* Editor’s Note * We began this project one year ago in July 2011, in order to show the strength and diversity of today’s families, mothers and fathers. Through the stories contributed here we have learned a powerful and universal truth: parenthood will bring out the best — and the worst — in you.
This week we presented, in four parts, the story of California mother and teacher, Benita Scheckel. We found Benita’s frank assessment of herself and her relationship truly compelling. In her story we witness the highs and lows of a vulnerable young mother and wife. We watch breathlessly as she moves from her Worst parenting moment to her Best. In her story, we live the unexpected days and heartbreaking nights that is parenthood and marriage. In her story, we see ourselves.
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* PART FOUR, CONCLUSION *
NAME Benita Scheckel
HOMETOWN Pasadena, CA
NUMBER OF CHILDREN Two
DAY JOB Teacher/Actress
RELATIONSHIP STATUS Married 22 years this summer!
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WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS AS A PARENT AND WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?
My strengths as a parent are in guiding our children emotionally.
I took care of finding the right schools and enrichment experiences to help them develop their interests. They come to me with questions about how to live. I am old fashioned in that I believe the mother is the heart of the home and I definitely have been that for our girls.
My weaknesses lie in the physical realm. I was absolutely no good at dirty diapers or vomiting children and the sight of blood puts me in a faint. My husband took care of the grosser aspects of parenting. He has an iron stomach and he is physically stronger than I am.
WHAT ARE YOUR SPOUSE’S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
My husband is a good man.
I know it sounds old fashioned but he is that “salt of the earth” kind of person. And at the risk of sounding sexist or ridiculous, I know if the Titanic were sinking he’s the guy who would do anything to keep the children and I alive. He loves his family. He is reliable, loyal and kind. He is happiest when he’s home with us and the house is clean and there’s a good meal on the table.
Also, he can fix anything. He takes care of all the gardening, home repair, heavy lifting etc.
WHO ELSE PROVIDES CHILDCARE FOR YOUR CHILDREN? Do you have unpaid family or friends providing help or do you have paid nannies/babysitters/au pairs?
When the girls were little we paid for childcare through my husband’s job at Cal Tech. They had a great facility that our girls attended.
DO ANY OF YOUR CHILDREN HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS? AND IF SO, HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOUR PARENTING?
Neither of our children have special needs although they are incredibly different so our parenting styles adjust to meet the needs of our two daughters.