Sometimes I think I am still in the baby mode of parenting, which just means I'm keeping them alive and happy(ish). I feed them, water them, clothe them, house them, love them, sing to them, give them toys to play with, take them to family functions...the basics.
But they are 4 and 2 now, and I question everything I do and don't do.
Are we stimulating them enough?
Do we watch too much TV?
Am I too hard on them? Am I too soft?
Do they feel loved?
Do I take them to church enough?
Are they learning (even at home)?
Are they social enough?
Am I providing them with enough activities?
Do I play outside with them enough?
Do I sit down and play inside with them often enough?
Pastor Ryan gave a good sermon yesterday about breaking bad habits and how to figure out from where our bad habits stem. Reflecting on this shown a light on a glaringly obvious and embarrassing habit of mine - lazy parenting. And my backtracking to figure out why this is a habit I've developed brought me to this conclusion:
I was older when I had my kids. I had lived 33 years thinking I would never have children. I never prepared myself for motherhood. I was set in my ways when Sam surprised us and, I guess in some ways, I'm still adapting to that change. Basically, I have no idea what I'm doing, and I struggle with giving up more of my own things and time and energy to be a really good mom to these two angels.
And I desperately want to be that for my kids.
So 2012 will usher in the year Sam and Lena's mom gets her shit together. Here's my strategy:
I will pray every morning for heaps and loads of patience.
I will provide at least one stimulating/educational activity every day I'm home with the kiddos.
I will stay away from the computer more.
I will pray every afternoon for heaps and loads of patience.
I will sit down and play with them more often.
I will try to get Lena involved in an activity other than just story time at the library.
I will try to react less and pro-act more.
I will pray every night for the strength and courage and wisdom that my kids need me to have.
It's all about balance. I'm not going to go hog wild and change every parenting technique I've developed. I'm basically a good mother, I know. So if I just step it up a little bit, I think I'll be able to find the balance between being a better mom and not losing myself in my kids.
At least that's the general idea:)