Mother’s Day and THAT Mom!

Mother's Day & THAT Mom!

Maybe You're THAT Mom too?

This week is Mothers’s Day.  And since the podcast is Unschooling Mom2Mom, I thought it’s important to talk about it a little.

I actually have a collection of writings about Mother’s Day - so I’ll share them here:

The post from Mother’s Day 2020 has a lot of interesting links - all focusing a bit on the HYPE of Mother’s Day. Because, you know, Mother’s Day didn’t start out this way. The founder, Anna Jarvis, is probably rolling over in her grave because this is NOT what she had in mind.

And, like all holidays, they can be triggering. We see these beautiful Instagram posts and then we look over and our kids have forgotten. Especially if you’re a single mom and no one is helping your child plan ahead for this “Big Day.” Or maybe we’re reminded that our own mother’s aren’t here or weren’t that great when they were.

So if you need to scroll on past Mother’s Day, do you!
Seriously.
It’s not worth putting undue pressure on anyone.

Because really, appreciation is an inside job. You do what you do because that’s how you want to parent. It’s how you want to mother. Not to get flowers or feedback from anyone else that you’re doing a good job. YOU determine if you like the job you’re doing. That’s a lot of that People Pleasing we’ve had conditioned into us. Also that school-induced idea about “showing your work,” or it-doesn’t-count-unless-it’s- externally-praised.
Isn’t it time to let THAT go??

Are you THAT Mom?

I also wanted to talk a little about being THAT mom. You know the one. The one who gets the side eye from friends and relatives. The one who marches to her own beat. And if you’re unschooling, partnering with your kids as you’re navigating this Parenting Thing, odds are, you’re the one they’re talking about.

That’s ok. What’s that phrase? Come sit by me - I was THAT mom too. About a decade ago, my friend, Flo, another unschooling mom wrote on her blog inviting everyone to share what being THAT mom looked like in other unschooling homes. We all kind of KNEW we were parenting in unconventional ways, but it was so wonderful to see the specifics of what was happening that people maybe weren’t sharing about.

You're Not Alone!

Whether you need a quick phone call or would really love to have an unschooling community full of parents who WON'T give you that side-eye for your unconventional choices - I've got you covered!

I'm THAT Mom

When you choose to parent differently than the majority of people nearby, you can’t help but notice the raised eyebrows. Over the years, I’ve seen and heard a lot more than that. I’ve been called “overprotective,” “too involved,” and even the infamous “helicopter parent.” I’d love to tell you that when these slams came my way, they just rolled off my back. They didn’t. They stung. They made me question myself. They made me wonder if maybe those people were right. But it didn’t deflect my course.

I was going to be THAT mom. It was inevitable. It was as if it were in my DNA. Often, I didn’t have the reasoning or the research to back it up. But I had a gut feeling… and that gut feeling was that I was going to love my kids as if that was the only day I’d have with them. I was going to fill their lives with fun and adventure and opportunities – because you really really don’t know how long you have. We’ve all seen young lives cut short. And it’s even sadder to me that many of them were waiting for their life to start at age 18. It may be a bit morbid, but I kept thinking, if that were my child, would I be happy with how they spent their short life?

Are YOU living the life you want to live with your kids. And if not, why not? Pressure from other people? Doubts in your own head? Too busy to get clarity? Don’t let time sift through your fingers. Learn more about unschooling, so you and YOUR kids can live a great life AND still be ready for whatever they choose when adulthood comes.

How About Some Examples?

Would it help to share some of my “I’m THAT Mom” examples?
For those of you already unschooling - or parenting in this more unconventional way - would you be willing to share your own examples? You could put it in the blog comments. Or maybe I’ll collect them at Instagram!

So, yes. I am THAT mom.

  • I am THAT mom whose family bed concept did not end at any particular age. Each child slept differently and some stayed with us longer than others. The Open Sign hung on the door long past when they needed it. Although, when they were teens, if they got sick, they’d often crawl into our bed. Since they were no longer “little kid sized,” Ron would often roll out the other side and head to the guest room or a nearby couch. Because when you’re sick, who doesn’t wish their mommy would take care of them?
  • I am THAT mom who takes the kids to the store in the middle of the night to get snacks that we don’t have on hand…knowing fully well that these pre-teens just want to be out late and see who else is out late.
  • I am THAT mom who when there weren’t enough adult volunteers, stepped up to lead Girl Scout troops to make sure my daughters had that experience.
  • I am THAT mom who cringed when parents talked about how happy they were that their kids were going back to school in August (with their child standing right beside them!), or when parents would say, “I’m not your friend, I’m your mom!” I understand what they’re aiming for, but I think it completely misses the point. “Friend” and “Mom” are not mutually exclusive.
  • I am THAT mom who at one point in time said yes to: 1 Red-eared slider, 2 parakeets, 2 cockatiels, 2 dogs, 3 cats, a guinea pig, 3 pygmy goats, 3 horses, and a donkey. Loving our pets was a great gateway to learning about following our passions. I forgot a few: hermit crabs, tadpoles that never morphed into frogs (or did so partly - so they trekked from Alaska to California with us), another guinea pig, chickens, guinea hens, cows (who were like pets), definitely more than 2 dogs! I wrote this part waaaay back in 2012!)
  • I am THAT mom who, when my family started to be interested in horses, worked at a ranch, took riding lessons, I said, “Sure, let’s buy that 16 acre ranch outside of town on our (what we thought was) our final move!”
  • And then, when the interests faded and the situation wasn’t best for my teenagers to be stuck outside of a small redneck Texas town, I watched months of HGTV, “staged” the house, sold it in 3 weeks, packed up the family and moved to Austin. Yes, I am THAT mom.
  • I am THAT mom who, when my son was wishing he had a brother (he had only 2 sisters), agreed to host a Japanese exchange student… and our lives were forever changed.
  • I am THAT mom, who later, let her 16 year old son go to Japan for 3 months, because he had an interest in other cultures and travel.
  • I am THAT mom who, when my daughter wanted to act out scenes from a show, I watched her do it over and over and OVER! I even pulled out the video camera and followed her around or set up the tripod so she could film it herself. And then when that progressed to community theatre, I am THAT mom that sat in the seats for every rehearsal and show, sometimes volunteering to do whatever job needed doing (stage crew, costume cutter, light person, Tinkerbell sparkle light).
  • I am THAT mom who let my kids find their own way with make-up, clothing and piercings. They are so much more confident about who they are and how they want to portray themselves to the world, because they have had the time and the space to figure that out.
  • I am THAT mom who let my kids set their own sleep schedules. Sometimes they’d be up all night, and sleep all day. Often, I would crash before they would. But it all worked out. Yes, they were able to set their alarms and get up for the early shift at work.

Here are a few more that didn't make it into the podcast - from an old blogpost back in 2012!:

  • I am THAT mom, who let her unschooled kid try out high school - and definitely did it our way!
  • I am THAT mom, who hosted numerous parties for teens. While exhausting, it gave me so much insight into my kids' friends and acquaintances - plus how my own kids were interacting.
  • I am THAT mom who spent years combing newspapers, surfing the internet, and picking people’s brains to find out what cool activity might interest one or more of my kids. I was on a mission to find interesting places to explore and fascinating experiences for them to have in every place we lived. Some were flops, some hit the mark, lots fell in between. But every place offered adventures we simply had to uncover, and one thing really DOES lead to another.
  • I am THAT mom, who when my daughter and her friends wanted to go to a Rave and I thought they were a little too young, I took them myself. I walked with them to the front area, paid for them to get in and then picked them up when they called.  They enjoyed it, but had no desire to go again.
  • I am THAT mom, who drove wherever we needed to go to meet fun people and/or have great experiences. We traveled up and down the state of California for HSC campouts or conferences. We trekked across Alaska to speak with people at homeschool events - we drove through mountain ranges and slept on ferries. From Texas, we ventured to Live and Learn conferences in St. Louis, Albuquerque, and North Carolina. We drove weekly to Dallas to be part of a homeschool film crew at the PBS station. We visited friends all over the country. And whenever we moved (and we did that lot with the military), we took the long scenic routes. There was always something interesting to check out along the way. And, yes, we put a lot of miles on our cars!

    A few thoughts that didn't make the podcast:

    These are just a few of things that come to mind. And some of you might STILL be raising your eyebrows about some of these decisions. I'm sharing them anyway, because parenting decisions can sometimes look complicated and scary. Sometimes they are. But when you have a basic philosophy about what you're doing, it's more of a natural (less complicated) way of living with your children. It's about developing a relationship of trust and love, more than anything else.

    I think most importantly, I am THAT mom that "held the container" - what my dad used to call the Sanctuary. I made sure that my kids had a place to grow and explore and try whatever they wanted to try. I did protect them a great deal because the world DOES want children to play small. Society is not crazy about children who "don't know their place" or are "too big for their britches." Kids in school often had to shape their interests, and actually their personalities, so that they either could gain the attention of others or keep out of the limelight. SOO much energy is often put into that struggle. I wanted my kids' energy to be used somewhere else. I wanted them to feel free to be as creative as they wanted as they set out on their own adventure of self-discovery. I simply wanted them to unfold more naturally - without unnecessary peer pressure or authoritarian squashing

    So, yeah. I guess that makes me THAT mom. I'm okay with it. And my kids are doing okay too.

 

Wrapping it up

You can also listen to last year’s podcast, Anticipating Mother’s day… where I give a few practical reminders of how you can celebrate Mother’s Day in whatever way works for you.
The year before that, I had a bunch of fun links about Mother’s day. I’ll link it all.

But in the meantime...

  • Have some flowers sent to yourself this weekend - you don’t have to wait for someone else to do it.
    Or grab some at the grocery store.
  • Let some door delivery service bring brunch on Sunday!
    I think one year I called that a gift from the Mother’s Day Fairy!
  • Leave some markers and cardstock out on the table. Suggest that the kids could write Mother’s Day cards.

As usual with unschooling, we set the stage for success. What do we need to do to help everything go smoothly?

You got this mama!

And I’ll talk with you again next week! Take care!

Mother's Day "Printables"

I'm always making little PDFs to help the parents in my membership work through obstacles that prevent them from unschooling.  And sometimes they're just fun little printables like this.

Have you noticed that so often, things like this have such a schooly slant?? Not these!  I've created a couple of pages that your kids can do to make Mother's Day 2022 memorable.

From one Unschooling Mom to another!

💐 Enjoy! 💐

Mother's Day Printables from Unschooling Mom2Mom

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