Tag Archives: fear

The Day After Election Day

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I will be honest and admit this day started off a bit rough for me, at least internally. It was the morning after a rough election night. I am a very sensitive person, I easily feel anxious or worry, and I react strongly to hate. I am not trying to get political, but I will say that I felt quite a shock that it seemed so many in our country are still choosing hate in their attitudes. I truly felt like I was grieving for my idea of what I want our world to be. I knew there were some people who had bigoted views, but I supposed I overestimated the progress that has been made.

Anyway, I was feeling emotional and posting on social media about it. Soaking up my like-minded friend’s feelings added to mine was too much. I felt overwhelmed and recognized that it was not a healthy though path for myself. I knew at that point, I could easily fall into a hole of complaining all day and commiserating with peers. Luckily, a few very loving posts helped me decided to put a stop to it right then. I wrote up a quick thought on my Facebook page and personal wall.

“I’m not going to allow the realization that our country is more racist and bigoted than I thought, to stop me from focusing on my children. I can’t let it distract me from showing them love, because that is how best to shape the next generation. I choose love.

And as my friend said, if you build a wall, I will teach my children how to tear it down.”

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I want to focus on these people

Then I shut it off. I stayed off social media for the rest of my day. I decided that today would be a good day and I would show my babies some extra love and attention. I told my husband my feelings and what I wanted to do and he agreed that would be good for me. I immediately started engaging the kids in a conversation and we laughed and chatted about one silly thing or another from there.

I cleaned up while the kids ate food in the kitchen, us chatting the whole time. Then I asked Hailey if she wanted us to show her how to play some card games. She was super excited to learn. First we showed the kids slapjack. Papa had to help Elijah play, because he couldn’t quite get flipping the cards down, so they became a team. After playing that we played war for a bit. Hailey won that.

I made some popcorn and the kids debated on which movie they should watch. I let them work it out, not by themselves, but I was more a facilitator and a guide. While they watched, I challenged Papa to a card game. We had no played cards just the two of us in a long while. We played a few games of Rummy and it was a lot of fun. I forgot how much I enjoyed playing cards with him.

The kids came in after the movie and asked to play some more. I needed to lay the baby down for a nap, so Papa took over playing Uno with them while I laid him down. I came out while he slept and started dinner. The kids were laughing and super into the game. Papa looked like he was having fun too.

We ate dinner together as a family at the table. We talked about our day, about a game Hailey and Elijah had made up, and about whatever else came up. I cleaned up a bit and the kids asked for ice cream. They are eating that now, loudly talking about something in their game. Soon we will cuddle and read books.

I think I needed this day. I needed to see that I can still chose to love and focus on my children despite my uncertainty of the future. I needed take back my control over my emotions. I know what I stand for and what I want to pass down to my children and I know that I must model it. I can’t promise that each day I will be as successful at pulling myself away from the worry, but I have to try. I must try to not let myself get sucked into the worry, the hateful posts, the arguing. Even when it is hard, I chose love.

 

Our unschooling today 5/20/16

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We are not morning people in general. I try to find us activities and playdates that are scheduled a bit later. There are some field trips however, that are just too cool sounding to pass up, especially if we get to go with friends. A good friend set up a field trip to an ecological center and apiary. So we got up super early and made the 90-minute drive.

The first portion of the class was the Apiarist explaining why bees are important, how they do what they do, sharing some pictures, and explaining to the kids how to keep the bee’s and themselves safe. Some of this was a bit too complicated for my 6-year-old, and most of it was too much for the 3-year-old. But they made it through.

We headed to the hives. I will be honest; I was a bit nervous. The kids put on their hats and nets and were fearless.

We watched as Apiary Dave handled the bees.

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We got an up close look ourselves. We were even able to taste fresh honey.

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They were much happier when we were able to get outside. We checked out the pond and some of the farmland. The kids found some tadpoles and Papa helped them all take a closer look. It was such a beautiful place.

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We had a picnic lunch with our friends. Then we checked out the animals and let the kids run, play, and feed the chickens.

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This is actually a picture from yesterday, but isn’t he cute?

We also checked out the children’s garden next. They had an area where the kids could dig up dirt and plant seeds. They had a well water tap and watering buckets to fill and water the garden. Hailey really loved that.

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We packed up for our drive back. Unfortunately, we got stuck in a traffic jam on the highway and used up all of our baby is sleeping instead of crying in the car time. When he woke up and we still had over an hour to go, we decided to make a stop. The kids were asking for ice cream. A quick search led us to a locally owned ice cream shop. The ice cream was homemade and the people were friendly. It was a great find. We let the kids run and play in a grassy area and then headed back to the road.

Back at home we read some new library books and settled down to relax. A long, fun day.

Why I don’t make decisions out of fear

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Love this graphic from Positive Parenting Connection

I am not a big believer in making decisions out of fear. I’ve noticed that people make many choices out of fear of the “what-ifs”.

I have heard comments like “I wouldn’t let our child sleep in our bed because, what if they never want to leave?” or “If I start letting them watch television, they will want to do nothing else”, and “If I let them get away with that this time, they might always try it.” I have even heard of parents deciding not to have any more children because “they have been so lucky thus far, what if this next one is not healthy?”

Unfortunately, in life there are no guarantees. There is no guarantee that your child will even make it to tomorrow. You only have right now. So I choose to my decisions out of love, and what feels right for my family today. I will not let fear of something that may or may not even happen dictate how I will live.

I choose to bedshare because I love it, my husband loves it (actually it was his idea), and my children love it. Nothing makes me feel more warm and fuzzy than cuddling with my family. I can never replace the memories of the funny things my girl has said in her sleep, or the look on my son’s face when he sees me first thing in the morning. Will they be in there forever? I doubt it. I don’t know how long they or any of our future children will need to be in our bed. But I won’t force them out because of fear of lack of independence or what not.

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We watch television sometimes, even my toddlers. I enjoy a good laugh, a little break, or some mindless entertainment sometimes, especially in the evening when I am tired from the day. I am not going to not watch because “they” say it could be bad. I do not prevent television for fear of a mindless zombie child who will lack creativity. That has not been my experience at all.

I try not to view allowing my child to do something that some do not, as “getting away with it”. I see myself as flexible. There is very little that is actually black and white. Every day, every situation can be different. Children’s needs change and so do mine. I make each decision based on what is needed now, keeping in mind my goals for the future and the desire to raise my children with love and respect.

I am blessed with a healthy family right now. I am not guaranteed health tomorrow and neither are my children. I am not guaranteed anything. So why would I make a decision based on a “what if” for a future I may never see.

I am not a big believer in making decisions out of fear. I am a believer in making decisions out of what works for us, not the subjects of some study I read on the internet. I am a believer in making decisions out of love.