Sash is one of those bloggers that pulls on my heart strings. I can read the first two sentences of any of her posts and always relate, instantly. She’s adventerous and raw, wild and free, loving and real. I wish Australia weren’t so far away because she’s a mother I’d like to cheers my glass to over and over again. Long live the blog world for making the whole world seem like a smaller place, a? I only wish it were…
I have heard one thing over and over again throughout my parenting journey. Children thrive on consistency. There are a thousand articles all over the internet shoving those words down the throats of unsuspecting parents: children thrive on consistency. In fact, they need it, according to many experts.
So if this is the way to raise children in our fast paced, consumer driven, western society… I have something that I must admit…
My name is Sash and I am… Inconsistent.
I am happily inconsistent. In fact, I thrive on inconsistency. I love nothing more than the thrill of change. The light and bright air of the open road. The breakfast for dinner. The pyjama days. The late nights under the covers watching movies when I know we “should” both be in bed.
I’ve tried to be consistent. I really have. I’ve tried to serve meals at the same time. I’ve tried to work “real” jobs and fold my laundry and wash my dishes and be organised. But I’m not any of those things. It feels like playing house, and whilst at first (after a glass or two of wine) it might feel novel… like all of a sudden I’m all grown up (am I alone in my late 20’s where I
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still feel like I’m light-years from being a grown up? surely not!)… but soon enough the novelty wears off and I throw the clothes in a heap and the dishes in the sink and I grab the paint and the chalk and the dinosaur tails and we escape real life into a world of make believe… or better… we escape to far off lands where we are surrounded by wonder and language and culture and the great unknown.
I’m a terribly inconsistent person. I’m an inconsistent blogger. I’m flighty and I get caught up in my own imagination and find myself easily tempted down the path less travelled. I spent months in India when I should have been studying… I went and lived in a bungalow on the side of a rice field and drank beer and played hookey from real life when the rest of my friends were climbing the corporate ladder. I have tried and tested a thousand and one lives and in the end found that none of them quite fit… I’m a single mother to a beautifully well adjusted, happy and joyful toddler who eats curry and dances to the symphony and laughs and licks and bites and drives me bat shit crazy and I love her to the end of the earth and back again… to infinity. And just a little bit more.
I’ve had people tell me that children crave stability. They like to sleep in their own fancy bedroom, that their own bedrooms and own beds and own space make them well adjusted human beings. I’ve been told that there are a hundred and one gadgets that will help us parent, that will allow us to be consistent right down to the sounds our children hear when they go to sleep. Children like to do the same things day in and day out because it makes them feel safe… say the articles. Inconsistency breeds unknowing which breeds fear which breeds instability which breeds… well, unhappiness. I call bullshit. I called it loud into the air off a Balinese volcano as we perch on the top, my baby and I… it was way past nap time and we were eating sticky rice and laughing at the wind. And you know what? We probably didn’t have a bath that day and I can guarantee we didn’t even care. I’m sure children do thrive on stability. I’m positive of it. These child psychologists and parenting experts and baby whispering guru’s are probably
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all right… but you know what they aren’t right about? The other side to the story. The side that says that kids thrive in all sorts
of lives in all sorts of ways all around the world. There is no one right way to raise a child. There are hundreds of right ways that are wrong ways from time to time. There is no one right way to do anything, ever. Kids thrive when surrounded by love. Be consistent with rules and routines or don’t be consistent, whatever. Just be yourself! Why don’t parenting articles say that? Screw the rules! Just be the parent you are with all of your heart because that’s all your kid really wants. They just want you…