Today’s ‘The Best I Have To Give’ post comes from my friend, Tiffany Gowesky. I am blessed to have Tiffany and her husband Peter as our pastoral family at Liquid Church in Nutley, NJ. Tiffany has a beautiful smile, a beautiful heart, and a beautiful family. She’s right in the middle of those crazy, busy years of having little ones, and just celebrated her 10th anniversary.
You can catch up with Tiffany at TheLovelyMosaic.com, or, browse her Etsy shop! Tiffany makes gorgeous wood signs, one of which I am lucky enough to have gracing my dining room!
Tiffany – thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with the readers here at Six More Summers.
Intentional Parenting – by Tiffany Gowesky
Most of the time being a parent to three little ones leaves my head spinning. Did the field trip slip get packed in the folder? Did I give my littlest her vitamins? Did they eat anything healthy today? Did they each even get 5 minutes of my time? My mornings start out by having so much hope and joy as I look into the day, but sometimes even by 10 am, my attitude is already headed in the wrong direction. The ideal image that I wanted to lead with already feels defeated and depleted.
I am reminded on a daily basis that we can not control all that happens in our life. I mean come on lets be honest, we can’t even really control our kids at every moment. But the desire for directing something in our lives can be so strong. I have realized over the past couple of years that when I am more intentional about some things that we value as a family, I can tangibly see how my husband and I are shaping our kids lives.
One of the most beneficial things we have done as parents for our kids was to sit down and list the things we value as a family. We were constantly wacthing other families in church and seeing how the kids interacted with their parents and siblings. We gravitated to those families that looked like they truly enjoyed each other, and were intentional about having fun and creating memories. We realized pretty quickly that we valued fun. It sounds strange but we want our kids when they grew up to WANT to have a relationship with us, because they enjoy being with us. We wanted them to see us laugh and enjoy life, whether it is singing crazily in the car during traffic, or having random dance parties after dinner.
We value FUN!
We also realized that we wanted each one of our kids to know that they mattered; their feelings, their opinions, and their dreams. We try and do one on one dates, or mommy and daddy time, with each kid on a regular basis. This could be as simple as a walk to the park, a bike ride, a special lunch, or even just an ice cream cone. It’s where each kids gets their “love tank” filled up. Those one on one times provide so much more than a memory. It is an uninterruped connection where our kid is reminded that they matter. They are reminded that they are the most important thing in our life at that moment.
Its amazing how at such a young age, our kids have already made traditions out of things we have done rather haphazardly. I have constantly heard them say, “Remember when we made a fort and watched a movie with popcorn during the snow storm? We should do that every time it snows!” A lot of what our family does is shaped around consistency. We value consistency with our kids! Our hope is that helps them realize that whether its silly or serious, mommy and daddy are always here for you. Whether it’s make your own pizza on friday nights or playing monopoly deal on sunday nights, we want our kids to know that they can rely on us and depend on us. This will translate to them knowing they can count on us, like being there to listen or to help when they need it. We want to be a consistent stable factor in their life as they grow and mature!
We value CONSISTENCY!
We value tons of other stuff in our family, but it seems like fun, connection, and consistency rise to the top. Knowing what you value as a family is useful because it helps determine your purpose and your legacy as a parent. I realized as I was writings that these things we value as a family are even the same things we value in our marriage. That’s how important they are to us.
There will always be times when our lives get crazy and seem out of control. Knowing what you value as a family is a great way to begin parenting more intentionally.