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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.

I Refuse to Feel Ashamed

It wouldn’t be shocking to say that shame is one of the most damaging emotions we can feel. Feeling badly about ourselves shuts us off from the world. We are isolated and silent and of no threat or use to our world. The moments that I remember shame the most are when someone has said something to me intending to cause me shame. Now when I think of them, I just feel mad and a little remorseful that I didn’t have a shame filter installed earlier.

As this pandemic has evolved through our year, I have become aware that there are many opinions on what choices we should and shouldn’t make when it comes to the public health and our private health. And these sticky areas are fraught with shame pot holes. People having guests over to their house when the government said it was verboten. Scolding words of shame were thrown about.

Now as things are lifting, we are still wearing our masks into the world, but our homes and choices on who will visit or have visit us is strictly our business. Provided we also give people disclaimers of our unmasked events. Perhaps it’s a little like telling your lover who you’ve had unprotected sex with. But unless we can test ourselves in front of one another, we have to be resigned to mistrusting each other. It’s nothing personal.I Refuse to Feel Ashamed on Shalavee.com

So be it ! But I can say this much, I will not be ashamed for allowing my daughter to have a play date. The little girl who was trapped at home without her friends was beginning to suffer from depression. I felt it would be cruel to keep her quarantined any more. That was my choice as her parent. The mother rule has always been to warn other mothers if your child has been sick. I will offer all mothers the information that we’ve had unmasked play dates and let them know I won’t be mad if they choose to say no.

But I will refuse to feel ashamed if my choice for my family doesn’t fit with your needs and choices for yours. And that goes for everything beyond this Covid-19 pandemic. Because as mothers and managers, we retain the right to make bad decisions as well as good ones. But they are our decisions to make.

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.

Mothering For the Long Haul

I get the feeling that in the old days, people had kids to add more hands to the labor pool. The more bodies, the better to help plant, pick, and pickle. And yes, they were all jammed into small cabins on the prairie or in the hollow much like we are today. Welcome to our ancestral American Roots where you were lucky if you survived bizarre daily accidents and went on to procreate yourself. Mothering for the long haul on Shalavee.com

Fast forward to modern day 2020 and we have all been reduced to huddling in our prairie huts with our families riding out the viral storm, living the past in the present Laura Ingalls Wilder style.. This occasion gives the thinkers like me time to stop and consider who we are and what we think. And what I discovered about myself is that I am foremost, a mother. The well-being of my children physically and mentally is at the top of my everyday priority list. Yes it’s nice if they can haul in the groceries and unload the dishwasher but their mere existence is joy enough for me.Mothering for the long haul on Shalavee.com

So in the first couple weeks of our lock in, I was acting much like I did when we would take them as young children to the beach for a couple overnights. I’d end up worrying all night about if they were getting enough sleep and I’d get no sleep while they’d sleep like the babies they were. 

These first couple weeks of seclusion, I wanted to help my daughter to feel safe. I wanted to be there for her and lighten her load and not add to it. As Moms around the world were doing, I was thinking of the children first. Because I understand this better. Because I remember what it was like to not have my feelings be prioritized. Because I esteem them so that they will esteem them.Mothering for the long haul on Shalavee.com

But I also learned that they needed to grieve for the loss of their normal. They eventually would grieve in their own time and their own ways and I had to step back and be present and allow for this to happen. I can not take away their pain. They are entitled to it. It is theirs. But they also turned to me to feel safe to feel this grief. And that’s truly all we can do for our family and our friends, just witness all the craziness with them and know that soon, this will all be a nightmare.

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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