Why am I a Theta Mom? Well, it’s because I approach parenting differently than I approach any other aspect of my life ~ I WING IT. I didn’t plan it this way, and if someone would have told me before I had children that I would take this attitude I would have laughed in their face.
You see, I am a planner. A list-maker. A goal-setter. A “Let’s read a couple of books and check out a few dozen websites before I even try to install a dimmer switch” sort of person. Now don’t get me wrong, I still research everything thoroughly, but I no longer expect to find all the answers. What I have found in recent years is support from other parents who don’t have the answers and push forward anyway. That’s what a Theta Mom is: someone who just puts on her big-girl panties and gets on with it!
When my eldest child (now 18) was an infant everyone was told to put babies on their tummies to sleep. Then a few years later we were all told that was completely wrong, all babies should be placed on their backs to sleep. ACK! I could have killed my baby! Of course that wasn’t nearly as bad as my mother putting peanut butter on his pacifier when he was 6 weeks old and I went back to work (oh, yes, she did!), but he is now a healthy, happy teenager despite my ineptitude.
When Aaron was a preschooler and kindergartner I freaked out every time he didn’t answer me when I spoke to him or told him to do something. I would call the pediatrician and rush him in to have his ears looked at and his hearing tested. Finally, the over-booked pediatrician pulled me aside and said, “Look, his hearing is fine. He’s ignoring you.” (sigh)
Lesson learned. I’m more laid-back about health issues than I EVER thought I’d be. I hear, “Mom, there’s a big black thing on my foot!” and I don’t even raise an eyebrow. (It was a blood blister, not a melanoma.) I hear “Mom, I, um, have this, um, rash . . . ” and I just grab the anti-fungal and tell them to drop their pants. I have one who tends to drop weight easily and one who gains weight easily. Do I consult a dietitian? Nah, I just push higher-calorie foods on the the eldest and lower-calorie foods on the youngest and tell them both it’s “healthy” (which it all is).
Aaron, my eldest, is going off to college in the Fall. When I went off to college I made list after list, timeline after timeline, and stressed about every detail. I have not made ONE SINGLE LIST for Aaron. I’ve asked him about who’s bringing what for the dorm room (fridge, TV, microwave), and of course I went to the orientation session parents are encouraged to go to, but other than that I’ve left it to him.
I’ve learned that what makes me a good nurse, a good wife, and a good household manager does not necessarily make me a good mother. I have had to step WAY out of my comfort zone and, more importantly, step BACK. We all want our children to be happy, and to be productive members of society in whatever way makes them feel fulfilled. They can’t do that without us setting a good example and then letting them try it out on their own.
Theta Moms know how to improvise, how to persevere, and how to let go.