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Unstructured Structure – On a Whim

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I’m sure we could get into a year-long argument about what we think our definition of good parenting is.  I have to be honest, when I got pregnant, I did it on a whim.  Which is pretty much the way I do most things in my life.  Impulsiveness wins once again.  I have absolutely no regrets and have the two most beautiful children anyone could spawn, but did I plan beyond the decor in the baby room?  I think not, and I’m ok with that.

We own our own businesses, and my husband and I travel a good bit, so it’s hard to put your kids on a perfect sleep schedule when they wanna stay up and wait for mommy or daddy because they haven’t seen them in 3 days.   They have my husband’s blood, which means they don’t need as much sleep as most kids.  For that we are truly blessed.  It means we don’t have to cut out of our own cookout turned wine tasting to escape for an hour to put our kids down…If they have the energy to hang, we let them hang.  And at the first sign of a yawn, they go down like little angels. (Usually no later than 11 on a weekend.)

We “plan” now “not to plan.”  We’ve decided that structure doesn’t fit well into our lives.  It actually makes things tougher, and when you don’t have rules, there are none to break.  This doesn’t mean our house is chaotic, it isn’t at all.   Our children are little adults, we treat them as such, we speak to them as such (never once used baby talk with my children, yuck!), and most of the time they react as such.  Yes, they still talk back from time to time, ignore us, and stick out their tongues, but they also are respectful, creative, and have a wonderful love for life.

My point being:  Because we live on a whim most of the time, my kids can fall asleep anywhere, be it plane, train, or automobile.  They can stay up and watch the fireworks or a really great NFL game.  They can dance when we are playing our iPod while having a glass of wine at the end of the night….When they miss their bedtime “curfew” they can live an extra hour or two, which at the end of it all, adds years to their lives and many memories to ours.

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I'm a entrapeneur, working-mom, fashionista, health freak and go-to-girl. I tell it like it is. I blog about family life, diet and exercise, traveling and fashion while raising a beautiful family and learning to laugh at the many twists and turns my daily life gives birth to....I'm also turning 40 nine months from today... let's see how this journey goes.

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5 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. The unstructured aspect of our lives (or at least my life) comes from not wanting to miss a thing, not wanting to miss a chance, an opportunity, a moment that might matter. That can be a blessing as much as a curse. I also think the kids got that gene from me, but it’s starting to grow on you as well. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing….

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  2. Aaron and I have embraced the “no plan” as well and have caught a lot of flack from others. I agree wholeheartedly with you on this and on treating your children like adults. The world is constantly changing and it doesn’t follow rules. Life doesn’t operate on schedule and those who adapt best just go with it! Kids will sleep when they need it and they become what is expected of them.

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  3. Shannon,

    I have really never sat down and read any of your blogs. I absolutely love this one and I couldn’t agree more.

    Polly

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  4. I too never really “decided to have children” and left it up to chance. Most things in my life that bring me great joy are those I have not micromanaged and rather left up to the universal consciousness to do what is best for me. I refer to my version of child rearing as conscious neglect. Let them make their own discoveries. There may be some bruised knees and egos but in the end if you stand back a little and let them make their way, they seem to navigate this world pretty well. “Your children are not your own” as the saying goes, holds true in so many ways. They are beautiful souls in their own right. Our job is to allow them to maintain their own special light within. Most of us lost that somewhere between the first day of school and our first w-2. We then (if we choose to do so) spend the rest of our lives trying to figure out what went wrong and pump phych 101 and self-help books into our brains as if we’ll find our souls again on the next page. Don’t let them lose it to begin with and this planet will finally be able to move beyond the egoic drama that is bringing it and its citizens to its knees.

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