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Giving up the Ghost of the Ideal Mother

In a conversation with a woman friend recently, she blurted out that she wished she could be done with all the burdens of being a mother. She wants her life and her time back. She wants to feel entitled to say no to the demands of mothering and yes to herself. And I felt what is very familiar and similar to this. Giving up the ghost of the Ideal Mother on Shalavee.com

We’re trying to outdo the parenting job that our (divorced) parents did and this is where our expectations of what a “good” parent enters the exhausting and unreasonable equation. My single working Mom hadn’t been there to cook me breakfast or be home when I got home from school. So of course these are things I say “sure” to. Even though my children aren’t asking me and I’m asking these things of myself. Because no one but us would ask us to do all that for the sake of our kids. Only we would.

Somehow we’ve formed this ideal edict that sacrificing our needs for the “good” of the children was the way “better” parenting works. Except it’s not. In fact, it’s effects are the opposite if you wanted to model self-compassion and a reasonable life expectations to your children. You’ll end up raising mini-martyrs if you model ignoring yourself.Giving up the ghost of the Ideal Mother on Shalavee.com

In all the self-help manuals for motherhood, I don’t remember reading any chapters on how to neglect yourself to be a better parent. The resentment that many of us have begun to feel around motherhood is really us telling ourselves that we feel resentful of our ridiculous ideals but we don’t know how to back out of them. Balance requires equal amounts of energy dispersed. I won’t mind making those blueberry buttermilk pancakes this weekend if I also know I’ve got a special lunch and a wine-tasting book ending those pancakes for this coming Mother’s Day weekend. Woo hoo!

Happy Mother’s Day to All of you Mamas out there for

keeping all of us alive and happy!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest  too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit

Our Raging Tween

I officially have a tween. This is the time when the tween’s friends become more important than the family. I totally get it. Eamon has one friend who he likes to talk with on the phone while they simultaneously play a group game on the computer. This annoying new behavior, his video game addiction, and the lying about how much time he’s spent on the computer to get more time, are what make up my son’s concerns now. Not girls though. Small favors.

Our Raging Tween on Shalavee.com

Our Raging Tween on Shalavee.com

Surprisingly, I’m not getting a lot of guff from him for maintaining good hygiene. Last week he even said ,”It’s Tuesday so I have to do my laundry.” I think his maturity brain is actually developing and growing along with his height and deepening voice. And that makes me one happy Mommy for Mother’s Day. Our Raging Tween on Shalavee.com

Our Raging Tween on Shalavee.com

He was my first-born. The boy who made me a Mom. And the immense responsibility of raising him set me to thinking about myself, prioritizing my mental health and physical well-being in a way I hadn’t ever before. I quit smoking when he was three. I began to truly work on liking myself. I started writing. And 12 years later, I am thankful and thinking that, without him, I wouldn’t be me.

Sure he bullies me for more screen time. Sure he talks incessantly about whatever game he’s obsessing over. And he seems to have the most amazing case of selective hearing I’ve ever known. But he’s a great kid. And we’ve kept him alive long enough to know it’s not a fluke or a streak. Time will show us what kind of job we’ve done. In the meantime, he’s not bad on the eyes and his piano playing is sublime.

Our Raging Tween on Shalavee.com

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest  too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Judge Not Lest Ye’ Be Judged

Opinions are like noses, everyone has one. And you know of course, that makes everyone capable of being Judgy Judgertons right? But judgements are actually necessary. We judge if that old lady really is feeble enough to need a hand opening the store door and whether or not the pain we are currently having requires a 911 call for an ambulance.

We’ve been taught that judging others is bad. But even if  I choose to refrain from judging you, this probably won’t stop you from judging me. You will do what you will do. And so will I.Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged on Shalavee.com

I am often surprised at the judgements I come up with for people without knowing them. Seems that somehow deciding what you are or aren’t makes me feel better. I’m less threatened by you if I think you are snotty or snobbish. Then you snubbing me won’t be about my deficiency but yours.

If you are too skinny then you will judge me for being fat, as I judge myself this way. Or maybe you have an eating disorder and that scares me. We have a compulsion to separate out ourselves with our judgements.

Ironically, it’s the fear of being judged and cast out of the tribe that keeps us anxious. We judge ourselves against perceived goals of being acceptable and hope to be deemed worthy of our own existences.Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged on Shalavee.com

Judge Yourself First Lest Ye’ Be Judged Worse.

All I can do is try to be kinder and more open-hearted. To know that I am human and allow for my daily failings to make room for my winnings too. And to know that books and covers don’t match. If I find I have a trigger judgement surfacing, I can make an extra effort to ask a person what their favorite anything is. That way, we will pass from snap summaries to soul searches. That is me being the world I want to live in.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Our Creative May

Our Creative May has started off with a bang. This was a month-long creativity challenge that I decided I needed to put into my life because if I’m not intentional about arting sometimes, I won’t actively engage in making it.

Our Creative MAy on Shalavee.com

The idea was spawned last September when I challenged myself to create every day for the month of September. It was hash-tagged #MyCreativeSeptember and was a complete success in allowing my inner child to not only play every day, but trust me that I’d take care of her play needs. It was a big deal.

Our Creative MAy on Shalavee.com

And during and after the challenge, other people asked that we create a hashtag that would carry on. And so #OurCreativeSelves was created. I am blessed and blown away by all the sweet and talented people who wanted to join in on these endeavors alongside of me. Because truth is, you are never ever alone. There is someone else close by or far away who needs the same stuff you do. Creativity, inspiration, encouragement, and community. And that’s what life is all about to me.

Our Creative MAy on Shalavee.com

So please join in for a day or a week if you are intrigued. You only need to post a picture of your art/craft/creative endeavor on Instagram or Facebook and hashtag it with #OurCreativeMay and you will be instantly connected with some lovely swell people. Tag me and you’ll get my attention quicker too. 26 more days to go in May. Pushing beyond my comfort zone just a little is good for my soul.

Our Creative MAy on Shalavee.com

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest  too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit

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Dread

Today, I began a renovation project that I had dreamed of and dreaded for years. I anticipated it was going to take so much dreadful effort that I had put it off and suffered the interminable nothingness of not starting. Until today…when it took exactly an hour to strip off the wallpaper below the chair rail in the dining room that has been there for ten years.

Dread from Shalavee.com

As I was squirting water on the minimal remaining paper backing of the removed wallpaper, I wasn’t thinking about how much money I’d spent on this expensive grass paper that I was now heedlessly ripping from the wall because the cat had started to use it as a scratching post.  No, I was thinking, what took me so long? The answer was dread.

 

Dread is just another form of fear. It is fear of the unknown, of risk, of f-ing up because of unknown factors that always happen because it’s life. It’s like a daily standard operation system for fear. Procrastination is a result of dread but not a cause. Fortune telling of disaster is what dread is made of.

Dread from Shalavee.com

This smacking of dreadful effort was what kept me from redoing the hallway which now looks fantabulous. It is keeping me from organizing myself for the magazine submission process. And keeping me from pulling out my sewing machine these days to make new flag for my front porch. And quite honestly, was what kept me from having that second baby until I was 46. But I can truly say that in so many other realms of my life, I am excited and looking forward to my endeavors. So let me bask in the glory of a soon to be renovated dining room. And let me remember this feeling of righteousness when I want to strike up the next big project Because apparently, anything I put my mind to gets done. I just have to go ahead and buy the paint, and perhaps a rug, to move me on.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest  too. I am always practicing Intentional in-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

 

 

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