Making life easier…one baby step at a time
It’s almost a new year. Everyone is thinking about what their goals for the new year are going to be. Are you? Maybe. Or maybe you have decided that new year’s goals are lame since most people drop them within the first 30 days. Then again, there’s something rather alluring about having Father Time telling us it’s a new phase of life and a good time to rethink what we’ve been doing.
But what about parenting goals? Have you thought about how you might be more authentic in your parenting style? What does that even mean, you might ask. What I mean by authentic is “for real”, “honest”, “intuitive” and “true”. It’s written about all over the parenting blogs, so why not mention it here again: we compare ourselves too much (at least the moms, it seems most dads don’t cross the tracks to the grass-is-always-greener place in their psyche). We wonder how our girlfriend Sally is able to keep her hair so styled and have full make-up on for a 10am moms group. During a playdate we look at our new friend’s house and wonder how she keeps it so clean. Our sister-in-law who has five kids manages to get dinner on the table every night, how does she do it (and wow am I a bad mom because I can’t). Then there’s the breastfeeding and pumping conversation we might have in our head about why it didn’t work or when we “should” stop or when introducing food is the “best” time.
It can go on and on, right? STOP THE INSANITY! Sit down and sorta meditate for a minute and just ponder what it important in your life and your child’s life. What ARE your parenting goals? To be more present? To cook more? To go outside more often with your little one? To pause and take a breath and count to 25 before yelling yet again? To finally get those dressers and TVs secured to the walls? To take a CPR class? Find three and commit. Be honest with yourself. No comparing to others. What do YOU want.
There are many ways to “measure” how well we are doing as parents. What will be your way of assessing your success? Your child’s grades or their good manners? The way your child makes sure to gently wake you up in the morning after they’ve been playing quietly in their room for an hour? The sweet “thank you” your child will say after you read the 10th story before bed? A desire to be cuddled at a random moment when they are 10 years old? It may not be their math skills or cooking skills or even their soccer skills that matter. It’s WHO they are as a person, right?
But before your child can discover who they are as a person, you need to also consider who YOU are as a parent. There’s no wrong or right answer as long as love is included.
Happy New Year, authentic parents. Remember you rock, whoever you really are deep down.