Today is 9th issue of The Apparent Letter brought to you on the 9th day of 2021. (I keep typing 2012 – damn it, muscle memory!)
This week I'm writing to you about parent's mission.
Do you ever stop to think – why did you become a parent? Here's a silly poem by me:
Wanting to pass on your genes?
Or needing to love unconditionally?
Was it because everybody else was having kids?
Or was it merely out of curiosity?
I've done some heavy thinking on why I'd been wanting to become a parent. My answer has come down to this:
To become a better version of myself while helping a tiny human build his personality from scratch.
This mission trickles down to me and my husband's values, and then to the day-to-day interactions we have as a family.
Maybe something like this:
- Parents' mission: The answer to why we wanted to become parents.
- Family values: How our mission will manifest itself (i.e. transparency, humility, generosity, integrity, trust, respect).
- Daily interactions: What will our daily interactions be like so that we do not diverge from our mission?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting a corporate approach to parenting. No, I don't expect to see a written mission statement from you until next week's issue!
It's just... If we were to run a billion-dollar business, we would care about our mission, come to understand our strengths and weaknesses, and make sure our business thrived with every small daily action we took.
Why don't we do the same in our parenting?
The answer might be that parenting is the heaviest of all jobs inducing constant self-judgment, guilt, exhaustion, and worry.
Amidst trying to make a living, manage social relationships, nurture marriages and put food on the table, coming up with a mission goes way below in our list of priorities. Most of the day-to-day interactions end up turning into fire-fighting.
But if we set our minds on parenting consciously, if we succeed in not sacrificing our mission to life's hurdles, it can make all the difference in the world.
For example, in one of this week's articles you will see that in families where mothers communicated elaborately to their children on a daily basis, children ended up having more vivid childhood memories. One quality of day-to-day interactions resulted in a massive outcome.
Can enjoying parenting make mission-driven parenting easier? There's a good chance.
Dr. Sears, in his well-known "The Baby Book", explains how he moved from being a pediatrician that “only knows about sick babies,” to a thought leader shaping parenting decisions of millions of families:
“I decided to consult the true experts—experienced parents in my practice who appeared to have a handle on parenting: parents who seemed to be in harmony with their children, who were able to read their babies’ cues, and who responded intuitively and appropriately; parents who enjoyed parenting and whose children seemed to be turning out well. These parents and their children became my teachers, and I became an astute listener and a keen baby watcher, keeping careful notes about which parenting styles they practiced. I accumulated a “what works” list.”
Do you have a parenting mission, or an answer to the question: "Why did you?"
I'd love to know!
🥄 Nurturing my favorite moms and dads
Here are a few articles I recently posted on the blog:
Do bad words we say around our children turn into memories?: Are adult words that we use around our children recorded somewhere in their memories even if they don't remember them explicitly? Let's find out.
Why you shouldn't ignore your child's bad behavior: We discuss what a parent's attention means to a child, why parents are recommended to ignore unwanted behaviors and 3 reasons why it's bad advice.
That's it! ❤️
Thank you for reading.
If you've enjoyed this letter, consider sending it to a loved one. It always makes me very happy.
Send me your thoughts! I'm on Twitter and love seeing a DM in my inbox. You can also send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next Saturday!
Love, Basak (founder of Apparent)