What I’m doing to be a better mom

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am a goals-oriented, learning-driven person. This manifests in my parenting as well- I often feel the best about what I’m doing as a parent when I’ve got some measurable plan of attack to “do a better job” and learn more about how to best help my kiddos learn and grow. Here are three things I’m doing lately, and why.

Read parenting books. One thing I’ve been doing is reading this book, “Simplicity Parenting” by Kim John Payne- I read about a chapter a day (sometimes less), so I can have time to process the content. It’s my own copy (rather than the library’s), so I can underline and annotate and mark up the book as much as I want. I try to do some reading early on during the day. Often mornings right after breakfast are when the girls play the nicest together and on their own, so rather than grabbing my phone and scrolling through Instagram, I’ll try to read a page or two. I find this helps me get in the mindset of mindful parenting for the rest of the day- almost like setting an intention for the day- it helps me focus on what’s most important.

Less phone time, more floor time. Inspired by the LookUp Challenge, I’ve been trying to spend less time on my phone during the day and more time on the floor, playing with my kids and paying attention to them. It’s so easy to be on my phone because it feels like a connection to other adults, which I don’t otherwise get, but it comes at too big of a cost. I want the girls to know that they’re the most important thing to me, not whatever is on the phone. I haven’t actually gone through A Friendly Affair’s full challenge (although I have the emails and materials, I just haven’t actually done it yet!)- but the idea behind it is inspiring and I’m working on it.

More me time / volunteering time. I’m finding that when I have a little time away from the girls, I am able to come back recharged and better able to focus on them. So I’m trying hard to make more time for myself and make space for things in my life that aren’t kid related. I’m about to start volunteering tutoring ESL to refugee women, and for some reason even though this is logistically complicated (it’s nowhere near my home!), it’s much easier for me to make the time when it’s helping someone else. That starts this week, so I’ll keep you posted!

What do you do to try to improve yourself as a parent? Sometimes I feel like there’s no such thing as self-improvement anymore– all improvement goes towards the kids, so all the more reason to become better!

June Month in Review

June was an exciting month for us! When it started, my husband was/had been out of the country for work, and we came home we got to do two fun things with Big Sister’s dance class (two year olds doing ballet is the CUTEST!)- she had picture day, and then the local small town parade. We got a new front door for our house and are preparing for a renovation of our bathroom, and then it was time for a birthday party! Big Sister turned 3! We went to the zoo and had a family party. We wrapped up the week with Take Your Kids to Work Day at L’s company and going to our first family protest for #FamiliesBelongTogether.

But what about the reading?

Goodreads tells me I read 12 books- which seems nuts. I finished In the Distance by Hernan Diaz (check out my video and blog reviews) first, then Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo. I read three of the Magical Bakery Mysteries by Bailey Cates (and that’s probably enough of that series), The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall,  and The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller. Next I read The Optimistic Decade by Heather Abel, Heart Berries by Therese Marie Maillhot, and The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron. I finished the month with some lighter reads- the third Library Lover’s Mystery by Jenn McKinlay and Til Death Do Us Tart by Ellie Alexander.

My Youtube Wrap-ups (6/15, 6/3)  of many (but not all) of these books give a little more of my thoughts, since I’m still playing around with blogging versus YouTube for books.

 

My favorite books this month: In the Distance and The Philosopher’s Flight, The Optimistic Decade, The Penderwicks

The book I’m most conflicted about this month: The Last Neanderthal

 

The best part about July so far? Big Sister has discovered a love for listening to audiobooks in the car, which is fun for me too! We’ve got a vacation coming up later this summer that involves a bit of a road trip, so I’m actually looking forward to getting to listen to an audiobook while we drive.

 

 

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