Wednesday, February 19, 2014

re-engergized parenting: practicing deliberateness

salt lake temple east doors

as the mother of a brood, spread out over a lot of years, i'm worried about parental burn-out.

i'm such a different mother to moses and cecily than i was to eva and ingrid.  for instance, we didn't own a t.v. when eva and ingrid were little.  and there was no internet, really, unless you count dial-up.  this means they spent the majority of their free time reading and in imaginative play.

also, they spent most of their elementary years in oakland and seattle, whereas mo and cec were born and raised in utah.

the east doors of the temple have never been opened.  they will only be opened by jesus during the second coming.

on monday, we took the kids on an outing to salt lake city, and it hit me how few outings we've done with the littles as compared with the number of cool things we used to do with the bigs.  in seattle, we had a zoo pass, we went to carkeek almost weekly, and lake washington on walks and bike rides almost daily.  we went to concerts and events, museums and parties, plays, lessons, the science center, the children's museum, and the aquarium.

now we simply spend too much time indoors, too much time with individual screens.

the view from the joseph smith building, tenth floor. this is a must-see if you're touristing in salt lake.

i'm older now.  i have less energy, and more demands on my time, so i have to be deliberate. i have to practice to keep my quality of parenting up.  being tired has it's upside, however.  i'm mellower, i don't try to micro-manage my younger kids like i did with the older ones, i'm not as critical, i enjoy the kids more and worry less, and i have a good sense of what's important and what's not.

keep start quit (ksq) is a mid-semester evaluation i sometimes do with my students if i think a class isn't going as well as it could be.  it helps me figure out what the problems are.  so here's my attempt at a mid-life parenting evaluation:


--having family dinner every night

--teaching the kids to cook
--kids' daily checklists
--one on one dates with the kids
--family home evening
--reading out loud together
--playing the favorites game
--date night for parents


--turning off the internet for a few hours a day

--attending international cinema at byu together
--planning holidays and vacations more carefully--prioritizing this
--a family mission statment
--involving the kids more in problem solving
--group reading time (we all read our own books together)
--more day trips


--lazy or thoughtless parenting

--too much screen time
--spending time and money on anything that doesn't fit with our family's values
--being distracted during family time

moses loved the austrian-made hand-crafted furniture in the joseph smith building

mission statement

i know it's gross and corporate-y, but i like the idea of having a firm vision in mind of my purpose in this life, and what i want to seed in my children before they leave my home.  i'll try to come up with a better title for this than 'mission statement' (candland asplund family articles?  statement of purpose?) but in the mean time, here's what i want to start with:

Our family cultivates and values curiosity.

dear readers, i want to know your thoughts on rejuvenating yourself when you start to get parental burn out (when i do this, my kids moan and say, "mom's doing her new-leaf-ish thing again.")

i'm also curious about words, phrases, etc. that you would put into a family mission statement.

1 comment:

  1. First of all, you must add "regular and non-negotiable visits to Seattle" to the keep/start list. Second, I love your mission statement. Perhaps add "creativity?"