oh the youthful idea that I can spread and share knowledge that MIGHT help other moms. "how can you share advice on parenting? remember last night? and...the night before? and the epic meltdown at the gas station in Winnemucca last summer?"
ok brain, thanks for the reminder. but I'm totally cool with being vulnerable and risking looking like an idiot to the world. I honestly have nothing to lose. besides, if I wait to share stuff until I'm perfect and a master, then everyone will have to drive to my gravesite and read my blog there.
so here it goes.
is so freaking hard.
really, the hardest thing in the world. I had a lot of confidence when the kids were little, baby momma life comes naturally to me. but slowly as they grew up and the challenges multiplied along with the life stress, somewhere between spelling quizzes and that one stomach flu marathon I lost my confidence. I lost my mojo. like losing your keys, a really important tool in your life. it gets you places, you open and unlock the world with those keys, and then, poof. gone.
and then...I slowly (and sometimes quickly) gave up in areas of parenting.
and then...I slowly (and sometimes quickly) lost site of what was most important to ME ( maybe not to everyone) but to me. and that was...my kids and my family.
so when all hell hit the fan last fall, I ordered an online parenting course to whip my butt into shape. I knew that if I could create a dance studio out of nothing that I could certainly create a family life from what now appeared as a shell of a family.
I'm now spending time each day, diving into this online course, and most of the time I'm crying because of stuff I've done totally wrong and crying because I've just found answers to hundreds of my parenting dilemmas and well, just lots of crying. growth is not for the weak.
I'm not even close to finished with it, but I have, have, have! to share the TWO most important things that have been sticking, and working.
1. SIGNIFICANCE AND BELONGING
1. SIGNIFICANCE AND BELONGING - WHAT IS THAT?
all children, and adults, duh, need to feel like they are significant and that they belong.
significant means I contribute, I am needed, I am capable.
belonging means I am loved, I am wanted.
And we all know each kid (and adult) feels love and needs to contribute in different ways, good luck! I recommend the course, honestly, I do. (positiveparentingsolutions.com)
But 2? I'll give you for free right now, and start right now!
TMT- TEN MINUTE TIME
They call it "body mind and soul time" but my kids would have barfed the dinosaur shaped frozen chicken nuggets all over the table if I introduced it like that. so now we have TMT time. And this is how it works:
Each child in the family gets 10 minutes of one on one time from a parent, EVERY DAY, and the kids decide what THEY want to do with you during it.
I totally balked at this, could it really work? that's, what, wait? let me do the math, 40 minutes of my time, EVERY DAY? what? and she says even when I'm on a trip to Skype them for 10 minutes each? what?
but, I'd paid my moolah and I'm dedicated to having a happy home and healthy happy kids who aren't eating tide pods to get attention. I also COMITTED to being a mom, not when it's easy, not just when it's cute, not just when I feel it is NATURALso I started.
and...miracles. I am telling you what.
I don't want to oversell it or anything (too late), but holy poop. This is so simple and free! and it is amazing. I won't list all of the behavioral improvements we are seeing at home because, well, my kids are getting old enough that their lives are their lives and I'm not going to share their lives to the world, they can do that if, when? they want. But I'll just say, it's been amazing. Seriously.
The other thing I'm loving, is that for 40 minutes a day, I can be with my kids, and be...a kid. this is a double win because all of my therapy goals are about healing my traumatized inner child, so drawing pictures of dinosaurs for ten minutes and laughing about how my 7 year old can draw them better than me is PERFECT for my soul.
I set the timer on my phone and we play basketball, or two square (I'm relearning the rules and it has somehow become much more intense of a game then when I was in school), or make cookies, or look at shopping sites (without having mom/money guilt, just oohing and ahhhing), or play video games together (only the older kids get this privilege btw).
The timer goes off, and it's over. "Thanks for doing TMT with me dude! High five! Hug!!
So give it a try, ask yourself if your children feel like they belong and are significant. You can tell if they DO NOT feel that because they will seek your attention in negative ways. if they can't be significant as a helping older sibling, they'll get attention by being a butthead. this I know to be true.
a few quick rules about Ten Minute Time:
1. label it, when you start, when you end, BIG HUG at end!
2. use a timer, literally. you will be in awe at how incredibly slow ten minutes is, or fast depending on what your munchkin picks for you to do. hehe
3. schedule it (I'm working on this) but if you don't have time during the day, do it at bedtime and stagger bedtimes.
*have more than 4 kids? split it up with your spouse or take turns by day. or a few during the day, a few more during bedtime routine.
best of luck to all you amazing moms out there trying to do your best, belong and feel significant.
I will shout from the rooftops that you, yes, you mom that is reading this, you DO BELONG! and you are SO STUPID SIGNIFICANT it is not even funny. This is the most important job you'll ever have, and you can be the mom you've always wanted.
You can come punch me in the face if you totally try and it doesn't work. just kidding...no really. you can. good luck!