Recap: I originally saw the 30 Day Mom Challenge on Pinterest, and then at iMom.com; the iMom website offers a section about relationship building, so I figured I'd check it out and I am glad I did. I'm sure the 'challenge' will be of help in the future, but for now it was nice to use it as a checklist for how I am meeting the needs of my little one.
Here's the list:
Here's the second half:
16. My child at 25. Interestingly, I often parent with this in mind. I want her to be thoughtful, but hardheaded. I also want her to be understanding, but to stick to whatever she decides her principles are (at that time). I think she might already be there.
17. When I laugh with my daughter, my husband wants in on the joke. Thus far, my favorite laughing memory is she and I laughing while I tickled her. It was just after she learned to laugh "for real" on her own, and was actually amused by stuff we do. So much fun.
18. My own "role model" moms: my mom, mom mother-in-law, my grandmother (granny), and my grandmother-in-law. I actually "mother" with each of these women in mind on a daily basis.
My grandmother has passed away, but she left me with the lesson of loving (and at least partially accepting) unconditionally your child's choices-- even if you disagree with them. My dad married a girl he barely knew after a couple of months of dating; my granny accepted that; that girl's my mom.
My mom was oftentimes more of a friend that a mom-- she's actually lucky in the sense I was more of a mom (in some ways) than a daughter. But, her parenting reminds me that I can't over think EVERYTHING. I have to just "go with it" in some ways, and the rest will follow.
My mother-in-law and I are similar. We're A-type in MANY ways, and (at least with our kids) have somewhat overbearing, but strangely non-confrontational, personalities (in relation to the kids at least-- in other ways I am WAY more confrontational and over-bearing). However, I appreciate the way she still strives to take care of EVERY need for each of her kids. I don't think I'll manage to do that, in fact I know I've already failed in some ways, but it's a cool thing to see.
My grandmother-in-law is a cool lady. When my husband and I were younger and freer she declared us "free, white, and 21"-- and in that, sort of excused any partying and drinking that came forth. She also raised two daughters throughout the fifties to the seventies and they both became successful adults. Sadly, her oldest daughter passed away at a very young age, and her husband passed away not too much later. Nevertheless, she's hung on for decades and managed to become a great-grandma (to my girl) in the process. How can you not have mad-props for such a cool grandma?!
19. One thing I've taught my kid to do on her own: walk. (Sort of.) We're still working on this every day, and my therapist demonstrated some very pertinent ways of helping me (and the kid) along. So, the walking is coming along slowly (she's taking two steps on her own to get to us) and we're hoping this improves.
20. Patience. I practice this every day. Right now we're specifically working on two concepts that require mucho patience: being "gentle" with the dog, and learning to "stop" when directed to do so. Counting helps with my patience. So far.
21. Forgive yourself. You have to, especially after the first fuck-up. (I think) My first (or at least worst-first) fuck-up was dehydrating my kid because breastfeeding was going so poorly. I am just now forgiving myself for that.
22. I hope my daughter remembers always that I have loved her fiercely and dearly from the moment I knew she'd been conceived. I hope she knows I will have tried my best to do good by her, and I hope she knows I love her. I hope she also knows I'll do (almost) anything she wants-- she just needs to tell me what that is. And, I hope she knows I don't ever want the sort of riff between she and I that has erupted between my parents and me and her dad.
23. The twenty-third challenge actually said "replace sarcasm with kindness". So far, I don't use a ton of sarcasm when directly interacting with the kid because she barely understands most of my words. However, this is a teaching challenge for me this year because I just don't want to deal with a lot of the other stuff. It'll probably rub-off into my parenting.
24. No interrupting is so easy when they are just learning to hold an ENTIRELY ridiculously gibberish conversation. But, that's what we do. I hope I have the foresight to continue without interruptions when the nonsense turns into sense.
25. My kid, believe it or not, is incredibly opinionated already. So, I don't even have to ask her opinion to know she hates super-cold, or super-warm food. She LOVES songs, dancing, and talking on the phone. She definitely likes to see her friends (unfortunately all adults right now) at the gym, but nap time is most important. But, tomorrow, I guess I can double check.
26. Encouragement. I encourage her daily: to eat, to talk, to think, to walk, etc. Parenting a (sort of) toddler REQUIRES encouragement. Fo' sho'.
27. Do something that's good for your health. I hope mamas do this EVERY day, it's the best way to make a healthy kid! I do this every day. I typically share oatmeal or yogurt with my girl during breakfast and then we head to the gym-- she plays and I workout. If we don't head to the gym, I focus on some part of my health that I don't typically focus upon-- and she and I get to PLAY more. WAY healthy!
28. A new word: No. I know, I'm sealing my fate with this term, but it has to happen sooner or later. So, "no" it is. I've done this. Usually it just ends up involving lots of cleaning. Not much fun for baby.
29. No phone, computer, or TV. I've done this. It involves a lot of cleaning. Usually.
30. Love. Love has been the theme of the last year... let alone just one day. EVERY day I fondly think about my love for my girl and reflect upon how I can better show it the next day. Again, bliss.