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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.

 

Are Expectations for Your Children a Good or Bad Thing?

As a parent, there are so many expectations we have of how our children are “supposed to” develop. Milestones that we expect them to reach by a certain age and if they don’t, we question,”Is there something wrong with them?” Society has thrown many markers at us parents for what “normal” child development should look like. And it messes the parenting process up all to heck.

When my son was two, he wasn’t speaking yet. The in-laws were worried he may be autistic. I knew he was just developing his physical skills first. But my husband insisted his worries were just as valid as the “other” parent so we got him a speech therapist. She had really cool toys to play with once a week with Eamon. Despite concerns, once he began talking, he did so in sentences very quickly . Expecting boys to be as verbal as girls will frustrate you.

Meanwhile, I really wanted him to be potty trained at the same time. I was super sick of all of that diaper business. But my wanting him to be potty trained seemed the very thing that he was punking out against. My expectations of him only served as a negative. Because if you want your child to do it, they will do the opposite. Reverse psychology is a brilliant tactic at any age.Are Expectations for Your Children a Good or Bad Thing? on Shalavee.com

So the question becomes, where do you stand with expectations? If you have none for your child, will they automatically expect themselves to do certain things that will guarantee them success. If you don’t expect them to go to college, will they expect themselves to? Probably not. They’re simultaneously interpreting your expectations as what their abilities are. If I don’t expect them to do something, is this my way of saying I think their incapable of it?

But expectations can also leave no room for individualism. If I expect my children to be straight and get married and they want neither, there may be a rift between us. Expectations need to be tempered with love and acceptance. You have to find the clutch point in the relationship. The point where your desires for them help them uphold themselves to worthy life goals but don’t push them away from you or who they think they are.

As always, parenting includes a lot of touch and run and a great dose of “Good luck with that.”

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.

Testing, Testing, is this Parent On ?

This first week of school is notoriously rough for our youngest. There are new teachers, new routines, and new buses to acquaint themselves with. And I fully expect our train to derail somewhere in the middle of back to school week. I was slightly mistaken in that there weren’t as many neurotic breakdowns and a crying fits. But the weekend brought me the brunt of the week with not so fab behavioral choices.

The tall one was seemingly good until we found he’d smuggled his phone up to his room for late night phone poking and gaming which is against my rules. He did not try to hide it. I am holding the phone every day this week after school. He conceded to this punishment without question.

The small one, she brings on the fits and the tantrums fast and furious these days. I felt like my weekend was usurped by these fits. Every time I turned around, she was mad about something (My theory that she’s happiest when she’s unhappy resurfaced). Last week, her constant lack of appreciation for gifts received got her a week long hold on asking for anything. So she’d say she would like something and then when I shut her down, she’s say, “Wishing’s not wanting Mom.” The heck it isn’t sassy pants.Testing, Testing, is this Parent On ? on Shalavee.com

I can barely contain my giddiness sometimes when I get her onto the bus in the morning. Because, for 7 hours, I’m not going to be used as a punching bag to find out where her boundaries stop and mine start. I understand the necessity of their pushing and my pushing back to show them they are loved and safe, but parenting is an exhausting gauntlet through their childhoods. A relentless journey into the irritable and seemingly unnecessary woods we’ve long since forgotten we’d navigated ourselves.

But navigate they must, testing us all the way, to find out how important and loved they are so they can take that in a to-go package to use for the rest of their lives. Just give me a few hours off each week please.

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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