At the beginning of our school year we committed to doing at least one field trip or excursion each month. I am one of those people that may or may not be able to rally the troops for a spontaneous adventure, but I will fulfill plans on the calendar like it's the law.
Top picks from this year have been: California Academy of Sciences (think natural history museum, aquarium, and planetarium all rolled into one), Hoes Down Festival at our CSA farm, and Angel Island excursion that also turned into Civil War re-enactment adventure.
I Foster Reasonable Independence
One of my goals as a parent is to work myself out of a job. I want to raise my kids to accept the responsibilities they can reasonably take on, and to be able to make good choices without my constant vigilance.
That means, as soon as I can, I am working with them on scaffolding physical, social, and emotional skills. This ranges from working on specific fine motor abilities so they can learn to dress themselves to going over how to answer adult's questions and what to do when another kid tries to take your toy.
Yes, it means basic things like getting ready in the morning will take a little longer for a bit, but the payoff of not having to hover and do everything for multiple little people is worth it! The kids are always *so proud* once they have mastered a new skill, and getting to be there when that light bulb moment happens is one of my greatest rewards in parenting.
We're Adventurous Eaters
My husband works in the food industry and we both enjoy cooking and trying new foods - cooking together was a central part of our dating and engagement years.
Encouraging the kids to try bites of foods that have a new taste or texture has become important to our family culture. Part of why that works is mom and dad are trying new things too. Not everything is a hit. Sometimes experiments fail and the kids get to see how we handle failure and work towards preventing food waste even when the initial attempt was less than tasty.
This process has resulted in some odd favorite foods with my kids. Their top picks are: sushi, miso, nori, swanky cheeses, spinach pancakes, green salads, brothy soups, and most raw veggies.
I'm Not Isolated
One of my most important discoveries as a new mom with my first baby was I do absolutely terribly when isolated alone in my house. I know other women can experience that alone time as a calming and centering choice, but I positively wither. I need other people and interaction on at least a semi-regular basis.
Interacting with others has been so important for continuing to grow, both intellectually and in my relationships. Humans need other humans.
I need someone to bring me back to the ground sometimes.
I need encouragement.
I need to care about people who are not in my same phase of life.
I need to be willing to broaden my world.
If I only interact with moms, my world shrinks. I owe my kids the minimal effort it takes to reach out of our little world and allow the Holy Spirit to act in our lives.
I'm Committed to Growing My Own Talents
Back in the day I was very involved in dance and theater. I kept saying I would get back to them "someday". "Someday" has a funny way of getting pushed further and further into the future - especially with little kids in the picture. (You can read more about the story of coming back into dance and theater in my #LoveRebelMom post over at the Koala Mom.)
I cannot allow myself to make excuses to avoid the good. Accepting my talents, and weaknesses, and working with that reality is a big part of honoring who I am. Allowing my motherhood to inform my experience, and not hinder it, has made me a better dancer and actor. Allowing myself the space to grow my talents has made me a better mother.
Tag, You're Up!
These are the other mom bloggers (or bloggers who happen to be moms?) I'm tagging to tell us how they are rocking motherhood!
Ryian at Catholic Mama Bear
Kaitlyn at Tea with Tolkien
Christina at A Gentle Mother
Allison at Reconciled to You
Ginny at Not So Formulaic
#Rocking Motherhood Tag Rules
1. Thank the blogger who tagged you and link to their blog.
2. List 5-10 things you believe make you a good mother.
3. Tag some bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.
4. Grab the #RockingMotherhood badge and add it to your post or sidebar.
How are you rocking motherhood? (BTW, I want to hear from my godmothers, grandmothers, and spiritual mothers too!)