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Currently Browsing: Raising Fair Fiona

The Minutia of Christmas

( From December 2014 and last year, I adore this look back ) The sound was a thwap and a roll, hollow plastic bouncing and traveling across the floor. My new Christmas tree balls were this moment’s entertainment. The “ball balls” were being extracted from their big clear box and thrown while I hurried to put my laundry away. Although that’s exactly why I bought those, I underestimated the little monkey’s reasoning skills.let the ball-a-thon begin on Shalavee.com

Every day is jam-packed with holiday fun.

Not unlike any other day in my life, I’ve been cramming the carrying out of Christmas details into the tiny time slots when I’m kid free. I got started early! Then stalled. And then the holiday started to close in on me and every other person in the free First world.

garland as a boa on shalavee.com

No one to impress but me, I knew I had time. But the tree had been lit and yet naked for a week. On the heels of the Christmas ball shot put incident, the unearthing of ribbon and tinsel garland set off a playing frenzy with Fiona dragging the garland around screaming “Mine, Mine” while the cat chased and pounced on the end. I’m not accustomed to the toddler mayhem yet. I like my holiday decorating to be quiet thinking time for me. Ha!garland and kitty games on Shalavee.com

Today was cookie making day as well. My son and husband conceived that cookies would be Eamon’s offering to the school class party. I apparently was no where around for this important strategy tete a tete because I am no cookie baker. And alas, Pilsbury’s Sugar cookies with embedded Christmas tree designs that you just cut and bake were all gone from the grocery store’s refrigerated section. So I talked myself up into helping Eamon make chocolate chip and sugar cookies. From scratch.

creaming the butter and sugar on shalavee.com

I hate baking because I’m a cook. Exact measurements? And a toddler who refused to eat her dinner and is now milling around your feet and now falling off the step stool knocking sprinkles everywhere? Call them disaster cookies. choc chip cookies on Shalavee.com

I was feeling generally hostile and irritated and pulled out just enough patience to have Eamon do most of the work. And yes, for her sake and mine, I sent Fiona out to Dada who was doing train garden setting up.

I enjoy my domesticity straight up. I am good with all the ten million details of Christmas but I just want to do them alone. No I don’t want to ever bake cookies with the kids again unless they are well-behaved young adults. No they won’t ever be decorating my Christmas tree unless they’ve proven to have tree decorating abilities. And yes, I will totally take advantage of their cute art project creations to make gifts for people at Christmas and cash in on their one absolute contribution. Creative mindless fun. The rest of Christmas is serious business and better left to the professionals. Christmas cookies from Shalavee.com

Merry Christmas to all you perfectionistic special event planners and decorators otherwise known as moms across the world. You’ve given enough. Take a seat and enjoy the event because it’ll be over in a blink.

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.

Belonging to Myself

I feel unqualified to be an adult. Like someone didn’t give me the manual and the rule book. And I’ll be found out. I was raised to need someone else to give me a sense of belonging. It would seem my kryptonite is my own independence. This is the story I am discovering and hoping to rewrite. And may well be the story of many women who feel their purpose of existence is to serve others.

But I have found that not belonging to myself causes me great grief. A sense of being untethered and ungrounded. Not belonging to you means that you look for all your comfort and sense of identity from others. And I am adamant that my daughter finds a way to be here for herself. We had a conversation about this once and she called it her Body Buddy. Imagine the kind of love and acceptance we could give ourselves and then to the world if we belonged to ourselves, inside the bodies we have, with the compassion of angels.Belonging to Myself on Shalavee.com

What is a sense of Self-belonging comprised of? Self-love, self-trust, and self-knowledge perhaps. A feeling of faith that you are here just as you need to be when you should be. That you have everything you need within you to fulfill your purpose here. And you are never alone as long as you know that you are a pretty awesome friend to you.

If you enjoyed what you read, please 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.

They Do As They See

We all mean well as parents. Well most of us. We mess up trying to overcompensate for the advantages we didn’t have as children. We spoil them and we coddle them when all they really need is our undivided attention and our faith in them. But the one thing many of us seem to overlook is that how we treat ourselves shows them how to treat themselves. And that is only a good story if we are good to ourselves.

There is a woman at the exercise gym I belong to who teaches several fitness classes. And her hyper self-loathing comes out when she talks about her body. And we all disagree with her but she judges herself so harshly. And she has a daughter and two sons.They Do As They See on Shalavee.com

I have busted myself for self-bullying within the past year so I am very empathetic to this pattern of behavior. Both societal messages of women’s worth and our inherited ancestral low self-esteem have conspired against us to create these running dialogues. Damaging enough until we consider that, unchecked, we will pass these hateful messages on to our daughters. Because they do what they see, not what we tell them to do. They respond to the mirrors we have of ourselves as much if not more than the mirrors of love and worth we think we’re doing so well to reflect to them.They Do As They See on Shalavee.com

The opposite of hate is love. The opposite of judgment is compassion. If we can even be aware of what we are doing to ourselves and talk with our daughters about their amazing value as thinkers and kind and creative souls then we could change the tide of self-bullying. To show our children, boys and girls, what it means to be human and compassionate and honest is truly the kind of parenting we want to be doing instead.

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.

Being on Purple : The Good Girl Control

At my daughter’s school, the children’s behavior is monitored daily by a stoplight inspired grading system. If you’ve behaved yourself , you get on a green status. If you received a warning, its yellow. And a bad choice will get you to red status and probably get you sent to a principal’s waiting room, or maybe that’s just what I remember. But the most insipid of all is the purple. Because that represents better than good behavior and it’s all my daughter seems to want. To be the good girl.

When she’s at school, she thinks she needs to make sure that she is liked and fits in so no one votes her off the island. But the minute she’s off the bus and in my company, she let’s it all hang out mostly to our mutual detriment. Six-year-olds are immense people-pleasers and they are also control freaks. So she is trying to get a purple so hard everyday that I think it’s sending her over the edge when she doesn’t get it.Being on Purple : The Good Girl Control on Shalavee.com

So this morning, after another night and day of not so stellar choices and listening, we missed our bus for the first time ever. And as I drove her to school, I started to realize and discuss with her how striving for that purple might be messing with her. And that perhaps, she could just go ahead and be the sweet kind and helpful little gal that she always is and that when she was rewarded with the purple as she often seems to be especially on Fridays, she could be surprised and happy.

Teach her to reject likeability.

Her job is not to make herself likeable,

her job is to be her full self…”

–Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie–

The Good Girl programming is a little pervasive and creepy. That we as girls are taught to be mindful of others’ expectations and needs instead of rewarded for being kind people and taking care of ourselves in marvelous caring ways, is just society’s flaw. But let us as parents try to counteract these expectations by encouraging them to be proud of just who they are and not what they do. And to care for themselves with the same compassion and effort as they are asked to give to others.Being on Purple : The Good Girl Control on Shalavee.com

Purple is a beautiful color to earn. Especially if you can enjoy it just because it is the way life made you and your day based on the choices you made with integrity and joy.

If you enjoyed what you read, please 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.

Body Buddy

When my son was little, if I saw he was doing something that would hurt himself intentionally, I’d say, “Don’t hurt my friend”. I say this to my daughter as well. The idea is that I care about them as much as I would a friend seems to be not as obligatory but a choice to care about them. I love each as a buddy and friend and as children.

The more I learn about self-care and self-trust, the more I know I need to teach my daughter how to self-soothe and be there for herself instead of looking for the comfort and acceptance outside herself through drugs, food, or sex perhaps. Seems such a simple concept yet no one ever pointed out my duty to take care of myself in this way.

And then the other day, I was explaining the bracelet on my wrist was my friendship bracelet to myself. That before I could be a good friend to anyone else, I needed to be my own friend first. And Fiona thought about this and agreed and said, “We can have our own Body Buddy.” I gasped at the simple brilliance of this concept and asked if I could use the phrase. She agreed to let me.Body Buddy on Shalavee.com

Imagine if we were all allowed and encouraged to be our own friends from when we were small. That this friendship would allow more self-compassion and thus less self-hatred. What if we didn’t hate our bodies and accepted our differences as beautiful? That we could then have more love and compassion for our fellow humans and less judgement because we knew ourselves well enough. Imagine the rooting of self-trust that would allow us to take bigger and better risks because we knew we always had our own backs in the end even if we failed. 

The opposites of anxiety and depression is love and trust and connection. It makes complete sense that in giving our next generation solid sense of self and tolerance for our humanity, we are raising people who can make better decisions on behalf of humanity. If this is my only contribution, let it be the best I can give. Let my children know themselves and have faith in their own body buddy. Let my daughter be visible to herself and need no one to give her what she can give herself.

If you enjoyed what you read, please 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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