Maybe for this reason I really dislike long-range planning. Some people have their whole future planned out, or at least the next ten years; I have no idea what I will be doing in two years (or even where I will be living, really), and this doesn't bother me, because I don't spend time thinking about it. Sometimes this is good (because then I am flexible and not very anxious), sometimes it's not so good (like when I make short-sighted choices, because they're more pleasant at the time; see: my inability to exercise, go to bed on time, or not lose my temper).
The only exception to this rule has proven to be little R. Almost all of my actions/parenting decisions so far are based on the long term. Of course I'm not perfect (for instance, I fed her brownies for breakfast yesterday because that's what I felt like eating) but usually whenever I do something, I am holding the image of a grown-up (or school-aged) little R in my mind.
|Trying to encourage self direction at 3 months old by offering a variety of toys to choose from|
Everything has a purpose: how I discipline her, how she eats, what sort of activities she participates in, what kind of sleep schedule I've put her on. And this purpose isn't for how it will shape the current R, but for the future school-aged or adult R. It's strange because it's all so strategic (and so unlike my usual mode of doing things). Even the apparently spontaneous stuff (like playing together, or having her naptimes vary somewhat) is deliberate.
I'm not sure if all parents think in this way (so that before they feed their child anything they consider how that will affect their adult eating habits, or every time they speak to the baby they consider what effect their words/tone/emotional context will have when the baby is a teenager). But for me every parenting decision is made not based on the current situation, but on how it will shape little R years from now.