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My Challenge, My Love - Page 12

post #221 of 913
Hi everyone,

Just checking in to say hello and catching up.

Sledg - what a lovely scenario of your kids being compassionate and comforting you. Kids are amazing aren't they - moments like that can really lift your spirits. They definately pick up on our moods and this is a perfect example.

Bearsmama - poor you with your ER trip. Hope you don't mind me saying this but it did make me laugh, it just sounded so funny. I know it won't have been at the time but hopefully it will be a story you will tell in a few years.

On the subject of patience.........hmmmm..I struggle to be patient myself. DH is also extremely impatient which never helps. There's not much yin and yang on that front unfortunately! His impatience is actually a sore point at the moment. He just gets so stressed over really insignificant things and I worry about the effect it has on DS1. He gets very stressed and wound up when DS1 falls or hurts himself, instead of being calm. I don't like DS1 associating pain with getting stressed and angry as this is how he will react in later years.

Generally though things aren't too bad with DS1. He's still very, very demanding but I am really working hard at trying to put myself in his shoes and practice empathy more. I am also constantly trying to reiterate in my head that he is only 18mths old and I should not expect him to behave perfectly. I need to accept his need to express his emotions, learn new skills/feelings and discover who he is. It's all perfectly normal.

Hope everyone has a good week.
Bye for Now
post #222 of 913
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
I think you just had to lose it so the rest of us wouldn't feel intimadated by your patience.
Totally agree with Maureen on this one, sledg. We're not saying we're happy you lost it. Just a bit ...er, relieved that you are not infallible. Even in your dark moment, you are still inspiring becuase we know if you can bounce back and regain paitence, then so can we! We give you a big


Quote:
Originally Posted by sledg
Do you think patience comes effortlessly to anyone? It takes enormous effort for me to be patient.
Patience does NOT come effortlessly to me. Oh holy gobstoppers, no!
(Sorry, I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, today. )
It doesn't help that our culture is so instant gratification oriented either.
I just keep plugging away at it.

Hugs,
Loon
post #223 of 913
Thank you, loon. I'm so glad I shared, then. It helped me but I never imagined it could help anyone else.

Justine, 18 months is such an amazing age. My littlest one is only a few months older, and I'm sad that this time is passing and that I won't be the mother of a toddler anymore after she grows out of this stage. It's hard work, this age is a very demanding time, but it is so sweet. I remember when my first was this age, I perceived her as so grown up-she talked in sentences at 15 months, she was potty-trained before she was two. But really, they're still just babies. My 23 month old only recently began talking up a storm and she's not yet potty-trained as my first two were at this age, so she seems more like baby still-which helps me remember how little she really is and to be patient with her. Baby gates and cabinet locks help my patience level a lot too.
post #224 of 913
Thread Starter 
Justine-I'm not quite ready to laugh at the eye poke yet. Although just writing those words makes me feel that this will be a good story to tell years from now.

sledg-I just bought Peace is The Way today. Also, at the book store I was really interested in another book by Hanh abouto transforming difficult emotions (of course, as I write this I can't for the life of me think of the title). It was a distilled version of many of Hanh's teachings. But focused on anger in particular. It almost seemed like a daily affirmation-type book.

Anyway, ladies, just wanted to check in. Today we had an okay day. I'm trying to be present. But sometime my anger monster just comes outta nowhere. Sometimes I can feel the anger rising, and sometimes it just blindsides me.

More when I can. We're a little overwhelmed right now with trying to figure out what steps we need to take to get Bears evaluated by the local school system. A lot on our plate right now, but I'm hoping it gets him where he needs to be...
post #225 of 913
I don't know what this is, but we may have hit my least favorite parenting stage. I feel like I am going to be loved to death.

Joey has always been wonderful about taking time to himself and connecting when he needs me. He has this really sweet thing where he comes down the stairs and says "It's loving time!" Then he crawls up on my lap for a few minutes. Right now he wants loving time like 10 times a day and always when Zach is nursing. They are literally fighting over my lap space. And they are competeing with my knitting. If I sit for a minute to chill out with my knitting, they both need me intensely. Oh- and the dog is there on my lap, too. Aurgh!!! I am going nuts.

I think it is Daddy being so busy and working such long hours. So- here we sit, loving time for everyone and I haven't felt this touched out since Zach was a new born. And it is getting cold and there is nothing to do and I want to be making Christmas presents or reading.

The thing I am so aware of is that this is somehow about my own needs not being met, my own hunger for something and I can't for the life of me figure out what it is I am missing. My life has never been better. I am so thankful for all that I have and this is the life I always said that I wanted... so what is wrong? My poor husband, he is trying so hard to fix me and nothing seems to help. The best I can do is hope that this is a short lived stage.

Thanks for all the support out there.

Maureen
post #226 of 913
Thread Starter 
Oh, Maureen I completely get the being touched out thing. You know, I think we all have those "shoulds" in our heads somewhere. Like, DS just wants to be lovely, I should be enjoying this, being thankful for this. But that just ain't how life works. The only suggestion I would have would be to try desperately to get some kid-free time, with NO touching (like a bath with the door closed and NO interruptions, or going out alone to do some shopping or to get coffee or something). It's rough. I think nursing our kids, and being available to our children physically (of course there are many other ways we're there for them) is so draining. So good for them, and occasionally not so great for us. I have these days sometimes where I squeeze into bed between both kids, and a 6 foot 3 DH and I want to kick them all out of bed!

Hang in there. I love this quote from Chaucer: "What asketh man to have?" Sometimes we may have everything in front of us, but we still want something different. It's not intentional, it's our human condition. It's just the way it is. Besides the fact that MOTHERING IS JUST HARD.
post #227 of 913
Maureen, I can totally relate right now to being touched out-or heck just plain at the limits of giving. My children are all so incredibly needy right now that sometimes I feel very suffocated. By the end of the day I'm so all done touching, so done talking, so done listening. I just want a quiet little room to go to just to breathe. And it's so much harder this time of year when my dh is working longer hours and extra days. He is my rock, he's the one who comes home and cleans up the hopeless mess I've managed to let the house become, he's the one to get us through bedtime toothbrushing without anyone becoming homicidal, he's the breath of fresh air who renews my spirit and my patience just by walking in the door, he's the one the kids listen to at 6:30 pm when they're all done listening to me. I dread this time of year. Add to that the fact that somehow we ended up inheriting Thanksgiving dinner, and it's up to me alone to get ready for that (b/c dh is working so much until Thanksgiving day). I'm super stressed. I don't know how I'm going to get everything done and keep my sanity. I'm already cranky. Wow, I totally got off on a tangent.

I agree with Bearsmama that sometimes we just need something we're not getting and don't know what it is. Personally, this tells me that it's time for some quiet listening to myself. It's hard to keep giving, giving, giving. And it's so...I want to say tempting but that isn't the word....to keep giving even when it conflicts with our own needs because that's what mothers are "supposed" to do. I don't know about other moms, but I find that I have this tendency to just push my needs aside until I'm not aware of them anymore because that's what I think I should do. It's not even a conscious decision to push my needs aside, I just do it. It's a habit I'm trying to break. So when I need to finish something or need a moment of quiet, I'm trying to learn to say "I can't right now, I need a few minutes to finish this/relax/drink my coffee. Then I will." One need of mine that I recently became aware of is the need for more spirituality in my life. And I'm realizing now as I write this is that one of my needs is to not take on the entire burden of getting ready for Thanksgiving all by myself. Will have to think about this....

Oh and Bearsmama, I can imagine how overwhelming it must be to be trying to figure out how to get the right help for Bears. I'm so happy for you that you're doing it though.
post #228 of 913
Just checking in with you all. Bearsmama-- I've been thinking about you. Have you heard anything from the folks doing the assements? It seems you have been waiting *so* long. We were able to get our assements from the public school quickly. Please don't tell me you are still waiting!?

Thinking of you!
post #229 of 913
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I keep thinking I'm going to find a bullet, a magic bullet, that's going to make things better. And what I'm realizing is that there's NO magic bullet. I had a bad day with the kids. The only difference between this day and other bad days is that I'm working on breathing, and getting over things quicker. This seems to be HUGE to DS. I think I'm getting my period which would make sense for today (I tend to be quicker with anger at this time). Today I was mad at the baby (okay, he's 15 months, but still a babe), mad at my older son, mad at the damn cat! I always thought I knew my "triggers" for anger, at least most of them. But I'm realizing a big one. Which is ridiculous, but here it goes. When I've done everything for one of my kids that I think will make them happy or content for the moment, and they're still unhappy, I start getting angry. I realize that this probably b/c I feel that I am somehow responsible for their feelings (which I know intellectually I'm not). But when I'm feeding the little one everything he usually likes and he's just tossing it off his tray, and whining and starting to cry, I feel like my head is going to explode. I'm hoping this is normal? : I have to make a real, concerted effort in these moments to rememeber that they are going to cry, to whine, to want more than I can offer many, many times throughout their lives. And that's okay. I can't fix that. I can only empathize with their feelings, tell them I'm sorry they're so upset. .

sledg-A breathing room sounds so lovely. I am working on getting more ME space in this house, too. Looking for some furniture that would enable me to have my own little area within our home. DH is completely my rock, too. So when he's working more, or in a rare bad mood and in need of more immediate TLC, I am thrown. I am so lucky that basically he takes over bathtime and toothbrushing (yes, sledg, homicidal is a perfect word to use!).

Oh, I gtg. Sorry. More later...
Happy Thanksgiving. Don't work too hard, ladies.
post #230 of 913
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearsmama

. When I've done everything for one of my kids that I think will make them happy or content for the moment, and they're still unhappy, I start getting angry. I realize that this probably b/c I feel that I am somehow responsible for their feelings (which I know intellectually I'm not).
That is important insight.... now try and figure out what the feelings are behind that. There is usually some huge fear about people being unhappy around you. This is what we would classically call co-dependant behavior and is often associated in growing up in an envirnoment where unhappy quickly became unsafe. Even if that wasn't your experience you may have inherited it from your own parents. My dh has a serious dose of this from his parents- alcoholic on one side and abusive on the other. So no one in his family was ever allowed to be unhappy. What a bunch of bull!!!

Whenever I am just a bit down or tired or distant, he kind of freaks. In the middle of being wiped out I have to stop and make sure he feels ok about me not feeling ok.. . what a mess of peoples feelings all over each other.

More later... kids calling.

I am thankful for all you supportive mommas.

Maureen
post #231 of 913
Bearsmama, sometimes I feel as though somehow I've got the idea-on some level where I'm not always aware I even harbor this idea, it's just so automatic-that as a parent my job is to control my kids' behavior and to stop them from feeling bad. As if, as you said, I am responsible for their feelings and behaviors. For me, I think it comes partly from how I was raised and partly (and in no small part) from cultural messages about womanhood and motherhood. (For example, it's so common to blame mothers for their children's behavior.) I have come to understand that I tend to find not being in control when it comes to my kids frightening, because if I can't control my kids (stop the behavior, stop the crying) I must be doing something wrong. It becomes very problematic when I inevitably find that I cannot stop the crying, the whining, the tantruming, or the behaviors that drive me crazy.

Of course, my job is not to control my kids' feelings and behaviors. Kids will cry, kids will have days where they feel bad and can't be soothed, they will act out in ways I dislike. I have no control over that, only influence. Sometimes when I realize this I can let go of that desire or impulse to control, and in doing so I also let go of the frustration that culminates in anger. It's not easy to let go of that desire or urge to control. It comes down to recognizing that no matter what I can't control anyone else, I can only respond-and in responding I always have a choice. It's a risk, a leap of faith-to trust my kids to learn even when the tantrums continue and the food keeps getting tossed on the floor, to trust myself to teach them even when I feel incompetent and frustrated and miserably human, to trust that my message is heard even when the outward behavior is obnoxious.

It's also difficult, as loon pointed out, to live in this culture of instant gratification and manage to understand moment by moment that parenting is most definitely not an endeavor that yields instant results-at least not instant results of our preference. Learning and growing take time, and sometimes we don't want to wait.
post #232 of 913
Hi everyone,

Firstly a little apology to Bearsmama - sorry for being insensitive re: the eye poke story - of course you're not ready to laugh yet. How is little one's eye by the way?

Sledg - thanks for the last post. I too suffer exactly the same as Bearsmama with regards to getting cross & angry when you think you've done everything. I even say out loud 'look, your bum is done, you've eaten, you've had all my attention, now what is the problem?!?!' A lot of what you've pointed out in your last post is so right. Definately on the instant gratification thing too.

Maureen - also v.interesting post - I can relate to not feeling comfortable when people around me are unhappy. Could this also be related to being a people-pleaser or being unassertive? I am like this a bit with friends and family. Without going of on a tangent here, I grew up in a pretty dysfunctional family - with a lot of anger, hostility, control on the father's part etc etc. For whatever reason I can relate to what you are saying.

Three months to go until number 2 baby arrives - yikes!! I have recently been thinking about labour, generally. As I have mentioned before I had a difficult labour with DS1. I am interested to know how many of us here had difficult labours and spirited children. I am obviously pondering on how this next labour will go and how spirited my little no2 will be!

I recently saw a baby of a very mainstream mother, formula fed etc. She had a very easy straightforward labour and the baby (now 2mths) really does seem such a relaxed, calm baby. Obviously it's a bit of a generalisation as I am sure there are varying degrees of tough labours/spirited kids. But just interested in anyone's thoughts. DS1 was spirited from the moment he arrived. He was always wiggling and jiggling and has never stopped!

Be good to hear anyone's thoughts on this.
Bye for Now,

Justine

ps: great quote Sledg - I read Victor Frankl's book 'Man's Search for Meaning'. Have you read it? It's amazing isn't it.
post #233 of 913
Justine, I did read that book ages ago in college. Since I ran across that quote I've been thinking of reading it again. As far as labors and spirited children go, all of my labors were very easy. I had epidural anesthesia with my first two, and I had the epidural for the longest amount of time with my spirited (and oldest) child. With my second I had the epidural put in only about 20 minutes before he was born. My third was a totally medication free labor, she was born after only 2 hours of labor (or after a month of labor, depending how you look at it ).

I keep thinking about what Bearsmama said about looking for a magic bullet, and how much that sums up what I was doing for so long-and probably what a lot of parents do. But there is no magic bullet. Life isn't something you can cure and make permanently pleasant, not for yourself and not for anyone else. But we can absolutely find a way to be happy with life as it is. And I'm learning that when it comes to my kids, wishing they were behaving differently doesn't help-it only makes things worse. In the moment they are behaving the way they are behaving and I can respond and guide, but I can't transform them from Attila the Hun into Ghandi in one transcendent moment of insightful parenting strategy. I can't do that in even a few weeks of strategy. I can only meet them where they are and go from there, going at their pace just as I would if we were out for a walk in the woods. Show them the path, walk with them at their pace, gently guiding them so they don't get lost and so they stay safe, hugging them when they fall down or get scared, and enjoying the scenery. If only I could always remember that, I'd spend a lot less time feeling frustrated.
post #234 of 913
amen
post #235 of 913
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
Boy- I was a little bit worried about that last post, I felt like I was speaking pretty strongly but you have been so wonderfully open and receptive that I feel like you do want to hear what piece I can offer. So- about over parenting... Think of it this way- some where in the universe when you and Bear make the spiritiual decision to join your souls, you knew that you each had exactly what the other needed to learn. You made a pact to do this together, to learn from each other, lessons that there were no other ways to learn. So you came to this place, wher you would be his momma and he would be your challenge but you kind of forgot that you both picked each other and that you were here to work through some tough stuff.

So- stop worrying about "making" him be anything. He is perfect and you are perfect. There is only walking through the rest of the story. There is this wonderful journey and you both have a lot to learn but not in the way you think of learning, not in books or in lessons but fully with your heart. Just be brave. Just love and honestly it really will be just fine. You just have to get to the end of the story.

One thing when you are feeling threatened might be to sit on the floor, all the way on your butt and just put yourself at his level... I don't know. I know that Bear is here to heal you and you must be making it really a tough job...get out of his way and let him do his magic. You both deserve that.
I am just now reading this thread (where have I been?) and I have to tell you that although all the [osts in it thus far had me in tears, THIS one had me bawling. I hope you know that this post hit home with me and I am sure many many others. Thank you so very very much for YOU.



Bearsmama, all's I can say to you right now is . I am right there walking beside you right now. The only difference is my kids are 5. I Am humbled by your honesty and courage.
post #236 of 913
I put this quote on the UP tribe thread and forgot all about sharing it here!

Tending to be a perfectionist myself, I think it is a good thing for me to keep in mind about expectations I have for *anything* not just expectations of the kind of parent I think I "should" be or the kind of child I think dd "should" be.

"Expectations are resentments under construction." -- Anne Lamott

I'm not talking about expecting things like "we don't hurt each other" but rather when I expect my child to be something she's not. She is who is she and I need her to know she is loved as is.
Or expecting that I will be the greatest housekeeper today and get absolutely everything on my list done in fabulous condition... You get the idea...


(The quote came from a website I sometimes visit: Empathic Discipline under "Miscellaneous: Parenting Quotes")
post #237 of 913
Quote:
Originally Posted by loon13
I put this quote on the UP tribe thread and forgot all about sharing it here!

Tending to be a perfectionist myself, I think it is a good thing for me to keep in mind about expectations I have for *anything* not just expectations of the kind of parent I think I "should" be or the kind of child I think dd "should" be.

"Expectations are resentments under construction." -- Anne Lamott

I'm not talking about expecting things like "we don't hurt each other" but rather when I expect my child to be something she's not. She is who is she and I need her to know she is loved as is.
Or expecting that I will be the greatest housekeeper today and get absolutely everything on my list done in fabulous condition... You get the idea...


(The quote came from a website I sometimes visit: Empathic Discipline under "Miscellaneous: Parenting Quotes")
Anne rocks.
post #238 of 913

expectations can be dangerous....as when you expect the baby to be asleep by 8:30 so you can watch a movie and have some romance with your hubby. Then baby doesn't sleep, in fact she stays up chatting until 11:15 pm. Because you expected her to sleep earlier and expected to be able to have some free time, you feel a wee bit resentful (not to mention frustrated ) when she doesn't go to sleep. Well, that is until she gives you that uber-cute smile. At least we did watch the movie, with her snuggled right in between us. Boy, is she tired today.

It's true. I have found time and again that having a lot of desires/expectations about what's going to happen has a tendency to lead to my feeling some resentment. Okay, maybe more than just some.

Originally, I felt a little defensive when I read loon's post with the quote about expectations, because I was thinking about the quote in terms of children feeling resentful because of parental expectations-I was thinking, "but don't parents have some expectations? How do you parent without expectations? Having some expections doesn't mean I don't love my child." I felt defensive and thought those things because I still have lots of guilt going on and I could see all of the ways I could be fostering feelings of resentment in my challenging child by having so much trouble finding my groove as her mother. It's a real concern, how our expectations affect our children. That's one aspect of expectations. But the other aspect, and just as important, is how our expectations affect ourselves, the parents. And how expectations affect not just our children or ourselves, but our relationships with each other. I think that often I'm focusing on expectations, rather than on the here and now reality with my children. I may be thinking about how I expect things to happen, or how what just happened failed to meet my expectations. Either way, it really is problematic.
post #239 of 913
Quote:
Originally Posted by sledg

expectations can be dangerous....as when you expect the baby to be asleep by 8:30 so you can watch a movie and have some romance with your hubby. Then baby doesn't sleep, in fact she stays up chatting until 11:15 pm. Because you expected her to sleep earlier and expected to be able to have some free time, you feel a wee bit resentful (not to mention frustrated ) when she doesn't go to sleep. Well, that is until she gives you that uber-cute smile. At least we did watch the movie, with her snuggled right in between us. Boy, is she tired today.
Hey, that's my kid!


Quote:
Originally Posted by sledg
I felt defensive and thought those things because I still have lots of guilt going on and I could see all of the ways I could be fostering feelings of resentment in my challenging child by having so much trouble finding my groove as her mother. It's a real concern, how our expectations affect our children. That's one aspect of expectations. But the other aspect, and just as important, is how our expectations affect ourselves, the parents. And how expectations affect not just our children or ourselves, but our relationships with each other.
Yeah, I get the defensive part. It took me a bit of thinking about the quote before I posted it.
We are all human, I don't think it's possible NOT to have expectations. But I think it's more realistic and useful to be aware of what your expectations are, and realize how they might be clouding your view of something.

And if this thread isn't about self-awareness, I don't know what is!
post #240 of 913
So your kid doesn't sleep either? It's like mine know when we have "plans"...it's some kind of pheromone-sensing sibling-prevention alert system. (Uh, not that we're planning on more siblings...don't want to leave that impression.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by loon13
But I think it's more realistic and useful to be aware of what your expectations are, and realize how they might be clouding your view of something.
ITA!!
I'm very glad you posted that quote. It made me think. I have found that when I feel defensive, that's a clue that I should be looking within at my own feelings, etc.-feeling defensive isn't about what someone did or said, it's about my own insecurities, fears, guilt, or whatever.

It's amazing what can cloud your view of something-expectations, assumptions, thoughts, feelings, desires. Awareness is a precious and liberating gift that only you can give yourself, and one that takes regular effort to maintain.

And yeah, this thread has evolved into a fantastic discussion of self-awareness. Who would've thought?
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