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My First World Kid

He’s grown up in a small town, a petri dish we carefully planned and chose to spawn him in. Because it wasn’t the big city we were raised in complete with all those big city dangers. He had a stay at home Mom, a chance to play in Little League and be in a parade, and a box at the post office for letters to Santa. And we also bequeathed him our anxieties, such as they were when we had him. He’s gotten all his quirks honestly and he’s a first world kid.

I was proud of him when he asked to see a talking doctor when he was feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of entering middle school. He was discombobulated and was asking for help so of course! And as we sat there at the intake appointment and the nice therapist had to ask him all the hardcore questions about sexual abuse, violence in his home, drug and alcohol abuse, and mental illnesses, it was so very clear that he truly has no street savvy. She asks, did he ever cut himself? He said, you mean intentionally? This is the kid who scolds me when I curse.My First World Kid on Shalavee.com

We are in this woman’s office because he asked for support! That is to be commended. And after all these questions that remind me that there are so many horrendous situations happening to children all over the world, my first thought was, we have no problems. Or we have such first world problems. These aren’t even private school stresses but public school ones. As of my 12th birthday, I had entered into a private school for girls and got to know a whole new level of stress hell as well as gained my savvy on the streets of the city.

But not my kid. His innocence is so dear that I sit back and relax. When the questionnaire has been filled out, I’ll get to let this woman take the helm and aid him as only a third-party neutral can be trusted to do. She’ll give him what he needs and I’ll have given her to him as is my job. I have kept him safe and naïve and happy up until this point. And I’m OK passing some of the buck.My First World Kid on Shalavee.com

I know that bubble is about to pop, as it must. And I am glad and proud of the job I’ve done so far. He’s amazing and I hope he’ll know just how amazing the bigger he gets. We’re living the sheltered American Dream in the meanwhile. We’re the first world Subway sub eating, Netflix kid movie watching, piano lesson paying, one boy and one girl family of four. And I am grateful beyond words for all of this.

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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Wisdom from Sam Wheatley : Learning Our “Fitting In” Lessons

A very wise friend of mine Samantha Wheatley, has just become a life coach and her newsletters always offer me something good to think about. Last week’s thought gift was about “fitting in” and how the people we meet that we are most comfortable with are the ones who aren’t trying to be anything other than themselves. A powerful lesson to teach our children by example. Learning to just be ourselves and stop seeking others approval. Here’s the excerpt from her amazing newsletter.

Children are so often presented with opportunities at school or when they are around other kids, where they feel they have to prove themselves. And these situations can often lead to the child feeling left out or as if there is something wrong with them if they are not accepted by their peers.

My friend and I talked about how we try to teach our children to be themselves, to NOT try to fit in to please others.
And it became very apparent that we can learn so much from this.

What we want for our children is something we can give to ourselves also.

I think the reason we feel so deeply for our children when they are faced with the feeling as though they don’t fit in, is that we know what that feels like.
WE remember how we felt when we were in the same position, as children and as adults.
We can all relate to feeling as though we are trying so hard to please, to be accepted, to belong.

How about accepting ourselves first?
How about belonging to ourselves? 
How about fitting in in our own skin?

When you come across a person who is accepting of themselves and is not trying to prove anything to anyone, the confidence and ease with which they carry themselves just oozes out of them. When we can do this for ourselves, we no longer feel the need to want to please others or be accepted by others. We are comfortable in our own skin and abilities and talents and we no longer are concerned with how others feel about us.”


First Middle School breakfast on Shalavee.com

Lead our children by example is all we can ever do. Knowing this, I can only model self-acceptance and self-love and hope that they receive the rest of this lesson in their lives as they watch and learn on their own.

Go to her website here if you’d like to wander around her site or receive her wisdom in your email box too.

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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Rise Up To Meet Yourself Mama

I find I want to feel sorry for myself sometimes. I feel tired and wrung out from all the waiting on small people. I often hear myself say that if only… I had more time, more money, more childcare, I could …take more time to create, garden more, read more, think. Too many aspirations can be agonizing. And I extend my sympathies with each and every mother who wants to have a pity party for herself now, today, where she’s sitting. It’s agony on so many levels. we all start out knowing magic

I tried separating myself from these small crazy making beings. I tried to steal time before or after my day and then I made excuses for why I couldn’t. But what I think I was mostly doing was using them as an excuse to not try to do what I needed for fear I’d fail at my endeavors. And the thought that I used them to do that to myself makes my stomach churn.

As a Mama, I want to say it’s time to rise up and meet the challenge of what we need doing. With gentle strong powerful patience for ourselves and our children, we need to willfully move ourselves to the very next step above. You are more powerful than you remember. Don’t drop your plan for you by using them. Ride up to meet yourself on shalavee.com

Motherhood would never ask you to not be you. It asks you to be a better you. To be brave and to impress yourself. To make a plan you’d be proud to accomplish. Even if it takes you slow patient years to accomplish. You are the best mother when you use your role to model the self-respect, self-mentoring, and self-betterment processes and be a hero for both them and you. Being human, falling down and getting back up is a very noble process and one we owe ourselves and our children a chance to see us grab and run with.

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.

The Smell of Muffins Means Home

It’s Saturday and it smells like muffins. Some moments were a struggle. My boy says, “It seems like you’re always either having a really good day or a really bad day.” I said this one isn’t too bad but sometimes I just have to move through it.

Like getting Fiona dressed and her teeth brushed. I don’t necessarily enjoy those activities, especially since now that I’ve said “Fiona not in Mommy’s face, it’s the one place she wants to put her hands and her toys while I’m down on my knees dressing or diapering.Fiona's room on Shalavee.com

I spoke to my friend about my regular Motherhood overwhelm and she said it seems like maybe, since I had a rough childhood, maybe I’m really hard on myself. I’m trying to create this mythical childhood for my children and my expectations may be high. I agreed.

I have buttermilk in my refrigerator because it makes yummier baked goods. Today I found the recipe for buttermilk muffins in the Joy of Cooking. I made half of them with chocolate chips and half with strawberries. My children have no idea that other children don’t probably get freshly made pancakes on school mornings. They take their luck for granted. And as I said in this post, I’m OK if they don’t truly know the hardship that other children suffer.Fiona and muffin tins on Shalavee.com

The muffins are for a church potluck where Eamon gets to find out who his secret mystery friend has been. We’ve given our children family, community, clean diapers,  milky sippy cups on demand, and unconditional love. And muffins. And that is truly all that children need to grow up mostly functional. And I’m good with my motherhood over-achievements so far. Tossing in some radical self-care just in case though.

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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