Thursday, May 14, 2009

Together We Stand

Fellow blogathoner Jackie Dishner has a great post today, Partner with Others. "If you're having a difficult time moving forward," she writes, "sometimes it's helpful to partner with others."

Her words are as true for us as parents of boys as they are for her as a writer with a book to promote. Part of the reason I write this blog is so that we, as parents of boys, can share our insights and ideas, frustrations and fears with each other. Because if there's one thing I've learned about raising boys, it's this: No matter how much we love them, there will be days when we have absolutely no idea what to do next.

That's when we need to reach out. A network of friends and family is great; nothing can replace an actual shoulder to cry on or a grandparent who can swoop in and take the kids off your hands for a few hours.

But I see a lot of value in our virtual communities also. Many of us are trying to raise our kids according to slightly different parenting philosophies than those with which we were raised, and it can be hard to find support at home when no one else seems to understand what we're doing. Sites such as Joyce Fetteroll's Joyfully Rejoicing and Sandra Dodd's posts about Parenting Peacefully can help us find encouragement and link us to other, real-life people who are more than willing to share their real-life experiences.

Parenting and homeschooling blogs are another great source of support. Some of my current favorites are Pack of Hungry Snails, Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, Horrible Sanity, Parenting by Trial and Error, Digital Mom and Blog Salad. I don't know about you, but I get a lot of support from simply knowing that other people are going through the exact same things I am.

How about you? Where do you find support on- or off-line?


  1. Jennifer,

    Thanks for the link to my blog. Much of what I write about speaks to all people dealing with whatever challenges they face in life, including parenting. It's true.

    I raised my boy a long time ago. But he was a fun kid to raise. He was always up to something. While his sister shared just about everything she was doing--good and bad--he was very specific about what he would share. He kept stuff to himself, until I specifically asked him, and asked him again.

    I can't say he was quiet really, because he always had stories to tell and was always doing interesting things that I wanted to be a part of. But, sometimes, he just didn't want me to. It was very different parenting him than his sister.

    He's 25 now, soon to be 26, with a child of his own. And it's funny to hear him say things like, "Mom, you did a good job. I find myself doing a lot of what you did." He's actually proud of himself, and I'm thinking, "Oh, no! Don't parent the way I did. I was too strict!" But he says, no, I wasn't. So that makes ME proud.

    Just wait till you get there!


  2. Thanks for the shout-out. That's encouraging to me. I know exactly what you mean, though, it's nice to have the support of those who are "down in the trenches" with you or those who have made it through to the other side and can offer you their hindsight. I don't know how we'd have made it this far in our homeschooling journey without my IRL homeschool group and my blogging buddies.

  3. let's, i turn to you. who better to help figure things out than a boy-raising genius! but that''s mostly ideas and such. he's so young right now i'm taking ideas and storing them for later! most of my support is offline. when i told my sister i was having a boy, she was a bit upset. "everyone has boys! i just want to be able to buy one of those cute little dresses!"'s a boy! and i wouldn't trade him for the world (and either would she)! fortunately though, it's true that everyone around me had boys! so i have a lot of support from so many different people, and points of view! i take the advice i get, compare it to what i think, and decide what info to keep, what to get rid of, and what to store for later! we are also blessed with wonderful families who truly enjoy time with him...and sometimes i think they even crave it! so if we need a little time to ourselves, or we want to hit a movie...or even get a couple hours to do some big house cleaning that can't possibly be done to the full extent with a toddler running around...we have people to help us out.

  4. I'm very much a gatherer of support wherever and whenever I find it. I have two rock-solid homeschooling friends that I can call anytime I need to (and they, me) - especially if I'm feeling like selling Padawan Learner at the moment - and a crazy-long list of blogs that regularly make me think "Uh huh, she/he gets it."