Recently I've been thinking a lot about how I want to raise my kids. Part of it has to do with all the things we've been working with Jordan on (reading, chore lists, trying new foods, etc.). Part of it has to do with all the conversations we've been having about when to expand our family (soon). And part of it is because I want to be the best mom that I can be and it's just something I spend a lot of time thinking about. When you have a child they sort of consume your life and everything you do has either a direct or indirect effect on them. I want those effects to be positive.
In all of my thinking I decided I should make a record of said thoughts. Something for me to refer back to when the going gets tough. Something for me to add to as I continue to learn and grow as a mom. Here's a little bit of the mom I want to be (this applies to Jordan and to future children of ours):
- I want to breastfeed my babies exclusively for as long as possible. (This will be partly dependent on whether I can quit my job and stay home with our kids.)
- I want to babywear.
- I want to make my own baby food! This is actually something I've long been excited about and I have several resources lined up for when that time comes.
- I want to homeschool. This was the right answer for my family when I was in school and I think it is the right answer for Steve and I and our family, too. Logistics are just tricky.
- I want to be a non-worrier about things like messes and dirty kids. Kids learn when they explore and exploring is messy and dirty. I want to let my kids play in the mud and toss toys around on the floor and let the Cheerios fall from their trays and get peas in their hair as they learn to feed themselves. I saw a home decor sign the other day that said, "Please excuse the mess. Children are making memories." I want that to be reflected in our home.
- I want to have adventures. I want to turn day-to-day things into exciting things my kids will remember.
- I want to take MILLIONS of pictures!
- I want to scrapbook. I don't even care anymore if it's digital scrapbooking, as long as we have a record of our lives. And I want to start this with creating a baby book for Jordan.
- I want to read to my kids all. the. time.
- I want to celebrate little/big things. Learning to tie shoes. Learning to ride a bike. Learning to read. These things seem small in the grand scheme of life but when you're a child, they are huge. And they should be celebrated.
- I want to take time for my kids. I want to get down on the floor and play with them. I want to make up imaginary games with them. I want to draw with chalk and swim and wrestle and be silly with them.
- I want to have a wall in our home where we display our kids' projects and art.
- I want to have a "go-to" arsenal of activities for us to do so we always have ideas at our fingertips. (A recipe box full of crafts and games and activities comes to mind.)
- I want to really instill VALUES into my kids. My family always said, "It's not what you want to be but who you want to be that matters." Relationships are the most important thing in life and I want my children to understand that.
- I want to be the parents that show affection in front of our kids. :) I'm not afraid to love on Steve in front of Jordan and I think that's healthy for him to see. We use the phrase "I love you" more than the average family (I bet we say it dozens of times every day) and frankly, I hope we say it so much that Jordan gets tired of hearing it. :)
- I want my children to learn through experiences. Not just by learning from their own mistakes (though I hope they will) but also learning just by living life. Just by being a part of a family or a group of friends or something bigger.
- I want to teach my kids valuable things like how to cook and how to change a tire and how to balance a checkbook, at an early age. My parents did this for us (or provided the opportunities for it) and I am so thankful for that.
Most of all, I want my children to remember their childhood as a wonderful time and when they look back on their lives, I hope they will remember all the memories we made as a family and that they will treasure those memories. You're only little once.