Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What really matters

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #4 – Slow Down
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 Slowing Down. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Practicing Presence. 

Slowing Down - Peaceful Parenting Week #4

This week's exercise was about slowing down and learning to accept the moments that our children present us for what they are. About connecting with our family and to do that, we need to slow down. This is essentially what we were instructed this week, as well we were asked to consider what we do for ourselves as parents each day.  10 minutes, 10 seconds, something small that helps replenish us so that we can continue to give to our children and our partners.

This week has certainly been about connecting with family.  This weekend, we went to my husband's bi-annual family reunion on Vancouver Island.  I believe that in a previous post I explained my stresses and anxiety related to this.  This time, I was armed with an agenda so that I could avoid the awkward conversations where I don't know what to say or what to ask.  I had questions about their family of origins-- which I hope were received well by the extended family members.  Some were new to me as I had never met them at previous gatherings, or new to the family by marriage.  My children enjoyed themselves by running up and down the halls and playing with various cousins there, playing in a pool, and bubbles.  

Today I am missing my nephew's 2nd birthday party/dinner with the family because my son (22 months) woke up this morning with Croup.  Hubby had never heard of Croup before so I told him about the first time I heard of it, from the Anne of Green Gables story as it was the reason that Anne and Diana were allowed to see each other again after Anne mistakenly fed Current wine to Diana instead of Raspberry cordial.  Diana's sister was sick and the parents were away so she ran to Anne's house for help. Luckily, Anne had nursed twins with croup in her past and knew what to do.  Croup is horrid.  My son sounds like a barking seal when he first wakes and feels miserable.  We took him to a doctor this morning as he has had croup before.  On top of that, he has an ear infection.  *Sigh*  I feel badly as I feel that in nurturing the relationships with family and allowing my in laws to help/ give me the break that I missed something.  I know that he probably would have gotten sick regardless, but mommy guilt is there.

The exercise asked us to enter into the moment where our children invite us.  While I would like to fully embrace this, there is still discipline to be done, tantrums to solve, and continued marital struggles to deal with -- financial, emotional, bickering -- some of which gets aggravated because of my inexperience in dealing with my children's growing pains.

Okay, that was yesterday's little tirade.  Obviously, I wasn't really taking time to breathe, remember the meditation exercises, or .. slow down yesterday.  The house is quieter today.  It is back to routine. Just me and my kids, as daddy has gone to work after a long weekend, and the grandparents have returned home from helping us. I think that it was hard to slow down as there were so many people around with so much energy percolating, that it was easy to get caught up in the energy of others. (plus a son with croup, traffic and messy house does not help one think, slow down too much either)

I have been able to take time for me, to charge my batteries by reading books (see the goodreads box on the right hand side of my blog). Thank goodness for e-readers as I don't have time for a library or barely get to the grocery store.  I also continue to press ahead on the family tree project.  Old photos and memories are fun.  Yesterday I finally unpacked the trunk from my mother's place and found lots of toys that I grew up with, new toys that my kids will love and odds and ends like collector spoons from our trip to Germany in 1987, and my father's Christening spoon.

In between this, I have watched my children explore their surroundings and learn new skills.  It is easy to take that for granted as we have mastered it.  A girlfriend reminded me months ago that we have to teach them to tie their shoes, get dressed, brush teeth.. basics that we have mastered are new to them. So it is fun to celebrate the new achievements, new outfits due to growth spurts, playing hats with my kids, hearing them squeal with delight at each other, and cuddles with mommy ... it is the little things that matter and help to put our life into perspective.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
Small Things Often– Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting realizes the small moments are the ones that matter the most.
Stop, Amy Stop. Amy from The Connection We Share accepts her family’s invitation to slow down and finds that life will not be "better" when items get crossed off to-do lists. Life is perfect, right now.
Slow Down- Peaceful Parenting Challenge - Week 4 - Katrina from Kalem Photography calls her week a complete failure.
Slowing Down – Ricky from Daddy Blogger says slowing down doesn’t come naturally.
A Work in Progress Verena from Memory Maker Events builds in some time for herself.
What really matters- Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat realizes it is the little things that matter and help to put our life into perspective.
Time to Play- Michelle from My Peaceful Parenting feels like a bit of a cheater.  
Slow and Steady wins– Lolly from My Journey Home questions what are we all rushing towards.

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