My husband and I have started a fitness program together using an app on our phones. It has been an eye-opening experience to see how quickly and subtly the calories add up. I used to focus more on portion size and quantity than on calories. Now I realize the necessity of being alert to those empty calories and making sure that every calorie counts.
The same is true with my parenting habits. It astonishes me that my little boy is nearly 7 weeks old. Before I was even married I already envisioned what kind of mother I wanted to be; presently I am comparing myself to that vision and wondering how I am measuring up. Reality is usually quite different from dreams and plans. The demanding details of every day life and the little one’s individuality set in immediately, and adjustment happens without much thought being given to it. Now that I am getting more rest and have somewhat settled into a daily routine, I can step back and evaluate the habits I am cultivating. Are they counting toward a rich and balanced parenthood or are they empty habits of convenience?
One habit that I strongly desire to develop is incorporating Jesus into the interactions I have with my son. When I am rocking him to sleep, I try to sing Bible songs to him or recite Psalms from memory. I am already trying to talk to him about Jesus and mention how he can make Jesus happy. I want to point him to Jesus now.
Another habit that I am seeking to cultivate, but have a long way to go, is flexibility. Yes, routine is ideal, but life won’t always cooperate. Stability comes with smooth adjustment and calm leadership. Children seek that kind of stability; when life gets topsy-turvy or a day’s routines are disrupted, they will look to Mom for direction. If I can handle the unexpected, then they will know that they can too.
Finally, a calm countenance is the third most important on my habit list. When my baby is upset, I want to remain calm and supportive so that I can soothe him. If I get upset too, he won’t have the anchor he needs to work through his distress. I have to remember that his problems are baby problems and I am an adult. If his little problems get me worked up, how can I possibly help him with the real problems in life?
At this point, I don’t know how much of my parenting skills my baby is taking in. However, I don’t know when that awareness transition will take place; I want to be ready. Healthy parenting habits start now. It takes effort, but making sure it counts is absolutely worth it.