From my full blog: www.snugglymonkey.com. Stop by for a visit :)


Okay, so I've been blogging for less than a month, am I really qualified to write a "what blogging has taught me" post yet? Probably not, but in my short time as a member of the blogosphere I have become
completely enamored with it. A good friend of mine sent me an email
today commending me for finally getting this blog & my etsy shop off
the ground, but in the email she asked how in the world am I making
time for it? Well, truth be told I am a little sleep deprived because
I've been staying up way too late futzing around with my blog & Big
Sis has watched a few extra movies while Lil' Sis naps so that mommy can
keep playing ... So truth be told this entire post may just be me
trying to justify to myself using the Movie Babysitter instead of
playing Chutes and Ladders for the umpteenth time. But, really I do
think that at the end of the day blogging is actually helping me be a
better mom in several ways.

  1. It makes me happy. I think it is all too easy to lose myself in the daily grind of motherhood and what usually ends up happening is I start feeling cranky and bitter longing for the days when I
    actually had an identity all my own that revolved around my own
    interests instead of the whims and needs of an infant and a
    pre-schooler. With this blog though, I am making time for myself almost
    every day now, and it feels great. As the saying goes, if mom ain't
    happy, no one's happy! So it really is for the benefit of my whole
    family that I blog :)
  2. I am "meeting" fascinating people every day. Whether it is the folks that leave the much appreciated comments to my posts or the blogs I visit as part of SITS or MBC or just random link
    clicking, it is great to wander into all these people's lives each day,
    interact with them and learn from them.
  3. I am learning new things every day that inspire me in my daily life - from craft tutorials to gardening advice to games & activity ideas, book reviews, recipes, and so on. I have all sorts of
    new ideas for things to do with the kiddos (when I am not sneaking time
    to blog).

Getting involved in blogging communities is great for all these reasons, but I think that the act of actually creating the blog has great value in a slightly different way. While I don't have one
particular educational philosophy that I am completely gung-ho about, I
do like to pick and choose bits and pieces that appeal me from several
different schools of thought. Kind of like my plate at a buffet - a
little bit of this, a little bit of that ... For example, one of my
favorite ideas from Waldorf Education is the idea that ...

Young children not only perceive and respond to their environment, they also reflect and express the gesture of their surroundings and of the people in their lives. This places a great
responsibility on the adults responsible for raising and educating the
child: they must be worthy of imitation. In lecture two of The
Kingdom of Childhood, Steiner says: These are the things that matter
most for young children. What you say, what you teach, does not yet
make an impression, except insofar as children imitate what you say in
their own speech. But it is what you are that matters; if you are good
this goodness will appear in your gestures; and if you are bad tempered
this also will appear in your gestures, in short, everything that you
do yourself passes over into the children and makes its way within
them.
(from Waldorf
Early Childhood Association of North America
)

This idea of being worthy of imitation drives a large part of my parenting philosophy. I've never been a big fan of "do as I say, not as I do." So I strive to try to be the kind of person that I would like my
children to be, and believe it or not I think that creating this blog
has helped to exemplify some of the characteristics I hope to pass on.
It was actually the migration of my blog from blogger to wordpress that
got me thinking about all of this.

I should disclose up front that I am not a techy person. I took Computer Science 1 in college and passed by the skin of my teeth (and mostly with the help of my CPS major friends). People have tried to
explain it to me a million times, but my brain just cannot understand
how 0's and 1's run the world. Over a decade ago, I learned some basic
HTML and that was about the extent of my programming knowledge. Hell, I
am still not really sure how Twitter works, and I would rather just not
friend people on Facebook than try to figure out how to adjust the
privacy settings so that Person X can only see A, B, and C on my
profile. So knowing all this about myself, I, of course, became
determined to figure out how to go from Blogger to self-hosted Wordpress
on my own. I figured I could do it because even if I am not the most
computer savvy person around, I know how to do research, I have the
ability to learn how to do things by reading about them, and I am quite stubborn
determined when I want to be. And at the end of the day, really, how
hard could it be??

The transition was not smooth sailing. Blogger is definitely easier for me to understand and use than WP. But, I did it, and in doing so I identified some things that I hope I can pass on to my girls.

  • A love of learning. This is possibly one of my favorite parts of blogging. Ever since I started this, I have learned at least five new things each day. Whether I am reading other people's blogs or
    researching something for my own post/design, I find myself learning and
    figuring out how to do all sorts of new things. And I love it. If I can
    instill a love of learning in my children I will feel that my job as a
    parent was done well.
  • The willingness to step up to a challenge. It would have been easier to pay someone or to ask my husband (who does understand all those 0's and 1's) to do this for me. Granted, I don't have $150+ laying
    around to pour into yet another, fairly new hobby, so paying someone
    wasn't really an option for me right now. But, that is besides the point
    because I didn't want anyone else to do it, I wanted to do it
    because I wanted the challenge. I wanted to see if I could do it by
    myself. I think this is a really important quality to possess - I want
    my kids to face challenges head on in life - to try their best and see
    where it takes them. Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you don't, but to
    me the important part is that you tried.
  • Don't give up! Keep working at it until you figure it out. I am a notorious quitter. One of the downfalls of being a fast learner is that when I don't get something right away I tend to get frustrated and
    walk away from it. From softball as a kid to advanced math in college to
    knitting, there have been so many things in my life that I've tried and
    dropped once the initial fascination has worn off. This is not a
    quality I really like about myself and definitely not something I want
    to pass on, so I am working on it. And blogging is actually helping me
    with this. A few hours after I initially installed WP I almost called my
    web hosting company to cancel my account and ask for a refund. I just
    WAS NOT getting it. Blogger was so much easier, I lost my Followers
    (which was devastating because getting my first followers just about
    made my month), forget this WP nonsense!! (grumble, grumble) But I kept
    at it, I didn't give up and after a couple of days it started to make
    more sense. I wouldn't say I have it all figured out by any means, but I
    did manage to find my followers :) and I am not giving up.
  • Feel pride in your work. The theme I chose did not have a navigation bar under the header, but to me, the most intuitive way to navigate a website is by clicking on the tabs along the top of the page,
    so that is what I wanted for my blog. I did some googling and a lot of
    reading, and after a few hours I figured out how to write the code to
    put a navigation bar in. You should have seen the happy dance when I
    clicked the "Home" button and it actually worked. I didn't need anyone
    else to pat me on the back or to tell me "Well Done" because I was
    pretty darn pleased all on my own. I think that being able to rely on
    yourself for validation instead of others is pretty important in life
    because I think that leads to doing things not because you think it will
    make someone else happy, but because it makes you happy.
  • Hard work does pay off. I think each generation must think that the generations that come after them have it sooooooooooooo easy. "When I was a boy, I had to walk to school uphill both ways through the
    snow with no shoes..." might just become "When mommy wrote her blog, I
    had to ..." in my house :) While I am sure that I will get the expected
    eye roll from the girls, the message that I want to get across is that
    it really does pay to work hard at something. Our lives are getting
    easier and easier with the advent of new technologies, but I fear that
    all of this is making us lose sight of the fact that not everything in
    life comes easily and that there are things that you have to work
    towards, that are worth working hard for.

But perhaps one of the things that I enjoy the most about keeping this blog going is that I know that my daughters will read it someday (well at least parts of it, I hope). By writing I am leaving them some
insight into me as a real person, not just as "mommy". It is a chronicle
of our days together, of my thoughts, likes and dislikes. I am hoping
that it will not only be a record of the things we did together but what
they were like from my perspective so that they can have a better
understanding of their mother and how much I love them. I may fuss and
grumble about not having enough time for myself or to do the things I
like to do or for having to play the same games ad nauseum, but the
truth of the matter is that I chose this because there is no where I'd
rather be right now than with my girls, watching them grow and learn.
They motivate me to be a better person, a person worthy of their
imitation.


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Tags: I, blog, blogger, education, motherhood, parenting, to, waldorf, why, wordpress

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