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A Real Day

I lived another real day. Nothing “exciting” like a grocery store run. Just waiting on a service man, cleaning up a pee puddle or two from a stubborn 4-year-old daughter. Stasis. Stillness. Stupid brain.

Wishing I’d grabbed those few valuable moments of peace when she was sulking and half-naked in her room upstairs. But instead, I just wasted a half hour looking for that perfect rug online again. A real Day on Shalavee.com

The waiting has gotten me so much more than I’d credit it for. The waiting has made me catch up and slow down with my real purpose. Catch sight of who I really want to be : Me. I am a professional pusher and waiter. I got good at expecting way more from myself than I knew I could do deliver so that I would feel anxious and bad. And then I embraced stopping and listening to myself too.

I am good at waiting. I waited on you long ago at that restaurant. Now I am just awaiting my antibiotic to kick in and vanquish the umpteenth sinus infection, mother natures way of humbling my ambitious self out every time. The truth and the trick is? You aren’t ready until you are. What you do when you do it is proof of that. And using your expectations that are above and beyond your current capacity to torture yourself will only irritate and irk you in unnecessary ways. A real Day on Shalavee.com

Sometimes the time while you are awaiting the shift is torturous. It feels like spending long long days with a toddler trapped inside waiting for a delivery man. Because that’s what it is. And it is what it is until it isn’t anymore. Knowing this too shall pass, that soon this will all be a memory (nightmare) is how you live through it to tell another better story. Wait for it. You’re worth it.

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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My Children are the Bully and the Terrorist

It’s conflicting to be a parent. They are of me but not mine. I need to be open and honest for them to trust me. But I need to keep a safe distance when they have to work out who they are because sometimes, that work is at my expense. Frankly, my children will bully me to get their needs met. They’ll be disrespectful but only to me. It’s business, not personal. They’re working themselves out and I’ve got the bruises to prove it.

My son’s a bully when he wants more screen time or when he needs food because he’s suddenly starving. And my daughter is a terrorist. It may be emotional terrorism but its exhausting just the same. I wrote about suffering from post traumatic toddler disorder here. She actually cries at me when she has a need. It can be manipulative and it’s part of her survival arsenal.

For me, there’s such a fine balance between being available for them constantly and being vulnerable to burn out. Unless my children are physically not in the house with me, I am never off duty. And they are very entitled to have their needs met. I do draw a line when their needs are encroaching on my needs. But even Miss Sassafras still busts in the bathroom while I’m on the potty despite my protests.

Last week I made a new “chores, expectations, and rewards” chart for my son. The holidays had him spoiled with the amount of screen time he was getting. And without boundaries, he had begun to come at me, pestering me and continually asking me for more time like a true junkie until he hoped I relented.

These new boundaries are now on paper and not up to me. He has an allotted amount of time and if he runs over, it eats into the next play time. He can earn more time by additional chores. But currently the only option for more screen time is raking and he hates that.My Children are the bully and the terrorist on Shalavee.com

Dinner prep in the kitchen is often the worst time for me to be bullied and terrorized. My son, after unplugging, suddenly found himself excruciatingly hungry and badgered me so badly that he was banned from the kitchen. And the rest of the night, my husband had to do negotiations to get my son to apologize to me. Fiona has been known to come at me while my hands are covered with dinner prep badgering me for fruit roll-ups and then crying at me when I deny her. Hunger can make people do crazy mean things.

I understand our collective humanity and how our inner toddlers have needs that they need fulfilled right freaking now. It is survival in process. But I also know that I am the last boundary standing between them and those needs sometimes. I try very hard to not take their disrespect personally but I would do myself and them an injustice if I didn’t stand my ground on what methods are acceptable to get your needs met. The battle will continue I fear but hopefully, in the end, I’ll win the war of raising nice children.

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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Parenting On the Edge of the Middle

My fellow Mom and I were standing there watching our children do laps at the Christmas train show. And I mused how it was hard to find that middle ground in between that place where everything your child does is all about you and that place where you’re completely disengaged. But to choose to stand on the ground in between. It’s hard to be there.

If I make everything they do about me, as in making me happy, making me look bad, etc., then how can I expect them to not think everything and everyone doesn’t revolve around them. After all, that’s what their mind reading mother showed them. How do we mothers disengage from our children’s choices and allow them to know they’re just not all that. Some of that but not all that.

If you read a little child psych 101 then you know that your child chooses much of what he/she does based on how you’ll respond. Your mirror lets them gauge their worthiness. And understanding their worthiness is tantamount to growing up. But if you make their life about you and not them, not only do they miss the opportunity to learn the lessons about who they are, but they will go on to have children and make their children’s lives about them. I can tell you, I refuse to do this to my kids. Industrial Overfocused is my coping strategy on Shalavee.com

Sitting on the library floor waiting for storytime to begin, I mentioned to the two other mothers of toddler girls next to me that I could see how women would want to escape from this task of the constant struggle to mirror correctly by going to a job. But unless you make geegobs of money, it just pays for the childcare. And that child still needs to work those issues out with you. They’re going to try to do it in the little amount of time they have with you but what if it doesn’t get worked out? Then the teen years will be worse. Their need to feel safe and separate has a time limit.

I want to live in the realm where my children’s every single action has little to do with the quality of my parenting. Where I’m not so tired that I overreact to every spill and act of rudeness my children inevitably will have. I want to feel a tolerant bubble around me and make intelligent choices for correcting my children and guiding them to make better decisions. But that all sounds really too good to be true. So I’ll just do my best, let go of the rest. And ask that they respect me always. The best I can do for now. Living on the edge of the middle.

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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When I Was Fried and Hopeless

I wrote the following on September 27, 2014. Fiona was 18 months and beginning her toddlerhood in earnest. I remember it seemed early for the horrible twos yet there she was acting horrible. And so I wrote out my frustration here. And soon forgot about it. Until I found this eloquent and desperate plea today. And want to offer up all of my compassion to anyone, mother or not, who finds themselves in a place that feels hopeless. That feeling overwhelmed is OK and writing or talking it is even better. And when you let go of your overwhelm and move towards hope again, you are noble and alive and will soon forget most of this moment. 

“So  I’m going under again. I am beginning to drown in all the obligations and the expectations. Seems, I have no time to have fun being me. Because I wouldn’t mind all of these must do’s if my fun do’s were satisfied. I’m irritated and impatient and I don’t like me so much these days.

Feels like I’m a better mother when I am alone. That I need a huge injection of soul satisfaction to then feel generous with my children, my husband, and anyone else related to me. I’m spreading the little time that I have alone too thin with all the other duties that are necessary but unsatisfying. And I am generally having no fun.

I’m out of touch with my writer self. It’s been so long since I have sat down and written something real and meaningful, I doubt I am in touch enough with how I feel. Or have that depth left. Because that depth requires space to sprawl into. And my brain is twitching inside the shallow space like an epileptic.

I’m angry and resentful. My inner child wants to go out and play but I have to balance the checkbook first. And vacuum the floor. Oh, what about the budget and the broken clothes washer?

Sad and angry and irritated. The next place all this goes is me feeling I’m a bad parent. Mostly, being a parent is knowing that you’ll fail the test, it’s just a matter of when. And this week I got an F for failure to keep my cool. Yelling and impatience. Projection and catharsis and guilt. All bad parents know this cycle. Yell and repeat.

Overwhelmed and thinking about what else I can do. About the set happiness point everyone supposedly has. That I have so been here with the first kid and now I’m falling down the same bad parent hole with my second. Feeling the martyr syndrome. And looking towards being trapped with a baby lunatic inside the house for the Fall and Winter.

It is getting better day by day. I expect to be here again. I expect you’ll pity me and want to give me advice. Know that by the time I publish this, I’ll have made a change. Because nothing stays up or down for too long before it swings the other way. And I had an appointment with my therapist yesterday. Yes, your happiness is really your responsibility. There will be fall out. And all you can do is apologize, take a walk, talk it through, and start again.”

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. If you Sign up for my newsletter in the sign up box over there to the right, you’ll receive a first look-see at my Creative Mothers’ Manifesto!  Heartfelt impassioned words on the need for expressing creativity for your soul and being a better mother for it.

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