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What Do You Do All Day Mommy?

She asked me this question when we were waiting in the car rider drop-off line at school. What do I do all day? I told her that I was going to exercise and that when I get home I have to do household chores and writing. And then come back and pick her up at 2:30. That’s 5 ½ hours to do as much as I can. She said that sounded like a lot, bless her heart.

Because my work does not compensate me, it may seem less worthy than someone earning a paycheck in a “real” job. But what I can tell you is that you couldn’t pay me enough for the work I do. The abuse I take from that same near 8 year-old exhausts me. Hauling laundry, cat litter, and recycling up and down stairs isn’t very glamorous. I went into uncompensated waste management.

It saddens me that we stay at home Moms are still looking at ourselves as “less than”people. As if what we do is a default job because we weren’t good enough for anything else. But this is a very patriarchal view because this job is the backbone of every country. I’d say men pee their pants if they experienced the distress we are under to which they often add to with their own needs. Unless these same men didn’t want or help to create those children, we’re in it 50/50 for keeping them safe and cared for. Money earning isn’t the most important job.

It saddens me even more that women would be so quick to disregard themselves and not ask for the respect and honor for this job of keeping the seams of the country stitched together. The future of our country is the toddler in diapers and the angry teen. Refusing to acknowledge that families need special care and love dooms our next generation to their entitled anger for emotional abandonment. I will fight with and for my children by showing up for them until they can fly by themselves. And I’ll ask for their respect in return.

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How Do We Begin to Consider Ourselves Heroes ?

I was doing the dishes this morning and it struck me that any woman that gives herself credit for her thoughts and talents is my hero. I have struggled for so long with not only figuring out what I think, but then owning those thoughts out loud. The weight of knowing yourself in and of itself, seems so heavy.

Perfectionism is just another form of the fear of being seen. My daughter is currently experiencing this with math. She’s exclaiming her lack of competency and breaks down in tears if she gets things wrong. I think, where is this coming from? And I knew as I said it, it must come from me somehow. I know my Mom has a wicked case of this too.How Do We Begin to Consider Ourselves Heroes ? on Shalavee.com

And if it doesn’t come from me, it seeps insipidly in from society somehow. All those outdated devaluing women messages are still swirling around. No matter how many after school specials they’ve made, we are valued for our bodies not our aspirations and brains. Girls are worthless. Ha!

Except from where I stand, we’re worth more to the world than gold because we are running the underpinnings of life itself. We’ve been birthing people, feeding people, and keeping people occupied and educated for the past year. We’ve been disregarding ourselves for longer than we remember.  Many of us have had to be the breadwinners as well as the bakers. And deal with our family’s anxieties as well as our own. We take it like men? I don’t think any man can take it like this.

I’d like to see women stand and demand even more equal consideration for this unrecognized and uncompensated unseen work. Especially to their own families who take them for granted worse than anyone. I’m talking grassroots, “I’ve had enough of this shite” Sally Fields as Norma Rae kinda stuff. Who’s with me?

Interested in reading my future ponderings on Creative Soul Living? Subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my weekly posts via your emailbox.

Find me on Instagram to see my daily pictures,

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Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too.

I am a community kinda person and am always practicing Intentional Intouchness.

I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

What Personal Sustainability Looks Like

When we talk about environmental consciousness, “Sustainability” has become our buzzword referring to “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”. Born in response to perceived public discontent over the long-term damage caused by a company’s focus on short-term profits, it has now entered my life’s vocabulary.

Personally, sustainability is how I make choices to live and not exhaust myself before I reach my goals. No goals? I think you just call that surviving. Or making do? I’ve been living a life without goals for a while and goals give me a place and a way to be proud of myself. So then the manner in which you choose to do this must be crafted and curated as to not sabotage yourself and do that burn out thing that seems so en vogue.

Creative Soul Living requires being both creative

and wise about our life choices

My sustainability starts with taking an inventory of my available time and how best to spread what I need to do over that time. This is tricky because we often get very gung ho about what we want to accomplish and unless we’re bipolar and spastic, we will overestimate our capabilities and our time and set ourselves up for feeling like failures pretty quickly.What Personal Sustainability Looks Like on Shalavee.com

As a mother, I have a lot less time than I think and a lot more. If I plan hard by meal-planning and delegation and just plain demanding my time away, I can eek out a few hours here or there for myself at home. I discovered that sustainability also has to do with pacing a diet. I can be Okay with a half a pound loss a week instead of a pound. And exercising. I am not going to all the classes I used to attend but rather showing up on the treadmill. And politely telling people I will be back soon.

Watching my boundaries to conserve my energy and time, as well as allowing for days that derail me due to illness or life happenstances, that is how I will allow the boat to stay afloat and going instead of abruptly tipping. Being realistic allows for patience, compassion, and understanding for ourselves. Sustainability will allow us to move however slowly but steadily toward the life we really want to be living. Creative Soul Living requires being both creative and wise about our life choices.

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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.

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