Tuesday, August 31, 2010

my five tricks for saner parenting

1) Taking a day off (despite the guilt and shouldn't weekends be family time?) to head up to Minneapolis, in high healed sandals, NO nursing bra and otherwise as dressed up as my wardrobe currently allows, for a two and a half hour lunch date with a girlfriend before some shopping in Uptown.

2) Approaching parenting as work, which it of course is,  but not just as exasperating overwhelming tiring work (which, granted, it often is), or as in the jobs we may get just to get paid (whereas this one doesn't even provide a paycheck), but as work where I can apply my skills and background; practice all I learned from my decades in academia, working with other people; flex those muscles, improve even, as a patient, attentive, enthusiastic, empathetic pedagogue, care taker, therapist, and so on.

3) Co-parent with friends. As in arranging play-dates together where the kids can play and the moms (and the occasional dad) can talk. Be they at each other's homes, downing coffee. Or as trips to the park, pool, Arboretum, library, the great college campus spaces in town, and so on.

4) Living in a small town with charm where there are safe sidewalks; easy and quick to get to things; and where the people who work at the library, in the Co-op and at the bakery, and even at Cub KNOW my daughter, and interact and play with her.

5) Not rushing dinner to be done right when husband gets home. Mixing cocktails and throwing together appetizers for all to sip and munch on while (somewhat more) leisurely preparing dinner, or at least somewhat more peacefully. While perhaps having somewhat of a conversation before it's all about the food that's on the plate in front of us, ready to be eaten.

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