I’m a Mac girl. Converted in grad school by a bevy of Apple lovers (thank you, ladies), I’ve come to love the ease and style of my trusty MacBook. But I use a PC for work. Certain programs that I need, Mac doesn’t offer. And converting between the two systems can be a pain even for software that both support.
So many days I’m bouncing back and forth between two laptops: checking email and Face.book on the Mac in the morning, working in Vista and Office on the PC in the afternoon. Sometimes it feels a little schizophrenic, mixing up commands or forgetting how to translate between a one-click button and a two-button mouse. But even though my heart lies with Mac, I’ve come to appreciate both computers in their own quirky ways.
The PC is a faithful workhorse. I have a longer knowledge of PCs, having used them through high school and college. So I know more programs, more shortcuts, more tricks of the trade. I also know the infuriating sides of PCs: the bizarre error messages, the evil viruses, the heart-stopping crashes. PCs can drive me nuts, but they’re practical (and cheaper) for businesses and universities. So I know I’ll probably be working with PCs for the rest of my life, and I have to learn to love them.
Macs are more intuitive and creative. For someone who likes to jump in and try new things, I love that nearly every time I wonder, “How would I do this?” and make a stab in the dark, I’m able to do what I wanted. The design and layout of Macs – both hardware and software – is more attractive, and I’m not ashamed to love aesthetics. Photo and video editing is much more fun with Apple, and most of all, I love that I never have to worry about viruses. That said, it’s maddening that certain programs aren’t available for Mac. And certain Windows-based software is clumsy and frustrating when converted to Mac.
So I’ve concluded that for me, neither Mac nor PC is 100% perfect. I lean more towards one, certainly, but I know I’ll always have the other around as well.
In the short few years since I’ve become a mother, I’ve been exposed to many different parenting styles. Some parents are uber laid-back, others more rigid. Some follow the book (whatever The Book may be for them); others follow their gut. Whether overbearing or intuitive, clingy or creative, demanding or doting, passive or protective, most parents ultimately have their child’s best interests at heart. They just have their own views of how to best support their child, shape their upbringing, and show their love.
As the media’s been all a-Twitter the past few days about how Steve Jobs and Apple changed the world, I’ve been thinking about the Mac vs. PC debate. Since both systems continue to sell, it’s clear that we haven’t all been converted one way or the other. And some of us muddle along between both.
Perhaps parenting styles are like that, too. We have our own preferences and we make our own choices, but other choose differently. Hopefully we can keep our hearts and minds open enough to see why. It’s when we get dogmatic about our philosophies that we can become insufferable, criticizing or belittling others for not following our path.
The God whose very Being is plural and diverse – yea Trinity! – has created us in wonderful diversity. And more than a few times, I’ve been changed for the better in my own parenting by someone whose style or approach was very different from my own. They opened my eyes to see another way, another point of view. But perhaps I’ve also missed out on room for growth when I kept my heart closed, convinced I was in the right, and refused to consider why anyone would do differently than me.
I love my Mac. But you might not. And my husband the engineer certainly prefers his PC. If we all chose the same, we’d never appreciate the diversity of what each has to teach us. Here’s hoping we can keep an open heart – and a good sense of humor – about our differences, whether in PCs or parenting, MacBooks or mothering.
So what’s your parenting style – Mac or PC?
(I like to think I could be a cool, creative, intuitive Mac, but I know my system gets way too many error messages and crashes to not be a PC. Rare is the day that goes by without a Ctl+Alt+Del to restart my mothering.)