Monday, January 4, 2010

Not Some Much Resolutions As They Are Attempts At A Parenting Overhaul

So here we are, 2010. I read several accounts of the last decade being one of the worst in history, and I guess I can understand it. I mean 9/11, Katrina, the housing market crash, the unveiling of Spencer Pratt...I totally get why many happily slammed the door shut on the first decade of the new millennium. For me, though, when I looked back on the last ten years I quickly realized that they were the best of my life. In that one decade I got engaged, graduated college and became gainfully employed, got married, bought a house, and became a mother. So many major life milestones that it makes it impossible for me to snub my nose at it.

With the start of this new year, I have pondered whether or not I should make resolutions for myself. I'm not typically a resolution type of girl mostly because I know myself well enough that those resolutions will be either broken or long forgotten by the time the ground thaws. This year, though, I'm making an exception. I don't really want to call the following resolutions though. They seem so much more important than that. Instead, I've decided that I need to make some major changes to my parenting style.

I have found myself becoming increasingly frustrated lately, both with myself and with the girls. It seems like I spend so much of my time refereeing or disciplining and not nearly enough time just have fun. After some examination I realize that the root of the problem mostly lies with me, and therefore it's time to change.

  1. I need to stop saying "in a minute" when the girls ask me for something. Their concept of waiting has improved drastically with age but still they can only be asked to wait for so long before chaos insues. It's time that I develop the habit of stopping what I'm doing - something that most certainly will still be there when I get back, e.g. laundry, dishes, etc. - and tend to their needs first.
  2. I will spend less time on the computer while they are awake. Like those items mentioned above, the Internet will still be here after they're in bed.
  3. During Friday Night Movie Night, I will make myself an active part of that tradition rather than using that time to clean the house. Having the girls occupied in front of the TV does not make it okay for me to not be a part of this ritual. Again, I know for a fact that the dust and dirty sinks will still be there after the movie is over.
  4. When the girls ask me to watch something, I will. I won't half-ass it and sort of watch as I walk out of the room.
  5. I will play with them when they ask me to. I realize that it won't be long before they stop asking.
  6. The yelling needs to stop. My patience needs to increase. The constant countdown to bedtime needs to end. I will remember to take deep breaths and just generally chill the hell out.
  7. Instead of constantly tell them to "be quiet" or turning up the radio to drown out the noise I will take a moment to appreciate their ideas, answer their questions, and laugh at their stories.
  8. I will spend at least ten minutes with each one in direct mommy-and-me time every day, whether that be reading a book, snuggling at bedtime, cooking in the kitchen, or just playing together. It seems like so little, but it's probably more than they get now which makes me want to punch myself in the head.
I heard the Trace Adkins song, "You're Gonna Miss This" the other night while driving home by myself and it really hit home. Life is crazy busy; the demands of work, home, and family leave little time for relaxation or appreciation. But twenty years from now, will I be sorry that I had a dirty house for longer than I would have liked or will I be kicking myself for not sitting down with the girls to play with their dollhouse with them? Will I be upset because for a few extra days the laundry sat in mile high piles or will I be sad because I feel like maybe I wasn't the best mommy I could be to my girls? Leave it to country music to put my life into perspective.


flag girl said...

You nailed it....

Kori said...

I couldn't agree more. I am guilty of this as well and am going to HAVE to take the time for things that are way important than will not be easy but in the end it WILL BE worth it!! :)

Anonymous said...

you go girl!! whatever the outcome know that you are a good mom and they will love you for all you are and have been!! We all tend to be a little hard on ourselves and none of us are perfect but we can strive to be. Those little fingerprints are a masterpiece on the windows.

you can call me al said...

Thanks for the reminder :)

Tina said...

Are you trying to be Supermom? Just mix yourself a cocktail, pop in a Disney video, and let life happen. That's what I do. Wait, that isn't a good idea?

Munchkin said...

Tina's comment is dead on... now post something amusing

jen said...

LIsten to the song "It Won't Be This Way for Long" by Darius Rucker. It makes you realize how precious the moments we have with them while they are little are....I'm on board with this overhaul for my parenting too!


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