Posts tagged ‘opinions’

July 9, 2012

everyone hates advice

i know you get oppositional when people give you advice. it’s okay, we all do, to some degree. this said, this is not the time to get in a dither. there have been many hard days lately and, because i am your friend, and because i have opinions, and because you like that about me, i say it’s time for a pep talk. so, here goes. it’s me telling you what to do time. kay? kay.

it’s simple, really. remember the basics dear friend. no matter what developmental stage, the basics have value, i know you know this. scale back, breathe deep, indulge in your love for your child, show your love in all ways you interact with your child, practice gratitude, respond to your child with kindness and compassion as often as you are able and, when you are tired and impatient, tread lightly, be gentle, find your hide away reserve of grace and try not to behave in a manner you can’t be proud of later.

remember that having authority in your dynamic and employing consistency, discipline, and/or positive reinforcement is practicing love and don’t let those damn ninny’s scare you from this practice. don’t be afraid of your child’s resistance or great demonstrations of opposition, you are inately powerful too. be careful to not squash their effort to assert themselves either, we are all frail deep down, after all. just stay calm and firm. highlight the calm piece. when you fail, because you will, don’t be angry at yourself for long, it’s not productive.

if you need to heal and reconnect, give kisses and hugs, lots of them. dance it out together. go for a long walk together, maybe in silence. read together. sleep together. be outside more then normal, get wet in water together, collect treasures, be still without expectation for a bit.

then, if it’s not working, and you know it isn’t, change it. stop whining. if you need help, get help. just don’t be stuck. children grow and we have a responsibility to grow with them.

now suck it up, bear down, and get on with it. become who you need to become. persevere. own it. you are the mother, you got this.

March 7, 2012

those be fighting words

i just couldn’t put my kids in a daycare / i think it’s my responsibility to parent my own children / i just don’t know how you do it / your son goes to daycare? poor baby! / how much time do you get with him? / when do you sleep? / if you have plans with friends this weekend, when will you spend time with your boy? / daycare just seems like a waste of money! / you must be a superwoman / how do you know you can trust the childcare provider? / don’t you just wish you could stay home with him? /you choose your career over you son? / i stay at home to give my children the best / i just don’t know how you do it, don’t you miss him when you’re at work? / how do you juggle it all? / my job title is mother now / i didn’t go back to work until my children were old enough to manage without me / i just don’t want to miss any of their growing up, they are only young once / it’s not just the cost of daycare, but the cost of my children not having me around / how are you okay with the fact that you don’t know what he does in a day? /  all those different priorities! for me, it’s easy: my family comes first / it just seems so unnatural to give them to someone else to take care of / i would worry too much about mine / i just can’t justify paying someone to raise my children / my family is my work now / i just find with taking care of my kids well, there isn’t enough time to work / we can’t really afford for me to be at home, but it’s the right thing to do, so we get by / i sometimes don’t want to be at home but it seems so selfish to work / i’m just not comfortable handing my children to a stranger / i’m a full time mom / i guess if i had a career it would be different, maybe. i can’t imagine anything being as important as them / does he spend more time with them then with you? / he’s so young still, he must miss you / are you sure you’re okay? you look really tired.

believe it or not, this is what you sound like. not all of you, god knows (shout out to my super cool stay at home mom friends), but some of you do. and, for the record, it’s eff’n awful.  i hear it over, and over, and over again. i keep hoping it will stop but, so far, no luck.

i was lucky, however, to once read a terrible chick lit book (that i thoroughly enjoyed, ha!) that described this phenomenon, suggesting that stay at home mothers have a certain script that they need to say to themselves (and to others, apparently) to help justify their lives and that, similarly, working mothers do too.

it resonated, and since reading said tid bit of insight i always reflect on it when stay at home mothers, or former stay at home mothers even, ask about my life as a working mom only to proceed without genuine interest and comment with a combo infusion of shock and pity, on my life, my needs, my choices, our deal.

i try to remember the concept when the dialogue inevitably shifts to why they are or were stay at home. i try to remain curious about our differences when i feel as though i am being patronized, judged, or used as an example of how not to be. i try to be patient, assume that the conversation has nothing to do with me, and hope that you are simply defending your script.  i hold my head up and try not to get rattled by what i think you might be saying about me and what kind of person and mother i am.

i try not to get worked up.  i often don’t know how to back down but in this case, i don’t even rise up. i am tired and i’m not going to waste any time or energy on debate.  i mother my business. i never ask you why you are a stay at home mom. i don’t tell you all the reasons i am not. i don’t care to find retaliations to the statements you make about me and my family’s experience. i don’t go ahead and expose what i may perceive some of the stay at home flaws to be.  i don’t play the game and compete when it comes to who had the busiest, most tiring, most stressful or demanding day. i don’t think i invite these conversations, and i can’t remember starting any of them. i know i don’t engage all that readily, and i know that i try to ignore them into submission and hope they go away.

i try to be considerate of how personal, and frankly, political, our differences are and for the sake of not offending you, i just don’t go there. i wish you would do the same. i’m happy, most of the time, and my son almost always is. i hope you and yours are too. that should be enough.

it’s hard out there in mom land and i could use your help. it would make it easier on me if you’d just drop the value interview masked in friendly conversation that i didn’t sign up for. we, as individuals, spouses, and parents, are flawed. relatedly, our life set ups are too.   i respect yours. i also respect mine.

i work and, overall, it works. that’s all.  i don’t feel pressured to stand in defence of my script… we’re cool. okay? let’s be done.

peace.

“there is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women”- madeleine k. albright.

August 19, 2011

pinot grigio parenting

i have a lot of opinions and, i have a lot of opinions about parenting. i can’t help it and if i could, i probably wouldn’t. all of me adds up to giving a shit.

this being said, i know i’m not the answer. i’m not the answer for you, or you, or you, or even me sometimes.

but, here’s my beef. what’s the deal with you? why are you and your theory based parenting practice so arrogant? seriously, you need to get a life. i don’t consider myself an expert but it’s not going to do me any favours to minimize my years of work experience assessing, supporting, and nurturing peeps and their families, and, of those years, primarily face to face intervention based work with growing souls. so, yah, i do have some knowledge of little people needs, communication and behavioural processes, individual and family systems, relational complexities, the developmental continuum, pro social child development concepts, the psycho-emotional-social health of wee brains, parenting dynamics, parenting strategies, home, family, and parenting organization to support flow and function, and, primarily, of me, my own eff’n life, my marriage, our mooliscious creation, and our parenting. and you know what that experience highlights for me?

kids don’t need your theory to be well adjusted and well attached to their life source. mothers don’t need your guilt. fathers don’t need another influence to create doubt in their children’s mother’s borderline crazy and worry riddled brain.

it’s cool if some of you want, crave, or need a parenting philosophy. go for. the thing is, i don’t. it’s not welcome here. keep it to yourself. mother your business. we didn’t order any of you.

i treat my babe right and he knows bliss. he is safe, nurtured, and celebrated. his basic needs are healthily met by a clean house, good food, functional sleep routines, loads of fresh air play, good vibes all around, and more love available then he even wants to receive. we have well laid out expectations, we got clearly communicated consequences, we got consistent and age appropriate discipline. we have authorative role division and we got tons of opportunity for input and colaboration. i am working on treating his dad better and am also trying to find some space for me and for some soul fun in all of this too. we work on priciples like positivity, balance and boundaries. that’s about it. we kick it old school, i guess. reality lives here.

so, please. don’t prescribe me a set of principles to establish a bond between my moo and me. we’re bonded, every day more then the last, in fact, and when he points to his navel, “button mom-mom”, a so real scar of where he was attached to me, i get a rewind flashback glimpse of just how deep that bond really is. and you can relax. i’m no fool. i know bonds can be shattered. i’ve heard it. i’ve seen it. unfortunately, i have seen things i cant seem to un-see and i am haunted by what some children do not have. so, just trust that i will do everything in moo’s best interest. i got it locked down. we just live it. no reminders needed, no unsolicited advice welcome. not from the cult of you, anyhow.

got it? if you’d like to discuss anything but my parenting style, you’ll find me on the deck, with my frosted glass of wine, complete with a sigh of relief and a big smile.

cheers.

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