Should this one be a large worry or small?

I worry that I spend too much time in my own head.  I’m one of those who thinks, reads, writes a lot, watches people, questions things; I have a lot of trouble turning off my brain (makes getting to sleep a bit hard).  It’s not that I don’t talk to Chance, because I do.  Especially when he is interacting back then I talk quite a bit – smiling, playing games together, encouraging him.  I try to make it a point that when he’s in his most interactive moods to get down on the floor and play with him.  Most of the parenting books say to talk to your baby, when you’re feeding him, changing him, going through the day, etc.  But there are certain moments when I catch myself drifting off mid-sentence.  I start thinking about something else while I’m talking to him and five minutes later realize I’ve been completely silent with my own thoughts.  My only excuse is that usually these are times when he is not engaged with me either, i.e. I’m babbling to him as he eats and he’s staring intently out the window or playing with a toy.  Sometimes he is just doing his own thing.   

These conversations with my son are pretty one-sided right now and that may be part of the problem, the reason my mind wanders.  Most people would tell you that I’m a very social person and I’m usually blathering along if I’m with a group (or even by myself, I often talk to complete strangers, much to their surprise, – I can’t seem to help it; I tend to view the world as a shared experience).  I’m sure things will be different when Chance is talking more himself. 

Still, it bothers me.  Because I know the other part of the equation is that I just spend a lot of time in my head.  I always have.  And I don’t want to be one of those preoccupied parents, one who is so caught up in her own stuff/thoughts that she’s not paying as much attention as she should.  I want to be present.  And I want my kids to feel that I’m available, and that means my mental presence, too.  So I am trying really hard to catch myself when I’m pondering too much (you know, quantum mechanics, the state of the union, shoes,) and for too long.  To remind myself where I am and who’s around me.  It’s another parenting goal to add to the long list.  I worry, because I know myself well enough to know I will continue to get caught up in my thoughts at times (like when I’m doing any kind of writing); it’s an integral part of who I am.  But I hope that being aware of the problem will alleviate enough of it that I can still do a good job by Chance.      

           - the weirdgirl      

Top Parenting Goals

Because I’ve been thinking about this a lot, I decided to start a list; both to keep my thoughts in order and, later on, to remind me of where I began.  This is, of course, a work in progress.  I’m sure I’ll add and change things as I go, but I think I got the basics down of what is important to me.  (BTW, I’m referring to children in plural because I do hope to have one more kid down the line.)

My Top Parenting Goals – (maybe I should name it my parenting manifesto)

1.  Protect my children at all costs; but understand the difference between protection and suffocation

2.  Give them a loving and nurturing environment; strive to keep dysfunction to a minimum

3.  Build open lines of communication and trust

4.  Teach my kids how to think for themselves and to question everything (even me) because it leads to richer understanding

5.  Teach them how to stick up for themselves but know when to ask for help

6.  Instill a sense that there are many sides to every story; try to teach them about compassion but also have them understand that there is personal accountability

7.  Share the wonder and beauty of the world with them; start as early as possible

8.  Be honest about the ugliness and the potential dangers (without scaring them; this will probably come a little later)

9.  Be a role model; this includes having a life/career of my own (outside of “mom” but not detrimental to parenting) so I can be a real-life example of someone who is comfortable and happy with themselves

10.  Raise nice kids, who are polite (I just can’t abide rudeness)

11.  Teach them the value of working hard and to understand the value of money

12. If I see signs that my children are becoming spoiled (i.e. acting entitled for the things they receive) or disrespectful, adjust MY behavior so that this is corrected

I hope, by attempting to achieve all of these things that what will follow are happy, confident, healthy kids who are interested in the world around them.  This is my ultimate goal.  And as I said, this list is only a beginning.

Anything I’m missing?            - the weirdgirl