I used to think I was a natural chef, with a distinct eye for the culinary arts. Some personal favorite recipes I had developed over the years as a single woman on my own, were waffles, lasagna, oatmeal cookies, and bean soups.Mmmmmmmm!
So when we first got married I would try making all sorts of delightful goodies for my new husband. However, over the course of several months, I noticed that he would turn up his nose at my cooking, or even worse, offer to cook every meal!
I realized one day that I had been living a substandard lifestyle when it came to cooking. Somehow I had trained my taste buds to like dry and crusty waffles, runny and tasteless lasagna, brick-hard oatmeal cookies, and undercooked beans! (To name a few.) I was a horrible cook! My pans were always burned with black charcoal, caked to the bottom, I never followed the recipes correctly, or payed attention to the time, so my food was never quite done right, I let my noodles overcook until they were mush, and I didn't know I was supposed to drain the grease from the browned meat...and on and on. Poor Micah!
It's funny to look back on the past and see how much you've changed. I am a much better cook these days, and realized that all it took was some knowledge, some practice, and the right inspiration to want to do it right. Even though my foods had been edible, they just weren't the best they could be.
Maybe this is a far stretch for an analogy, but I've been feeling like a rotten parent lately, and was wondering if I am living a substandard ideal in my parenting, without knowing it.
When I became a Mother it was natural for me. I immediately fell in love with my babies and wanted to nurture them and care for them. I really want to be with these little guys every day, and help them discover their world. They are amazing!
However, sometimes I feel like I am doing a tremendous job, then I get into a situation where I have no idea what I am doing! Like I am confidently cooking a delicious sauce, only to discover it's burnt on the bottom! I don't want to feel like Super Mom, only to find out my kids are doing pretty good, but are slightly burnt on the bottom. I don't want to keep doing what I'm doing, only to look back on my past to discover how
much better I could have been. (even though I know this will happen regardless, I still want to be better now, darnit!)
I have been struggling with my 3 year old lately, trying to figure out his changing behavior, and how I can handle things the best. I guess I am on a personal crusade to have yummy, happy, crispy children who grow up to be happy adults, rather than crusty, burnt ones who hate their lives and despise their Mother.
I got online last night and ordered some books that I think will help immensely. I've read every Dr. Sears baby book about sleeping, attachment parenting, breastfeeding, and mending boo-boos, but I realized I haven't read much about the development of independent, and obstinate 3 year olds.
I got Elizabeth Pantley's "No Cry Discipline Solution", "Raising your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy, and "Playful Parenting" by Lawrence J. Cohen.
These books I trust because they are approved by the La Leche League International board, whose leaders are big on being gentle and loving in all we do. And that's the direction I want to go. I've been feeling angry, frustrated, and often mad, and all because of my lack of understanding in how to handle certain situations that come up.
Some good books, some great talks with my husband, some natural-born instincts, some love, and lots of prayers....this is the recipe I am following right now.
What tools do you recommend for becoming the parent you want to be?
Any good books you've been inspired by and would suggest?