Responding to Limit-Testing While Staying Sane

Apr 16, 2014 by

Asserting themselves. Testing. Pushing the limits. Driving us crazy. Call it what you will, all kids have occasional stages that feel like never-ending parent versus child power struggles. We’ve been in a phase of limit-testing lately at my house with my almost-three-year-old. Every day feels like opposite-day.

“I want a bagel for breakfast, please.”

“Ok, here’s your bagel!”

“I WANTED CEREAL! I changed my mind! Make this bagel go AWAY!”

This is how most of our days have gone lately. He wants his banana cut up. As soon as it’s cut, he wants it whole. He wants a glass of water, no, wait milk, no, wait water! Each day takes every ounce of patience that I have in me. Why is this happening?

Let it Go

Apr 15, 2014 by

I promise, this is not an analysis of the movie “Frozen” or its impact on the repeat-cycle of my brain, though I should apologize for the fact that it’ll now likely be running circles in yours for the rest of the day.  Nope, today I’m simply here to say:

“Let it Go.”

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I have a few friends that are going through some pretty tough times.  In addition, in the work I do, supporting those affected by violence, having a tough time is what brings them to us.  As I’ve watched, listened to, and read how we collectively respond to struggle, illness, trauma and grief, I feel compelled to gently remind us all that sometimes, we have to let it go.  Let the tears out, let the howling begin, let yourself fall into a crumpled mass on the floor: Please, let it go.

Judging Less Takes Practice – No One’s Perfect

Apr 15, 2014 by

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Throughout our Campaign for Judgement-Free Motherhood I’ve tried to emphasize that for those who see the value in judging other moms less, the way to start is by simply noticing when we’re doing it. From my personal experience, it’s easy to go down a dark rabbit hole of judgment and negativity if I choose to follow those kinds of thoughts and honestly, I don’t like the way I feel when I’m in that kind of head space.

I deeply believe in universal compassion, kindness and seeing the good in other people. But still sometimes I falter. I’ve noticed in the past few weeks that I’ve been judging people more than usual, which I think is a result of some negative stuff that’s been going on in my personal life. It’s definitely harder to let judgmental thoughts go when your mind isn’t in the greatest place.

Sharing Childhood Joy with My Children

Apr 15, 2014 by

berenstain bears bookI’ve never considered myself a “collector”, so when my mom brought over all of my old children’s books, I was pleasantly surprised to see my collection of Berenstain Bears books. After my mom left, I took the pile of nearly 40 books and placed them on my daughter’s bookshelf. As with most things these days, I was instantly distracted by something or someone in need of my attention and went about the day.

Then, a few nights ago, as my son was choosing a book for us to read before bed, he called my attention to the back of one of the Berenstain Bear books that was in his bookshelf. “Mommy”, he said, “we haven’t read this one, or this one. Where can we get those books?” And that’s when the memories rushed back in.

Losing Wawa

Apr 15, 2014 by

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A wave of panic set over me.

“Where’s Wawa?” I ask, turning whatever is within my reach over to see if it’s hiding underneath.

Little B looks at me teary eyed, “I lost it.”

“When did you last have it?”

“I don’t know. Bubba had it.”

I look over at Bubba, who pretends not to hear us. “Hey, Bubba. Where’s Breebree’s Wawa?”

“I dunno…” I shoot my little guy the hairy eyeball, as he promptly turns over, ignoring us.

When the Calendar Makes Us Hurt

Apr 15, 2014 by

Last week I was feeling very low. I couldn’t figure out why until I looked at the calendar. It turns out that last Tuesday was the anniversary of a very difficult event at work (some of you may recall that I had a difficult series of events related to my job in 2013). I wasn’t consciously aware of it, but on some level, my brain and my psyche knew. It was actually a relief to figure out that there was a real reason why I felt so down.

Life brings with it lots of wonderful events, such as our kids’ birthdays, which we celebrate with joy each year. But there are also sad dates that can evoke intense feelings of sadness and pain. On the anniversary of the date that each of my parents passed away, I am transported back to that day, even though my father died 25 years ago and my mother died almost 10 years ago. I remember the horrible phone call, and the flurry of activity immediately after. I remember the deep sadness and sense of loss, particularly when my dad died, because it was very sudden and unexpected and he was only 60.

More confessions of a first-time mom

Apr 14, 2014 by

I’ve used my son’s diaper cream for my own body.

Baby Boy has this great-smelling, creamy petroleum jelly diaper cream that I carry around in my diaper bag/work bag. I’ve used it in a pinch to moisturize my dry legs while at work, as a lip balm for my lips severely dehydrated due to breastfeeding, and as a spot-treatment hand cream. Yes, the same cream I use on my son’s butt has touched my lips—just not at the same time. Don’t judge, this stuff is awesome!

I wear the same two pairs of pants to work pretty much every day.

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