Guest Post by MOLLY: Our three main focuses as parents

Today please welcome Molly to the BUSHBABY journal. She's not afraid to embrace all the feelings of motherhood. As parents we connect with her vulnerablity + are encouraged by her steadfast courage to hold on to what's true. Thanks for sharing with us, Molly!

If Piper had been my firstborn child, I would have thought I was the best parent in the world. She did all the things: slept, ate, pooped, smiled, cuddled. Part of my success was due to the fact she was a heaping 9lb 1oz at birth. That’s why we call this skinny little thing “Big Momma”.

Will, however, came first. I don’t think we slept for 2 years, but it’s hard to tell because of this memory block. I do remember a lot of spitting up and crying. Nick, my husband, used to have thick curly locks of hair. Now, he is totally bald. All this to say, we know we suck. We kinda just wing it most of the time. But over the years we have boiled it down to 3 main focuses we have as parents, and I wanted to share them with you.

Love compassionately

Ok this isn’t really following the number order I just laid out, but that’s how I roll. This one is kind of an overarching conviction of humanity that I want to impart to the kids. Humans are incredibly valuable. We come in all shapes and sizes, with all kinds of issues and beliefs, and aren’t easy to love. Of all the things I desire for my kids, it is for them to love others compassionately. Not because of what they get out of it, but because of what they have to give.

1] Problem Solve

My kids. They got a lot of probs. Like spilled yogurt on their shirt or getting buckled in their car seat while wearing a jacket. Meltdown. Whenever they come to me with their problems, I just ask them a simple question: “You have a problem. What are you going to do about it?” This immediately changes their thought process from me solving it to them solving it. I got my own probs.

2] Think Critically

Ya I want them to get good grades in school, but I’m really looking for a mind at work here. Are they engaged with the wide world around them? Recently, Nick asked Piper why she wasn’t listening to what he was saying. She answered, “Cuz I don’t like the things you are saying.” Her wheels are turning.

3] Seek truth

Piper, our 5 year old, is a natural skeptic. I love this about her and I think it will serve her well. I mean, she was born in Peoria. Will was quite worried about her when she said she didn’t believe in God. He’s quite devout, and chose reason as his means of argument. This only got them so far, but I couldn’t have been happier with the process. Sometimes I get a little panicky when I think about my kids not sharing the same faith that I have. But you know, I’m not afraid of the truth. And I want my kids to fiercely seek it, so it’s theirs.

There are lots of other things we try to teach along the way, like tying a shoe or a broadened worldview, but these three are our main focuses. I sure hope they turn out okay. Based on the following anecdote, I think we are doing all right:

Setting: mom folding laundry

Nick: "if you are wondering which underwear is Will’s, it's the ones with brown stains."

Will: "if you are wondering which underwear is Dad's, it's the ones that are as big as my shirts."

Molly your kids are so funny! Thanks for sharing a bit from your daily life as encouragement for all us parents fighting the fight! Be sure to check out Molly's online gift service, Fair + Simple, an ingenious idea "for the mindful giver". You'll want to find out about this unique way to give a gift. You can follow Fair + Simple on Facebook too!