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.
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.