The last several days I have been doing some surfing on the internet, looking at some homeschooling material and researching some medical information, and I have come across several websites and blogs...mostly by homeschoolers, or people with large families, religious womens sites etc...about how to be a good wife, good homemaker, good homeschooler, good mother etc. Many of them talk about being thrifty and making healthy meals from scratch and buying food from local farmers, or putting together free materials in order to homeschool or how to keep your house spottless or keep up with the laundary...tips on how to stretch a penny and the best way to discipline...oh I could go on and on.
Sometimes I feel like I am the only christian person who lets my kids watch TV and eat fast food. Between making sure my children get the BEST education I can provide, making sure they each have clothes that not only fit them but are CLEAN, and making sure that they have activities that do not involve just me and their siblings or a church group (since I do believe that children should not grow up in a bubble of christianity) I can not keep up. Between soccer, baseball, cheerleading, church activities, homeschooling, taking care of 2 toddlers, dealing with doctors appointments, therapy appoinments and anything else that happens to come up...how am I supposed to make my own bread, make 3 homeade meals a day that are portable, clip coupons, make my own cleaning products, loose weight, grow my own vegatables, scour the planet for vegetarian meal recipies, keep up with my email, raise chickens for eggs, make my own butter, wash my clothes by hand...OK so no-one has exactly told me I should make my own butter, but all the others are suggestions I have gotten or have seen made...
I just do not see how some people do what they do. Don't get me wrong...I do not think that kids should watch tv all day and eat at McDonald's every night, but sometimes TV and fast food do have a place. I do not think that technology should raise our kids and I think there are more important things than cheerleading practice.
What I am trying to say is I try to keep a balance. No my kids are probably not the healthiest kids in the world, nor are they the smartest or the most well versed in the Bible. I know for a fact there are many areas that need improvement but why do I feel like this is what christian-homeschoolers especially are pushing? Why is it important that we raise our children in a vacuum...I personally do not think it is healthy.
I think kids should have an understanding of life, the way it is lived. They should understand the in and out...how to cook, clean, sew, do laundary, how to use money, etc. I also think the should be able to use a computer and operate a telephone. They should be able to change a tire and know when a car needs gas. I think other things are cool like gardening or taking care of animals, making crafts or scrapbooking...I can not possibly teach my children everything they need to know.
I also think kids should be taught the bible, should do devotions and know how to pray and sit through a church service (once they are old enough-4 I think is a good age to start). I think they should be taught biblical morality...whatever way it should be taught.
I think kids should learn how to eat healthy. I think parents should make an effort to feed children appropriately...making sure they get fruits and veggies and protein and milk. I think it is a shame that processed unhealthy food is cheaper and lasts longer than the real thing. We use alot of processed foods I gues like hot dogs and mac and cheese and frozen pizza and then I supplement with the fresh stuff. I think it is completely impractical to think that people should buy local only because it conserves energy or buy organic because it...welll I do not know what that supposedly does. It is too EXPENSIVE! I am not going to buy tofu or some weird protein source because cows and pigs are killed the way they are. There are a lot of people in the world to feed and the way they kill animals for our needs is necessary. I do not think we should terrify our children by telling them horrible stories about where their hamburger came from. I think if people decide to be vegans or pescaterians or whatever it is fine but I do not feel like others should be scrutinized because they choose to feed their children beef of let their kids eat frozen pizza. Most of us grew up on non-organic food and hamburgers and turned out fine. YES we should eat better, yes we should support local farmers, yes we should do a lot of things, but I can not do it all. I do not have the time, energy or money. Sometimes I need to stop by McDonalds and sometimes I need something quick to fix for dinner, does that make me a bad mom?
A word about TV...I love to watch TV...at the end of a long day I like to watch my favorite show, I confess. I do not like my kids to watch TV, but I allow them some TV time. The get about 2 hours a day...most days less...some days more. They basically only watch noggin-which has actually taught my 5 year old spanish. Because it is educatoinal and there are very few commercials I let them watch it. My oldest daughter gets to watch about 2 hours of Hanna Montana a week-she loves it. They do play Vsmile and Leapster a few hours a week-if that. The rest of the time they are drawing, playing outside or playing with each other, reading books, etc.
I do not think that I am a bad mom because of any of these things. I think I am doing the best with what God has given me. I think I am teaching my children the right values and how to use their brains and talents. I enjoy spending time with them...I do not want to spend that time making my house spotless or spending all day in the kitchen cooking meals from scratch and keep them in the house like a bunch of recluses because I am afraid I will have to stop at a fast food place.
Well I guess I am done ranting for the night. When all is said and done I think I am doing a pretty good job!