Posted in discipline, dreams, faith, Family, God, life, Love, soul surgery, spiritual training

In which I discover that being a parenting pantser is an epic fail…


My daughter’s preschool teacher just informed me that DD is rather contrary. As in, she likes to take the position of Devil’s Advocate in most of the daily activities.

She’s four years old.

In no way am I being disrespectful when I say that she is her father’s daughter. Exasperated, yes. Disrespectful, no. I try to laugh when I discover the arguments between my DH and I are all because he decided he wanted to shake things up by taking the opposing side. Even though he agreed that I was right…


So I can call my little darling a free thinker, or I can get panicked that she’s got a stubborn streak a mile wide and it’s mostly my fault.

For one, I’ve got the same stubborn streak – and it sucks.

Two, I have discovered recently that I’ve been parenting the same way I do pretty much everything else in life.

By the seat of my pants.

The funny thing is, pantsing parenthood just doesn’t seem to work all that well. I mean, who’d have thought that quick reactions, too much flexibilty, and a lack of consistency in routine and disciplien would have such a hugely detrimental effect on a child?

Thing is, we started out pretty good. I remember, I didn’t lose my temper with DD in the first two years of her life. Not once. I was calm, cool, collected, and I even did the consistency thing.

Then we stopped moving around the country and settled down in a small midwestern town. I’m amused at the irony of that statement. The instant we get into a stable environment, my carefully planned parenting goes OUT the window.

Of course, it might have had something to do with the arrival of the second child. He did manage to shake our world up a bit.

I’m a writer. I don’t really follow a schedule, outlines screw me up (unless I outline after the manuscript is written), every day my writing looks a little different. I’m not one to follow the norm, and I love being flexible with my time and resources. (Hence the getting out of debt so we CAN be more flexible with resources)…

The point is, I’m a pantser. I like not having a plan. Sure, a to-do list once in a while is okay and I don’t mind having a vague schedule – especially if there are non-negotiables in the calendar. However, most of these issues are – strangely enough – negotiable, and more like guidelines anyway.

I injured myself recently and don’t like the limitations that puts on me. However, I much prefer socializing, writing, playing, and reading to cleaning, appointments, and structure.

I agree, I can take it to the extreme of laziness. For the most part, however, it’s just the way I thrive the most. Lost in a sort of offbeat rhythm, each day a different song to sing and dance to. I’m okay with the unknown and I love the excitement of spontaneity.

Parenting, therefore, is a huge weak spot for me. I’m not ashamed to admit it, but it does land like a cold dose of reality in my gut. I wanted to be a mom my whole life, and I don’t think I’m doing that good a job at it. In part because of the epic failure of pantsing it and in part because I just didn’t have realistic expectations of what my mommyhood was going to look like.

I’m Sarah, and I’m a pantser parent.



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