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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.

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.

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Rise Up To Meet Yourself Mama

I find I want to feel sorry for myself sometimes. I feel tired and wrung out from all the waiting on small people. I often hear myself say that if only… I had more time, more money, more childcare, I could …take more time to create, garden more, read more, think. Too many aspirations can be agonizing. And I extend my sympathies with each and every mother who wants to have a pity party for herself now, today, where she’s sitting. It’s agony on so many levels. we all start out knowing magic

I tried separating myself from these small crazy making beings. I tried to steal time before or after my day and then I made excuses for why I couldn’t. But what I think I was mostly doing was using them as an excuse to not try to do what I needed for fear I’d fail at my endeavors. And the thought that I used them to do that to myself makes my stomach churn.

As a Mama, I want to say it’s time to rise up and meet the challenge of what we need doing. With gentle strong powerful patience for ourselves and our children, we need to willfully move ourselves to the very next step above. You are more powerful than you remember. Don’t drop your plan for you by using them. Ride up to meet yourself on shalavee.com

Motherhood would never ask you to not be you. It asks you to be a better you. To be brave and to impress yourself. To make a plan you’d be proud to accomplish. Even if it takes you slow patient years to accomplish. You are the best mother when you use your role to model the self-respect, self-mentoring, and self-betterment processes and be a hero for both them and you. Being human, falling down and getting back up is a very noble process and one we owe ourselves and our children a chance to see us grab and run with.

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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