Sheryl Jesin

Short term vs. long term


Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Philosophy

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared their parenting practices and how they fit in with their parenting purpose. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Lately I’ve been caught up in the daily grind of life with a 3 year old and a 6 month old: wake up at the crack of dawn, prepare and serve meals, clean up, breastfeed on demand, get baby down for a nap, keep preschooler away from baby during said nap, repeat until bedtime!  Let’s not forget the constant tidying up and laundry, and the herculean effort it can take just to make it out the door.   Getting through each day without any major meltdowns is an accomplishment of its own.  My thoughts are moment to moment and it can be hard to think beyond the next hour without getting overwhelmed, let alone the next week, month, or year!

Yet at the same time, it is so important for me to think about long term parenting goals or philosophies. Otherwise, I get lost in the minutiae of day to day life.   When I am caught up in the moment and short term goals, I forget about long term goals.   A few examples come to mind.   I often find myself taking off Dylan’s pyjamas in the morning while chasing him around the house.   The chasing continues as I put on his clothes for the day.   My short term goal is to get Dylan dressed and therefore I end up dressing him.   However, an important long term goal is to teach Dylan age appropriate life skills so he can feel a sense of accomplishment when he is able to do something alone.   The long term goal gets lost as I dress him in a rush so we can get out the door.   Here’s another example – sometimes during dinner I find myself feeding Dylan a few forkfulls of chicken or telling him to hurry up or asking him to finish the last few bites.   The short term goal is to finish the meal so we can move on to bathtime and bedtime, and to ensure that he’s gotten enough food in him so that he won’t be hungry at night.  The long term goal that I am missing is to allow Dylan to recognize on his own when he is full and what type of food he wants to eat, in order to create healthy eating habits for life.

Without long term goals in mind, life with two kids can be monotonous, boring and frustrating.   But when I stop and think about how my daily actions are influencing the lives of two little people, the daily grind doesn’t seem so bad. Instead of feeling bored, I feel inspired and purposeful.   Rather than being frustrated, I feel patient.

How do you reconcile your short term and long term parenting goals?


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon July 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • Between Love and Fear: On Raising our Children Sensibly — Mamma Earthly at Give an Earthly discusses the fear factor in parenting and how she overcame it, despite societal pressures.
  • really, when do i get my cape? — Sarah at small bird on fire is a working city mama trying to learn how to set aside her expectations of perfection and embrace the reality of modern parenting.
  • Baby, Infant, and Toddler Wearing — Child wearing is part of Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured‘s parenting philosophy. In this post, Sarah describes benefits of child-wearing and gives tips for wearing babies, infants, and toddlers (even while pregnant).
  • First Year Reflections — As her daughter’s first birthday approaches, Holly at First Year Reflections reflects on how she and her husband settled into attachment parenting after initially doing what they thought everyone else did.
  • Making an allowance — Lauren at Hobo Mama welcomes a guest post from Sam about the unexpected lessons giving a four-year-old an allowance teaches the child — and the parent.
  • How to be a Lazy Parent and Still Raise Great Kids — Lisa at Granola Catholic talks about how being a Lazy Parent has helped her to raise Great Kids.
  • Philosophy in Practice — Laura at A Pug in the Kitchen shares how her heart shaped the parenting philosophy in her home.
  • What is Attachment Parenting Anyway? — Gaby at Tmuffin describes the challenges of putting a label on her parenting philosophy.
  • Of Parenting Styles — Jenny at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom talks about how she and her husband tailored various parenting styles to fit their own preferred parenting philosophy.
  • Moment by Moment Parenting — Amy at Peace 4 Parents encourages those who care for children (including herself) to explore and appreciate parenting moment-by-moment with clarity, intention, trust, and action.
  • Maintaining Spirituality in the Midst of Everyday Parenting, Marriage, and Life — Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured shares her perspective on finding opportunities for spiritual growth in every day life.
  • Parenting Philosophy — Lily, aka Witch Mom’s parenting philosophy is to raise child(ren) to be compassionate, loving, inquisitive, and questioning adults who can be trusted to make decisions for themselves in a way that avoids harming others.
  • Long Term — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis thinks about who she would like to see her daughter become — and what she can do now to lay a strong foundation for those hopes.
  • Connection, Communication, Compassion — She’s come a long way, baby! After dropping her career in favour of motherhood, Patti at Jazzy Mama discovered that building solid relationships was going to be her only parenting priority.
  • My Parenting Inspirations – Part 4 — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at her biggest parenting inspiration and how that translates into her long-term parenting philosophy.
  • A Parenting Philosophy in One Word: Respect — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction summarizes her parenting and relationship philosophy in one word: respect.
  • Knowledge and Instinct — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment believes that knowledge and instinct are super important … as are love, encouragement and respect. It’s the ideal combo needed to raise happy and healthy children and in turn create meaningful relationships with them.
  • THRIVE!The Sparkle Mama wants to set a tone of confidence, abundance, and happiness in her home that will be the foundation for the rest of her daughter’s life.
  • On Children — “Your children are not your children,” say Kahlil Gibran and Hannah at Wild Parenting.
  • This One Life Together — Ariadne aka Mudpiemama shares her philosophy of parenting: living fully in the here and now and building the foundation for a happy and healthy life.
  • Enjoying life and planning for a bright future — Olivia at Write About Birth shares her most important parenting dilemmas and pours out her heart about past trauma and how healing made her a better parent.
  • My Parenting Philosophy: Unconditional and Natural Love — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares what she has learned about her parenting philosophy from a year of following her instincts as a mama.
  • An open letter to my children — Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine writes an open letter to her children.
  • My Starter Kit for Unconditional Parenting — Sylvia at MaMammalia discusses her wish to raise a good person and summarizes some of the nontraditional practices she’s using with her toddler son in order to fulfill that wish.
  • Responsiveness — Sheila at A Gift Universe has many philosophies and goals, but what it all boils down to is responsiveness: listening to what her son wants and providing what he needs.
  • Tools for Creating Your Parenting Philosophy — Have you ever really thought about your parenting purpose? Knowing your long-term goals can help you parent with more intent in your daily interactions. Dionna at Code Name: Mama offers exercises and ideas to help you create your own parenting philosophy.
  • Be a Daisy — Becky at Old New Legacy philosophizes about individuality and how she thinks it’s important for her daughter’s growth.
  • What’s a Mama to Do? — Amyables at Toddler in Tow hopes that her dedication to compassionate parenting will keep her children from becoming too self-critical as adults.
  • grown-up anxieties. — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life explains her lone worry concerning her babies growing up.
  • Why I Used Montessori Principles in My Parenting Philosophy — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells why she chose Montessori principles to help her now-adult children develop qualities she wanted to see in them as children and adults.
  • Parenting Philosophies & Planning for the FutureMomma Jorje considers that the future is maybe just a fringe benefit of doing what feels right now.
  • Not Just Getting Through — Rachael at The Variegated Life asks what truths she hopes to express even in the most commonplace interactions with her son.
  • Parenting Philosophy? Eh… — Ana at Pandamoly shares the philosophy (or lack thereof) being employed to (hopefully) raise a respectful, loving, and responsible child.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Being Present — Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses the changes her family has made to accommodate their parenting philosophy and to reflect their ideals as working parents.
  • Who They Will Be — Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro shares a short list of some qualities she hopes she is instilling in her children at this very moment.
  • Short Term vs. Long Term — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes recounts how long term parenting goals often get lost in the details of everyday life with two kids.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Practicing and Nurturing Peace — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle sets personal goals for developing greater peace.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 1: The Yamas — In part 1 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie guest posts at Natural Parents Network about how the Yoga Sutras provide a framework for her parenting philosophy.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 2: The Niyamas — In part 2 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie explores how the Niyamas (one of the eight limbs in traditional Yoga) help her maintain her parenting and life focus.
  • Our Sample Parenting Plan — Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey shares hopes of who her children will become and parenting strategies she employs to get them there.
  • Philosophical Parenting: Letting Go — Jona at Life, Intertwined ponders the notion that there’s no right answer when it comes to parenting.
  • Unphilosophizing? — jessica at instead of institutions wonders about the usefulness of navel gazing.
  • Parenting Sensitively — Amy at Anktangle uses her sensitivity to mother her child in ways that both nurture and affirm.
  • how to nurture your relationships — Mrs Green at Little Green Blog believes that sometimes all kids need is a jolly good listening to …
  • Philosophy Of An Unnatural Parent — Dr. Sarah at Good Enough Mum sees parenting as a process of guiding her children to develop the skills they’ll need.
  • Life with a Challenging Kid: Hidden Blessings — Wendy at High Needs Attachment shares the challenges and joys of raising a high needs child.
  • Flying by the Seat of My Pants — Heather at Very Nearly Hippy has realized that she has no idea what she’s doing.

25 thoughts on “Short term vs. long term

  1. Pingback: » This One Life Together mudpiemama

  2. Pingback: On Children « Wild Parenting

  3. I once read somewhere (maybe several somewheres) that if you keep in mind that regardless of the outcome you leave the interaction with both your and your child’s dignity mostly intact you have achieved a “successful” outcome. I think that this lens can be applied to almost any situation. I have many memories of changing the diaper of a struggling/objecting toddler – my short term goal was to prevent diaper rash and perhaps rid the house of an odor. Regardless of the direction of my long term goal it was clear that neither the toddler nor I were experiencing any dignity in that moment. While it doesn’t necessarily lead the way to what *to* do, it can help to clarify why some things simply don’t feel right.

    Juxtaposing short and long term goals is useful in many parts of life – thanks for the reminder!

  4. Oh, man, I am so there with you. I hear things coming out of my mouth that don’t jibe at all with how I WANT to parent long-term, but that help things be (or seem) more convenient in the moment. The examples you gave are great ones — hurrying up dressing and other routine tasks, trying to get food into a distracted kiddo. Yeah, it’s a hard balance, and requires a lot lot lot of patience to keep the long-term goals in mind and let the short-term ones go for the time being. I don’t have an answer beyond simple commiserating, so I’m going to see what other people have to say!

  5. Pingback: Yama Niyama and the Red Pajama Mama: Part 2 « TouchstoneZ

  6. Pingback: A Parenting Philosophy in One Word: Respect | Monkey Butt Junction

  7. Pingback: Life with a challenging kid: hidden blessings | high needs attachment

  8. Pingback: Not Just Getting Through

  9. Pingback: My Parenting Philosophy: Unconditional and Natural Love

  10. Life has gotten so much simpler with my 3 year old and 6 month old since my big monkey has been getting himself dressed in the morning! When everyone is up in the morning, I lay out clothes for both kids (my youngest too, in case I am lucky enough to have my husband dress him!). After breakfast, we all come upstairs and the first thing I do is I send my 3 year old to his room to get himself dressed. It may take him a while sometimes (and his shirt may be backwards!), but it keeps him busy while I get myself together and the baby squared away. He is SO proud of himself when he is done!

    I love those “I got myself dressed!” or “Mommy, I have POCKETS!” comments when he comes in my room to show me afterward. It was so worth taking the extra time for those few days when I worked with him to learn to dress himself. He liked it too. “Can YOU put your pants on?” I would say, and he’d happily pull them up. That has been a very rewarding part of growing up. For both of us.

  11. Pingback: Parenting Philosophy: Being Present | The Artful Mama

  12. Pingback: Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 1: The Yamas | Natural Parents Network

  13. Reading this month’s posts are really convicting me about the need to parent more consciously, taking into account my long-term as well as short-term goals. Your descriptions of the morning and meals could (and do) happen at my house – and too often I *never* think about long-term. Or, we have an evening like yesterday, where I really was trying to help Kieran calm down so he could have a successful experience putting on his shorts, and he refused to make another attempt. In that moment I was thinking long-term, but I got confused about what my goal should be when it didn’t go the way I anticipated! At any rate, at least I’m thinking, right?!

  14. This modern life we have is so hurried; everything is on a schedule. It can be difficult to let kids learn or get better at doing things at their own pace. In so many other cultures, if a child doesn’t want to do something, they just let them be. For us, it may mean being late for work or an appointment, etc. We just have to do the best we can to navigate it all! 🙂

  15. Pingback: Long Term « Rosmarinus Officinalis

  16. Pingback: Be a daisy | Old New Legacy

  17. I get so lost in those small details of parenting at times and forget about the long term goals. It’s something I work on constantly. I’ve begun putting little noted around the house that are in my line of sight to help me remember not to get caught up and to remember to mindfully parent for the long haul. Simple words like “breathe” “be” “love” “connect” but I see them and remember. That’s how I’ve been handling the short term and long term goals lately.

    I am going to do some thinking about meal times, now that I’ve read your post because I think between my husband and myself, we may be giving them the message to rush through meals. My oldest son will take quite a long time to eat, but perhaps I need to honor that and allow him to finish as he wishes. I would rather teach him to honor his body than to rush to my bedtime routine timeline.

  18. Pingback: Philosophical Parenting: Letting Go | Life, Intertwined

  19. It’s so hard to find that balance – the place where you honor the long term goals while at the same time respecting and acknowledging the immediate circumstances. I think just calling it out is such an important step – you’re setting the intention to be mindful of the long term, even if it doesn’t happen every time.

  20. Pingback: Parenting Philosophy: Practicing and Nurturing Peace - Child of the Nature Isle

  21. Wow – that first paragraph describes my world so well, it’s manic isn’t it! I feel sometimes that everyone must have it under better control than me – more organised, efficient whatever, so thanks for sharing your reality! I like the examples you’ve used to show how differently our short term and long term goals can really be and how our attitudes might be different when we focus on the latter…I’m going to use this as a quick check in tool for myself as often as I can! Thanks

  22. Pingback: Of Parenting Styles « Chronicles of a Nursing Mom

  23. Pingback: Moment by Moment Parenting | Peace For Parents

  24. Pingback: Why I Used Montessori Principles in My Parenting Philosophy |

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