Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kimberly K. Parker: Process vs. Product: The Joys of the Means to an End

Process vs. Product: The Joys of the Means to an End

Parents are the most goal-minded individuals I have ever encountered. But, of course! We must ensure schedules and plans are in place to help us effectively govern our day-to-day activities. I dare not exhaust the “things-to-do list” filled with household management items, J-O-B deadlines, and children activities. It seems to never cease! Typically, moms and dads wake up with a clear picture of how the day will end…before it begins!

Spontaneity, which is not my “friend”, backed me into a corner one evening as I extended the invitation to play Scrabble® with my son…on a school night! Merely seconds away from hyperventilating after coming to my senses (a school night?), I grabbed the game with haste, removed it from the box, and positioned myself comfortably on my living room floor. My son was thrilled, to say the least. Guardedly he stated, “Momma, but it’s a school night. This is cool!”
Our game commenced and for the next fifteen minutes the flow was quite nice. Suddenly, in the midst thereof, I felt an overwhelming urge to read the rules. I just had to be certain that we were honoring the intentions of its creator precisely. While my objective was to win, attaining victory properly was my true purpose! My son, who was waiting patiently to resume playing, turned to me and said, “Momma, can we please just have fun?”

It does not take much for me to pump my breaks! Such a simple request from one who was in this Scrabble® competition for the sheer love of playing with his Momma! Then, it dawned on me: I was operating with a perfectionist mentality and was missing out on the joys of spending time with him in this manner. I was focused on the product (playing and winning the game as designed) and not the process (the loads of fun I could have with my son).

Once I dropped the paper and pushed it to the side, I was able to relax and have a ball! Now, some of the words we created surely did not exist, but who cared? Sore stomachs, tussling over a letter or two, and praying for a chance to use the letter “Q” filled the remainder of our evening. LOL! What a great, spontaneous, non-hyperventilating moment from that point forward! And, I totally became “one cool Momma!”

I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to share your comments with me. Thank you.

Kimberly K. Parker is an author and blogger living in Maryland with her husband and three children. Visit her website at to read more about her and the work she is doing in her community.


  1. "Spontaneity" - A must have in my life as a single mother of 4. I to share that "TO DO LIST" and feel very "accomplished" and "satisfied" with whatever has been done. Sad, but for over 15 yrs, most of our FAMILY NIGHTS (every Wednesday) where planned. I think that was because the children were very young and I wanted to gift them foundation and/or tradition. One family night I realized that NOTHING was planned....PANIC set in. Plus, I had excepted an appointment(which I never do on FN)that could not be rescheduled. "KIDS, MOUNT UP! Mommy has an appointment that can't be missed! Helmets-CHECK, KNEE PADS-CHECK, ELBOW PADS-CHECK...LET'S RIDE!" Many times we have ridden together on trails but NEVER though the city. Not only did this bring NEW joy to my children, awareness of their ability with this tack, but the enlightenment of my appointee fill our spirits even more!! Please note: I WAS SCARED AS ALL OUT DOORS-COULDN'T WAIT TO GET HOME......LOLOLOL

  2. This is a great tool that all parents can utilize when dealing with their children no matter what age. Sometimes our children just want to have a simple moment with their parents....... Simplicity vs. Complexity.


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