31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010: Become a More Intentional Parent

Be sure you don't miss a thing! Subscribe to receive updates by email. Or if you use a feed reader, subscribe to my RSS feed! Thanks for visiting!

31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010: Become a More Intentional Parent

Join us all month for 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010!

As parents, it’s easy to fall into the rut of simply reacting to life rather than intentionally approaching parenthood. With four children five years old and under, I know what that’s like! In fact, this is our top goal for 2010, that we would be more intentional as parents.

If you’re wondering what the heck I mean by “intentional parent,” Megan from Sorta Crunchy is sharing a beautiful definition as well as 3 ways to become more intentional in her post today!

Here’s are some tips to get you started (and how we plan to do it ourselves):

1. Write down your long-term goals.

Without defining your long-term goals as a parent, your goal simply becomes to survive each day, and it’s hard to be an intentional parent without looking further into the future than that. What are your goals as a parent? What do you want your children to remember when they’re adults? What lessons do you want to teach your children? What values do you hope to impart? Take time to think through all of these questions and write down your overarching goals as a parent.Writing them down solidifies them, gives you something to refer back to and makes your commitment to work toward them more concrete.

2. Think about and write down your short-term goals.

Once you have your long-term goals written down, take some time to brainstorm on practical ways to achieve them. As a work-at-home mom, I know I can become distracted by the world inside my computer, so one of my goals — as Megan mentions in her post as well — is to simply close the laptop and give my children my undivided attention more often. We want to be more intentional about giving them each one-on-one time with us and offering even more arts and crafts opportunities to them every day. Your short-term goals should reflect your long-term goals as parents. Be sure to write these down too, as a commitment and reminder.

3. Find a mentor.

Finding a wiser, more experienced parent with whom you can share your frustrations and brainstorm solutions is a valuable tool as a parent. I’m lucky that my mom really is a mentor to me in this way, but I know I need to invite her to share more feedback about things she sees as well, which can be hard in any relationship but is a valuable part of growing. I’d like to connect with a local, more experienced homeschooler as well. Having someone who is willing to listen and willing to give you feedback, even if it’s not exactly what you want to hear, is an important part of becoming a more intentional parent.

4. Realize it’s a process.

Making a commitment to be an intentional parent doesn’t mean you’ll get it right 100% of the time. No one does. I love this quote from Steady Days, by Jamie Martin: “Motherhood is a journey and I’m on the path, with the freedom to keep growing and changing.” Intentional parenting just means being thoughtful about your actions and decisions, but it doesn’t mean you’ll be perfect.  It’s not something that’s necessarily going to come easily, but rather a commitment to put the time and effort into being the kind of parent you envision yourself to be. (And later today I’ll have a more in-depth review of Jamie’s book plus a giveaway!)

5. Plan to evaluate your progress.

With any goal, it’s important to evaluate your progress along the way, and this one is no different. Some of your short-term goals may be measurable and concrete — such as turning off the computer at certain times of the day or having monthly dates with each child — but others may be harder to measure — such as being really present while playing together. Plan to evaluate your progress every couple of weeks or once a month and take the time to mark those dates on your calendar now so that you don’t forget them as the year wears on.

Do you have any parenting goals for 2010? What does being an intentional parent look like to you?

The 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010 series is sponsored by Get Organized Wizard. Make 2010 the year you get organized and achieve your goals with the Life & Goal Organizer, the ideal system for organizing your goals, plans and life!

About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

2 Responses to “ 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010: Become a More Intentional Parent ”

  1. Oh, I hadn’t thought about the importance of finding a mentor, Mandi. That is so good! It does help to have someone guide you and inspire you on the path of parenting – someone who is like-minded and understands your parenting goals and who can nurture you in that direction.

    I think you really bring out the point that intentional parenting really comes down to just *thinking* more about what we do and why we do it. Helpful, practical, and motivating thoughts here (as always!).

    Thanks again for inviting me to partner with you in this!
    [email protected]´s last blog ..How to Become a More Intentional Parent My ComLuv Profile


  2. This is such a wake-up call for me…I feel like a good mom and I want to be intentional, but there were many nudges in your post that made me realize I can be more intentional.

    I attended a seminar 2 years ago by Catherine Hickem – it was all about intentional motherhood and it was VERY inspiring. Since then I have gotten her book “Raising Your Children With No Regrets” but never read it. Your post today is my inspiration to read it and be in the moment MORE with my girls.

    Jill Foley´s last blog ..#124 – Sydney My ComLuv Profile


Leave a Reply

CommentLuv Enabled

You can use these XHTML tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <strong>