What does it look like?
In one of my earliest posts on books every mother should read, I mentioned the book, Regret Free Parenting: Raising Good Kids and Know You’re Doing It Right by Catherine Hickem, LCSW (you can find it on Barnes and Noble here or Amazon here). Today I’m going to go back to something that book talked about, as well as how it ties in with one of the other books, The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary, PhD (you can find on Barnes and Noble here or on Amazon here). While Hickem’s book specifically addresses the idea of “intentional” parenting, it is my opinion that a part of being intentional is also be conscious of your daily choices, something that Tsabary addresses.
How day to day life seems
We quite often get bogged down by everything that we have on our plates. We go through the motions: wake up, clothe ourselves and kids, feed kids (and maybe ourselves), get kids to school/daycare, run a load of laundry, fold laundry, clean house, run errands, doctor visits, music lessons, sporting events, go to work, pick up kids, make supper, wrestle the kids into doing their own chores/homework, get them ready for bed, prepare clothes and food for the next day, go to bed, repeat (not necessarily in all of that order, but just a list of things that might find it’s way into your day). Sometimes we feel like life is passing us by or there are things we’re missing but we can’t stop to figure out what it is.
I don’t want to add to the craziness. In fact, I want you to stop the rushing around. I want you to breathe, to enjoy your kids while they are little, and to be the best you for yourself and for them. Rushing around as the above paragraph suggests is not living intentionally or on purpose. You’re just living. You’re coping.
Take note of what you’re doing. How does what you are doing at this moment help you achieve your goals? How does it better the lives of you and your children? What can you and/or your children learn by what you are doing?
Your child is acting out. How are you going to respond? Is there something going on with your child that might be causing them to act the way they are? How can you get to the bottom of it to determine if the root cause of their actions needs to be dealt with before doling out consequences for the symptoms?
How can you be intentional in your daily interactions and remember the moments instead of allowing life to pass you by? Regrets are always found at the end of life when you look back and realize you were too busy to enjoy the moments, enjoy the little things.
I first want to discuss the definitions of the following words:
- Purpose; and
The meaning of “intentional” according to dictionary.com reads, “done with intention or purpose; of or relating to intention or purpose.” This leads me to delve more into the root word “intention.” Dictionary.com advises us, “an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.”
Purpose means, “the reason for which something exists or is done; an intended or desired result; determination, resolution; to have a purpose.”
The meaning of “conscious” reads, “aware of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings; fully aware of or sensitive to something; having the mental faculties fully active; known to oneself; aware of what one is doing.”
Piecing these words together
In the realm of motherhood, these words mean that we live each day in a state of awareness and purpose. We live life to the fullest in this state. We wake up with a drive every morning, look for ways to teach our babies and children life lessons and developmental skills, and live in that moment and not in tomorrow.
Living with a purpose of intentional parenting, you don’t “go through the motions” or live in a blur of activity swirling around you. Maybe on occasion it will seem like that, but not everyday, all day. You have shunned the world’s idea of business and constant movement and welcomed the more peaceful structure of conscious living, one that can only be accomplished by intentional, purposeful choices.
Let us not get sucked into the mantra of “go, go, go!” Stop. Smell the roses. Or the poopy diapers. Then take out the trash, spray some Febreeze, and build blocks with your toddler. Fold a load of laundry while they watch educational shows, color a picture, or have a dance off! Take lots of pictures and post them on the walls. Let them help you unload the dishwasher and teach them how to load it again. Teach them how to make breakfast and bake cookies. These are the moments you are going to remember when they are all grown up and off to college or their own living spaces. These are the moments that count.
Life goes by too fast to live it on the seat of our pants. The education and development of our children is our responsibility, not the school system or the daycare. Ours. It is also our responsibility to teach them love and respect of all people, regardless of their skin color, religious and political beliefs, or gender orientation.
We must be intentional in teaching our kids through hands on discussions and exposure as they grow. Only we, as parents, are aware of what our kids are ready for. We cannot leave the education and training up to the school system and other people. Don’t take this as a complete bashing of the education system. But we have a big problem with bullies in schoools. Is that what we want them learning? (And Texas doesn’t have that stellar of an education system. That’s a fact. Teachers mean well and do their best but the funding isn’t there.)
Building these relationships now will also pay dividends later when they are going into high school and college. They will have learned well how to act and make right choices. They will be confident in the sounding board they have to ask all of their questions of ass they are coming into their own adulthood. And that is a relationship that will last a lifetime.
Join the band of Gypsy Mothers!
Now is the time to join the band of gypsy mothers. Lets form a community of single mothers determined to live intentionally and with a purpose for the betterment of our children’s lives as well as society at large.