Maybe I’ll be a Guinea-gator. {Goals, Parenting Style, and Atmospheric Pressure}

I’ve been busy the last couple days. Some of it is chosen busyness like reading way too much, and finishing crocheting a cardigan. Some was necessity: cleaning the kids rooms (their carpet is going to last longer because we don’t get to walk on it right???), cleaning the bathrooms, putting away a mountain of clean laundry, and washing half the dishes (because all would be too many). The rest of it all is just the randomness of everyday and summertime: playing in the sprinklers, seeing if the old inflatable pool holds air (It doesn’t. The 7yo was horrified.), a library kids’ coding class, letting the kids play outside as much as possible, and the nonsense of a lot of other randomness. What’s life without drama and much to do?

This evening seemed like a good moment to pause, appreciate all the good, and consider specific areas of improvement I might miss because I get distracted by my TBR pile and pretty yarn. So here’s a little of my thought process with the good and the improveables. I mean, all of it could be improved, but I’m shooting for… like a ten-foot hoop, not the moon so much.

The good:

My good: I am loving that I am managing to read, write, crochet and run consistently all at the same time. It was hard to do for a while, but it turns out discipline pays off and habits do form. Running is still hard to fit in sometimes (because: tired!), but my other endeavors are fitting in way more easily than I thought they would. And I’m reading way more than I ever have in my adult life. It’s a good feeling!

Mom good: I have been really good about reading out loud, going hiking, and taking bike ride/runs every now and then since that is fun for all of us. I also made chore charts and a reward system the kids actually find motivating. I was very surprised.

House good: Having the kids help more has been way more helpful than I realized (that should have been obvious?), but it has been much easier to keep the house in check thanks to that. Also, sometimes I just have to ask for help, and people will help me. I tend to make asking too hard, when it’s really just an ask.

The improves:

My improve: consistently run 15 miles/week, consider starting an Etsy shop, begin to write longer form things, and practice writing here in a variety of ways.

Unschool improve: add a little learning to read coaching/encouragement time, play chess with them more (all the heart eyes), and find some games with practical math skills. I think I’ll have to raid my parents’ game closet and see what comes up.


Whole together family atmosphere: The main thing I want to improve is less logistical and measurable and more a mindset/dealing with emotions change. It’s going to take a subtle shift in my parenting skills and learning to apply the things I read in books.

I want to get to a place where I feel like I’m not parenting out of my own stress 99% of the time. I would like to help us all to learn better ways for dealing with emotions and frustrations and to be happier and kinder with each other. This will be harder to implement, but I figure it really does start with me. sigh. But at the same time, starting with me doesn’t mean I have to figure it out first. It is just as good if we can figure it out together, I’ll just be the instigator/guinea pig. So maybe a guinea-gator? (It’s late, guys!)

So for now, here’s the preliminary plan for discovering a more Whole Together Parenting and Family style.

  • Go ahead and add in those little connection moments of practicing learning reading, playing more games, and playing chess.
  • keep doing the good things we are already doing that keep us healthy, entertained, and the house under control: library, chores, reading at bedtime, lots of outside time, hikes, the rare organized activity, and plenty of free time.
  • Use the kid sections with the kids at the end of each chapter in this book: The Yes Brain. I think this will help me solidify the ideas a little and the kids always surprise me with how receptive they are to just learning about emotions and what goes on inside of our heads. They almost prefer it to be taught explicitly.
  • Write a regular summary of a parenting book I’ve loved and appreciated (or just read recently and need to process) with some takeaways and how I’m processing it with myself and my kiddos. I really love to read, but sometimes I read so quickly I don’t really absorb the information enough to be able to apply it. So I’m hoping this will be a useful cheat-sheet for you and a chance for me to take it in a little more slowly.

Here’s to growth!

How are your goals for the year hanging in there? Are you needing to pivot, cross off, or edit some things?

Here’s how I was thinking about my goals at the beginning of the year: Process over Progress {Making Goals with Kids in Mind}. There are a few things on this list I completely forgot about, but a few we’ve managed quite well. Interesting information. Goals with the kids tend to be harder for me to manage, whereas my goals are much more controllable.

I think focusing this summer more on improving the atmosphere of our family instead of the logistics so much will be more useful in the long run than forcing my goals for our lives on all the rest of my people.

I have all the thoughts, apparently.

And I wrote write through my running time.


I’d love to hear your thoughts too!

Your space.

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