The Parenting Package

We did Easter over the weekend.





I do Easter. It's one of my holidays. Who am I kidding, they're all my holidays. I'm a holiday celebrator to the fullest. And when people tell me they don't celebrate a certain holiday for anything other than religious reasons, I'm dumbfounded. Like, I can't even talk to that person.

I am extremely nostalgic. I do things on holidays to recreate tradition and fun things that happened in my own childhood. Easter, specifically, is a holiday that my mom made happen despite not having any money to do so. It always felt like a bigger deal than it was. So I try to recreate that for my kids.

So I was talking to my friend and asked her if she planned on dying eggs with her kids. She said no. Um, WHAT?! What are you even saying to me right now?!

She explained that she didn't have time or any desire to do it so she was going to skip it this year. I didn't have any real desire to do it either - I mean the actual act of dying eggs, which takes, I swear, like five hours. But it's tradition! I have pictures of me doing it when I was my daughter's age. It's a tradition, dammit!

So even though she was completely revolting against everything I believe in I forgave her and moved on and decided to talk about her on my blog instead. I'm a really good friend like that.

But then I sent another text to a different friend asking her if she was dying Easter eggs with her boys and the answer, again, was a big, fat, NO!

What is this world coming to? I mean, really! If we don't have the traditional dying of Easter eggs, then what the hell do we have, people?!

One of my Easter hating friends did explain to me that her boys were covered in blood and dirt from her weekend of baseball so she really couldn't see dying eggs. See, she hangs out with her boys all weekend doing baseball stuff. All weekend. She hangs out at the baseball field with her kids. She takes them to baseball events and they love it. She's a baseball mom. 

Nope. Not part of my parenting package. Before I had kids I always thought I would be that mom. But I'm so not that mom.

I got to thinking about how I was borderline offended by my friends' choices not to take part in my tradition. I mean, this is America. Jeez. But aside from that, I started thinking about things they did with their kids that I didn't do. Nor did I want to. Just like they didn't want to be American and dye some flipping Easter eggs.

On a more introspective note, I started thinking about different parenting styles from these two Easter egg conversations. I thought about the moms who do up holidays and the moms who don't and the moms who hate the moms who do. I started thinking about moms who are class moms and moms who work, moms who take their daughters to ballet (me!) and moms who take their daughters to karate. I thought about moms who take their kids to church every Sunday and moms who take their kids to Gramma's so mommy can have alone time. I thought about breast versus bottle feeding, staying at home versus working, vacationing away from the kids versus vacationing with the kids, having a beer in front of the kids versus not (which is just crazy), it goes on and on. 

Things that I feel so strongly about, things I've judged other mothers over, it's all because it's just not part of my parenting package. It doesn't make it wrong. I just have a specific parenting package unique to me and my kids. It's what I know how to do and what I feel is right. It's what I learned from my mom. Her parenting package included tea parties in the backyard, going up to the mountains with blank canvases to paint nature scenery, and camping trips with just us. It didn't include sports, dedicated practices and tournaments, or even matching clothes. I thought I'd be different but I'm not. Other than being a dedicated matcher, I'm not.

We all do different things and make different choices based on our parenting package. I bake with my kids and make sure holidays are huge deal but if someone else will take my kid to all day spring football tournaments and bring him back without me having to go and sit in the hot sun, it's a good day. I can't do it. It's not part of my package. That probably sounds like a terrible thing to say for some people but I'll have homemade chocolate chip cookies waiting for him when he gets home. If you don't like it, it's okay. It's not part of your package so you can get over it.

Just like Easter eggs weren't part of my friends' packages this year. I still love them. And not for a second do I think they're bad parents. Quite the opposite. We just do what we can with the tools in our package. Nobody has a perfect one, and if we're being honest, we're all just crossing our fingers that we won't royally screw up our kids in the long run. 

What's part of your parenting package?






13 comments:

  1. I'm not sure what is part of mine - I guess I'm still figuring it out. But just like you, there are things I do and like to do, and things I don't. For instance, we always do homemade pizza and treats for home movie night on Saturday, but I hate putting playdates together.

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    1. I love the idea of homemade pizza night. We do that sometimes, too. I don't mind playdates with my friends and their kids but that would be totally awkward with someone I didn't know.

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  2. I don't have kids, but I do have a mom who celebrates the hell out of every. single. holiday. Like, I'm almost 30 and she still makes me Easter baskets. (I pretend to mock her, but I totally love it!)

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    1. And this will be my children when they're grown folks. Except for now my oldest asks for Nikes and playstation cards in his Easter basket. Um, no dude. You get chocolate eggs and a poster. You're lucky I didn't throw in a toothbrush this year.

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  3. I think children get a lot out of family traditions, whether they are ones carried forward from your own childhood or ones you started yourself. The fact that you are doing something together as a family at the same time every week, year, holiday or whatever - that is a big comfort to children (and adults!) when there are so many things that are not controllable in other aspects of our lives.

    Somewhere between Thanksgiving and New Years (depending on who is where - we are pretty busy) - we make homemade fruitcakes. Before you say "ew, fruitcakes" - these are fantabulous. Moist, flavorful, nutty - not the image of a doorstop that fruitcakes conjure up! My son is 20, in college, and he still wants to know when we're making fruitcakes. It's something we've done all his life, from when I had him standing in a chair pulled up to the counter "helping" me stir.

    I say keep up the heartwarming traditions for your kids as long as you can.

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  4. I agree about family traditions. That's why I hold on to mine. Those fruitcakes sound like delicious fun!

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  5. They are, but it's definitely a team effort and an all day affair. But so much fun (and tasty!) If anyone wants the recipe, email me at royalmadamqueen at gmail dot com.

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  6. I'm totally like you....I do holidays big!! I can't even help myself. Christmas is the worst......I am that person who loves all the hustle, bustle, carols, wrapping presents, being all sappy and sh*t.

    Looks like you had an awesome Easter!!

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  7. I will absolutely do all holidays up right like you! I wanna give my kids great memories and hold onto any traditions that I can!!

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  8. I try to celebrate and acknowlege all of the holidays in some way. They are memories in the making and I want to give my Kiddies plenty to choose from as adults to share with their own Kiddies. Great Post Lovie! :)

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  9. I like the concept of "parenting packages" - I never really thought about it that way. I do have some traditions in my parenting package. For instance, we still had an Easter Egg hunt, even though we didn't go to the bother of dying the eggs. My kids are 15, 23, and 25, but they still enjoy hunting for Easter eggs. #SITSSharefest

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  10. This post really got me thinking about my "parenting package!" I've never really thought about it but there are things I find myself defending but I just shrug at them because it's just the way that i am. For one thing, my house is not usually clean or organized and when i get asked about it ( which is crazy but it actually happens alot) I just say that I would rather be playing with my kids' toys with them then spending my time always cleaning up after them. I mean, don't get me wrong, my house isn't a pig sty by any means but I know some moms who don't even want to do playdates because they don't want their kids' rooms getting messed up. I just can't imagine being that anal. An hour spent laughing and playing with my kids is worth so much more to me than a bookshelf that looks tidy, you know?

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  11. I loved all holidays when my boys were little! They are young men now but every Easter before we would dye eggs I would remind them that even though I was very busy I laid the eggs fresh that morning...cause that's the kind of mom I am! We dyes eggs up until my youngest was 16 and I said it every year....it wouldn't be Easter if I didn't!

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