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A Few Thoughts On Mother’s Day

All-consuming, persistent, relentless, and unforgiving. Motherhood is 365 days per year of these and many more words, flattering and not. One day to recognize all of this feels cheesy. But then Christmas feels all too short to celebrate our oneness with Gratitude and salvation.

We’ll be celebrating more Mother’s day next weekend as my husband had to work this weekend. And honestly, the kids are cute and smart but they’ll only take as much initiative as they’re told to when it comes to Mother recognition. So my thought is, we as mothers and women who devote themselves to people and causes, we need to stop and make sure we thank ourselves too.My thoughts on Mother's Day on Shalavee.com

Stop and check in and make sure that everything you give is also coming back to yourself. Do you appreciate you and your efforts? Are you proud of yourself and go willingly on to your next task? Because if you feel resentful, there’s some chats you may need to have with you and maybe a talking doctor about those feelings.

 

There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.” ~ Brian Andreas

 

My thoughts on Mother's Day on Shalavee.com

Children don’t have to always be grateful. They did not ask to be born and will eventually own the ability to appreciate us. In the meantime, we hold them with grace and understanding and we model and encourage their gratitude with the faith that one day, they will be brimming with it. And we treat ourselves with the kindnesses and grace of life that our beautiful birth mothers gave us. And that our own inner mothers continue to gift us.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. 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 In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

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

The Mother Buffer Zone

I’ve always said she wants to be my hat and sit on my head. When my daughter is feeling needy, she can’t be on top of me enough. Everything that she emotionally needs is drawn from me and it’s more than draining. The give and the take between a girl and her mother is exhausting and it’s necessary. I need to be very conscious of creating a mother buffer zone.

The obstinance and the emotional output she aims at me however… isn’t personal. But most of the time, it feels that way. If there’s an issue of independence that she needs to resolve, her misbehavior will go on until she has decided that she has worked it out. Until I have let her know to her satisfaction that she is worth my attention and the discipline to show her when her behavior is unkind, unnecessary, and unwanted. Not her but her behavior. And she gets to decide when that lesson has been learned.The Mother Buffer Zone on Shalavee.com

Meanwhile, I am also a human with hormones and bad days and sometimes/eventually, I’m worn down and worn out. The crying cannon aimed at me feels personal and torturous. I can’t wait until she gets on her school bus some mornings. My irritation rises and the post-traumatic stress disorder starts to set in.

But what I realized this week is that even though I am her mother, what she sometimes wants from me is stuff from the concept of mother. She pushes against the authoritarian concept of mother. She needs her Mommy when she’s hurt because we mothers are home base, a conceptual safe comfort zone. They happen to be working out their issues with us specifically yet the humanity of their emotional trials need not be taken personally but instead, compassionately by us.

If we allow for a Mother Buffer Zone between us and our children, an understanding that our children need to work out their independence and self-trust in the mirrors they have with us, then we can all be human. We can acknowledge their growth work and our emotional maturity for respecting that and we don’t have to take it all personally.The Mother Buffer Zone on Shalavee.com

I will add that I am always making sure that the way that I’m treated is respectful. My children are entitled to be mad but they may not be disrespectful to me. In that way, I also model what self-respect looks like to them that they may go out in the world and say, “You may not treat me this way.”

Understanding the dynamics of the 6 – 9 year old’s need to create and be OK with their independence can remove a little of the pressure from the parent. Allowing for independence to not be a bad thing fosters independent children. And I assure my daughter that she will be leaving me eventually but I will never leave her. I’ll be here for as long as she needs me. And hopefully, if we do this the right way now, the teen years will be amazing.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. 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 In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

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

Apples vs. Oranges : My Worth as a Woman and Mother

” Wow ”, I said, “How do you find all that time to read”, I ask. She says, “Well, I don’t have children to take care of. When I did, I didn’t have time to read either.” Validation there for the taking. Women are the best supporters and the worst critics.

My Mom was a woman of the 60’s. I am a woman of the 80’s. We were pioneers in freedom and equality for women. Feminism and bra burning. Corporate ladders and the Working Girl with padded shoulders. I could bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let him forget he’s a man. And sometimes I find our modern day’s concepts of girl power are still sorta Spice-girl-esque, we’re strong together wearing cute clothing. It’s better than nothing I suppose.Apples vs. Oranges : My Worth as a Woman and Mother on Shalavee.com

But when we’re alone, left to our own circling thought processes of fear and bottomless devotion to our families, we lose sight again and again, or maybe we never had truly had sight, of where we start and stop and the rest of the world begins. Our expectations of ourselves are to be superhuman and somehow that never includes the stuff we do daily.

I fear that we’ve accepted and embodied all the perfectionistic self-hate causing crap from Suburban Disney subplots that we are now our own perfect persecutors and jailers. Who needs to keep the woman down when she does such a good job of it herself? Add some extra nasty anger/shame/guilt wars between working and staying home Moms and sit back and watch the fairer females make jackasses of themselves depleting their and their daughter’s power all for the prize of pretty, wealthy, and skinny.Apples vs. Oranges : My Worth as a Woman and Mother on Shalavee.com

I struggle to feel my empowerment often when the relentlessness of parenthood gets to me. I have been desperate at times to prove I am more than “just a mother”. Because perhaps I demean this job like so many others. Until lovely people who used to be Moms or mental health care professionals remind me that raising healthy centered children is a gift to the world. That yes, it’s hard and mind-numbing and truly a superhuman thing , if only we Moms would see it as such.

Stay aware of yourself and the stories you tell. I am constantly aware that the story I live right in front of my daughter is the one, bad or good, that she will have permission to live herself. The kind compassionate mother I think I am to my children will only be as good as the one I am to myself. And my value is not determined by my achievements nor my salary. My value is who I am as a friend, a mother, and a human being. Only I can take that away from me.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. 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 In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

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

January Decisions

Like a permanent pause, the winter break has extended out with snowy weather. We are all at home again today doing what work or play needs to be done. I am trying stay patient, understanding that this too shall pass and we’ll be busy busy busy again soon enough. It’s an odd place to be. But I also realize it is an opportunity to look at the decisions I need to make about who I want to be this year. And see if I’m prioritizing others over myself. And what fears I may be avoiding.

See, not too long ago I was an underachieving overachiever. My stress coping system of Industrious Overfocused combined with my never enough attitude had me doing amazing amounts of work and never giving myself the credit.January Decisions on Shalavee.com

The work looked like writing, housework, volunteerism, social media making, children’s care-taking, and a good bit of exercise. I have always been a runner. Of course I never thought any of the work or exercise was enough. I’ve always been sure I just could do better than I’ve done. I just needed more. More time, more resolve, more organization.

But in the past several months, I was forced to stop. My sinus surgery mandated that I needed to literally sit down. I couldn’t exercise for three weeks as I had a wound near my brain essentially. And that combined with the ongoing battle against the pain in my hip/back joint had me down for the count. I was forced to be still. I am now emerging from this place.January Decisions on Shalavee.com

I have decisions to make. I must decide if I’m old. I must decide if what I aspire to do is for other people or for myself. I must discern whether my work is important enough to prioritize over all other busyness, sometimes family even, or whether it’s OK to prioritize them over myself. It’s all my choice.

January gives us the opportunity to regroup, recenter, and redecide where we stand in our own lives. We just need to rise to our own occasion of deciding what’s next and why and who for. And we need to have a dishwasher that works.January Decisions on Shalavee.com

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. 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 In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

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

Does “Self-respecting” Describe the Parent and Self-parent You Are?

My daughter is just starting elementary school now in Pre-K. I am again besieged by notifications and permission slips galore just like back when Eamon was in Kindergarten and there was “homework”. See my recent repost of my piece Kindergarten Homework here. All sorts of good intentions being bantered back and forth between educator and parent about how to best raise/educate our kids.

Within a hunk of papers distributed by the school this week, a subscription newsletter from a parents-institute, I read this headline:

“Parents Must Encourage their Children to Develop Self-respect”

Does “Self-respecting” Describe the Parent and Self-parent You Are? on Shalavee.com

( I immediately thought, Well yes, and what about those parents who already see educators as bossy jackasses thinking, “you can’t tell me what I must do with my kids because I’m not going to be bossed by smartass educational type people”. Shut that down.)

Of course I knew it was well-meant and read further. Essentially, children who are disrespectful don’t have any self-respect. Sometimes that’s what hides behind lack of respect for authorities. If we don’t value ourselves, we’re certainly not valuing others. And eventually the justice system needs to show us our worth. This is what the article said self-respect came down to being composed of.

Self-respect comes from:

Competence – Being good at things makes your kid feel good. Children need lots of opportunities to master skills and feel good about themselves while they do. New skills from sports to art to chores can give them a chance to like themselves while they master those skills. And no one standing over them telling what a bad job they did either.

Accomplishments – They need their progress seen and noted.By everyone but mostly by parents. See above.

Confidence – This can be about pointing out how all the work paid off and acceptance that sometimes we falter to succeed. Mistakes can be learned from and we need to know we can rely on ourselves to make things happen.

Freedom – Allow kids to be independent and make their own age-appropriate choices. Let them chose when things can be done and how sometimes. Showing them you trust them makes them trust them.

Support – Accept your children for who and what they are. Let them belong to the family instead of having to fit into your vision of what they should be. Ask them about their day. Listen and witness their answers and help solve their problems if they ask for it.

Imitation – Be the person you want them to model themselves after. They will do as you do. So if you have low self-esteem and anxiety issues, they will too. Be kind to yourself and stand firm for them with their demands as well so that they may see what standing firm looks like.

Does “Self-respecting” Describe the Parent and Self-parent You Are? on Shalavee.com

Invisible sword fighting

If you paid attention to even most of these, you’d have a pretty great kid. Personally, I got lost between the family cracks and did not have most of these attentions paid me but yes, I’m paying them to my kids. And then I thought, what kind of parents are we to ourselves? I feel like I can tend to be on the side of almost abusive self-parenting if I allow me to continue to berate and judge myself for the myriad of things I seem to do “wrong”.

What if we took these steps above and applied them to ourselves, which is truly necessary if we are actually parents because our kids do as we do, not as we say. What kind of parents do we want to be to ourselves? Compassionate and kind or judgemental and punitive?  Just like these children, we go out into the society and make our own contributions based on our self-worth and respect so shouldn’t we give ourselves these gifts as well to give us an edge up on our lives? I could use with a little more self-respect in my world, couldn’t you?

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. 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 In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

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

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