Resolutely parenting in 2010

Welcome to the January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting resolutions!
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month we're writing about how we want to parent differently — or the same — in the New Year. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I love resolutions. I don't care when I make them, but I like to have a plan, a list, be organized. It's the Virgo in me I guess. So, I was very excited to read on Hobo Mama's blog that she and Code Name: Mama are co-hosting a new blog carnival and the first theme is "parenting resolutions."

My previous post I touch on some personal resolutions, but none of my parenting goals, and believe me, I have a few.

What I'd like to improve on, or just plain add to my repertoire, is knowing better my personal limits and recognizing when I'm unraveling and headed towards a fight with a two year old; being more social with other parents and children of all ages; allowing him to figure out his world on his terms without intervening; figuring out a way to allow him to express the whole range of human emotions without attaching "good" or "bad" tags to them.

Mostly I want to continue in my current parenting vein. I go out of my way to create lots of YES spaces for Hollis; I look beyond his current frustrating behavior to what might be causing the yelling, screaming, throwing, tantrum, etc.; and I am exceptionally tender with him. I am proud to be his mama and to see this charming, trusting, well-rounded little person navigate our world with optimism and cheer. I feel like I'm definitely on the right track there.

2009 has been a strange year for me. Really strange. Hollis entered full-blown toddler-hood and I seemed to have left the building. We've managed to still retain a harmonious relationship, the best I have in my life, honestly, and we're growing together (as in onward, not into each other) as any mother and child should. The loving connection between me and him has anchored me and guided me and even though it's not a technique it's what has really shined for me in 2009. My belief that Hollis is a person with needs, moods, and expectations just like me, and not a tiny puppet to do my bidding, has steadied my hand and my heart and given me reserves of patience and understanding I never knew I had. I respect him and it's more empowering than any other philosophy I could adopt.

However, respecting his person doesn't protect me from having horrible days. I've still had days where I put a screaming child in his crib, closed his door, stalked down the hall, closed my door, stalked to the closet, and closed that door, too, to only stand there thinking, "Oh. my. God. I have lost my f*ing sh*t!!! AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHH!" Occasionally, I even rocked myself on the floor of said closet. Glamorous and grown up, right?? haha. But there it is.

And you know what? Those were the days I was most adrift, aimless, and disconnected from Hollis, so that's what I want to focus on for 2010. It means that I need more structure, more alone time with myself, and, frankly, more time outside of the house (alone or with Hollis). I know I'll still have those days, but I want to focus more on recognizing the signs of a Mommy Meltdown.

I should write a note to myself about doing a mid-year resolution list, too, because it'll be interesting to see where I'm at with these goals in relation to the reality of a growing two year old, a possible cross-country move, a possible pregnancy, and a traveling husband. It's a crap shoot: I may end up with a paper bag over my head trying to get everyone to ignore the weirdo in the corner, or, maybe I'll be baking a loaf of bread a day and volunteering. Who knows?? Wish me luck!

Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

To Yell or Not to YellThe Adventures of Lactating Girl
It Is All About Empathy: Nurturing a Toddler's Compassion PotentialBaby Dust Diaries
To my babies: this year…BluebirdMama
Mindfully Loving My ChildrenBreastfeeding Moms Unite!
January Carnival of Natural Parenting: ResolutionsCode Name: Mama
Imperfect MotherConsider Eden
ResolutionsCraphead (aka Mommy)
FC Mom's Parenting Resolutions 2010FC Mom
What’s in a Resolution?Happy Mothering
January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting resolutionsHobo Mama
Natural Parenting ResolutionsLittle Green Blog
This year, I will mostly...Look Left of the Pleiades
Parenting ResolutionsThe Mahogany Way
I Resolve to Breastfeed In Public More Oftenmama2mama tips
Moving to Two KidsMegna the Destroyer
Use LoveMomopoly
My parenting resolutionsMusings of a Milk Maker
Talkin' 'bout My ResolutionsNavelgazing
Parenting ResolutionsOne Starry Night
Invitations, not resolutionsRaising My Boychick
No more multitasking during kid timeThe Recovering Procrastinator
I need to slow down, smell those roses AND the poopy diapersTales of a Kitchen Witch Momma
Resolutely Parenting in 2010This Is Worthwhile


  1. Good luck with this; I hear you on the need to be more present, more aware - I wrote in my post about stopping to take a breath before responding because I can be horrible when my own needs have not been met.

    it's such a balancing act isn't it? Your virgo influence will see you right though ;)

    Warm wishes
    Mrs Green @littlegreenblog.com

  2. now thank you for writing that...I am trying to be that kind of mama to and yes its difficult and sometimes i dont seem to find much support but it gives you courage reading things like yours so thank you again :)

  3. I always love how honest you are. I am right there with you, having the screaming times, the losing-it times. And I also have recently been made more undeniably aware that my child is a person, with feelings and desires and memories, and I need to respect that. It seemed a little easier when he was a baby and too young to understand or remember little slights, but now I have to be aware of his feelings. This is not a bad thing. But it is a hard thing.

  4. Raising a two year old is a challenge. good luck!

  5. Yep, I'm there with you. I'm going to try to be more chilled and more present this year. My baby needs a fun mum, not someone who's counting the minutes until nap time so she can go and jump on the computer. I had a health scare at the end of last year as well, so that has focused my mind on what is truly important.

    Oh, and I'm supposed to be writing up an MPhil dissertation. Not sure of that's going to happen...

  6. I've thought about doing mid-year resolutions (or reminding myself to check back on goals halfway through the year). It's helpful to reassess!

  7. On a completely unrelated note, since this is my first visit here - I LOVE that you have a weekly menu on your side bar! What a fantastic idea!
    On a more-related note, mommy time is essential! I go out every Wednesday night with friends for coffee. I also go to the local LLL meeting once a month and it helps so much to gain some perspective and have a little breathing room.

  8. Funny and frank - what a lovely post.

    For me recognizing those Mommy Meltdowns coming has to do with determining what my needs and boundaries are. It's a work in progress.

    Sounds like you're on the right track.

  9. Oh noooooooooo my comment just got lost.
    I second LLL as a place to go to meet like-minded parents. I'm so lucky to have an attachment parenting meetup group in my area, too. It is so essential to have other people- people you can meet in the flesh!- to turn to when you are stressed, down, or just need to get out. I think that's one of the hardest things about being with kids- it is easy to think it's easier just to stay home, and easier to think you need alone time when you might need social time! (Gracious knows the alone time is precious.)
    Have a wonderful year with Hollis!

  10. Oh I had to laugh a little, I can totally relate to needing to go in the other room and feel like my head was going to fly off!

    Sounds like there is alot of potential in the new year-- good luck and most of all, have fun!

  11. I love the idea of creating "yes" spaces. I've been trying to be more of a "yes" mom, and having corners of our home where my toddler's creativity and curiosity (and angst) can be expressed is such a wonderful idea.

    Thanks for the honest post.

    (I love horses, too. I grew up riding them, in fact, and I hope to get back in the saddle again one of these days.)

  12. I had a mommy meltdown today. Looking backon the day, it was just as you described. I was more disconnected from the girls.

    Here's to better moments this year!