Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Peaceful Parenting Challenge- Week 1

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #1 Creating Awareness.
This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about creating awareness. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Mindful Breathing

“If a peaceful child can create a peaceful world, 
then a peaceful parent can create a peaceful child.” 
~ Goldie Hawn ~

This is week one of our 10 week challenge to Peaceful Parenting.  Above is our quote of inspiration for the week.  

As per my previous post introducing my new topic for the blog, I have been asked to write about my reflections on the first week.  We were given an exercise to complete related to emotional awareness and discovering our triggers.

As most of you veteran readers know, I have a psychology degree and trained in spiritual care but quit to be a stay at home mom for boy/girl twins who currently 21 months old. One of the basics of our training was self-awareness.  Even with years of training, one can still have blind spots.  It is so easy to criticize others and pick out flaws, but to recognize in oneself in not so easy nor a preferred task.  (Unless you are one of those people who like to beat themselves up... but that is another tangent all-together.)  

This week's task/exercise asked us to keep a journal and write about our days.  We weren't required to write a book, but just jot things done.  Then we were to reflect on what we have written and sort the items into 3 columns; Trigger, Emotion and Response to the Emotion.

I assume that it is not specific to child rearing issues or incidents, but rather about what we have experienced in our week and how our emotional self shows to others.  People can pick up on our emotions even when we think we have them in check, or hidden pretty well. Our children can tell too. Even though they are young, infants or whatever age, they can sense our emotions by our interaction with them.  That being said, I know this in my head.. but that doesn't mean that I am good at practicing peacefulness during my days.  I likely think I am "putting it away" so that I can interact well with my twins and hubby only to be deluding myself.  

So what I learned about myself this week wasn't really a shocker, but more of a gentle reminder to check my stuff at the door before engaging the children, (and hubby) even if they or their behavior is the trigger.

Lately I have had to deal with one child waking up at least once a night, usually 3 a.m., but this week, it was more.  The other night she woke up 4 separate times.. and I have no idea why. If only she could talk and tell me, is it a bad dream? is she afraid of the dark, even though there is a night light?  Ugh!  Why won't you go back to sleep?  Mommy is tired but can't sleep in because you won't or because your brother wakes up at the usual time. *sigh*

Another trigger is the whining that my daughter does.  It is loud, often and just plain frustrating.  After trying to figure out what she wants, (I know that she does this because her verbal skills aren't developed yet) and getting no where, or sometimes it is because she wants something that she shouldn't have (like a pen that she likes to jab her brother with) or to go outside (when it is supper time).  Well it is frustrating to say the least. There is no reasoning with my daughter.  Sometimes it is better to appease than to hear the whine.

Another trigger is my husband's lack of involvement.  Correction, my preception of his lack of involvement.  I have learned, no, I have known for a while, that I have a unrealistic expectation that he will know what I want or what I think because he is Trekkie, you know, and therefore he should be able to hone his telepathy to figure it out.  No, really. I apparently don't articulate my expectations very clearly.  I have a habit of dropping subtle hints and assuming that he knows I want help with the kids.  However there is the occasion when I am blunt and he still irritates me.  This weekend, I asked for help to feed the kids.  My daughter was vocalizing her discontent for the food that I had presented, or lack of, I don't remember.  He came in to see what was her issue.  I said "oh good, you're here." and then explained that she was not happy with the food but seemed to eating. I turned to the sink for a second and he was gone again.  *sigh*  I had to go find him and explain that while it is happy at the moment, I would still like help as they don't really want to eat.  While it may be that neither of us has the answer to our child's desire of the day, it would be nice to not feel so helpless, but to be helpless together. When I explain this concept to him (perhaps not always with a peaceful tone at first), he does better. We are both learning this parenting thing.

I have noticed that in general I have a sense of resignation.  I know that I don't have control, and my twins don't have control, and yet it is what it is, so we go on.  I try to understand the tantrums.  I have had to be reminded by a girlfriend with an almost 3 year old that what they stress about is not what we would stress about.  Their world is smaller or different perspectives so hence there is a the disconnect.  So I have tried to push past the tired moments, the exasperation, the stress from other aspects of life to spend time with my children playing, sitting with them, holding them, and trying not to scold them even when they know that they are being naughty, and it has helped my outlook.  But don't get me wrong.. there are days..  if I could run away... I would.  (for a minute and then I see that smile and I melt.)


Balancing being a stay-at-home-mom & working from home – Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting realizes her home base business and mommy duties don’t mix well.
My Top Card - Amber from shares her experience attending the Peaceful Parenting Mini Retreat.
Peaceful Parenting Challenge Week 1 - Katrina from Kalem Photography explores her expectations on herself and asking for help.
Peaceful Parenting Challenge Week 1: Awareness – Jennifer from The Children’s Directory talks about her frustrations over getting out the door and dinner time.
Emotional Highs and Lows of Parenting  – Verena from Memory Maker Events talks about the emotional highs and lows of parenting.
Peaceful Parenting Challenge Week 1 - Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat is reminded about checking her “stuff” at the door before dealing with her twins.
The Two Faced Mom in search of peace - Loly from My Journey Home chats about expectations.
Week #1 Suddenly aware of all this anger… - Michelle from My Peaceful Parenting becomes aware of her anger.
Amanda from Family and Baby Sign Language describes her physical response to intense emotions.
Ricky at Daddy Blogger reflects on how peaceful the first year of his daughter’s life was and wonders where all that peace has gone.

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