Bringing who I am to parenting

I can’t help but marvel how all the different things I was interested in before A- come into play now. It’s like an integrative project, a chance to see how all these little things work together and build on each other.

  • Kaizen, experimenting: Looking for opportunities for continuous improvement keeps everything interesting. I’m curious about play. This flexibility is also really handy.
  • Thinking out loud, connecting the dots: I’m curious about pedagogical documentation and making learning visible. I’m also curious about taking advantage of external memories and helping A- learn the same (photography, drawing, writing, etc.). I want to document our routines to help A- grow into them, and I want to document nonroutine things to compensate for my fragmented attention.
  • Research: I have fun reading research papers and books. I’m curious about psychology, communication, and so on.
  • Stoic philosophy: This helps me enjoy practising equanimity.
  • Automation: I automate little things on my phone or my computer to help me deal with my fragmented attention. Consulting lets me keep my skills and network warm.
  • Emacs: I summarize her weekly and monthly progress using Emacs Lisp and an Org Mode file. I use Emacs to write notes and document processes.
  • Quantified Self: I continue to track her sleep, nursing, and pottying, which helps me adapt to the rhythm of each day. I keep a list of words she’s said, which gives me another reason to listen to her closely and expand her vocabulary.
  • Sketchnoting: I draw stick figures for A-, who’s curious about emotions at the moment. I also sketch my plans and thoughts.
  • Publishing: I write and illustrate simple books for A-. I’m curious about illustration, so that gives me things to think about on my umpteenth read of a book.
  • Gardening, cooking: Fun to share these with A-.
  • Sewing: Very handy when she was in cloth diapers. I’m looking forward to getting back into this someday.
  • Social media: Sharing notes, figuring out socialization
  • Reading: So much! Speed reading is handy too.
  • Teaching and lifelong learning: And pedagogy, too!

Might be fun for me to go over this old list of interests and see which might be something I can share with A-. Whee!

I’m curious how other people’s backgrounds open up more possibilities in parenting. My dad’s advertising photography work and advocacies brought an endless stream of new experiences to the studio/house, and I learned a ton from my mother’s library and her work with people. I can see how my sister’s photography, zoo volunteering, baking, and humour influence her parenting. It’s fantastic that we get to experiment with so many different combinations. I’m curious – if you’re a parent, how does what makes you you influence how you parent?