I'm a little late in commenting on this article, which you've probably seen over the Net. Helen Kirwan-Taylor thinks her kids are boring and has stirred up somewhat of a controversy by actually writing it. As you can tell from my blog title, I think parenting is anything but boring.
As the parent of an only child, I often inadvertantly get lumped in with the overinvolved Moms. This child must be spoiled, because my God, he's the only one in the house. Their lives must just revolve around the child. Wrong. When people get to know us, they are a little surprised. This isn't a child centered household either. Nor an adult one. It's a balanced one. We're very big on being considerate of each other's needs here. A family is a team, and each of us has a voice in this house. Of course, the adults' opinions carry more weight then the sole child...but Kevin is encouraged to voice his opinion, and we always listen to him.
Do I find parenting boring? It has it's moments. I'm not thrilled about tantrums, I hate playing with Hot Wheels, and cartoons aren't my thing. I've learned to deal with tedium, because it's part of life in general. Kevin learns to deal with it when he must come grocery shopping or to the doctor's office with me. As my Dad used to say, "boredom is a state of mind." I'd rather make the best of it and move on rather then whine and choose to wallow in bore-dom.
I know families where the children are the sole focus, and it is a tad scary. The Moms don't have a life outside of the children. Every waking moment is about the kids, nothing for themselves. The entire household revolves around those kids, with no time for anyone else's needs. It's easy to fall into that trap and lose our identity, and it takes a strong mother to find her way and come out on the other side, still intact and stronger still. I have occasionally fallen into the trap myself. Motherhood, and to be honest-caregiving in general, is consuming. It's riddled with landmines of uncertainty and doubt. We all muddle our way through, doing the best we can. These days there is so much pressure to do this or that for your kids that it can be overwhelming. I regularly am told that Kevin needs to be in this activity or that sport, and that we aren't doing right by him by NOT putting him in anything. My response is thank you very much for your concern, but I know my child better then anyone, and what he needs is down time in the park to build forts, ride his bike, and be a boy. Period. But then, I've always been the girl to go against the crowd rather then with it. We don't even own a Nintendo.
Nobody has to go to such extremes on either end of the spectrum to raise happy, healthy, kids. There's plenty of us that are content right here in the middle. Funny thing is, nobody writes anything about that.