And here we come to a very personal goal I’ve set for myself, and that I’m sure many of you have set: Being a better parent. Being more patient with our kids. Parenting with purpose.
I’m so very fortunate to have a wonderful guide to help me through this maze of self improvement. Joanna is hosting a series titled Parenting With Purpose. Joanna is an extremely gifted writer, and has a way of motivating and inspiring. And so, I’ll be simply following her format cause really, I’d never come up with something this good on my own!
Part 1 of her series is all about setting a base…by figuring out WHO YOU ARE. I’ve thought long and hard about the 3 questions she suggests we ask ourselves, and it’s been extremely hard for me to not only answer them, but to put myself “out there” and share them with you. I do believe it will be for good, however. Although my answers won’t be as eloquent as hers, they will be from my heart:
1. Who Am I? – My initial reaction is to say I’m a mom. That is the essence of who I am. But thinking more on it, I realize that I am more than that. I’m going to be honest, this question is extremely hard for me to answer, because I DON’T KNOW who I am most of the time. All the more reason for me to really take some time answering.
- I am a lover of music. Good music feeds my soul.
- I am a dreamer. No matter how tough things get, no matter how unlikely I am to achieve my dreams, I cannot let them go. I thrive on having something to work towards, and I struggle when I don’t have big dreams.
- I am a believer in making a difference. I believe that each of us, no matter our circumstance, can make a difference somehow, someway, sometime for someone. As I said, I’m a dreamer, and I tend to want to do things in a big way. I have learned that although I may not be able to feed all of the hungry, I can feed ONE hungry, or TWO….maybe even 3, 4, or 5. I may not be able to prevent landfills filling up, but I can lower my own personal carbon footprint. I may not be able to change the lives of thousands of children, but I CAN change the lives of my own, and maybe even others.
- I am a stressed out person. I tend to get stressed out and upset over things that I should not. I take things very personally, most of the time when I shouldn’t. It makes me tenderhearted, which can be good, but it also causes tension in my household, which is obviously NOT good.
- I am a mom. Yep, even though it’s a role, it is a big role, and one I dreamed of playing for many years.
What Kind of Parent Am I? – Oy, this is hard to answer, but for different reasons. I am overwhelmed with guilt most of the time for my struggles as a mom:
- I am a yeller. I hate to admit it, but it is true. I’ve gotten SO much better in the last 2 years, and I can see the incredible difference it’s made in my children’s lives, but I still get stressed too easily and yell to release more often than I should.
- I am interactive. I don’t do a lot of physical play with my kids, but I love to do activities with them. I love doing silly little crafts. (And since my art “talent” is at about the same level as my 4-year old, it works out well.) I love being girly with my daughter and giggling with her while we do each others’ hair and makeup. I love turning up the music and cheering my kids on as they dance and perform.
- I am a break – taker. I find that as soon as the noise level starts to go up, I start to panic. I have to take a lot of breaks while with my kids, breaks where I can go in my room and have a little bit of quiet. I believe I take more breaks than I should….after all, my kids aren’t really THAT loud, and they’re both usually pretty well behaved.
What Kind of Parent Do I Want To Be? – I want to be a patient parent. I want my children to know that they can come to me and tell me about their mistakes and bad choices without being fearful of my reaction. I want my kids to know that NO MATTER WHAT, I will always love them. I want to be more physically active with my kids. I want to be a teacher to my children, and to teach them values…Christian values as well as temporal values, such as the value of hard work (the kids aren’t big fans of me teaching that one so far). I want to show my kids that I believe in them. I want to teach my kids to dream, like I do, but to do more than just dream; to act as well!
This is me. I encourage you to thing about those three questions, to answer them for yourselves. Do as Joanna suggests, write them down in your journal, or blog about them! This is an amazing first step to start your journey of Parenting with Purpose. And aren’t those cute little Munchkins worth it?