It occurred to me that having two kids gives me a second chance to mess up another kid….I mean *nurture* another child.
Seriously, though, I feel like I was a better mom her first year and have struggled more her second. It’s strange, but I feel like she needs me more as she has grown more independent and capable. I guess it’s that she needs me now in ways that are harder for me than the ways she needed me when she was little(r). When I am with her and see (and hear!) how big she is I can’t help but think about how little time I have — to hold her like a baby, to have it just be her voice, to give her (and just her) my undivided attention. I think about what I could have done better, and what I want to do better the second time around.
I have always had a hard time with balance. With a new life about to join our family, I want to work intentionally to make my mothering of my daughter closer to what my hopes are…..in the hopes that I can create a strong foundation for each of us to welcome and support and nurture this new baby and still feel strong and whole and nurtured ourselves. I only have a few months with just us the way we are now, and I would like to make them count. Ideally, I would like to use them to help her transition into being a big sister as well. I also want to take this transition as an opportunity to make some changes in our life as a family so that they hopefully stick as our family grows.
So, with a new school year starting up, I figured I could outline some “homework” for myself as a student in The School of Life.
There are six categories in my ambitious plan. I want to write about each one separately to give resources and ideas for each (you know, so this isn’t all about me). I hope that some of my grasping for greatness has others inspired if they need to be ….
Oh, and let me be clear: Parenting is not about perfection. As Mama Eve says, mothering is a terrible job for perfectionists.
I don’t believe perfection is a desirable or useful goal to try to achieve, for a variety of reasons. All I really want is to feel like I’m more like that parent I had envisioned myself being. I want to take a step back and evaluate if what I’m doing is what I really want to be doing. If I strive for that goal of my best self, I need not worry about perfection because I’m going towards where I want to be.
BETTER MOM CATEGORIES (click heading to see posts)
Space (and Organization)
I want our spaces to be more organized, more YES for my daughter, more reflective of our values and needs, and easy to clean and pick up.
I want to have some more structure in my mind if not in reality for how to use time and what time is needed for what tasks. I want to make moments more valuable and meaningful. Though I value flexibility, I would like there to be a bit predictability in our life and schedule for my daughter (and the rest of us).
I still need to get rid of the plastic and polyester pile I made going through her toys and clothes from last year. I would like to do that purging again, but this time keeping in mind more natural, open-ended “toys.” I want to rotate toys in, but I need to know what I’m working with. I also have some ideas for activities and objects that I can make or we can do together.
The food we eat. Mine and hers. Mostly mine!
I want to be more mindful about my relationships with my daughter and my husband.
Mind, Body, Spirit
I need to make sure I find healthy, happy ways for me to be me. I also am preparing for another homebirth. Breathe, stretch, walk, dance, yoga….write, create, dream…..
So, there you have it, in a nutshell. A big one. What about you? Do you have any ways in which you’d like to be a better parent or person?