Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Peaceful Parenting: Week 6 - I am NOT an Independent Woman ... and that is okay.

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #6 – Developing Positive Self-Talk
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 Developing Positive Self-Talk. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Watching Our Language. 

I am often amazed at how much grace we give to others, but not to ourselves.  It is said that we are our own worst critic. Why is this? I think it is because we have been trained to compare ourselves to the world around us; our peer group, our family, media ("Marsha Marsha Marsha" complex from Brady Bunch is one example) -- the list goes on.  Now that I have joined the world of not just mommyhood, but MoM-hood (Mom of Multiples) of course there is comparison!!   Especially since I am a first time mom.  

I remember before being a mom thinking that it is so much easier to do this parenting thing, especially when it is not your kid eh?  You can see the flaws in other people or their parenting method and can point it out eagerly. (I remember my sister once saying "are you her mother? then stop parenting her.")  Now that I am a mom and a MoM, it is a whole different ballgame because I'm actually a player, not just jumping in with my comments from the sidelines, but actually playing and feeling the pressure. "You don't want your kid to be emotionally scarred for life because your inadequacies as a parent eh? Don't want them to suffer the trials that we did when growing up.  But we also don't want to stifle them." Oh the pressure and in the end, we are often blind to our own flaws, or goodness -- seeing what we want or need to see, or what we think others see.  


Once again, my independent streak rears its ugly head and I am torn between "I can do this myself" and "I'm feeling a little helpless, please come help me with this kid issue."  Over the past week, I have heard myself say "what’s the point? This is futile." in regards to correcting a seemingly uncomprehending child. While it is a game for my twins  --to go between the wall and TV stand in order to touch the screen or pull a cord -- it is tiring and frustrating to repeated move the child away, admonish them, turn around to child #2 for exact same behavior, and to turn around and see child #1 doing it again.  When this occurs at the end of a seemingly long, frustrating day, I have a habit of taking it out on my poor hubby.   
My journal entry for one day said this : "Heard self say at 7 p.m. aug12 that husband is no help as he was “gone” from room.  Neg talk to hubby for not helping. Because frustrated and tired of repeatedly correcting seemingly non-comprehending child. (what’s the point? This is futile.)"  In hindsight, it is easy to see why we lashed out or said/did something.  It was really directed at myself, but to feel better, I lashed out at the family member that was present (or not present, depending on what my mind thought eh?)  

Sometimes in the moment, it is hard to remain objective about what is going on, to evaluate my contribution to the situation, etc.  but I do think that I got better at it as the week went on.  
  • I had to remind myself that asking for help IS ok.  
  • I have had to ask hubby's opinion about some parenting issue when I feel helpless to solve it. 
  • I have had to stop to breathe so that I don't go in the frustrated spiral of helplessness and exasperation. 
Overall, I have been calm about certain incidents.  I think this relates to the state of mind I am in that day (wrong side of the bed, up too much at night, or sunny day) and the fact that I am a MoM. Early on in this parenting adventure, I had to learn that I am but one woman -- alone in the day for almost 12 hours, and there are some things on my "to do" list that aren't getting done and that is okay -- and there are some times when being 1 woman makes it a challenge to tend to the twin energies that live in this house, especially when that woman is asserting her stubborn independent "I should be able to do this (myself) streak".  Then again, I remember some other "independent" moms who are doing so much that they don't have time to think and remember that I am blessed to be in this stage of the journey.  Try to see the lesson of the day and move forward. 
Luckily, I am a part of a partnership when it comes to raising our children.  Sometimes it is just my husband, other times it involves family members, church members whom I consider family and a host of others, but in the end, there is always me and hubby trying to figure out this strange new journey together.  While I have always thought of myself as a proud, independent woman (which my parents will tell you started early) and have been proud of my achievements, especially in light of my "shortcomings" (young, female, ministry career, hearing loss), there is still room for humility and grace.  I am grateful that I am not alone in this journey -- that my husband and I are in it together, even if there are times when I tell him otherwise.  
Journal entry: 

Woke hubby to get child B as I had gotten up at 2 a.m. for child A.  Child A woke up as well.  Got her up and dressed while listening to child B fuss downstairs.  Came down to hear hubby saw that B saw bottle and didn’t really want cereal offered.  Hubby said a lot of “come on M”, Enough of this.

Later I said to hubby that we have different goals than they do so we get frustrated because their goals are not ours.

See! Improvement? or it is?  well we are all learning this parenting thing together and what a journey it is.  Let's hope that Independent woman doesn't rear her head too often in the negativity vein, or I'll start the spiral again. *Sigh*
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
Affirmations– Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting turns anger into Peaceful Parenting Affirmations for herself.
Week #6- developing Positive Self Talk– Jennifer from Children’s Directory says yes every day for a year.
Positive Self Talk – Peaceful Parenting Challenge – Week 6 - Katrina from Kalem Photography has been developing positive self-talk for about 30 years.
Positive Self-Talk – Ricky from Daddy Blogger is feeling more comfortable with this week’s challenge.
Week 6 - Positive Self Talk– Amanda from Sticky Hands practices positive self-talk out loud for the benefit of her most important audience.

Positive Transitions - Lolly from My Journey Home is back to a stressful job after maternity leave.
I am a good mother – Michelle from My Peaceful Parenting praises herself when she doesn’t lose it.

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