Tag Archives: Parenting

B.M.W.B #52 – Getting Uncomfortable

Wow! I can’t believe 52 Becoming The Mama I Want to Be posts – of all the things I’ve done this year this has been the best one, the most significant and in many ways the easiest. It’s actually rather easy to enjoy special time with my boys.

This week we got up with the boys (6.30am!!!!) and watched a Christmas movie together. Our boys go to bed really early so a movie after tea is not an option. So instead I got uncomfortable – I hauled myself out of bed when I could have slept in (hello holidays!) and instead of them watching it alone we watched together and then afterwards we talked about what we liked and what made us laugh.

I acted excited to get out of bed when they came in all excited and shiny eyed in the morning…. and actually I enjoyed myself! Sometimes for me the barrier is my own laziness and when I get over this I am always the better for it.

Being together on a special occasion creates such a sense of team and love. It’s never a waste of time. Never.( I didn’t take photos you really don’t need to see me at this time of the day!)

I have so enjoyed this series this year and you have no idea how much your encouragement has meant to me. I have such a passion for people and families to love and enjoy each other and the thought that someone else might find this space helps/encourages them to do the same gives me such joy.

In 2013 I will continue this series on a Monday – including a linky so that you can help me to encourage, be encouraged and resource each other. I would love to have your input too.

And I have made a button – cue huge gasp! With help and direction and here it is :o)

 

Create Hope Inspire

So if you would like to join in with these posts anytime please grab the code on the right.

I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. 

 Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

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B.M.W.B #51 – The Words We Shall Not Speak

This week has been the worst some families will ever experience. There are families (not just in the USA but this is in my heart and tears) that have lost little ones…. ones they love like I love my boys.

I have been thinking so much about these families – the searing loss, the aching and I so recognise how easy it is to respond in fear. To worry for my children, for the people who inhabit the world they are growing into, to fear the diseases, the dangers, the predators….. but even though that might motivate me (for a time) to love and cherish my children more it is not where I want to parent from.

Fear

Obligation

Guilt

These are the words I want to banish from my parenting. These words, their feelings, the actions they motivate – these are not the mama I want to become.

Fear, when we allow it to set up camp – controls us, it robs us, it makes us cling to children where we should be throwing them in the air, cheering at their attempts to learn new skills, it makes us hold them back from the world they need to experience (I’m not talking about unsafe risks, I’m talking about the joys – and sometimes pains – of being a child). Too many children in many places are robbed of their chance to experience childhood, skinned knees and all. I will not let my fear rob my children of their opportunity.

Obligation – along with its long-suffering companion the heavy sigh – is robbing mama’s of being the mama they long to be. So busy having to do this, should be doing that, ought to have done……. maybe it’s abandoning the home baking this week, or leaving the dishes in the sink or ‘forgetting’ homework for a night. Parenting out of obligation just leads done a very slippery slope to resentment. It does mean the physical needs are met but don’t for a second be fooled that an obliged parent is giving or receiving joy from her family.

Guilt – I have made mistakes, my parents have made mistakes and their parents before them too. If I focus on these I spend so much time in ‘self-improving/being trapped in a cycle of regret/ not doing it the way my parents did it‘ that I take my eyes off the goal – this moment, this experience, this opportunity to laugh or cry, this chance to skip down the road. Guilt traps us in the past. I want to parent right here, today, in this moment.

I love this quote – it reminds me I want people to treat my children with a fresh slate each day and I too need to start each parenting day with a fresh slate too.

 

So what words shall we speak of?

Joy

Celebration

Future

It is a joy to have my boys. A joy not allowed to everyone who longs to parent. I will enjoy this moment. This mess that speaks of a home inhabited by small children. Joy in the noise that demonstrates children relaxed, children expressive, children who do not have to silence their thoughts. I will lie in bed at the end of the day and thank God with joy for the minutes, days and years I have been given with these boys so far.

Celebration – every day is a gift. I am not promised tomorrow for myself or my boys and so I will celebrate today.

Future – I will parent with the future in mind. With my hopes for men who will be filled with compassion and strength. Men who will be generous in their actions, their laughter, their friendships. Because while I choose and hope to dwell right here in this moment I am also growing men. For me this is like stopping to smell the roses – looking at the delicate buds, marveling at the flowers but remembering to water that same plant because I hope it will bloom for a good many years more.

This week I started teaching my biggest boy to sew (he made a Christmas gift for his brother) and I sat in the sandpit (in my Sunday dress and ‘pearls’) with my littlest boy. Because I enjoy them, because they make every day worth celebrating, because they are without a doubt the best thing I have to invest my life into for every single day we have one another.

(I realise this is like the longest post ever pretty much I’ve written it for me…. but I’d be stoked if it encouraged you too)

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. 

 Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

B.M.W.B #48 – Without Technology

I think sometimes that technology is the greatest barrier to good parenting and its greatest inspiration.

The lure of the quick email check, the scintillating blog post that distracts and I’m not even on facebook or twitter!

But then there is the inspiration, the solidarity, the sharing of the joy in the journey, the ease of finding tips, party plans, reward charts….. the ease of sharing photos…. it’s not all bad.

On Sunday The Atlas was away and I had promised the boys we would bike to the dairy to spend some pocket-money. For more on how we do pocket-money see here.

As we left I said ‘we could go to the dairy you suggested or we could bike down to the one by school and stop for a play on the playground’. Unanimously accepted the alternative!

So we biked in the sun with no hurry. We stopped and ate ice-blocks and played on the playground. I had no camera (the photo is an old one), no phone, no book to read, no other adult to chat with – just 2 boys to enjoy. We were very thankful for the open toilets… possibly accidental …. but when it was number 2s we needed to do I’m sure the caretaker was pleased too.

I even played tree tag and I’m not usually a tag player. The Atlas is naturally good at these things – being present, playing tag, not hurrying…. I am learning them and without him there I had the choice of stepping up. I’m pleased I did.

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. 

 Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

And happy anniversary to The Atlas – man of my life. So thrilled to have spent the last 13 years playing wife to you. xxxx

B.M.W.B #45 – In The Planning

I am an anticipator – I love to look forward to things, to know something exciting is around the corner. I feel like this every time I go to the mailbox and often when the phone rings too – I imagine something exciting waiting for me in there or some wonderful news on the other end…..perhaps it is a little odd after 34 years I still have this but hey it makes life exciting right??

The other day I was sent a link to this awesome post of Treena-Marie’s where she outlines all the cool advent activities they do and I decided to pirate it for myself (with some changes to suit us and because I am too lazy to make a gingerbread house – just sayin!)

This is going to be a surprise for the boys but I also wanted to get them anticipating special things we can do together so when some of them happen they have that lovely ‘It’s just what I had thought about/wanted to do feeling’.

So today we just sat and chatted together about some fun things we had done over the last couple of years and also things they wanted to do. I took notes – I think that adds importance and makes them feel honoured and heard – nothing like seeing your brilliant idea written down in Mama’s special notebook to make you feel good.

Do you include your children in planning or do you take them by surprise? I think there is room for both myself and if you have a child like me then just let them know a surprise is coming up and you’ll be ticking both their boxes!!

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. 

 Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

 

B.M.W.B #32 – It Takes A Village

You know the saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child’? I have to say I’d be a bit selective about the village members myself but it is a sentiment I want outworked for my children.

On Sunday afternoon while The Atlas was on a special ski trip I went walking the hills with some friends – the day was awful, visibility was low, the wind was cold (but the boys were well dressed mum!!), and the track was narrow, slippery and covered in gorse in places – sound good? It was  until both my boys had moments of being ‘a donkey on the edge’ or even a donkey over the edge.

At every one of these times and a few others besides there were adults at their sides – mamas and papas – holding their hands, speaking to them kindly, distracting them with stories, offering to carry them on their shoulders.

It is a privilege to The Atlas and I that we have a great collection of ‘villagers’ around us. People who love their own children. People who treat our children kindly and talk to them with honour and respect.

I want my children to grow up with models of healthy families and with adults, who we like and respect, to relate to them and show interest in them.

As our boys grow and mature I want to have voices speaking words that my boys can hear when our voices get lost in translation. We intentionally want to have these good people in our boys lives (and of course we also get the treat of their friendship too).

We are blessed with a an amazing range of family (related and not) in our lives and I am firmly convinced our boys’ lives will be richer for it.

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. Please inspire me with the little moments you are snatching with your little people OR with ideas I could do with mine. If you have blogged about it please leave a comment so we can all visit and encourage each other.
Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.
Do you have good people in your kids lives?

On Becoming a Parent

When you get married at 21 (as I did!) you don’t necessarily stop and really worry about what Mr Right will be like as a dad. Of course you think he is perfect and so he will be wonderful at that just like he is at everything else.

Fast forward 7 years when you have your 1st baby and suddenly you realise that actually what Mr Right is like as a dad is almost the MOST important thing of all.

Today I’m dedicating my post to The Atlas who is an amazing Dad.

Every night he comes home from work smiling and fully ready to participate with all of us

He does wrestling (that’s a blue job!) and plays ‘what’s the time Mr Wolf?’

He reads to the boys – currently Mr Gumpy’s Motor Car and  The Hardy Boys

He makes igloos

He is patient and kind and fun and mischievous and sporty and so many other things

He has always been totally involved in every aspect (even the smelly ones) of parenting

Parenting is hands down the most all-encompassing, full-on, head-spinning, challenging and rewarding thing I am sure we will ever do with our lives and I am SO blessed to be on The Atlas’ team.

Another thing I so appreciate about him is that every night when he sits done for tea he says ‘This looks great love’, without fail, and it always sounds genuine. (It could also be to do with the fact for the first 7 years of our marriage we were both working full-time and neither of us could be bothered cooking much more than a stir fry – or corned beef which is his ‘speciality’).

If I could have written my own perfect job description for a husband and father he would have met the requirements 100% and exceeded them too – except for the flatulence but that is a whole other post!! (or maybe not you just be glad!)He’s top quality and I am SO grateful for him.

Joining in with other grateful bloggers over at Paisley Jade.

Parenting, Parenting, Parenting and a Giveaway!

Hi and welcome if you’re new here I’m a mama on a journey to complete 100 challenges in 1 year with the aim being to be more creative and more intentional about the way I live.

During the year I’ve joined with the lovely crowd at kiwimummyblogs and as part of this I have on opportunity to do a giveaway! Love the giveaway action!

This giveaway is for the parenting book ‘Oh Grow Up’ by Kathy Fray.

The Book

As I see it there are 2 parenting styles the salmons and the apples. The salmon-like parent chooses to swim upstream ignoring the flow of the majority. Making the tough choices, gasping for air and really LIVING life. Salmons know the direction they are going in and they set themselves determinedly (if that is a word!) to achieve their course.

Apple parents are like an apple-bobbing barrel. They float around next to everyone else and don’t try too hard to experience the highs and lows of parenting. Everything is average and as soon as a new idea plops in the barrel they all splosh about a bit then go back to what they were doing before. Apple parenting is easier probably, not as many hard decisions to make just a lot of doing what everyone else is doing. Apples don’t have to make decisions for their children they just do what everyone else is doing.

I think Kathy Fray would be a salmon in this analogy. Her book is very comprehensive. It’s not just about parenting styles and getting your offspring to turn into healthy, contributing adults it’s about everything. It’s a bit like having a readily accessible experienced (and opinionated) parent who has a large dose of nutritional and health background and a generous swig of hippy (and I mean this as a compliment) thrown in for good measure.

Although our spiritual ideals and ideas are somewhat different in places I really like that she treats a child as body (lots of health, food, alternative medicines), soul (parenting with strength and love, building relationships) and spirit (values/morals, the fourth dimension, eternal). Many great parenting books are pretty much all soul, which is fine and necessary but we are people with a physical body and, most important to me, a spirit.

This book is written in such a way it’s easy to dip in and out to see what applies. I’m an avid reader of parenting books and I’d be surprised if there wasn’t at least some element that was new to readers in this book. It’s comprehensiveness can make it slow going in parts if you try to plough through in a cover to cover manner. That said Kathy’s writing style is easy to follow and pretty relaxed, be prepared for a few expletives. The book covers toddlers to teens but the food and medical stuff is relevant to anyone.

I was really pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this book. It has certainly challenged me even more about the way I feed and medicate my children – although I like to think I’m pretty hippy myself. She’s not a PC ‘everything you choose is okay’ type which I love. I think as parents we all need to be more salmon and less apple in order to help our children grow up to become strong, loving and whole adults who will be healthy in body, soul and spirit.

So…. here’s your chance to own a copy or win one for a parent you know. Simply leave a comment here with 1 word you think describes a ‘good’ parent. (Obviously there are lots of words, choose one you like!)

If you want another entry simply blog about this giveaway with a link for others to enter (let’s share the love). Then leave a second comment.

NZ entries only sorry – the postage can get out of control! Entries open until the end of the month. I’ll draw the winner on Oct 1st.

Good Luck to you all. If there are lots of comments I probably won’t respond to you all individually but please be assured I LOVE reading your comments. x