It has been a few weeks again since I have had anything to say. And, during that time, I was taking the time to think and read a book called "Bad Mother". The title of course is quite catchy and as I was walking through an airport it caught my attention. I love to stop at the book stores inside airports since they always seem to have a whole variety of reading materials to choose from. On this particular stop, I of course stopped to get the latest new semi-trashy book to read on the plane and on the trip. But, while I was in the store, I decided to look at the parenting and self help section for grins. Immediately this book caught my eye! I had to buy it.

Since that time, I have read a lot of the book, but truthfully not all of it. I read enough to laugh and understand that this was a sane person writing about all that goes on with motherhood and actually parenthood, she just of course is a mom and had to write from her perspective. I would recommend it to all of you mothers out there who really are trying your hardest to do a good job. The author is Ayelet Waldman. Of course this is not a scholarly book, but sure is fun to read and laugh with and at, and might even let you give yourself a pat on the back.

This book made me think about the idea of functionality. Isn't that really what the point of parenting is?? To raise competent children who grow into competent adults. Now, the hard part is how to do that and of course do it well. Lately I have had the opportunity to think about families I know and families I know of and look at how their kids are doing. A lot of the people I spend time with think about their kids a lot. Some of course, seem to be doing better than others, kids I mean, and some are of course struggling a bit. Most of our friends have kids that are young adults and the youngest have just graduated from college. Last night my husband and I had dinner with friends of ours who's children are at the same age and stage. Honestly, at this point they are all doing well, of course with life issues of jobs and job searches for some, but in total they are all functioning well. We were discussing what they are all up to and agreed that we are lucky and thankful. Yet, as the conversation progressed, we did stop a moment and realize that we have jointly, both families, put in a LOT of time. I have to admit, that we did take the time to congratulate ourselves on the fact that we put the time in, did the work, chose to try hard. I am pretty sure that is why all 6 of the kids in our two families are doing well.

Being a parent is hard work. I know lots of people struggle with the balancing act of juggling family, kids, self and work. Yet, isn't it the best when you know that your kids are good, that they are well, that they make themselves and you proud? Ayelet Waldman makes fun of herself and her husband in the book "Bad Mother." She points out all the pit falls we all can encounter along the path of the parenting road, yet, in the end I think she shares her story to let people know that being a good parent does not require perfection, or millions of dollars, or knowing always what to do. Being a good parent requires being present, adjusting as needed to do what your kids need, taking the time, doing the work. Creating fully functioning adults does not mean you always did or do the right thing or even always know the best thing to do. It does mean that you always take the time, adjust as needed, be present and always, always do the work!

I would like to think that if you choose to do the work and take the time, you may get to have all your grown up kids excited about traveling to London to see their sister who's studying there, celebrate family, invite their significant others, and even create ridiculous shirts that say "Saxelby Family Pilgrimage to the Homeland".

Now I argue, that's functionality...crazy perhaps, but functioning!!

Until next time,