Second Guessing

So, this aired today:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 10.05.19 PM

(It looks like it got cut off. Sorry about that!)

You know, I thought I knew what I wanted. I thought I knew what I was doing. I thought I wanted to be a mom who taught her kids, who gave them opportunities to learn and grow. I hope that by doing so, they’ll become strong, self-reliant, capable adults.

And I also thought I wanted to be a writer. I thought I wanted to write about life and motherhood and marriage, about continually finding happiness and joy in the most mundane and repetitive of circumstances.

But experiences like this bring all things into question. Like, am I raising my kids well? Am I endangering them by either giving them too much freedom, or by writing about them, or by not giving them as much credit and responsibility as they can handle?

Obviously, having people question my parenting choices would cause me to question them as well. I think that’s a good thing to do. I hope that I am always looking for ways to improve, looking for holes I didn’t see, looking for paths and tools and ideas for how to help my kids become the best they can be. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t want to get too comfortable in my motherhood, to think that I know anything. I want to be teachable and to be open to the idea that there are better ways that I currently know.

So that’s that. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to be part of this discussion. I hope it has been as enriching for others as it has been for me.

On the other hand, I’ve also had to question whether or not what I really want is to sit quietly and write about my life as a wife and mother. So I’ve questioned it and decided that it is what I really want in life. Really and truly. I find a lot of joy and value in it. And it seemed a good fit for me. I’ve joked that I have a face for radio and a voice for print, so writing is probably where I belong.

But then, I never expected to have the opportunity to try anything else out —to actually do live radio or live television, to speak on camera without a script. I can hardly say what I’m thinking in a normal conversation, so why would I even consider one in which I was sitting under stage lights, wearing a mic, with cameras rolling?

But I had the chance to consider it. To try it out. To do it. And now that I’ve done it, I feel like maybe I should question that, too. Just to see if maybe there is another way for me to say the things I want to say.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get there again, if I’ll ever be able to do anything but peck at a keyboard. But at least now I know that the keyboard isn’t my only tool. If I want to, I can reach for something else.

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9 Comments

  1. Oh COME ON!!!!!!! You’re not a moronic attention-whore, instagramming photos of Manchild on the couch with captions like, “headed to the grocery, hope he survives!” Some people do overshare comings and goings on Facebook, it is true that in non-urban areas (particularly in communities with raging meth issues) that can open you up for theft. But that’s only if you announce an impending departure and that’s not what you’re doing.

    You are a good mom, a great blogger, and someone I look up to so please please please don’t stop blogging and sharing and thinking. I love everything you have to say. This whole debacle has proven to me that everyone is stupid and incapable of deep thought except you.

    Final thought- screw GMA. Who picks those morons over Charlie Rose anyway?? He would have had a real conversation with you.

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    Ha! I don’t know you, but I like you. 🙂

    I will, of course, keep blogging and sharing and thinking! But I also hope I can contribute and be part of other discussions as well. I have been a little frustrated and disappointed in myself lately because I want to do so much more writing and thinking and sharing than I have been doing. I hope that at the very least the work I do is worth the read and maybe that I’m able to get some things published in other places as well—you know, expand my reach and all. 🙂

    I so very much appreciate your vote of confidence. Seriously. I love your comments.

    [Reply]

  2. Seriously, next time someone decides to question leaving Manchild alone, ask them if they take their children, all of them, into the basement/garage/second floor bathroom every time they go. Ask at what age they would be comfortable leaving their kid in their room while they walk to the mailbox/pull weeds in the garden/toss a lad of laundry in. Guarantee you the age they say will be younger than 7. Point out that the distance from your apartment to the mailroom to the laundromat is less than the distance from their third floor to their basement, their kitchen to the end of the driveway, their bathroom to the backyard. Do it for fun- take your Garmin and measure it out. Ask your family and friends to do the same and compare notes. You are not doing anything stupid, you are just talking to stupid people. Stop doing that, they’ll convince you you are crazy. You have 3 kids and a 2-hour bike commute each day so yeah, you are busy but what you do pump out is quality. Focus on quantity and you’ll be Lara Spencer before you know what happened.

    I live in downtown Denver, excuse me while I get my Garmin. Gonna do some measurements.

    [Reply]

  3. You looked gorgeous and sounded amazing! I wish that it hadn’t gotten cut off and I think that people are way too paranoid sometimes! Did they think that you’d really knock on doors, plan it out, announce to everyone that you’re leaving Manchild home alone?! Really??!! I loved your response that you didn’t even know when that would be happening. Way to be confident and hold your own. I so admire you. 🙂

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  4. So what was your next comeback??? This ended at the wrong moment. 🙂 Do you have the other portion somewhere? Also, you were a rock star! Go Lizzie!

    [Reply]

  5. You were so great! I don’t remember the age, but I feel like my parents left us home early on too! And oh my gosh, they were WAY over thinking the “what if someone knows now and comes and steals him” thing. I mean, I’ve been following your blog for years (since working with Jarom/Sarah/Abby) and while I know you’ve lived a few places around Brooklyn, I would have NO IDEA where to even start to stalk you…and I can’t imagine I’m missing a jackpot of identifiers somewhere. Sheeeesh. So dramatic… “irreversible mistake”.

    [Reply]

  6. Lizzie!! You are a ROCK STAR mama – period. Never doubt your awesomeness! If any of these people that criticize read your blog, they’d know right away how great of a mother you are. You are my role model! No joke…mother, writer, athlete, halloween costume maker, financial aid helper, LOL, all of that! Thank you for being something to aspire to.

    [Reply]

  7. To become a Bear scout (2nd level of Cub Scouts), the Boy Scouts of American require the scout and parents to “prepare” for the scout to stay home alone in 3rd grade. There are a variety of required activities for the family to engage in to prepare all involved – parents and boys. And my 33 year old Eagle Scout is alive and well today, in many ways because the BSA guided his mother on how to prepare him to be a man.

    On the other side – when I took my daughter to college orientation, the school administration shamed us parents about not being helicoptor parents. My daughter attended a closed campus high school less than 10 miles from Columbine. The high school administration prohibited the students from learning such simple activities as time management – figuring out how to get lunch off campus and return in time for the next class. Even the parents were not allowed on campus without a picture ID tag issued by campus security. Yet I was expected to leave my daughter with a college staff who had never even considered the environment their students were coming from. (Both schools – high school and college – were in Colorado.) They were speechless when I described the high school experience created by the aftermath of Columbine.

    Congrats for preparing your children to LIVE in this world.

    [Reply]

  8. I started leaving my daughter home alone in first grade. She’d come home from the bus, I’d get home 30 min later after work. Made my life easier, gave her independence.
    Other parents are shocked. I would not write about it on a blog, but the nature of it is different. It’s repetitive, at the same time every day. As you said, YOU don’t even know when you’re leaving. Seems like there was a bit of mom-shaming going on here. Americas favorite past time.

    You keep doing what you’re doing.

    [Reply]

  9. He thyen requires down the rotten fence, and hee guarantees that his
    elderly neighbour ujderstands that the new fence neither stands upoon thhe pensioner’s land nor is it (the new fence) thhe pensioner’s home.

    [Reply]

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