Tag Archives: Motherhood

Working on my Triggers

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I spent some time at the nature playscape, enjoying fresh air with the kids. We were playing, climbing, and exploring.

Everyone was having a good time, until my daughter just wasn’t. She was frustrated with her brother not playing a game she set up for them in a way that she intended. She was having some big emotions. I sat down and talked it through with her.

She wasn’t exactly happy, but she went back to play. Then she scraped her finger. Hailey has always felt little hurts as big hurts. She feels deeply. The hurt added on top of her already big feelings sent her over the top. I could tell that this tipped her into a sensory meltdown.

Papa stayed with the boys, while I took her over to get some space and sit down. She was feeling her big emotions and I tried to comfort her. I know from experience, she has to fully feel her emotions, often loudly, almost inconsolably. She will not be distracted, or persuaded from them. In a way, it’s admirable, to truly honor where you are at and what you feel.

I rubbed her back, listened, validated. Her sobs were loud. We had moved away from the playscape, but the people nearby definitely heard her. This is my trigger. I feel like everyone is looking at us, thinking bad things, wishing she’d be quiet, judging my parenting. I hear society’s voices in my head. “Children should be seen not heard.” “Stop crying, it’s no big deal.” I have flashbacks to all the times my own mother struggled with us having big emotions in public. It was her trigger, and now it’s mine.

I’ve spent years working on accepting that all emotions have a place, and that none are bad. I know happiness isn’t the only emotion worth feeling. I know denying sadness and anger do not make them go away. I know what it looks like when someone buries their feelings until they can’t anymore and then explode in rage. I know the shame of being told you’re being too sensitive.

In the minutes I’m sitting with my daughter, I hold all these thoughts. I acknowledge them, and remind myself to breathe. I think to myself that these strangers opinions of me, are not more important than my child’s opinion of me. I remind myself that my daughter feels all the emotions and then is just suddenly ready to move on, and that this will be over soon.

In a few minutes, we are talking about the trees, then tossing little sticks at them to see if we can hit them left handed. A few more minutes, and some giggles later, Hailey and papa are checking for bugs under bark.

Was the rest of the the a breeze? No, it was pretty clear that Hailey was feeling a little heavy today, maybe not as rested or something is else going on. Later on, she got hurt again and we quickly headed home. I predict the rest of the day will involve cuddles, rest, and comfort food. Today was challenging, but I’m grateful to recognize and work on my triggers.

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Unschooling today 2/27/2019

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We’ve been without a van for about 6 weeks now. Trying to keep our days at home interesting has been a challenge sometimes. If I stay on top of being present with the kids, and paying attention to our connection, the days have gone much more smoothly. Today was a pretty good day.

Me and the boys ate breakfast together, then played in the living room. I put the baby on my back, started waking up Hailey, did some quick chores and get her breakfast and us lunch. Throw in a little dance party.

The 3 year old played with our homemade Playdoh for quite a bit. We all sat around talking, snacking, and listening to music. I read a couple chapters of “diary of a minecraft zombie” out loud.

We had some tea in the special cups. The kids loved that.

Elijah played on minecraft for a bit, showing me what he was creating. Then the boys went outside to play for a while. Hailey spent that time drawing.

When they came in, I helped them get dry clothes. My 3 year old wanted to cuddle and watch TV, and the baby was ready for a nap. I played roblox with Hailey while I sat with them.

Dinner time, then I went to the store to buy some fruit, while the big kids played minecraft some more at home with Papa.

A simple day, but a good one!

I don’t fear daylight savings anymore. 

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Daylight savings time. I used to go with the rhetoric of how awful it had to be, because everyone else complained; and truthfully, when we pressured ourselves with early time commitments, I’m sure it did have its challenges. 

Back then, I was very much still discovering who I was and what I believed as parent. I caught myself parroting what I heard others say. That was the normal. I wanted to fit in. Not only in my words, but my actions. I did many things differently, but I also conformed in ways that were hard for me. Get up early, rush to a million activities. Go go go. 

Not now though. Now my kids can sleep and wake as they need. We adjust each day and go with the flow, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Hailey did wake up earlier than usual today, not because the clock was changed, but because of an excited little brother who made a bit too much noise. That’s okay. We can figure out what we need as the day goes on. Our morning was free to take it as slow as we needed it to be.

We ate breakfast, the kids watched a bit of a movie, checked on their birds nests they made for the back yard, and found ladybugs on the porch as I sipped my coffee. Winter demands I take pictures of anything he deems interesting. 

I am thankful that this day won’t throw us off the week and that we have no strict schedule to adhere to. I know that can’t be everyone’s reality. My husband will still have to sleep at his normal time, even if the kids are still up. I could look at that as putting more “work” on me. I don’t look at it that way anymore. I love this life.

Visions of Motherhood: Before and after. Reality check!

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This is another post that was written a few years ago. My journey figuring on this parenting thing is still changing.

 

Every expectant mom has their idea of what motherhood is going to be like. It usually involves some idealistic vision of a sweet calm baby, who smiles and laughs all the time, wears adorable outfits, and nurses perfectly. You see yourself taking this charming bundle of joy to the park for picnics with your husband or imagine them playing (or sleeping) happily while you continue to cook gourmet meals and have a spotless house (like that even happened before the baby). Lastly, you (I!) expect many things to stay the same, namely your relationship with your spouse. All of that is well and good, and don’t get me wrong, I want to embrace the power of positive thinking…. but…. It just is NOT TRUE, at least not all of the time. Sure, I tried to tell myself it was true for a while. I might have even had myself convinced, after all I can be pretty persuasive.

The excuses didn’t put a ding in my idea vision for a while. The dishes are dirty because the baby nursed all day long…………. The floor didn’t get vacuumed because I didn’t want to wake her……Buttered egg noodles for dinner because she is just so darn cute I couldn’t put her down.

But eventually reality had to set in. Did I have the perfect sweet calm baby who smiled and laughed? Sometimes. She also wore some adorable outfits. The nursing perfectly…well that took a while. Beyond that sometimes my sweet baby was not so calm. Sometimes she cried, a lot, for no apparent reason. Did we have picnics in the park? Um, no. But we were able to go and play and have fun at the park as a family once she was like 8 months old. The gourmet meals and spotless house? (Cough, cough) Sure if spaghetti and “Yes, I did manage to get the laundry put into the dryer” counts, then yes.

I think the biggest obstacle was learning that having a baby changes things more than just what you cook for dinner. I had to learn how to be mommy and wife. We had to learn what it meant to parent together. Expectations change. It was (and is) difficult. But that’s okay. It comes with the territory.

I absolutely love being a mom. It is the most challenging, unpredictable, life altering thing. It is the only thing that can turn my horrible day into a wonderful one with one little smile. Is it exactly what I had imagined (pretended) it would be when I was big and pregnant? Not exactly, but it sure is something awesome.

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