That link really is very moving! Thanks for sharing!!
I;m trying to wrap my head around these responses, because I feel like I am connecting with my kids. I feel like we are very close, and we do have a lot of overlap in our interests. With anyone, you try to find your common ground and occupy that. I feel like that is what we do. So the music, movie, tv and foods that we eat together may not be what I would choose on my own or what they would choose on their own, but what we negotiate as common ground.
I was really surprised and hurt by the person who criticized me for sleeping in on the weekends. I'm juggling ft work, pt school, family life, ... and by the weekends I am just exhausted. I would imagine that other moms would understand and support that, because we're all, by definition, working hard and overstressed.
I think maybe I did a really poor job of communicating from the get go, and all of the assumptions that people are filling in the blanks with are negative. I am hiking with my kids and walking in the woods with them and swimming with them and boating with them and playing with them and watching youtube videos with them etc etc etc etc. But I'm also in a situation for one more year yet, where my capabilities, time, influence, etc are all limited by the extra burden of classes and schoolwork. I'm just doing everything I can to try to stay afloat. And part of that includes relying on help from others, and one of the consequences of that is that others don't share my values. I do think that it's important for them to be able to put the outside influences into perspective. I don't want them to hear only popular media influences without any context. I want them to be able to think critically about what they see, and what they're offered and why. It's just a matter of establishing some balance so that I'm not seen as judgmental, aloof or out of touch, and so that it is clear that I respect their opinions and taste, whether or not we share them.
It's important to remember that my taste isn't any better or worse than theirs, and their taste should be respected. And that kids are not just reflections of you so much as separate people that you have the fortune of looking after. You have to let them be themselves and love them completely for it, even if they're different from you. In some ways, that's really easy. If they like to put things together, and you're not handy, it's super easy to respect that difference. But other ways, it is much harder, like when they make decisions that you don't agree with. Which will happen more and more as they grow up.
These are all things that I understand in theory, but, as my kids start to reach their next phases in growing up, they are things that I am just coming to understand in the context of my own kids.
I really appreciate all of this feedback. It is helping me adjust my mindset from a mom of kids to a mom of preteens. I get the feeling it is a long, slow process with a lot of ups and downs and ins and outs.