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My Kid and Mindfulness

Ironically, mindfulness isn’t something I gave much thought to until it seemed to start popping up everywhere I was. I wasn’t mindful of mindfulness. Being aware of what you are feeling and thinking isn’t very American after all. Mindlessness is encouraged. Copious television watching and numbing techniques don’t encourage mindfulness.

I want more for myself and for my kids however. Knowing that the only way to teach is by doing, I am outspoken about what I am doing and how my insights are growing me. I also talk to my son often about owning his choices, belonging, self-esteem, and other subjects that come up. So when he gave me a reflection yesterday of a more thoughtful sort, I was sorta blown away. Mindfulness and my kid on Shalavee.com

He is having a tough time, as expected, adjusting to middle school. A transition from childhood to adulthood, there are a lot of expectations to mind and I’m not sure you can be ready for that. I’d advised a while ago that maybe he needed to create somethings to look forward to. And he said yesterday that he may have needed to get into a better place knowing how things go and that he could handle them before he could put things in place that he could look forward to.

We all need to listen harder to the little ego voice that says I would be happy if I had such and such in my life, be it more music or free time or walks in the woods. And then our adult selves can go about making sure that the happiness quotient is filled weekly. Because I don’t think we’re the sum of what we do. I think we’re the sum of the happy and proud and included moments of our lives. And those are up to us to create with great intention.

Mindfulness and my kid on Shalavee.com

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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The Relentlessness of Motherhood

My go to word in describing parenting is relentless. My baby daughter, ungrateful and miserable, can cry at me at least ten times today, what feels like 70 percent of the day, beating me down further and further into defeat. The relentlessness is daunting.

You’re review is in. Fifty percent of today will not meet with her satisfaction and, according to her, you suck at parenting.

My top seven words to embody my experience with motherhood are:

  1. Chaos
  2. Temperance
  3. Perseverance
  4. Relentless
  5. Confusion
  6. Patience
  7. Exhaustion

All problems could be solved, you think, if only I had their money or their family. Those people with their 5 extra family members to spread out the stress of the 16 plus hours a-grueling-day of care-taking and giving. If only I had their time and money to buy nicer clothing to cover up my ever-widening butt until I could hire that trainer to help me widdle it down. For now, I wear my ill-fitting sweats, placing my greying thinning hair into something up-ish. My nails and cuticles dry and ragged for lack of care. I have that look of survival and neglect. That wild look that says I’ve thought about fleeing in my fantasies. The dull look of disbelief that this will get better no matter how many times people insist it will. Beaten and hopeless is all the rage in the truthful Mommy circles.At the grocery store years ago on Shalavee.com

If only I had the money to buy a SUV that I could comfortably load and buckle my child into without having the rain soak my back. Then I’d slip into the front seat and drive smoothly away to drop my privileged child off at that member of the care-taking team whose day it was to take them. Or I’d hire a housekeeper/child care-taking person as a stunt double so I could escape and make art or do lunch or have beauty salon time. Where’s my miracle money? My large ever-loving family? Where’s my get out of hardship free card?

No I won’t be looking forward to “taking care of myself” with a kale and flax smoothie tonight. Instead I’m thinking of making pasta with gravy, cheese, and deep-fried potatoes and a side of beef so that I can feel an ounce and moment of comfort that I never feel in my day-to-day existence. Wash it down with a 12oz glass of Shiraz and pray I can stay awake to watch any escapism television.Baby Fiona on Shalavee.com

Why is it wrong to want it to be easier than this? To want the release of the hardship and grinding daily agony. I want to feel light and unencumbered. I want privilege instead of lack. I want a child who doesn’t make me constantly feel like I’m failing her. I want to stand here in the winner’s circle and not the survivor’s circle. Like my mother did. Like hers before her. Because deep down I don’t believe there’s any other way for it to be but hard.

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.

Self-Trust Was My Parenting Game-Breaker

For the majority of my life I was lacking in self-trust.  I didn’t believe me when I said I was going to do something. Just below the surface, I was pretty sure I’d fail myself, and so eventually I did. Do unto yourself as others have done unto you.

Enter child #1 into my world in 2005. While being unkind to myself hadn’t killed me yet, I still couldn’t model behavior that I wanted my child to imitate if I wasn’t truly feeling the same way. And I couldn’t ask him to give me his trust if he could immediately see in my eyes that I didn’t trust myself. His esteem would plummet without my positive belief in myself. And after these realizations, the first place I had to start the overhaul was with my own inner-parenting.Child #1 on Shalavee.com

Let me say that to create and shape something that you’ve never imagined possible is beyond ingenuity especially when it’s an unknown interior landscape. How do you strive to create positive where only negative has existed. Love where there was nothingness? There’s a massive amount of faith leaping required to begin believing in yourself when you never have before. And it seems almost a fairy tale to say that life will be better when you love yourself. You want so badly to believe and feel you’d die if you found out it was all a lie.

I started my self-trust endeavor out by just committing to little stuff and fulfilling my promises to myself. I began with some radical self-care and quit smoking. And every victory I achieved built my self-confidence and trust a little more. The building of this blog played another huge part in my self-belief.  I found that I could often be unkind to myself and so I’ve tried to befriend myself and am trying to ease up on the mean me and empower me with kindness. And gradually I built up my faith in my word that I believe when I give it to myself. I believe myself. That’s Huge.

Child #2 and me on Shalavee.com

Children have an amazing capacity for intuiting when you are down and weak. They’ll come for you then with extra rockets on. If you ignore them, they want your attention. And if you don’t truly believe that what you are doing what you are for a good reason, they will be terrified. Because if you’re not in charge, that may mean they have to be. And that is scary as hell. With the birth of my daughter, I was inspired to continue to fight to be my best self.

The trick to parenting well ? Being a good parent to yourself. And there’s just no way around it. And even if your kids are older, you are still and always worth befriending and demonstrating the power of positivity and self-love.

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.

The Value and Truth About Choices

I got to thinking about our human tendency to not want to be told what to do. Those who trust in their lives and make choices easily were lucky enough to have their caregivers make the right choices for them. So that they were then able to make the right choices for themselves.

The two year-old refuses to do what I ask. She has no self-control and she’s frightened of that. She needs my control, wants me to prove she’s worth it. Even if she doesn’t seem to be scared, she is still a wild beast in need of help taming herself. She needs my commands to be unquestionable. Some are sometimes negotiable but in the end, the adults are always driving. She is always a little better when she comes out of the Thinking Chair.

Fiona's ink on the value and truth about choices on shalavee.com

The ten year-old doesn’t want to eat his breakfast. Or his lunch. Or his dinner. Wants to show he has power over his choices and his body. He pretends he doesn’t hear you. He seems lazy, making bad choices. He still wants/needs me to make it clear that there are no other choices. Because once he just accepts life’s necessities, he can get on to the more important choices he needs to make about his happiness and success and love. He is still hoping he means enough to me for me to reprimand him.

Fiona looking it up on the value and truth about choices on shalavee.com

The teen, the one who doesn’t have a parent in his face continuing to create boundaries for him? He’s now sure he’s not worth it. He makes his contrary choices just to see what authorities will do. To see if they can disprove what he already knows. That he sucks and is still not worth being cared for, taught self-restraint and self-care, being made to believe he matters. He has now become the world’s problem. His dance with questioning authority may eventually be everyone’s problem.

Me and my kids on the vlue and truth about choices on shalavee.com

Now as parents to ourselves, we do have a choice. To take it easy or to go work on it. Refusing to do what we need to do, what we know is right for us, isn’t really a choice though. Our inner child is watching how we treat them. For instance, going to the grocery store lets our inner child know their basic needs are worth caring for.  Ignoring our mental and physical needs to be healthy says we are not worth loving. Sometimes we have to do stuff we don’t like. Like limiting our calorie intake. But we are also smart enough parents to reward ourselves for a job well done. A reward means so much more when it’s earned. We get to choose that too.

Every choice is really easier when we think of a bigger picture of love and care. One that takes care of us, those we love, and then the greater world. When our true choices appear to us, we are happier and clearer people who raise happy clear little people.

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