One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from being a parent is using my willpower to walk the path of humbleness.
Being humble doesn’t come easy to me. It hurts to have to look at yourself honestly and admit you’ve been making things worse. This self reflection doesn’t come from a place of judgement or being self-critical. It isn’t about feeling guilty, although that is a very easy place to get stuck for me. Maybe this doesn’t come easy to me because I don’t like feeling incapable or inept. I know I don’t like feeling like I’ve caused emotional damage. It’s much easier to not look in the mirror and just keep doing what you’ve been doing.
But easier isn’t always the right path. Sometimes we must use our will power to ignore our ego and turn the light on so we can properly look in the mirror.
I’ve been struggling so much with my older two children. There has been a lot of conflict between them and some between me and them as well. Self-reflection isn’t something I enjoy doing, but the fact is if I want to help us move past this, it is a necessity. No, I’m not responsible for their choices , words or actions. But, I’m responsible for my words and actions and I cannot deny that how I act affects not only the situation, but the whole family. In fact, the only person I can control is me.
So I’m doing what doesn’t come natural to me, and what hurts to do, and that is self-reflection and being humble and willing to learn and change my own approach.
I’ve had this book in my stack of to-read books for a while and just haven’t gotten to it. If I’m honest, I will admit that I’ve been putting off reading it because I knew it would make me have to face mistakes I’ve been making, and that’s uncomfortable. I’d rather avoid that. But the time has come to face that feeling and be humble and willing to be open to growing.
One practice that gets me through these uncomfortable growing pains is self-compassion. Being kind to myself and talking to myself the way I’d talk to a friend in my shoes. It is what helped to pull me out of some very dark times in parenting a number of years ago.
Parenting never is dull. There are always opportunities to know ourselves more and grow.
I haven’t blogged in nearly two months. It has been a time of adjustment and reflection. There have been some bumpy days (weeks?) and I’ve had to do lots of inner work and refining my own habits to find a sweet spot again. I’m getting there.
I’ve joked half seriously that I should start a blog called ‘Things My Kids Tell Me’. Not with the purpose of complaining or making jokes, but so that other moms out there don’t feel alone in their struggles. It can feel so isolating and depressing to think to yourself that the (unkind) things your child says couldn’t possibly be said by other kids, because no one you know has ever shared such things. I mean, we don’t really talk about it. Social media is full of the edited happy moments and lots of happy faces. But that’s not real life. And no matter how amazing you are as a mother, it is no insurance against your child saying hurtful things to you. Because what comes out of their mouth is a reflection about what is going on within them. I’ve found again and again how powerful it is to speak up and share with friends what happens within my house. It is sure scary to be vulnerable in that way, but I’ve found again and again that it not only is healing and helpful for me to share but that other mothers then feel less alone. Mothers then open up to me about the things that go on in their homes and how they’ve struggled. Our culture doesn’t do vulnerability very well. So, it takes intention and practice.
In our house, we’ve been in the thick of the 9 year change. I think we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but that light is still a far way off yet, truth be told. I’m remembering how absolutely vital the inner work piece is and how making time for mediation and mindfulness and fun are is not optional. It is necessity. I’m reminded again and again that the only thing I can be in control of is how I react. So, I’m in charge of me, and that’s my main job as a parent.
I have taken some photos here and there of our homeschooling and life. Things are moving along nicely and we are settling into a workable rhythm. Lots of grace is given, daily. Grace, flexibility and self-compassion. Those are my tools lately.
Thursdays are my baking day. I’m down one child and we have a more relaxed day, generally. Today I made 5 loaves of bread, 3 sourdough and 2 yeasted. All but one will go into the freezer to be eaten over the next 1-2 weeks.
This is no-knead sourdough that I started last night. I bake it in a ducth oven.
Mixing up the dough for today’s baking. The bowl on the left become two sandwich loaves and the other smaller bowl, a sourdough boule each.
The loaf on the left has already been tucked into. And my sandwich loaves are a tad brown as my new oven runs hotter than I am used to.
I love the magic of sourdough. My sourdough is around 3 years old now. I started it myself and it took about a month to really start rising the bread. But my family prefers yeasted sandwich bread so I still bake some of that, as well.
It’s been ages since our kids have been sick. Easily a year or two, aside from a minor sniffly nose here and there. But the two younger ones are still down for the count right now with some virus. Nothing too horrible, just a sore throat, runny nose and aching ears. I had a moment of freak out (worry) in the middle of the night the first night H. was sick. But once I turned the light on and got out my Dr. Mendelsohn book, I calmed myself back into sanity. That book has saved me countless times from unnecessary worry, doctor visits and antibiotics. Truly a treasure.
But, wow, am I wiped out. Three nights of restless children. It has totally slowed down our pace these last few days, which is a good thing.
Thankfully H. only had one night of not being able to sleep. Since then, he’s feeling better and is now just tired and sleeping. He hasn’t napped for 5 years, but he’s taking hours long naps daily right now. P. wants to sleep a lot, too, but the difference is that she wants me with her, in bed, nursing. So, that means I’m stuck in bed most of the day with her. I’m getting plenty of reading done, and napping myself. And enjoying listening to the awesome rain storm outside. Pouring rain is my favorite!
But the kink in my neck? Ouch. Hours and hours of side-lying nursing. It feels reminiscent of having a newborn. I managed to get outside this evening to clean the chicken coop while she was sleeping, but half way through she woke up, screaming and inconsolable, only wanting me back in bed.