Survival Mode vs Intentional Parenting

Survival Mode vs Intentional Parenting

I don't think anyone will argue with me when I say that parenting is a really tough job. It's a rewarding job, but far tougher than anyone realizes. There are so many decisions, conscious and unconscious, that parents must make on an almost minute-to-minute basis. I'm afraid that most of my parenting decisions lately have been of the unconscious variety, and that's not because life has been easy-breezy. I guess there are golden periods when the unconscious decision-making works.

The twos were a golden period for Cara. Granted, I stressed through some of the decisions we had to make (like potty training and transitioning to a big girl bed), but for the most part, I was able to follow my gut and do what felt right in the moment. I have to give a lot of credit to Cara too -- she was an easy two-year-old. She was spunky and sweet, brave but not too brave. She helped me build my parenting confidence, and I'm so grateful for that.

Since Colin was born, I feel like I have been in parenting survival mode. Working plus a baby plus a preschooler has made life so very busy, and busy is the enemy of intentional parenting. Busy makes me blind to the little things because I become so focused on the what-must-be-done-right-now-and-also-what-comes-next. Soon, those little things that were overlooked grow into major issues. We're not there yet, thank the Lord, but we were on the way.


9/52 - Mom's Hug


I realized how blind I have been on Saturday during Cara's Christmas performance for her school. Cara's free spirited nature sort of took over, and she goofed off on stage instead of singing and standing with her classmates. It wasn't really a major thing, but I was almost paralyzed with indecision. Should I go get her off the stage and risk a screaming tantrum? Just leave her there like it's no big deal? I hated that I couldn't make a decision about what to do, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the whole situation was really more my fault than hers.

Related Posts

New Kansas Law Could Allow Spanking of Children that Causes Redness and Bruising: Say What?

A few months ago, I was at a "mommy's night" house party with some women I don't know very well. As the wine flowed, so did the conversation, each of us bringing to the table our recent anecdotes, exciting stories and frustrations. At some point, one of the women started in on how much her children were annoying her lately. She related stories of back talk, open defiance and sibling in-fighting, and we all nodded our heads sympathetically. Then she said something that made my blood run cold: "My hand actually hurts from all the spankings I've had to give lately."   Read more >

Why "No, David" Is Bad for Kids

If you're a parent of younger children (or have been since 1998), you've probably ready No, David or any of David Shannon's highly popular books. We have the full David library in our home; they're a popular, easy to read favorite of my two sons. Jennifer Lehr pointed out in a recent post that the David series is ultimately damaging for our kids. What do you think? Should we never tell our kids no? Are David books bad for our kids?   Read more >

You Can't Punch Someone's Face Because You Won't Discipline Your Child

I'm a mom, but I'm siding with Natalie Bree Hajek-Richardson on this unbelievable story. That's the woman who got punched in the face outside a Nordstrom Rack for asking the mother of a tantrum throwing child if she could calm her child.   Read more >

Recent Posts by jessicakcooper


In order to comment on, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.