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Opinions, Entitlement, and the Value of Your Voice

Opinions are like noses, we all have them. But are we entitled and allowed to have them? If I find it hard to find a voice to express them, I may not feel I’m allowed to have an opinion in the first place.

As a woman, it can prove tough not to judge myself for what I have to say as necessary or valid as I’m considering actually saying it. Then I may choose to keep quiet. I have my own internal bouncer at the thought door checking the validity, wittiness, or profundity of my outgoing thoughts and opinions. And often, they’re just not making the cut as I am weighing them against unseen sources that must be way more clever and insightful than me.Opinions, Entitlement, and the Value of Your Voice on Shalavee.com

I’d like to stop doing that. I’ve spoken about how men don’t do that. But I have no experience valuing my voice. In my life, I removed the need for the approval I would get doing for others. Now I find myself dumbly staring at my life thinking, “What do I do this or that for then?”. Oh right. It’s for myself, my happiness, and my approval. Duh.Reprogramming the people pleasing is tough going.Opinions, Entitlement, and the Value of Your Voice on Shalavee.com

Perhaps it’s slightly a matter of faking this until I begin to reap the benefits. Saying and doing what I know is right anyway even if it won’t be met with a round of applause or approval. But maybe because I need to Hear myself saying it. Hear myself having an opinion, saying what I think, and ideally modelling what it is like to not be a doormat for my daughter. Because I want her to be entitled to her opinion and she will do what I do, not what I say. Mindfulness is the only way on and out my friends.

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 orPinterest 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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Fiona’s Fourth Birthday Bash

Today was Fiona’s fourth birthday party and it was a complete success, by her standards and mine. Yes, she got enough Frozen themed party paraphernalia and stuff to satisfy all Frozen itches for a decade. And I got to bask in the knowledge that me and my daughter matter to all these lovely people.birthday flowers on Shalavee.comFiona's 4th party on Shalaee.com

Fiona and Emma at the party on Shalavee.com

birthday girls on shalavee.com

The reason I go to such efforts to decorate and to heap yummy food on my kitchen table is a tribute to the love that these people have for and show me and my family. My gratitude runs very deeply. I am almost speechless but then, not quite, right?Frozen Birthday party cake by Steve Konapelski on Shalaee.com

Fiona and Emma at the party on Shalavee.com

Fiona and Emma at the party on Shalavee.com

birthday flowers on Shalavee.com

Aunts and Uncles, real and respected, grandmothers, cousins, neighbors, friends, and kin came to celebrate my miraculous daughter’s birth four years ago. And in a puff and a whoosh, it’s all done. Only a dirty kitchen, drooping streamers, and falling balloons to tell the tale. But we’ll remember this fondly for many years. Another year passed and another successful party.

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 orPinterest 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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My Children are the Bully and the Terrorist

It’s conflicting to be a parent. They are of me but not mine. I need to be open and honest for them to trust me. But I need to keep a safe distance when they have to work out who they are because sometimes, that work is at my expense. Frankly, my children will bully me to get their needs met. They’ll be disrespectful but only to me. It’s business, not personal. They’re working themselves out and I’ve got the bruises to prove it.

My son’s a bully when he wants more screen time or when he needs food because he’s suddenly starving. And my daughter is a terrorist. It may be emotional terrorism but its exhausting just the same. I wrote about suffering from post traumatic toddler disorder here. She actually cries at me when she has a need. It can be manipulative and it’s part of her survival arsenal.

For me, there’s such a fine balance between being available for them constantly and being vulnerable to burn out. Unless my children are physically not in the house with me, I am never off duty. And they are very entitled to have their needs met. I do draw a line when their needs are encroaching on my needs. But even Miss Sassafras still busts in the bathroom while I’m on the potty despite my protests.

Last week I made a new “chores, expectations, and rewards” chart for my son. The holidays had him spoiled with the amount of screen time he was getting. And without boundaries, he had begun to come at me, pestering me and continually asking me for more time like a true junkie until he hoped I relented.

These new boundaries are now on paper and not up to me. He has an allotted amount of time and if he runs over, it eats into the next play time. He can earn more time by additional chores. But currently the only option for more screen time is raking and he hates that.My Children are the bully and the terrorist on Shalavee.com

Dinner prep in the kitchen is often the worst time for me to be bullied and terrorized. My son, after unplugging, suddenly found himself excruciatingly hungry and badgered me so badly that he was banned from the kitchen. And the rest of the night, my husband had to do negotiations to get my son to apologize to me. Fiona has been known to come at me while my hands are covered with dinner prep badgering me for fruit roll-ups and then crying at me when I deny her. Hunger can make people do crazy mean things.

I understand our collective humanity and how our inner toddlers have needs that they need fulfilled right freaking now. It is survival in process. But I also know that I am the last boundary standing between them and those needs sometimes. I try very hard to not take their disrespect personally but I would do myself and them an injustice if I didn’t stand my ground on what methods are acceptable to get your needs met. The battle will continue I fear but hopefully, in the end, I’ll win the war of raising nice children.

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 orPinterest 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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Parenting On the Edge of the Middle

My fellow Mom and I were standing there watching our children do laps at the Christmas train show. And I mused how it was hard to find that middle ground in between that place where everything your child does is all about you and that place where you’re completely disengaged. But to choose to stand on the ground in between. It’s hard to be there.

If I make everything they do about me, as in making me happy, making me look bad, etc., then how can I expect them to not think everything and everyone doesn’t revolve around them. After all, that’s what their mind reading mother showed them. How do we mothers disengage from our children’s choices and allow them to know they’re just not all that. Some of that but not all that.

If you read a little child psych 101 then you know that your child chooses much of what he/she does based on how you’ll respond. Your mirror lets them gauge their worthiness. And understanding their worthiness is tantamount to growing up. But if you make their life about you and not them, not only do they miss the opportunity to learn the lessons about who they are, but they will go on to have children and make their children’s lives about them. I can tell you, I refuse to do this to my kids. Industrial Overfocused is my coping strategy on Shalavee.com

Sitting on the library floor waiting for storytime to begin, I mentioned to the two other mothers of toddler girls next to me that I could see how women would want to escape from this task of the constant struggle to mirror correctly by going to a job. But unless you make geegobs of money, it just pays for the childcare. And that child still needs to work those issues out with you. They’re going to try to do it in the little amount of time they have with you but what if it doesn’t get worked out? Then the teen years will be worse. Their need to feel safe and separate has a time limit.

I want to live in the realm where my children’s every single action has little to do with the quality of my parenting. Where I’m not so tired that I overreact to every spill and act of rudeness my children inevitably will have. I want to feel a tolerant bubble around me and make intelligent choices for correcting my children and guiding them to make better decisions. But that all sounds really too good to be true. So I’ll just do my best, let go of the rest. And ask that they respect me always. The best I can do for now. Living on the edge of the middle.

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 orPinterest 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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Remember, They Are So Little

Remember, they’re still so little. When they’re big people, they won’t be little anymore. They say “The days can be long but the years are short”. I have to imagine them grown already to appreciate them more here while they sass me and argue with me.Their So Little on Shalavee.com

They are clever and funny, manipulative and innocent. I hold space for all these qualities in them that they find what’s right for them. I try to be a wise and patient parent. And then I snap, apologize for my humanity and move on. Their So Little on Shalavee.com

They are of me but not mine. I can’t control, only guide. They can only emulate what they see. And so I have fought for their vision to be full of self-respect and self-care. Of valuing myself that they will one day value themselves. And allowing and valuing for the differences in people who the world has to offer them to learn from. Their So Little on Shalavee.com

My children are my greatest teachers. And for them, I will be courageous. I will be mindful and honest. I will continue to look into my soul, healing and showing them that humanity is messy and lovely and wonderful. Their So Little on Shalavee.com

This is what I hope they know of me when I am gone and they want to know who I was. I think they already do though.

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 orPinterest 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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