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