Living Deliberately (or A Mom Who Reads)

Disclaimer:  I promised this wouldn’t turn into a “mommy blog” and I intend to keep it that way.  This post will use the word “mom” a lot, and because of that I debated whether or not to share it here.  I decided, yes, it applies, because it’s less about my daughter and more about how I prioritize life.  That can apply to anyone, parent or not.

Not long after my daughter was born, I got an iPhone.  Yes, I finally caved and joined the smart phone world.  I’ll admit, it’s been nice.  It’s so much easier to look things up, answer e-mails, etc, one-handed while holding a baby.  Plus, Netflix kept me from going completely crazy during that first month of all-nighters..  However, the other day as I sat feeding my daughter and looking things up on my phone, I realized how easy it would be to fall into that pattern.  As nice as the smart phone is, I don’t want to be that mom who’s staring at her phone all the time.  I started thinking about reading.  Digital books are nice and convenient, but I want to read physical, paper books now more than ever.  I want my daughter to see me reading, not staring at a phone.  That led me to the whole concept of leading by example.  So much of my adult life has been defined by my career and my role as a wife.  Entrance into motherhood seems like a good time to take another look at my life-priorities and how I spend my time.  What traits do I want my daughter to see modeled in me and learn from me as she grows up?  I grabbed a piece of paper (which was thankfully within arm’s reach) and started jotting down the kind of mom – the kind of person – that I want to be.

I want to be a mom who reads.  Not just to my child (though I’m looking forward to that, too), but also to myself.  I want my daughter to see that reading is something we do because it’s valuable in its own right.  We don’t just read for bribes, prizes, or grades, because once those go away, why would we keep reading?  We read to imagine, explore, grow, and enjoy.  We read for adventure, empathy, and enlightenment.  I want her to see that there are entertainment alternatives to TV and digital devices, and that starts with me.

I want to be a mom who works with her hands to create things.  I will never be the Pinterest mom who somehow makes everything she touches into a creative, adorable masterpiece, but I do want her to see the value of working with her hands to make something beautiful.  Not perfect, but beautiful.  So I’ll bust out the sewing machine and finish the quilt I started two years ago, and maybe later I’ll find another cross-stitch pattern to follow.  How can I encourage her to be creative unless I practice creativity myself?

I want to be a mom who follows her passion and interests.  I want her to see the dedication I saw in my parents, serving others in the capacity that best suited their interests and strengths.  I want my daughter to learn that the world does not revolve around her, and that’s a good thing.  After all, if she thinks she’s the center of the universe, how does that leave room for aspiration, service, and growth?  I want her to see me excited by outside interests so that someday she’ll explore and find what excites and interests her, too.

I want to be a mom who loves her husband and makes him a priority amidst the craziness of parenthood.  My husband and I were both blessed to come from homes with strong marriages, and we are both better for it.  It’s worth it for all of us, as a family.  Plus, he’s awesome.

I want to be a mom who prays.  Not just when my daughter can see, though I will teach her to pray and pray with her, too  But again, why would I teach her something I don’t practice in my own life?  So much of who she is and what will happen in her life is out of my control.  I can lead by example and show her what I believe, but God’s the one who holds her in the palm of His hand.  So every day I will pray for her, whether she knows it or not.

That’s what I’ve got for now.  I’m sure as life goes on I’ll add to this list, but for now it’s a good start.  It’s my own personal reminder to live deliberately, as Thorough would say, no matter where life leads.

What life-priorities would make it on your list?

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13 thoughts on “Living Deliberately (or A Mom Who Reads)

  1. I think that it is good that you want to be a positive role model for your daughter. If I was your daughter, I would have more respect for what you wanted me to do because you are sincere. As for my priorities, I would want my child to see me as someone who isn’t afraid to express who he/she really is and is less influenced by peer pressure.

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  2. I’m all about reading to my son too. I wanted him to grow up with books as his favorite plaything. When he was just a newborn in a boppy I surrounded him with books. I would open each book up to a random page and stand them up in a circle around him. Now when I pick him up from his daycare they say that the book area is his favorite. Sometimes I’ll see all of the other kids running around with toys and find my son, Holden, back in the book corner flipping through pages. That is the best feeling in the world.

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  3. I somehow, somewhere kind of stumbled upon this blog. I am a teenager and your blog, just made.. complete sense. Its beautifully written, and I felt so connected. Good to hear so many things from a high-school teacher.

    I love my mom, I love her for what she is. But I just wish, she had plans like you have now. It’s great.

    Thinking if you could, you-know, give my teachers some lessons on how to be sweet and understanding? 😉

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  4. Soooo good. It is wonderful to see such valuable goals! Also, dont forget the surprise things you will pass down to your daughter! My daughter made a list of thirtyfive things for my thirty fifth birthday, and it had all sorts of surprise GOOD take-aways that i had instilled just by being myself! I hung that list by my mirror to look at every day. My point is, Just being yourself can be more than enough.

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  5. I love reading your blog! I’m currently in school studying Early/Middle Childhood education…quite a different field from yours. It’s interesting reading your perspective on education even though I honestly could never deal with teenagers: I’m sticking with the little ones because they are cuter. Just kidding. I used to blog a lot when I was a teenager, but I only wrote things that were annoying and pretentious. I just started a new blog and I’m trying this new thing where I lay it all out as it really is.
    I look forward to reading all of your future posts. 🙂

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  6. I love physical books, but I’d never thought of it the way you just pointed out – that you want your daughter to see you with a book, not a phone. Thank you for putting that in my head.

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  7. this is terrific insight for any mother, father, teenager or person! its so easy for me to get caught up in ‘technology world’ and disconnect from the world around me! thanks for the reminder

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  8. “I want my daughter to learn that the world does not revolve around her, and that’s a good thing. After all, if she thinks she’s the center of the universe, how does that leave room for aspiration, service, and growth?” And then mothers get confused when their 3 year olds only stare at tablets for fun. Good positive movement breaking the cycle in your own household!!!

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  9. Reblogged this on Deliberate Motherhood and commented:

    I wrote this post as a description of my goals for what kind of mom I want to be. I posted it on my other blog, and afterwards I decided it was time to actually start this site to give a better outlet for that kind of writing. Can you tell I got my new blog’s title from this post, too?

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  10. I love the list! I read a newsletter from my son’s school that encouraged parents to let their young children observe them reading, because it might encourage a new reader to keep trying! Since then I’ve quit waiting until “after hours” to do all my reading.

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