My 16 yr-old just got home from a 3-day school trip. I missed him more than I thought I would. Just a few days prior, my friend Margaret was telling me how much she was going to miss her son who is about to go on a two-year mission to Taiwan. I remember thinking, I will miss my son when he goes on a mission. But my heart won't ache. After all, I've traveled frequently since before he was born.
Sometimes I am so out-of-touch with my feelings.
Many of my friends have mad parenting skills. I admire them. Frequently I am in awe. To the point that I sometimes wonder if I parent well. I suppose I even thought I won't miss my child as much as Margaret does because I'm not as good of a mother. (Yes, I know there is so much that is wrong about what I just said). Reluctantly then I picked up Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest's Minimalist Parenting.
But having finished it, I am relieved, encouraged even. Though Minimalist Parenting is geared primarily to parents with children ranging in age from 0-12, it is an eminently practical guidebook on how to lean in to and relish parenting; the very personal stories of Christine and Asha were a highlight. The book is also terrific companion piece to Ellen Galinsky's Mind in the Making and Gretchen Rubin's Happier at Home. Below is my summary by soundbite:
“Our intention isn't to tell you how to parent, it's to show you how to find your own parenting “right”. – @minparenting
“When you step off the modern parenting treadmill, you don't blow your child's shot at success — just the opposite.”
“Make room for remarkable.”
We curate content, let's curate what comes into our homes — be a curator of special things.”
“Find your Goldilocks' level of busy.”
“Boredom is the mother of mud pies and killer neighborhood games of Capture the Flag.”
“A prejudice against secondhand is worth challenging: used = good.”
“Before you sign your child up for an activity, ask yourself why.”
“Keep watch over the temptation to take over steering your child's bus: let kids find their inner bus drivers.”
“Set limits on presents, not generosity.”
“You have what you need right now to live the family life you want.” – @bostonmamas @parenthacks
“Claim space in your own wonderful parenting life. It is as much your journey as it is your child's.”
This last line was the best.
Our children are having a life as a child.
We are having a life as a parent.
What do you think?