Sunday, January 9, 2011

taking stock

It was the end of a long week. I was tired.
Lots of excuses, but I was not at my parenting best. Impatient, and snippy, and snarling when she didn't snap to attention when I issued orders.
I drove to a friend's house and was so distracted I nearly hit a woman pushing a stroller. It did not make hell self-esteem go up.
I kept thinking I need to get over myself, but the self proved to be slippery and hard to climb.
And then Saturday came and I got time to myself and a nap and time out of the house and exercise and time with a friend and some cookies.
And now I feel ready for another week of raising kids (hopefully) kindly.

I also borrowed a book from said friend: Unconditional Parenting. This is sort of a go-to book in the parenting circles I run in--the kind of crunchy/granola/brown rice crowd.
And it's a book I hated a few years ago, when I first picked it up.
Re-reading it, I think it's because it was mostly theoretical, and I run more to practicality. Also, I was at the end of my rope, and the man seemed to be asking me to conjure more rope. I mean, please.
But a few years and better mental health later, I liked the book, after skipping the theory/current parenting critique (which was about 3/4 of the book).
My take-away? Try to say no less often. Ask questions more. And see if I can get my child in on some decision making.
Also: I'm doing better than I thought I would, years ago. Not perfectly, but better-than-expected.

I gave some of those lessons a try today, and I liked it. I liked the way I related to Lucy. I think if I don't default to "no" and try talking at Lucy less, we'd both be better served.

One thing I like about parenting: there's always tomorrow. There are a lot of days to try something different, and no one day ruins the pie. It's all a work in progress: me, my parenting, my kids, and (apparently), my driving.

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