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Plague Parenting

I’ve been with my kids perpetually since March. Which means I have been their sounding board, their punching bag, and their home base. To maintain our family’s equilibrium, and my sanity, I’ve had to get even craftier about my parenting.

Buying them things sometimes brightens the mood. Restricting screen viewing works occasionally. But what I’ve found is very effective is installing a carrot that you can yank whenever they get used to the taste. Bwahahahahah!

My son is just about driving age. So physically learning how to drive is the obvious carrot. Meanwhile, he’s been such a slovenly lay about in the house that I am beginning to twitch every time I see his computer in a new place or his shoes out on the floor. So this is what I decided to do.

I told him to go and get me ten fancy dice, the ones he uses for Dungeons and Dragons stuff. And this is the contract I created for him and me. He needs to pick up his shoes, put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and pick up after himself. Essentially, for every infraction he gets a die taken out of the jar. He can earn them back for thoughtfulness and initiative but so far, he’s not figured out this bonus. This lasts from Monday to Friday night and if there is one die left in the jar, he gets to go driving with Dad.

Eamon’s Ten Dice Jar Rules

There will be 10 dice in the jar at the beginning of the week.

If there are any dice left in the jar by the end of the week, Friday bedtime, Eamon will get some driving practice that weekend.

One Die will be taken out of the jar when one of the following occur:

  • Leaving shoes out of the shoe place

  • Leaving computer, cord, or gaming equipment anywhere but designated spots.

  • Not putting dishes into dishwasher after making them

  • Not making bed on weekdays or when asked

  • Leaving couch a mess

  • Not putting away clothes on the same day as laundry done

  • Not following through with a request within a “timely” fashion especially at dinner time

  • Leaving trash or dishes around sitting spot for longer than a half hour

Dice will be given for initiative taken according to the importance and impressiveness (taking care of your sister, helping in the kitchen without being asked).

Dice will be taken away if super dumb choices are made according to parental discretion.

I agree to these terms…

My son looked at me and said I was so smart.

The first week, he had ten dice in the jar. He ran though them pretty quickly. He had one left. And I warned him, if he runs out, that’s it. He had one left Friday night. The second week I had 8 in the jar. And I post-it-noted his infractions onto the dice in case he wondered what they were for.

Developing good habits, considering the people you live with, and earning a privilege. These are the lessons I am hoping to teach my children. And people tell me they’re good kids. Boundaries for me and for them helps us all not feel resentful while we are trapped in here together. We’ll see if the week to come solidify these habits.

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.

Pandemics Happen and then Everything Goes to CBD Oil

In the beginning of the year, I was doing pretty great. I was exercising regularly, losing my Christmas weight gain, writing an essay that I knew would be published, and had some routine going. And then the Pandemic happened. I didn’t implode immediately but the decline of my “self” life was inevitable.

I’ve spent a lifetime giving upon myself. It’s what I grew up with. I’m kinda not worth the effort. I then revert to taking care of others mode. It’s a pattern especially in Summer time. It’s easier to focus on all the household tasks and family needs then try to muster up the structure, time, and separation that I need to take care of me. I give up. It smacks of effort.

The result of this year with the increased pandemic induced anxiety and lack of deeper self-care, is that I’m not feeling my best. I’m heavier than I’ve ever been, out of shape, and can’t seem to initiate any routines. I’ve thought about them but I’m just not worth the effort.

Even with CBD gummies and anti-depressants, there’s no quick cure for low self-esteem. That is an ingrained concept of self that is a lifetime battle. I feel like the self-system that shows my worth with organization and priorities for my time and efforts for myself is knitted with yarn. And it’s unraveling is destined. Because that’s what I’ve decided.Pandemics Happen and then Everything Goes to CBD Oil on Shalavee.com

There’s no quick cure for this. Climbing out of this hole requires conscious effort. Support and witnessing. Intention and insight. These aren’t easily come by when you’ve spent a lifetime doing the opposite. And then I think of my daughter and what she needs to have modeled for her. And as much as I want to fall in a hole, that really isn’t an option.

I need to give her ways to show up for herself when she’s scared. I need to give her these with authority and knowing. I need to model what I didn’t have modeled for me. Because that’s part of what I am here to do. My destiny as it is, was handed to me when she was born. I can not stomach the idea of her giving up on herself.

And so I begin again within the constructs of what I am living. This morning as she sleeps, I write this confession. And know it means something.

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.

As Long as Never Enough Is the Mutter

I waste moments in my day thinking about how lucky other people are. Well of course they can work out for two hours, grab a coffee with a friend, or sit and read for hours, they aren’t parents of small people. I’m comparing my apples to their oranges. One day, I’ll have that time back.

And this just goes to prove my underlying understanding of my life : there’s never enough time, energy, or money to do all the things I want do. So you’d think I’d go ahead and lower my standards to feel better about my life. Nope.

I want to have a clean house, a well-toned body, a beautiful garden, grateful kids, a larger blog following, essays published in well known publications, or even a career.

I’m always working but it’s never enough. Most people can’t believe I do as much as I do. And I wonder what life they see me living. And conversely, there was the awful person who suggested I go get a job. I must be living a life of luxury over here getting my toes painted and who knows what else. People “my age” often are employed.As Long as Never Enough Is the Mutter on Shalavee.com

Sadly, I should be even more infuriated at that stupid comment. Women are always screwed as so many don’t understand the sheer volume of responsibilities we have in our minds to keep up with. But now with the children at home on top of our heads needing us to also be the homework monitor and entertainment manager on top of being laundress, cook, disciplinarian, nursemaid, and person who pays attention to them.

No wonder I feel like I’m not enough. Society has handed me this mental condition and I’ve said, thank you sir, may I have another? Until I can say “enough already”, I will not have enough time left for me. For the house work or the garden much less my own personal creative work or self-care practices. Creating realistic self-expectations is something I need for me and to model for my daughter.

I’m going to sit down and have a long talk with that little niggling voice in the back of my head about what I truly think is enough. Really.

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.

Struggling With Priorities : Them or Me

The largest part of who I am is needing to have my kids feel safe. In the beginning of our coronacation, I have fussed and hovered like I did when we would take our littles on vacation and I would worry they wouldn’t sleep. I’d be the sleepless one while the kids would pass out happily. They have done well, broken down and cried on and at me. But their feelings have been honored and I feel successful that they feel safe. However, it is exhausting to care for people this hard. Especially dramatic redheaded daughters.

Truth is, I can see how we Moms have a perfect excuse to not pursue our own personal creative goals. I have long struggled with what I “really want to do”. Even as it seems I’m doing “it”, I’m not feeling like I am. I realize it’s all about considering myself as not enough. Not enough of a good parent or a committed creative. So many ways I can look right at my life and deem it a failure.

I found this poem that I wrote a while back and I really think it sums up the inner battle I have with my expectations to succeed and what is enough.

 

I chatter at it and

Batter at it and

still it is not fixed.

The ages old self-diatribe

I am not enough, I am not enough

 

I tell everyone, I’m OK, I’m fine

But in my mind there’s a line

And I’m on the wrong side.

 

The impossibility of moving on

Tethered to a ghost.

I trust no one, even myself

And so I remain lost

 

I crave the ease

The easy squeeze

that will fill my future full

Of gratitude and tenderness

of purposed hours filled.

 

I write at night

with all my sight

that I might

win this fight.

I have come a long way from where I was when I wrote this poem. I am more convinced that I am on my path just taking a more leisurely stroll along it. The medication was a wonder as it allowed me to use all of the education and hard work I had done prior. But the viral disruption that is 2020 has thrown all of us off balance and I am busy figuring out where my children stop and I begin.

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.

My Supermom Cape is Getting Threadbare

My supermom cape is beginning to feel a little threadbare. I have said from he beginning that having one child at home feels like three. So I’m feeling like I have 6 kids. And as dear as they would be to you when you met them, they are equally as torturous to me.

Small people need to perpetually test their own power, importance, and lovability. They learn their confidence and self-doubt from their parents. In this case, Fiona is going after me to have her doubts assuaged. And that looks like not doing what she’s told, having fits, crying at me, and professing how much she hates being trapped at home with her parents.

I assured her that we are equally having no fun. Yes she’d be doing all of this if she were in school but at least I’d have some time and space to recover from the sieges before the next. But the codependency is constant. And this is the exact reason why I never ever wanted to homeschool my kids. It’s relentless living with the kids. It’s a whole new layer of torture trying to get them to “learn” when you’re the teacher.My Supermom Cape is Getting Threadbare on Shalavee.com

The reason the doctor makes the nurses give the shots is because he doesn’t want to be the bad guy. Worse yet, in order to show her she matters, I have to sit with her through the hour of mind numbing video math homework and ridiculously simple rhyming activities. And if I even try to tech her something unsanctioned by her teacher, she brakes down into a chorus of I can’t that makes me feel like I can’t either.

So to all of the parents that have to deal with this nonsense for another month, my condolences. I know you feel thin in places. Your super-parental cape is tattered. You love your kids but you don’t like them. I get it and this too shall pass.

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.

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