Linking up again with Becky today to talk about my goals for motherhood...because that's an easy post to knock out. This one took awhile, and there were a few tears while writing it.
How do I set goals for something I will do for the rest of my life? A goal is sort of like an endpoint (its actually partially defined as an end point), and you never really end being a mother. I chose to look at another part of the definition, a target or an objective so that I wasn't so emotional thinking about the time that will come when my child(ren) won't really need me anymore.
1. Be patient. Grayson is almost two and he knows how to try my patience already. It's important that when I am frustrated or THIS close to loosing my cool that I stop, take a breath, and find that extra dose of patience. I want to give him the room to grow and become his own little person, so sometimes I need to resist the urge to say "No, let me do it" or correct the way he is doing something because its not exactly "right". But you know what, HE is doing it. He is trying, growing and he's so proud of himself for accomplishing the task. Sure, sometimes that means it takes us 15 minutes to brush our teeth and comb our hair, but it gets done and we're both better for it. I've also noticed that when I am more patient with him, he shows more patience with others.
2. Be in the moment. Nine months of the year, I'm a working momma. I get three months of SAHM where I get to do all of the fun stuff that I miss out on all school year long. Embarrassingly enough, sometimes I don't take enough opportunity to enjoy that time as I am thinking of all of the other stuff that needs to get done in the day. Rushing him inside from exploring the bugs in the mulch beds because we have to make dinner or checking my work email while he is coloring because I need to respond to a question from my boss. I'm there, but I'm not as in the moment as I would like to be; and I need to change that, esp when I head back to work and only get a few hours a day to be with my kiddo.
3. Be a Yes Mom. There is that old saying that used to appear on bibs and t-shirts 'I think my name is no-no'. I try everyday to say "yes" to things that Grayson wants, even when they are harder for me or not what I want. Last night I made him dinner, and he didn't want to eat. I made him chicken fryz and cut up a banana, which he usually loves. He shook his head no and cried. Rather than telling him to eat and ignore him, I asked him what he would like to eat. I unstrapped him from his booster seat and let him show me around the kitchen as to what he would like to eat. He picked mac n cheese and an apple. I made the mac, cut up the apple and sat it in front of him. By the time he was done eating there was nothing left on his plate and he was asking for more apple. Sure, by the time I sat down my dinner was a little cooler than I would have liked but I was okay with it. I don't want him to get the idea that he can demand whatever he wants for dinner, but I want to be able to say yes to his thoughts a lot more. Even if that means blowing bubbles in the living room or squeezing a whole can of shave cream out into the tub and playing in the foam. It makes him a happy kid to hear "Yes" to his ideas, so I try to make a mental note to do that more often.
4. Have him grow up surrounded by love. I want to show him what a normal, healthy relationship is like. I want him to see parents who love each other unconditionally. I want him to see that we disagree, and I want him to see us work through our disagreements. I think its important that he not see us bottle up emotions, but rather talk about them- so that as he grows he feels free to express his opinions to us and other people in his life.
5. Teach him how to give. I want to raise a child that knows how important it is to give back and to serve others. I see lots of very self centered teenagers in my profession, and I don't want to raise a child who thinks he is at the center of the universe. I grew up serving on mission trips and volunteering, and working to earn things I wanted. I want Grayson to do the same.
6. I want to be the parent my kid feels like he can come to with anything. So often I have students open up to me with their biggest problems, fears and worries. Things they REALLY should be talking to a parent about. I always ask if they've talked to Mom or Dad, and it breaks my heart when they say "They wont listen". I always want Grayson (and any future children) to know that I will always listen, even if its something that I don't want to hear. I want to help him work through his problems and know he always has two people in his corner no matter what.
7. I want him to get frustrated. Yep, you read that right. Life is hard, and we get frustrated. If we don't let him get frustrated he will never know how to overcome his frustrations. He will just give up when things get tough, and that's the last thing I want. I tell my students life is tough, get a helmet. I will tell Gray the same. Just because things are tough does not mean you give up, it means you get though it and it makes you a better person.
Thank you, Eric Matthews.
8. To be adventurous. I want him to have the same wild spirit as his Daddy. To soar down a mountain on skis or want to see and do everything. To explore and investigate and enjoy life. Just please, no jumping out of an airplane.
9. Be fun. Life is not always so serious, baby boy. We need to laugh and have fun. I want to be the Mom that when you have chores to do, but the ice cream man is coming down the street we head outside to eat snow cones on the sidewalk. We have water balloon fights with Daddy. We blow bubbles in the kitchen and have dance parties. We LAUGH and create memories. Life is a balance between work and play, and I want to teach you that.
10. To know that no matter what happens, we love him more than words can ever say. We will make decisions for him that he feels are unfair, he may think we 'hate' him at some point in his life. I hope that he can always see that we love him and all of the decisions we make are out of love. We promise to always do our best for you and to give you everything you need in life. We will do this because we love you. You are the center of our world, and we will do anything for you. It is from this love that we will not buy you everything you demand, let you do unsafe or stupid things, quit when life gets hard or give up or pull away from us. We love you Bubbers, we really do. My ultimate goal in this parenting thing is that you always know that.