a book suggestion...Parenting With Love And Logic (Updated and Expanded Edition). Skeptical of yet another "parenting handbook", I checked it out from the library thinking that I really didn't need to add to the weight on my shelves of the other "parenting handbooks" I'd purchased with good intentions, read once and then neglected. Almost immediately, I could relate to this book and plan to purchase my own copy so that I can continue to use it as a reference. But, a funny thing came out of my liking this book and it stems from some parts of the book I most decidedly did NOT like. Some of the book has a bit of a Christian/Bible slant and while it's certainly offering good messages, it's not a genre that I tend to gravitate towards. There are also some "recommendations" and anecdotes that I don't agree with. What occurred to me is that my recommendation/liking this book sort of represents how life is working out for me as I try to find solutions to areas that I want to change. It's highlighting that there really is no "one size fits all" solution to life and hard as they may, no author, pundit or guru has all of the answers neatly wrapped up in a book, website or promotional video.
For example, I currently own Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk and How to Get Your Kid to Eat: But Not Too Much. All great books that give good solutions for parenting. But, the reason I own so many of them is because not one of them was the ultimate solution for me, so I picked out the bits that worked and felt relevant and moved on...in search of the next spark of inspiration.
It's not just parenting where I've taken bits and pieces from different sources. I've found the same experience in the never ending weight loss journey. I've been doing WW for a few months now and have been less than thrilled with the results. In my "defense", I didn't start out with a lot of weight to lose and I have been eating more or less the way they advise for almost a year before I started. They are pretty "strict" in terms of how many points you can eat in order to achieve your desired weight. Stay on the plan, they say, and you'll get where you want to go. Well, almost three months in had me at only 7 pounds lost so I started looking around their site and the Internet and found another method to their "plan". So far, success!
This lack of a "one size fits all life" has really opened up my eyes to all of the possibilities that exist for answers and options. Not long ago, I was someone who needed a plan to move through life. Without having an understanding of what exactly I was going to be doing in 1 year, 5 years etc, I felt lost and nervous. But, by approaching life as more of an experiment, where drops and dashes of experiences and ideas chart my course, I am excited for what there is to come and only a little bit nervous about not having a master plan. :-)