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As a parent, what things are you proud of, what things could you do better?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 


i sometimes wonder if i could do things better. For eg, we have a bedtime reading routine which has always served us well. But instead of reading a story, maybe i should encourage my two boys, 2 and 5, to make up stories from the pictures, or maybe even make up my own stories.


I still havent figured out a good routine for when ds1 comes home from school (kindergarten).

Perhaps we could all do a craft together?  Or something else? Lately he has been enjoying a bit of tv, but i dont want that to become too much of a habit. Nor am i ready to launch into the dinner/bedtime routine so early. He just got home from school, we need something fun and transitional.


Any ideas?


Havent mentioned any of the things  i feel are going well for us, but i'll leave it there for now. I appreciate hearing from you :-)



post #2 of 22
What if you do the 'make up stories' thing when he gets home? There ya go, kill 2 birds with one stone. smile.gif You could make a felt board together for this... Just get one really large piece of felt (I glued ours onto cardboard & it folds like a book) and then you can all cut out felt shapes & animals & characters for your stories. Some days you could create more felt pieces and other days you could just tell stories with the ones you already have.

I think there are a million things I could be doing better. I want to cook with DS more, but I get really frustrated with the wasted food (he just turned 2, so he's not really coordinated enough to avoid making a huge mess of it, and GF flour is pricey!!) but he loves it so much. I also feel like I spend WAY too much time online, between work & my internet addiction, and DS probably thinks that the laptop is connected to me just like an arm or a leg. greensad.gif
post #3 of 22

Things I'm proud of:


DS knows he is loved, not just by me, but by close friends and extended family. He is secure. He is happy. He laughs a lot. Our home is both peaceful and playful. We don't yell or belittle. We have relatively high expectations for behavior, but through respect and modeling, he usually rises to the occaission. He is delightfully polite, sweet, appreciative, loving, and generous because DH and I have not only modeled those traits to him, but because he feels safe and secure enough to be all of these things. I could go on and on. I am so proud of him that I can't help but be proud of myself for creating him. :)


Things I'm not proud of:


I'm a terrible housekeeper. Our house is almost always messy. DH and I are both messy - each in our own ways - and I really wish I could provide a more attractive, clean, and organized environment for my family. I also don't cook enough. Not nearly enough. Cooking makes a mess, and DH isn't going to clean it up, and I'm too tired by the time I get home from work. So as a result we eat far too many combo meals. When he's not eating out, DS is surviving off of quesadillas, mac n cheese, yogurt, cheese, and fruit. Of course those things aren't bad, but it's not exactly balanced. I pray that the eating habits he's forming now don't cause him to have any health/weight problems in the future. I also spend far too much time on the laptop on weekday evenings. I give in to being tired and feeling disconnected from the outside world (I'm a nurse and don't know what goes on outside the hospital for most of the day). I hate that DS spends his best hours at preschool, and he and I get what ever's left over of each other at the end of the day. I wish I could stay home with him so badly, but it just isn't possible right now.


All in all, DS makes it easy for me to be a good mother. I am beyond blessed by him.



post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

I *love* the idea of felt story making. Im going to try that! Thanks!


And yep, im so with you pp on the  'spending his best hours at preschool'.  Thats why i want to make afterschool time better, but admittedly, we are all tired by then. 


A couple of things im proud of- we dont really have bedtime issues. I think that is because i always go to bed at the same time as my kids. I realize that is not possible for many parents, but it is one thing that works really well in our household.


Im  proud of the fact that i have mastered the art of purchasing frozen fruit and vegetables, so they are easily accessible at every meal. We get plenty of fruit and vegetables in this house. (if only the kids would eat more of what i offer)


There is more shouting than i would care for, but probably less than many other households. Im good at apologizing, and so are my kids.


Id love to hear more ideas from other people. Let me hear your good parenting secrets!

post #5 of 22

Great thread idea! I love to hear what other mamas are doing right in hopes of someday emulating them. lol.gif


Things I'm happy with:


-I'm very patient with my babies. I'm good at not raising my voice unnecessarily and of course we don't hit. Gentle discipline, even when DS is at his most difficult, comes really easily to me, probably because I was raised by hitters and yellers and am determined to never ever be like them.


-I cook and bake 'most everything from scratch and keep a very clean house. Again, this is largely due to my own upbringing on processed convenience food (which affected my and my siblings' health terribly) and in a cluttered nightmare of chaos. I've been working at it for so long that it's natural and easy for me now, and I'm happy that my family eats well and gets to live in an orderly, pleasant space.


-The transition from one to two children has gone even better than my wildest dreams; DS loves his little sister and there doesn't seem to much jealousy there. DH and I worked very hard to ensure he never felt replaced or neglected and I think it's paid off.


Things I could definitely do better:


-I'm fairly introverted and get touched-out easily. Sometimes I just want to sit and read or do something for me without being needed. If I'm not careful, I find it way too easy to stick the baby in a bouncer chair, DS in his play area with some books and toys, and spend the entire day reading or knitting while they amuse themselves, like, for hours. duh.gif Independent play is a great thing, but how much is too much?


-The aforementioned introversion, coupled with the fact that we live in the country in winter, means we don't leave the house nearly as often as we could. It's a 30-minute drive to town and all the parks are snowed over (I'm talking two feet of snow on the playground). More often than not, we're playing inside or spending just a couple of hours in the front yard. There are no playgroups in this area that I know of and I'm not the kind of person to randomly approach another mama on the playground (though maybe I should). We just joined a new church and I'm hoping we can meet some other parents there.


-When DD was first born, we relied a lot on episodes of "Signing Time!" and various David Attenborough nature shows (Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Life of Mammals, etc.) to keep DS occupied, especially first thing in the morning. Now he asks for "naminals" (animals) all the time and even though we're TV-free, I feel like we've created a screen junkie.


-We don't do arts and crafts really ever. I wish I could say we do, but we don't. DS still mostly just makes messes with the crafts supplies and I don't have the energy to clean paint out of the carpet or glue off the kitchen table. I'm just too tired and it makes me feel guilty because I know he would probably love to do stuff like glue macaroni to construction paper or play with pipe cleaners. He has tons of books and toys but for some reason, getting crafts stuff never crosses my mind. bag.gif

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

...Admittedly i didnt do much by way of arts and crafts with ds1 when he was younger. This was from a combination of my own ignorance, and his apparent disinterest. But as he got older and more interested, i learned more. Now with ds2, i am ready with supplies and know-how (a little more than i used to have). He likes it mostly because of the one on one attention he gets through it. I wish i could have done it more with ds1 when he was younger, but we're doing alot more now. He's 5.

Im impressed with your cooking everything from scratch. I will get there someday. Im pretty careful with what we eat though.

post #7 of 22

The cooking is something I started doing by necessity when we first moved to the country. It would be way more impressive if I did it when we lived in NYC where there's a restaurant every 500 feet. It's also a matter of being frugal; it's way, way cheaper to make a huge vat of healthy, nourishing soup and freeze most of it than it is to buy high sodium preservative-laden mystery meat soup by the can. See also: bread, pasta sauce, pizza dough, lasagna, enchiladas, etc.


I make triple or quadruple batches and put most of it by. It's not like I'm cooking a huge four-course meal from scratch every day! ROTFLMAO.gif

post #8 of 22
Things I'm proud of - as first time parents, we're doing a pretty good job on attachment parenting; cosleeping, ECing part time, breastfeeding on demand, and generally being very responsive to DS's need. We (and I include DH because he also deserves all the praise) are both very patient with DS and have yet to raise our voice at him (I do yell at the dogs to "knock things off" though when they are harassing each other). DS seems to be happy and having lots of fun and lots of positive interactions with people and I'm happy with how we make him feel loved.
I am proud of still breastfeeding DS on demand at almost 14 months ( and still going strong) and pumping at work for a year even though I hate pumping.
I've been decluttering like crazy and we now keep a fairly organized house although there is more organization to be done, but our house looks pretty good most days.

Things I can do better - I am a good cook and I keep the house stocked with healthy food, but I do tend to go through periods where I'm too overwhelmed and disorganized to cook, and we end up eating out a lot and overspending on food. On that same note, I need to be better at making and following a budget and planning meals. We have a lot of debt that we're trying to pay off and every meal out slows us down.
I'd like to be better at coming up with new activities for DS to do, mostly we explore around the house and play with whatever, but I think he would love to start doing crafts (fingerpaints) and experiencing new things.
post #9 of 22

My twin boys are 16 years old, so I've had a lot of time to screw up! But the thing of which I'm most proud is that DH and I have always treated our sons with respect, we have earned their respect. They trust us, because we haven't given them a reason to not trust us. We have been able to honor our promise to not get mad at them if they tell the truth - no matter what it is that they're confessing.

post #10 of 22

I am proud of my teen.  I believe that "the proof is in the pudding" and while I know that personality of the kid also plays a big role in how a kid turns out, I think my "proof that I did something right" is my teen.  She's a good kid.  Works hard, gets good grades, has lots of drive, ambition and goals, is generally confident enough to go her own way, and doesn't really get into trouble.  I am proud that the sum of what I have done in parenting her seems to have been the right stuff, cause she's turning out pretty much exactly how I intended.


I am not proud of the fact that I spend too much time on line, that I am a messy person, that I yell a lot, and that we eat a few more convience foods (hot dogs, mac & cheese, raviolis, etc) than I would like. 

post #11 of 22

ok this thread makes me really mad. not at you OP but at society in general.


the idea that we cant do things well. that there is always a 'better'.


plus its team work right? why do i always have to come up with the ideas? why do i have to provide the entertainment.


the key is 'listening' to our kids. sounds easy right. but listening and really hearing what they are saying is very very VERY difficult to do. even with adults. without your own stuff coming up. just ignoring your stuff and listening to your kids is key.


what has worked for us is figure out what we are all in the mood for. i have one child but she has an age mate bf and they are like siblings. what are they in the mood for? if its opposite my role has been well what do help them figure out whose needs are stronger than the other. one is a homebody, one always wants to go out.


i also felt dd should be doing more art. she enjoys craftsy projects, but i am sooo not an artsy mom.


do you pick up ur son from school? our ride home from school is the time to plan our activity. what are they in the mood for. not me setting up playtime for them. we never do it in the house because once we get home - its finished. tv/movies always rules.


i am sure i could be doing things better. but at teh moment when i have to do things i am always trying my hardest to do the best. so in that sense i feel i AM doing better. because i am trying. looking back and hindsight i could have done better - but at that moments that's the best i could do. so the effort is there, the outcome may not be the best.


i have a high energy child. for her she has to be out. if i ever ask what she wants to do its always the park. she loves teh park. if the weather is bad, she wants to go to a store. since she was a baby she has loved the grocery store. still today its a great place for us to go and get a treat.

post #12 of 22
I'm proud that my boys don't spend all their free time playing World of Warcraft, like so many you read about these days, that they enjoy reading and playing outdoors and building stuff. This is directly due to my parenting, and I have no problem taking the credit. I'm proud that after years in a terrible school setting myself, I made sure my kids went to a wonderful school with great teachers. I'm proud that I've given my kids a great grounding in classic children's literature.

To do better? I'm sure I could be more patient. Couldn't we all!
post #13 of 22

Great thread! My DS is 6 weeks old today so I haven't had much time to mess up :) I'm really happy that he is so beautiful and only cries 10 min a day at the most; he also smiles like crazy. I always have him in my arms unless he is having tummy time or hanging with his papa. I cosleep and BF on demand, which has pretty much meant spending most of the last 42 days topless orngtongue.gif I'm impressed with my ability to listen to him on many levels and respond to his changing needs, as well as the time I spend during the day just watching him - it was hard at first to cut off my media addiction and just BE. Though, needless to say, my single-handed typing (and cooking and dressing and...) skills have way improved! thumb.gif


I wish so far that I had taken better care of myself and had listened to my needs; I've had mastitis twice and could be eating better, resting more, etc. I wish I was using cloth diapers but I found it just didn't work for us (yet). I'm also fairly young and was pretty self-centered when he was born; it took me a while to accept that my sleep, schedule, everything, no longer revolved around me. I was unnecessarily frustrated a few times and it took some time to bond. Also, not that I could have changed this but, the birth was really difficult and traumatic. Nothing went wrong and we had our desired home birth but I wish I could say it had been a more positive experience. 


I'm sure more will come up as time goes on! :)

post #14 of 22

Proud of:

* I listen to DD. It's not always easy  but I listen to what she says and is respectful of her. She doesn't like to use a stroller anymore and we do a LOT of walking. Instead of complaining when she wants to be picked up, I make sure we stop and rest as often as she needs without sighing or being impatient.

* I prepare good meals for her.

* I spend a lot of time with her.

* DD is very kind to others and very giving on her playdates. She always wants to share with someone. When we get off of the subway she yells, "bye everybody!" It makes my heart smile. I'd like to think being so given is something she picked up on from me and her daddy.

* As she gets older I learn to relax a bit more and not be so uptight about certain things.



Things I could do better:

* I am constantly working on my tone. It's generally very sharp and I work everyday and speaking softer to not just DD but everyone.

* I wish we did more arts and crafts. I'm not very creative with arts and crafts and am not sure where to start.

* Patience. I think I yell too much and even when I'm not I'm afraid it sounds like I am.

post #15 of 22

Things I'm proud of:


- DD is happy & secure and always treated with love and respect.

- Overall I'm pretty patient and gentle discipline comes to me naturally. If I do snap or otherwise handle things badly, I'm quick to acknowledge it and try to make it right.

- When I have time, I do a fair amount of arts & crafts with DD. I was very artistic as a child, and I hope that's something I can help pass on to my kids.

- I cook quite a lot and we eat reasonably healthily. I also involve DD with cooking as much as possible. I didn't learn to cook until my 20s, so I'm trying to do things differently with my own kids.


Things I could improve:


- I'm horrible when it comes to playing with DD. I feel awful about it because I know how much DD loves it when I join in, but playing 3 year old games bores me to tears. I'm embarrassed to admit that DD is starting to use my own words on me: "Not now, I'm busy" and "I'm too tired, maybe tomorrow...". Hearing her echoing me has been real wake up call. :(

- DD watches waaay too much TV.

- I'm a horrible housekeeper!

post #16 of 22

things i am proud of:


my ds has such a big heart. i feel like he gives so much love to everyone because of all the love that we give him.


i am proud that he doesnt eat nearly as much junk food as is the norm in my family/culture. thank goodness.


i am so proud that he started singing before he started using real words. i dont know why :)


things i am not so proud of:


he watches way too much tv. (2 years old.) it seems like everyone around me encourages it, and i dont have real life people to help me stick to my goal of very little tv for a few more years.


i cant let an argument with my dh wait until later. i have to finish it that moment or else i cant function. that means the boys get ignored for an hour or two while we argue and that makes me feel horrilble


i am not proud that his dad and i dont agree on many things.

post #17 of 22

What I'm proud of:

I always enjoy and appreciate DS even when he's in a difficult phase or mood.  He's entitled to a whole spectrum of emotions and I am happy to allow him that while still savoring his rapidly vanishing early childhood.  I am grateful every day to have the privilege of being his mama. 

I try to make our time together after work and school a precious, quality time, even if we're just hanging around the house.

He looooooves reading.  This is a gorgeous family ritual and one of our greatest pleasures.

He has a tremendous imagination and a great vocabulary.  

He is loving and very sensitive.

I do my best to listen to him and to take his kindergarten concerns and fears seriously.



What could be better:

I'm horribly negligent about bills and other housekeeping.  There are many tasks undone, outgrown things yet to be donated, laundry living in the dryer, etc.--and sure, I'm busy, but I'm not THAT busy.

I have to be very mindful and not push him too much.  Re: his development and skills: life is not a race.  There are things he will learn or do on his own timeline and not a moment before he is ready.  

DH and I aren't always careful enough about not arguing or gossiping in front of him.

His "boyness" can be foreign and even alarming to me.

I'm making an attempt to put family first in my priorities--where work tends to be.


post #18 of 22

Things I'm proud of:

* DD is 2 and we have never put her in a time out because we just don't need to. Our gentle discipline & her personality just work in a way that doesn't require that kind of thing.

* We put a lot of work into eating great food in our house.

* DD loves books and reading.

* We have surrounded DD with music. We keep African drums in our living room & she can play them whenever she wants. We play together as a family sometimes. We have a guitar & a violin that we let DD handle with supervision. We listen to a wide range of music in our household & in the car, and we sing a lot. When you ask DD what she wants to be when she grows up, she says "musician." smile.gif

* I leave work at the office. When I'm home, I'm home. Sometimes (often?) I'm tired, but I don't spend my home time obsession over work. I don't check e-mail on the weekends.

* I'm proud that I'm still nursing DD (even though I'm hoping to wean soon).


Things I wish I could do better:

* I wish I'd had an easier labor/delivery. I got off to a very rough start as a parent.

* Sleep routines have always been very challenging in our house. DD doesn't go down easily, and for a long time she didn't stay asleep easily (that is finally changing). I feel like we've tried everything short of CIO to improve the sleep situation, with incremental progress that never quite feels like enough.

* Related to sleep routines...I have these moments that I call my "idiot/asshole" moments, where I just feel like a stupid jerk because I'm tired & fried & completely overwhelmed & I just want a break (these moments usually come up after 9:00 pm if DD is still awake, or sometimes on a weekend morning if DD has been wakeful the previous night & thus I haven't slept well). All my good parenting skills go out the window, and I'm impatient & I use a sharp tone of voice with DD & often get into fights with my spouse. I hate myself for being like that, but I don't know how to hide my frustration or be more constructive. When I'm at the end of my rope, that's it, I'm done, and I just don't know how to get back to a calm, reasonable place.

post #19 of 22


Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

* Related to sleep routines...I have these moments that I call my "idiot/asshole" moments, where I just feel like a stupid jerk because I'm tired & fried & completely overwhelmed & I just want a break (these moments usually come up after 9:00 pm if DD is still awake, or sometimes on a weekend morning if DD has been wakeful the previous night & thus I haven't slept well). All my good parenting skills go out the window, and I'm impatient & I use a sharp tone of voice with DD & often get into fights with my spouse. I hate myself for being like that, but I don't know how to hide my frustration or be more constructive. When I'm at the end of my rope, that's it, I'm done, and I just don't know how to get back to a calm, reasonable place.



My two-year-old is also going through sleep disruptions right now. The only time I get to myself is when he and the baby are both asleep. It drives me crazy when he's up so late! It's even worse since we converted his crib into a toddler bed. Now there's nothing keeping him in bed; if he's not tired, he runs around our bedroom/loft and throws things over the railing (shoes, toys, books, etc) down into the living room below. Try having a dinner party with shoes and pillows raining down from above! hide.gif


No advice, just lots of commiseration. I just keep telling myself that this is a phase and it will pass. (It will, right?) lol.gif

post #20 of 22
Originally Posted by peainthepod View Post
No advice, just lots of commiseration. I just keep telling myself that this is a phase and it will pass. (It will, right?) lol.gif

Thanks for the "hugs" & the commiseration! The lack of time for myself is probably my biggest parenting challenge. I find it really hard to stay balanced. I do hope that someday we get to the point where sleep issues are a distant memory!

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