Here's To A Boring Year

Too much excitement just might kill me!

Can your childhood memories help you keep your cool?

Welcome to the December 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Childhood Memories

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about memories of growing up — their own or the ones they’re helping their children create. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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I’ve always found memories to be a strange thing. They’re so fluid, so malleable – the more times you remember something, the further from actual truth the memory can become, yet the more it becomes truth to you.

There are many things in Monkey’s short life that I am grateful he won’t remember. Surgery, chemotherapy, spending his first birthday in the hospital. 20121211_1All those times I had to hold him down while he screamed: to change the tape on his nasogastric tube, to force medicine down his throat, or just hold him still while the nurses needled his port.

But at the same time, there are many things I am sad he will not remember. That absolute unconditional love a parent has for their newborn – the kind you can never truly understand until you have a child of your own. All those nights we slept cuddled up together, the excitement of his first Christmas.
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I hope to practise peaceful parenting as Monkey continues to grow, and it is in my own childhood memories that I hope to find inspiration. Not just in my memories of how my parents raised me, (although I thank them for the wonderful job they did), but in my memories of what it is actually like to be a child, fuzzy though they may be.

When my little boy cries leaving the zoo, I remember how much fun that was when I was a child, and how sad I was to leave. So instead of getting frustrated, I can empathise.

When he wants to splash in the sink and throw water everywhere, I think about how enjoyable that was, and drying the floor afterwards is no longer a hassle, but a gift that I can give him (wow, that sounds sappy!).

When he has learnt to ride a bike and wants to go whizzing down the hill, I will try my best to think back to that exhilaration and bite my tongue instead rushing to stop him, however strong the urge to cotton-wool him may be.

When my future teenaged Monkey is grumbling for the hundredth time about having to unpack the dishwasher, I hope that I can draw patience from the memory that at that age, I too grumbled about the chore. Now that I’m grown up and it’s my own dishwasher I’m unpacking, it seems a trivial thing, but at 16, not so much, although I struggle to remember why! I do remember being sure that I knew everything way better than my parents though (sorry Mum and Dad!).

It is easy to expect children to behave just like miniature adults – but they are not! Next time a child does something exasperating, take a moment to think about what it was really like to be that age. Perhaps tapping into your childhood memories will give you more understanding of why children do what they do, and more patience for their eccentricities.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: 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:

  • Childhood Memories of Peace, Support, Joy, and Love — Amber at Heart Wanderings wants to make sure the majority of the memories that her children have as a part of their family are ones that are positive and help support the amazing people that they are now and will become as adults.
  • Hand Made Baby Books — Destany at They Are All of Me talks about why baby books are important to her for preserving memories of her childrens first years, and shows how she made one by hand for each child.
  • Can your childhood memories help you keep your cool?Here’s To A Boring Year uses memories of being a child to keep her on the path to peaceful parenting.
  • Inter-Generational Memories {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs at A New Day talks about her own childhood memories, and what she hopes her daughter will remember in the future.
  • Snapshots — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings reflects on the ways our childhood memories appear to us, and hopes her own daughter’s childhood will be one she remembers as being happy and fulfilled.
  • What makes the perfect parent? — In a guest post on Natural Parents Network, Mrs Green from Little Green Blog reflects on camp follow and camp no-follow…
  • In My Own Handwriting — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen talks about her journals and the hope that they will be able to keep her stories alive even if she isn’t able to.
  • Candlelight, fairylight, firelight — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud re-discovers the ingredients for bringing magic to life, especially at Christmas.
  • Making Memories (or) How We Celebrate Christmas — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis talks about creating new memories at Christmas, and the joy their adventures bring to her whole family.
  • The Importance of Recording Feelings and Emotions and Not Just the Experience — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares why she puts pen to paper every day to record more than just her experiences as a mother and her daughter’s experiences as a child. Jennifer looks at the importance of capturing feelings and emotions that accompany the experience.
  • Dredged up — Kenna at Million Tiny Things has been forced to recount childhood memories at bedtime, due to the failure of her middle-aged imagination. She resists, of course.
  • Crafting Memories — Handmade is what makes the holidays special for Christy at Eco Journey In the Burbs, and she wants to create the same connection with her daughters that she remembers with her mother and grandmother.
  • My Childhood Memories; beacons of light in the darkness Stone Age Parent shares the impact of her childhood memories on her life as a parent today, listing some of her many rich childhood memories and how they now act as beacons of light helping her in the complex, often confusing world of child-rearing.
  • 10 Ways I Preserve Memories for My Children — From video interviews to time capsules, Dionna at Code Name: Mama wants to make sure her children have many different ways to cherish their childhood memories. Dionna’s carnival post features ten of the ways she preserves memories; check out her Pinterest board for more ideas.
  • Memories of my mother — Luschka at Diary of a First Child remembers her mother and the fondest moments of her childhood, especially poignant as she sits by her mother’s sickbed writing.
  • Creating Happy Childhood Memories through Family Traditions — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells why family traditions are so important to her and her family and shares how she’s worked to create traditions for her children.
  • Traditional Christmas Tree — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep remembers the great times spent with her family driving for the Christmas Tree and the lessons learned.
  • Wet Socks and Presents — Kat at MomeeeZen writes about her favorite Christmas childhood memory and why it’s so special. And she hopes one day her kids will also have a feel-good memory of their own to look back on.
  • Stuff does not equal memories — Lauren at Hobo Mama learns that letting go does not mean failing to remember.
  • A Child’s Loss- Will They Remember Dad? — Erica at ChildOrganics writes about their family’s loss of their husband and father. She trys to find answers to the question: Will they remember their Dad?
  • Childhood Memories – Hers and Mine — Jorje of Momma Jorje wished for her daughter the same passions and experiences she loved as a child, but learns the hard way to accept whatever passions strike in her child.
  • Holiday Non-TraditionsErika Gebhardt enjoys her family’s tradition of not having traditions for the holidays.

11 comments on “Can your childhood memories help you keep your cool?

  1. Lauren @ Hobo Mama
    December 11, 2012

    This is lovely. It really is true that thinking in terms of our own memories and the memories we want to instill can make us a lot more patient. It gives such a change in perspective!

  2. Pingback: What Makes the Perfect Parent? | Natural Parents Network

  3. Dionna Ford
    December 11, 2012

    Empathy is definitely the key to peaceful parenting for me – there is nothing that can calm me down faster than putting myself in my child’s place. And I like the idea to remember our own childhoods as part of the foundation for empathy!
    ~Dionna @ CodeNameMama.com

  4. aNonyMous
    December 11, 2012

    You’re totally right; sometimes it can be a great help to remember what it was like when we were kids. We so easily turn into adults and forget the fun and adventure involved with being a kid. Great post!

  5. meegs1982
    December 11, 2012

    What a wonderful way to emphasize with your children!

  6. Destany
    December 11, 2012

    Wow, this post is beautiful. I cannot imagine how difficult it is to have a baby in the hospital. I am glad also that I have the ability to empathise with my children and remember what it was like to mix “potions” together and play in make up, tear up bits of paper out of boredom and fascination. You have a wonderfully positive outlook on it!

  7. Pingback: My Childhood Memories; beacons of light in the darkness | Stone Age Parenting

  8. Pingback: Creating Happy Childhood Memories through Family Traditions | LivingMontessoriNow.com

  9. Amber
    December 12, 2012

    Children give us such an amazing gift in allowing us to access our inner child once more, don’t they? Your little one is fortunate to have such a thoughtful, caring mother. Empathy and seeing things from their point of view goes a long way in creating a peaceful, nurturing childhood. Thanks for sharing this reminder!

  10. Pingback: Snapshots | Radical Ramblings

  11. Pingback: Making Memories (or) How We Celebrate Christmas « Rosmarinus Officinalis

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This entry was posted on December 11, 2012 by in baby talk.
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