Thoughtful Thursday: Goal

January 7, 2010

(Intelligentsia coming in next post. There’s a thing.)

Thoughtful ThursdayThis week’s topic follows last week’s on what kind of person you’re trying to be, as well as a post on another blog. Earlier this week, Carrie from Tubeless in Seattle had a beautiful post about the kind of mother she thought she’d be versus the kind of mother she is. I’ll wait while you read it.

Doot doo doot, boop doo dee doo waaaaaaaa

Okay, great, you’re back.

As you just read, Carrie asked:

Are you a different mother than you’d imagined? Are you still trying to become a parent? What is your ideal role? Do you have peace about your mothering?

I commented:

I am much more willing to share them with others, probably in large part because they are multiples. Ultimately that’s a good thing for all of us. I think if I’d had a singleton I might never let anyone else hold the baby.

I am not as doting as I thought I’d be. I just don’t have as much to give as I thought I would. I think that will come with time, and with sleep.

Everyone constantly remarks about how laid back we are as parents. I expected that DH and I would be the way we are, but I didn’t realize how non-laid back everyone else is.

I know that I am doing a great job of mothering, but peace is not the word I’d use. Can you feel peace with one part of life if you don’t feel it in some others?

For Thoughtful Thursday, let’s examine a variation on Carrie’s question.

What kind of parent do you want to be?

This applies both to those who already have children, as well as those who are working on becoming parents for the first time.

As for me, I want to be a mother who loves her children like crazy and expresses that love constantly.

I want to show my children the world, literally. We’re already talking about a trip to Europe in the fall, though DH thinks it’s nuts to go when they’re less than a year old and can’t appreciate it.

I want to teach them and to help them learn for themselves.

I want to be patient.

I want to ignore the crap that comes with American parenting like consumerism and helicoptering and competitions with other parents.

I want to foster their relationships with each other, family, and friends.

I want to make the most of every day.

I want to think through the decisions I make.

I want to enjoy my own non-parenting pursuits like my career and hobbies and, by being away from them sometimes, be a better mother when I’m with them.

I want to share this journey with my husband with laughter and sweetness.

I want to benefit from the years of infertility by appreciating them for the miracles that they are.

Not too tall an order, right?

What kind of parent do you want to be?

21 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Goal”

  1. bestlight Says:

    I want your list!

    I want to be present with my children. In fact, the intention I set this morning in my yoga class was, “it is my intention to be fully present with my children.”

    Another tall order.

  2. a Says:

    I want to teach my daughter to grow up strong, kind, and loving.

    I like your list too, but I figure I’d better keep it simple. šŸ™‚

  3. Photogrl Says:

    Carrie’s post was beautiful.

    Here’s mine:

    I want to be patient and calm.

    I want to live in the now, because they are only little for so long.

    I want to enjoy every minute.

    There are so many more things, but those are the big ones I want to work on this year.

  4. Elana Kahn Says:

    I want to be the kind of parent that my children will be proud of. That they will love and want to care for as I grow old. Like my mother-in-law…(and no I’m not kidding, she’s the best mom ever, just don’t tell my mom) šŸ™‚

  5. Kristin Says:

    I want to make sure I’m a mother first and then a friend.

    I want to never forget to take time to snuggle or hug or read or just hang out with my kids.

    I want to remember it’s ok to have things a bit messy if it means doing things with the kids. (I excel at this)

    I want to remember that kids don’t operate at the same speed we do and slow down to be with them instead of “dragging” them with me.

  6. Cat Says:

    I want to be all those things, too! But mostly I just want to be a better mother to my children than mine was to me, which just means I have to love and respect them and not scare their friends.

  7. I want to be encouraging and a lot more patient than I really am. I also want to do everything absolutely right. But most days I only have the energy to do the best that I can, and I’ve started to accept that lately and divorce my parenting from how my daughter turns out. If I do my best, that’s enough, b/c that’s all any of us can do. If she doesn’t turn out exactly as I want her to turn out. Oh well, she has some say in the matter, too, and to a certain extent it’s up to her to be the best person she can be — not me.

    I hope this doesn’t sound callous, but lately I’ve just gotten really comfortable with being the mom I am as opposed to the mom I wanted to be when I was pregnant and at the beginning of this process.

  8. Shinejil Says:

    I want to be adequate and keep future therapy bills to a minimum.

  9. Ana Says:

    I like your list. Basically I want to enjoy the world with him, and teach him to do the same. Its hard right now, I’m hoping to get there soon.

  10. Michele Says:

    I want to be the parent that my kids need, not the parent that I think I should be. And that, I think, will change day by day, moment by moment.

  11. Nishkanu Says:

    The most important thing to me is that my beautiful new daughter will always know that she is loved and cherished. This is what I missed in my childhood.

    Then, I want to help her have a good heart and be a loving person.

    I do NOT want to be an “engineering my child to be rich, successful, etc.” kind of parent. I do NOT want to schedule her life full of stuff and push her to achieve.

    And I want to remember to snuggle with her as much as possible until she is an adolescent and doesn’t want any snuggling any more…

  12. erica Says:

    I want all of the same things you do. I am happy with the mother that I am. Things will change as my son gets older. There will be different challenges to face. I hope I have the strength to be the best mom I can be.

  13. ^WiseGuy^ Says:

    What kind of parent do you want to be?

    I do not want to be a ‘great parent’. I myself learnt that fire burns when I deliberately put my finger on a candle once. I want to raise my kids on that same hands-on thing. (a little less literally, of course)

    I want to raise them a bit like my parents raised me and my brother.

    I can’t expect them to become a certain profession or so, but I want them to grow up and stay with a lot of values, wherever they may be and whatever they may do.

    I want to take them to museums, and movies and introduce them to books.

    I want to be able to teach them the right priorities, and hone the skill of differentiation.

    And I sincerely hope, that I am able to make sure that their accomplishments will not give them airs.

    I want that they should have the freedom of going away anywhere in this world knowing that there will always be a home ready to receive them at any point of time. I want them to have the strength, and the confidence both.

    And yes, that they become better than their parents….

    Unrelated:- There was a dialogue in ‘Evening’ that I remember in unsure words: When I look at my children, I wonder which of my mistakes they will remember and which ones they will forget

  14. Andrea Says:

    Wow, did you read my mind?? This is beautiful and exactly what I beleive. I am an infertillity survivor and the mom to twin girls. They are now 2 1/2 and test me a lot, but so worth it. Never commented but enjoy reading your story.

  15. Lynn Says:

    What a great question!

    I want to allow my children to find and be themselves without them feeling guilty about who that person is.

    I want to be there for them anytime they need me and a lot of times when they need me but don’t necessarily want me there.

    I want to teach them the beautiful things in life and make them aware of the not-so-beautiful things so they can make a concious effort to always seek beauty.

    I want to teach them humility while still finding pride in their accomplishments.

    I want to teach them to love others, even when that isn’t their first reaction.

    And, mostly, I want to encourage them to live a life they can be proud of in their old age; a life so full of joy and peace that it influences others to strive for such a life for themselves.

  16. Heather Says:

    Wow! Our parenting style is very similar. Our daughter is 9-years-old, and I feel we’ve done a lot of what you listed (except go to Europe, but we have traveled the US with her from the time she was a baby and she is a great traveler.)

    Right now, I want to make sure I have the time to spend with her even though the boys take up a lot of my attention as they are almost 8 months old.

    I want to continue the good parenting work we’ve done with Phoebe with the boys. It’s much harder to travel with two babies than one, but they were a little over 2 months old and we took a road trip that was over 10 hours for a family wedding.

    I really want to work on not losing my temper. This is hard with our daughter as she’s at the age of wanting to push boundaries. I need to keep pushing back calmly, but sometimes….. I just get loud.

  17. Carrie Says:

    I am so glad you liked my post. šŸ™‚

    I want to be PRESENT. I want to be with my children as many hours in each day as I can, because there will be a time, not very long from now, when they don’t just want to see my face, hold my hand, nurse or color with me. They grow faster than I’d imagined possible and I do not want to miss anything because I was too busy to be in their moments.

  18. Mel Says:

    I want to be the kind of mother that my kids think is crazy, but in a good way. That when they describe me to their friends when they’re older, they shake their heads and say, “Mel is insane” but what they really mean (because they’re smiling as they say it) is “my mum fucking rocks and she always let me know how much I am loved by her actions. Even if they’re to the extreme sometimes. It just shows her enormous love.”

  19. jill Says:

    I debating posting to this one at all… I don’t want to be a downer but this is truthful at least.

    I dreamt of being a parent for so long. I had so many plans. I’d see people with kids or read articles and think “I’d totally do that!” or “Whoa, I’d try not to ever do that!” I still do but it’s rare. I don’t have any goals anymore other than just to actually BE a parent. That one detail has swallowed up all the others.

    If I think about what kind of parent I’d like to be now my thoughts start sliding over to the realm of “maybe I’d be a crappy parent” in a very sour-grapes-like fashion. And I don’t want to think those things.

  20. coffeegrl Says:

    I love all these thoughtful lists. Here’s mine off the top of my head:

    I want to be the kind of mother who allows her kids to explore the world and discover things on their own, but I don’t ever want them to *feel* alone. I want them to feel totally loved and supported and I want to show interest in the things that they are interested in.

    I want to be the kind of mother who creates a warm and welcoming home such that other kids (and adults) feel welcome to stop by and there is much love and companionship in the house at all times.

    I want to be able to expose my children to both their cultures, families and languages (mine and my husband’s). I don’t ever want them to feel that I’m making them choose or identify with a single culture.

    I want to be the kind of parent who is open with her children. I want them to feel comfortable talking to me about sex etc. as a reliable source of information. I don’t want to be their best friend, but I want them to be able to trust me.

    I want to be the kind of parent who parents her kids fully and yet also has her own interests and activities – things that fulfill my soul in a meaningful way. I don’t want to lose my “self” in parenting.

  21. OK – I’ve given this too much thought while it should be have been quite simple (but hey, I’m a champion in making things more difficult than they are) and now I don’t really know what to add to what you and the other commenters wrote – I don’t want to copy/paste but it’s tempting!

    I want to be a mother who loves her child(ren) dearly and shows that love constantly (without suffocating), who guides and supports them in whichever path they choose when they grow up. I want to be there for them always, no matter what.

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