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Through Your Eyes : Raising a Child With Self-Esteem

I often say that I wish for every kid (and adults too) to find that one thing that they love themselves while they are doing it. This is how self-esteem is built. That they find a community of people who will join in the mutual appreciation of these efforts and thus build their esteem further. That is some of the good stuff that life has the potential to hand you.

The converse of this scenario is a child who feels worthless and bored. Who can not see themselves in what they do or their surroundings or the faces of their family. And this leads to darker places and choices.Fiona and the azalea on shalavee.com

A mother of another three-year-old in our story group expressed her concern that our rural sleepy town didn’t posses enough interesting things for the teens to do. And she felt this boredom was what led to their use of drugs, alcohol, etc. I offered that these were just choices these kids make to squelch a deeper pain. One wrought from the sense of unworthiness from their family situations. I said even rich kids do heroine. She said her husband is a cop, she knows that.

From a person who experimented with illegal substances and took unhealthy risks, had I had any activities at all in my life where I felt valued, where my identity was more than a grade or a boyfriend, other choices would have shown themselves. But I was left to my own devices, to fend and survive and I chose the wrong things to kill my pain with. The wrong people’s opinions to value. Because I didn’t value me. I was invisible to me.Recital night on Shalavee.com

My son found the piano quite early in his life. And he’s gone from an anxiety riddled seven year-old to a confident piano playing 11 year-old. He has no stage fright whatsoever which blows my mind. What he sees in our eyes and the eyes of the world watching him is admiration and support. And he’s confident that he can fulfill their expectations if not surpass them. Wow!

You can do it. You can parent, you can run the marathon, you can start a business, art every day, lose the weight, make your amends, write a book, learn a language, ice skate, or paint. All it takes is the belief that it is what you want and you deserve to show yourself you can do it. You’re worthy of a dream that fulfills you and you deserve the unyielding support that gets you there. That is what I’m giving my kids and I discovered I needed to give this to myself too.

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.

Compassionately Adjust Expectations and Live Better

Yesterday was a bad day for my swinging mood. Hormones are sneaky that way and my poor family bared the brunt of my melodramatic outbursts. Fiona, my little, has been acting her age. After she hit/spit/was belligerent to me for the fifth/fiftieth time yesterday, I lost it. I roared up and put her on the timeout step. And then I realized this wasn’t helping anyone, I’d scared her, and I scooped her up and turned the tides as best I could. My expectations for a “good” day had been replaced by bad ones and that was making it worse.

This morning came and I just anticipated it would all be bad again. She was getting on my nerves. No daycare, no storytime, and no sanity I thought. And then I stopped because I know what the quickest way to have a bad day is… to expect it. What you believe will happen will certainly happen because we can’t help but create what we believe. Manifest destiny is a thing.Fiona in the grocrery store on Shalavee.com

While we were out yesterday, I’d run into a mother who was in the process of warning her brood that they all needed to mind their behavior while she voted and then she’d get them a toy at the dollar store. But they needed to continue to behave and not bicker while she went shopping. I saw her today and inquired how her day and warnings had gone. She said that they had all done pretty well. She had to cut her shopping plans short when they started to break down after the fourth errand. I wondered if she knew she’d pushed it.

I chant at myself to be aware of my expectations and perspective every week. It’s not fair to randomly raise the expectations bar for you or your loved ones and then blame the failure on yourself or them. Fair is fair. If you know you will create what you decide is inevitable, you can reframe your future envisioning into something a little more positive. If I see abundance and support in my future as opposed to scarcity and isolation I may in fact receive that.Happy windy Fiona on Shalavee.com

 

It really truly comes down to what you believe you deserve in your life :

Mostly Happiness or Complete Misery.

You’ll create outcomes to follow through on those decisions. And when you rush off into the future seeing all the disasters sure to unfold, you will guide every bad choice from here until then to make sure you were right. Being right about how your life will suck is such a booby prize, don’t you think?

I’m willing to be wrong and to apologize to my children if it means that they grow up to be compassionate self-aware human beings. That they may forgive and redirect themselves when they falter by remembering the lessons they watched me live. Life can turn on a dime, it just needs a little flick into the air to help it out sometimes.

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 Relentlessness of Motherhood

My go to word in describing parenting is relentless. My baby daughter, ungrateful and miserable, can cry at me at least ten times today, what feels like 70 percent of the day, beating me down further and further into defeat. The relentlessness is daunting.

You’re review is in. Fifty percent of today will not meet with her satisfaction and, according to her, you suck at parenting.

My top seven words to embody my experience with motherhood are:

  1. Chaos
  2. Temperance
  3. Perseverance
  4. Relentless
  5. Confusion
  6. Patience
  7. Exhaustion

All problems could be solved, you think, if only I had their money or their family. Those people with their 5 extra family members to spread out the stress of the 16 plus hours a-grueling-day of care-taking and giving. If only I had their time and money to buy nicer clothing to cover up my ever-widening butt until I could hire that trainer to help me widdle it down. For now, I wear my ill-fitting sweats, placing my greying thinning hair into something up-ish. My nails and cuticles dry and ragged for lack of care. I have that look of survival and neglect. That wild look that says I’ve thought about fleeing in my fantasies. The dull look of disbelief that this will get better no matter how many times people insist it will. Beaten and hopeless is all the rage in the truthful Mommy circles.At the grocery store years ago on Shalavee.com

If only I had the money to buy a SUV that I could comfortably load and buckle my child into without having the rain soak my back. Then I’d slip into the front seat and drive smoothly away to drop my privileged child off at that member of the care-taking team whose day it was to take them. Or I’d hire a housekeeper/child care-taking person as a stunt double so I could escape and make art or do lunch or have beauty salon time. Where’s my miracle money? My large ever-loving family? Where’s my get out of hardship free card?

No I won’t be looking forward to “taking care of myself” with a kale and flax smoothie tonight. Instead I’m thinking of making pasta with gravy, cheese, and deep-fried potatoes and a side of beef so that I can feel an ounce and moment of comfort that I never feel in my day-to-day existence. Wash it down with a 12oz glass of Shiraz and pray I can stay awake to watch any escapism television.Baby Fiona on Shalavee.com

Why is it wrong to want it to be easier than this? To want the release of the hardship and grinding daily agony. I want to feel light and unencumbered. I want privilege instead of lack. I want a child who doesn’t make me constantly feel like I’m failing her. I want to stand here in the winner’s circle and not the survivor’s circle. Like my mother did. Like hers before her. Because deep down I don’t believe there’s any other way for it to be but hard.

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.

Post Traumatic Toddler Disorder

Almost everyday, between the ages of one and two, I had to keep a constant ear out for my daughter’s distress call when she left my sight. I’d barrel forward in my day trying to  accomplish my housework or do anything creative but I was always listening. At any moment I might have to drop my task for that tell-tale scream that meant she’d fallen over and hit her head and I had to run, not walk, to see if she was bleeding out from her head. On one occasion she actually was bleeding from her mouth. The one time you choose not to go and see is that one time you’ll regret it.

Injury is imminent every moment of the day from age one through two. You can not hover and yet you are on alert constantly. And I earned such a good case of post traumatic stress disorder that the twitch has come and gone and returned in my top left eyelid in the past couple months. That feeling of the imminence of the other shoe dropping has made Mommy-hood feel like trench warfare.toddler tantrum

What’s worse is that I’ve got a girl who’s prone to drama. She knows how to lay it on a little thicker to hedge her bets. Good for her. She’s a survivor. Bad for me, twitch, twitch, twitch. Throw in a good fevered sickness which has me waking up several times at night doing the pogo Mommy reminiscent of the good old “trench” days of the newborn’s first three months and I’m beyond exhausted.

I get to feeling a little hopeless. Like this will always be the way it’s gonna be. And I don’t know how I’m gonna do it. Twitch, twitch, twitch goes the eyelid. And then stuff starts to calm down. I get the nap schedule back into place by sitting in her room in the chair until she stops crying at me and passes out. I take a day or two to go out with my friends to chat and do mindless girl things. I get my toes done finally. And I feel a little better. more toddler tantrum

And that’s just enough so that when she starts screaming at 5:30 in the morning, I’m not resentful and know she’s at least safe in the crib. And when she’s begun to cry in the other room with her brother, I wait a beat longer to respond because I know they have to work it out. And when she says Elmo Pooh Elmo Pooh Princess constantly at me to watch a movie, she may need to take a nap or Cookies Candy Cake Cookies Candy Cake at me over and over, you know she may be hungry.

And sometimes the best way to deal with her is just to ignore her however I can. Because it’s a little scary for a toddler to be at the control wheel all the time. Children may become overwhelmed because they have gotten everything they want and will continue to meltdown looking for restraints to make them feel safe. Sometimes she needs her keys taken away. And sometimes she needs to be given a lollipop and plugged into Elmo.

Soo Not Expected Behavior

My Husband and I chose to steal away this Thanksgiving to the beach at Ocean City, Maryland for a two-day holiday. The little boy will be with us but it will be the last “vacation” where he’s the only child. Due date is February 27th. A Butterball turkey scored at the Giant for $1.19 lb inspired an early feast this past Sunday complete with mashed potatoes, gravy,whole cranberry sauce, and apple pie. Yum.

I had every intention to set a beautiful stylized table and take pictures. I started on Thursday but each attempt I made to artfully display stuff ended in my unhappiness. And suddenly, it was Sunday and I was cooking. So my boy and I went outside and picked mums and to fill Grandmom’s vase and the two cornucopia vases I love. The freshly polished silver candlestick holders remained empty as I’d also forgotten to buy tapers.

 

Things never turn out the way you expect.

Today, I needed a few items at the grocery store and dashed off with my freshly snacked boy.  Except, he was just awful. I had spent all day repainting his room and I was exhausted. This child was pestering me for stuff left and right and sassing me. He even hit me in the stomach. Not cool. I didn’t recognize him and my supply of patience was fast exhausted. When we were almost done, I asked if he needed to use the toilet. His edge was suspiciously familiar. He denied and declined the opportunity. Again at the checkout, same deal. By the time we reached the car, I asked that he not speak to me until we got home.

And what do you know that rotten little egg did when we got into the house? He went and peed. I was done. I asked him to stand right there as I explained that he just earned five negative points for lying and three negative points for sassing me. His point chart had been zeroed out. Big goose egg went on today’s space. And I asked that, while I made the dinner, he sit and write me out an apology for all the things he’d done to upset me. And this is a picture of what he presented to me.

 

As I said, things never turn out the way you expect.

I hope everyone gets the nice kind of little unexpected gift for this holiday. Keep your eyes and ears open for it.

Love,

Shalagh

 

 

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