It's really hard to be a parent.
Sometimes, I wonder if there are easier ways to go about it all, but I really don't think so. Sure, I could parent more. Or I could parent less. I could relinquish control. Or I could run a dictatorship. I could tackle everything myself. Or I could ask for help.
Ultimately, you end up parenting in a way that is absolutely perfect for you and for how you envision your family to be. No two people, not even spouses, parent in the same way. And even if you try to, you can't parent two different children in the same way either. Each parent-child relationship is unique, like fingerprints or snowflakes.
I like to think I have a firm grip on my children's lives. I give them freedoms and choices, but I guide their values and when it comes down to it, my word is the law. I establish rules and expect that they be followed. I create an environment where they are expected to contribute. I do my best to stress that there are no entitlements in our household and nor should they expect to receive any in the "real world". They know the value of a dollar and the reward of hard work.
Do they hate me at times? Yes.
Do they whine and beg like spoiled brats? Yes.
Do I let that affect how I parent them? No. Never. Not for a second.
I'm sure that some people don't parent this way. I know that my methods aren't perfect, but' I know, without a doubt, that they are perfect for us. I have complete faith that all of the decisions I make for, and with, my children are exactly what they need to be for us at any given time. J and I don't make decisions on a whim. We research (or I research and he gets a synopsis from me). We weigh the pros and cons. We make choices based on what will be best in the short term and the long run. And we realize that things in life are trial and error and that making mistakes is OK. Because sometimes, you may make a wrong turn, but if you follow your heart, you'll find the path you were meant to be on.
For us, that path is leading us to homeschool the girls next year. We do not feel like our children's needs are being met, they are not being challenged and we all need a change of pace. So, we (as a family) are committing to one year. After that, we'll see. Maybe it will be nightmare and we'll all want out. Or maybe it will be the most epic thing ever and we'll keep at it. But, regardless of what the future holds for us, I know that this is the parenting move we need to make.
Yes, it's hard to be a parent, but it's even harder to not follow your path.