Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What are my goals in parenting?

The past few days have been a blur of activities. Not much on the homeschooling front but on celebrations- you see our daughter turned 5 last week (and the day before was Tata's birthday)and before that we have to go through one health hurdle after another. Seeing Katie sick and finally getting confirmation that she has asthma has kept me on edge. It also made me more protective of her than usual. I guess its a common reaction but I am trying hard not to shelter her too much.

Five years ago, a great miracle came into our lives, now whenever I see her fluttering like a butterfly in the room and bursting like rays of sunshine, I tell myself if only time will not be so fast so I can enjoy the moments more.

But I am grateful that after the challenges of last year, I got the chance to be a full time parent again and enjoy these times with my children. I can see the big difference from how it was when I was working and how our lives are now. These days there are more cuddles on the sofa while watching, more talks during dinner time, more giggles and tickle time that is just out of the blue, more whispers of "I love you", more singing, more fooling around, in essence, we are experiencing more love and more life now than when I was juggling work and time with the family.

I also enjoy learning more how to BE PRESENT with my children and with my husband. One blog that I follow Hands Free Mama has been giving me big doses of positive confirmation on my involvement with the children. Her words remind me that I am not alone and that a lot of other parents felt the same guilt and went through the same tough choices. But most importantly Rachel's experiences also give me an insight on how I can better myself as a hands free parent.

This last part has been a thought that has nagged me for days. I love reading blogs and getting inspiration out of it. I oftentimes share these insights with my husband and we would in turn try the ideas out but there seemed to be a void that needed filling and I couldn't pinpoint what it was. It seemed like all the ideas are good and they help us a lot in interacting with the children but there seems to be a point that is lost somewhere. I know I might not be making much sense but for those who can relate to the feeling of going around in circles, enjoying the scenery but still not sure on where the destination is, that is how it felt. I realized that what was lacking was really pinpointing the source on why these insights, these activities with the children and the need to better myself.

Then the question hit me, "Why do I value them?" That question was coupled by another question that I read online, "what are your goals in parenting?" Both questions kept me reflecting on my role as a parent, as a partner and as a person. I even got guilty of the fact that I have been demanding too much on the children-my learning goals for the activities, what skills I want them to work on , etc... but have I also demanded so much from myself as a parent? what goals do I have as a parent? what skills do I need to work on?

Such heavy questions cannot be answered easily. But I did take that step and took the plunge to do one essential activity- to know our VALUES. So one evening, I sat with my husband and we tried doing this parenting exercise together.

We started with identifying our values as parents, then as partners and then as individuals. It was a deep exercise but one that I am glad we talked about since we realized how we have some commonalities in our values and also got to identify values that we now want to really work on as partners. I told my husband that I would make our list and post it as our family values. I definitely will share it once I have made it and once it is hanging on our wall. Both Boris and I can't wait until the kids are old enough to add in their values as well. But for now, it felt good knowing these values. Its not just a reaffirmation of what we treasure the most but its also a compass that can guide us as parents, as partners and as individuals.


  1. I love the idea of identifying your values as parents! It seems like such a basic concept, yet not many of us actually sit down and really think about them. You are so right ... in verbalizing our goals/values we have direction. It also allows you to decide whether an activity or event is a good use of your valuable free time. If that activity or event does not align with your values, then you can say "no," and let it go. This is exactly what I did when I created my life mission statement. For so long, I had said YES to everything and almost lost my family and myself in the process. Once I decided to live "Hands Free," I created a life mission statement (which is what I MUST do before I die). I have only 2 things on that list. I want to be present and involved in my family's life and use my God given gift (writing) to help others. Now I can say NO to all the other requests of my precious time.

    Thank you for mentioning my writings as an inspiration to your life. This means more than I could ever describe in words. Thank you so much!!!!

    1. Oh it is my pleasure!!! Your words and experiences have given me that pat in the back on being a full time mom again, so I am just excited to share the inspiration I got from your blog.