This new year (like every new year of my adult life) I mentally calculated lessons learned, lessons lost, and what I hoped to achieve in the upcoming 365 days.
As I sat down to pen my personal goals, I began to write a parenting manifesto of sorts. One that begins and ends with my offerings as a mother.
I created three parenting resolutions I not only wanted to make, but wanted to keep because each was deeply rooted in love.
Patient communication: I can't resolve to stop yelling, I'm a mom. A yelly mom. A yelly mom who had tried and failed to stop yelling for many years. What I did resolve to do differently was to listen to my children for longer than I have patience for. To take a deep breath before speaking and try to communicate in a way that not only made me better understood, but inspired my children to do the same.
Celebrate and recognize: This year I vow to celebrate small victories and recognize magic moments. Whether my son finally spelled "receive" correctly or my husband dumped the trash without being asked, small victories deserve recognition. Whether I offer a simple thank you or we toast glasses of milk at dinner, each family member earns praise for a job well done. As for recognizing magic moments, I give myself a big mom-fail. For a long time (OK, a cool decade) I had this idea that magic parenting moments were supposed to look a certain way. Everything had to be picture perfect and organized in order to feel the wonder and joy of a particular moment. Imagine my tenure of frustration when nothing ever went according to plan. I realized the moment my son accidentally farted when cuddling up next to me that these were the magical moments - not the fart per se, but the uproarious laughter and subsequent belly aches that came from my family laughing until they cried.
Just be there: I may not have all the answers, or be a perfect mom (for whatever that means), but I can be there. I can be present. I can try. I can help. I can listen. And really, all anyone in this life really needs is a constant and loving presence in their lives. That can be me. Heck, it already is. For all my faults and weaknesses, there is one intrinsic truth we all share as parents: we love our kids with a power that ought never, ever be underestimated.
Did you make parenting resolutions this year?
Mommyfriend goes by Lori Garcia in real life and is a Shine Parenting Guru. She writes at www.mommyfriend.com where she's busy finding perfection in imperfection daily. When she's not watching infomercials she's the Home & Beauty editor for GalTime.