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Currently Browsing: Raising Fair Fiona

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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The Gift of Empowerment

The sound of my whining children is like a mosquito circling my head. But instead of swatting the bug/child, I realize that they always think that they are never going to get their way, get their needs met, or be able to negotiate for themselves. Just as you have to tell them that all movies are make-believe and any movie I allow them to see will always end well, you have to tell them they are allowed to ask for their needs to be met. They don’t know they’re entitled yet to positively ask for what they need. They don’t know their entitlement to empowerment. I have to stop and say,”If you don’t think you want to do that chore now or you’d prefer juice over milk, how about if you say, ‘Hey Mom , can I do that after dinner? or Mom I’d like juice with my dinner instead of milk, is that OK?’ ” And I have them repeat it back to me in that mental voice. Fiona on Shalavee.com

Somehow I am running a dictatorship that I didn’t realize I was running. And I’d rather have them try to reason for what they want than bully me or whine at me yet they just don’t know that’s allowed. Hard to believe that our liberal egalitarian selves have yet to raise insta-empowered children but there you have it.They need to be taught their entitlement to choices and boundaries.

There are no givens in life and it certainly ain’t fair but there is plenty of reasoning if we allow for it. I’d rather raise a child who would stand up for themselves in a reasonable fashion I could respect then a back-talker who’s resentful all the time. It’s just seems I’m on an upward hill to climb to show them empowerment without whining or sass. But the one guarantee I can make is that I will model this behavior of standing up by not allowing them to be disrespectful to me. Lead by that example as I’d wished I’d learned sooner.

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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In Your Face

I am large and she is small. While I tend to her needs these days, I am stooped down often sitting on a stool while I’m dressing, diapering, buckling, or scolding her. And I’m right in her line of fire. I am the sight-line, the moving target for her assault.

Toddlers are spastic. They get excited when they eat sugar, are cold, or have to pee. And when they’re excited, they are likely to mess with and shriek at whatever’s in their face. Which means me at bath time, me at diapering time (now done while she’s standing up out of respect), and me whenever I have to lean over to buckle her into the car seat. In Your Face on Shalavee.com

When we are face to face, apparently it’s an invitation to poke at me, shriek at me, cling to me, or whatever other action suits her mood. The other day she bit my butt as apparently my butt was right at her eye level. She’ll squeeze my cheeks (face), puts her hands down my shirt, and now has suddenly taken to assaulting me with kisses.

When you have children, you already give up your privacy while peeing. And considering the lack of privacy they have when they’re diapers are being changed, I guess turnabout is fair play. I remember when Eamon was about this age, he came home from his daycare and told us that the teachers had taught him about “persable space”. We still use that phrase. We still don’t truly respect it.In Your Face on Shalavee.com

So my thought is that soon Fiona is going to need the same talk about personal space and permission. Because however I ask her to respect my body will teach her to tell others to respect hers. While she is terribly cute, she’s also most annoying pointing her spastic attention cannon at me.

Until she says very sweetly “You’re a very good Mommy”. Where does she get this stuff?

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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