Minute by minute

my thoughts on making the most out of all of life's minutes…


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Not me Monday…..Change your attitude

Hello!

This week’s Not Me Monday is made possible by Maya Angelou.  But here’s a little back story first.

Towards the end of August, I was really looking forward to school starting up again.  Not so much because I wanted the kids out of the house, I was looking forward to a routine again.  The lazy days  of summer were getting old and boring and I also knew that the boys needed more mental stimulation than I was providing for them.  And OK – there was a part of me that wanted them out of the house.

Labor Day came and the first day of school arrived.  New clothes, fresh haircuts.  My older son started third grade and my little one is in his second year of preschool.  And even though he only goes to school for a few hours three days a week, I was looking froward to getting so much done without interruption.

Well, why is it that things never seem to work out as you imagine?  While we feel into a routine, it was more of morning mayhem and afternoon hell. My older son resisted getting ready in the mornings and soon they were turning into a nag-fest from me.  In addition, for some reason he has turned into an eight-year-old kid.  Where did my sweet little boy go?  Instead, the first day he got off the bus, my sweet little boy had turned into an argumentative, back-talking, no homework doing, sticker!  To add more to my frustration, my younger son gave up his naps and his quiet time completely.  Just a few weeks prior he was still napping, giving me a big chunk of time each afternoon to write or get other work done.

AHHH!!!!  Not even Calgon could have taken me away fast enough.  My dream of being productive had very quickly turned into a nightmare.

My husband and I made some adjustments to our parenting to try to combat the new and undesirable behavior my son was now exhibiting, but we have been disappointed that our changes aren’t really bringing about big changes in him.  While it is getting mildly better, change has not come fast enough, or drastic enough for our liking.

All the while my sons are going through their metamorphoses, I’m starting to spin out of control.  I’m feeling defeated, deflated, exhausted, and I was quickly running out of ideas.  I was falling behind in my work and if you noticed – my blog too.

After talking with a few fellow moms, some friends and my own mom, many told me that the changes the big boy was going through was typical of an eight-year-old.  GREAT!!!  In fact, my mom confessed to me that she doesn’t really like little boys from the ages of about eight until they reach about seventeen.  Wonderful!  So according to her perspective, I’ve got nine years to go until things get better.

About the middle of last week, three and a half weeks in our new found hell (it isn’t that bad, taking some poetic licence here and being dramatic) – it finally sunk in.  I think my friends and my mom were right.  My older son is eight and you know what – he’s good at it.  He’s challenging us, pushing back, trying out more independence.  And while I want him to be a strong man, I am not liking the process to get there.

So the part that finally hit home was and the part that made it a little better was me realizing that this is my life right now.  Going back to school didn’t create opportunities, in fact, it created more problems.  We have crazy schedules, my son is going through a phase that is extra challenging.  My little son is growing too and his changes are affecting me professionally.  And while it took me a little bit to realize what was going on and that this is more of a couple bad days we’re were having, I woke up and changed my attitude.

Maya Angelou says

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” 

And while I’m not giving up on my kids and I will continue to make our lives better and work on our current challenges, I’m not going to be blindsided by it anymore.  I’ve accepted it and I’m dealing with our challenges.

The funny thing is, the morning after I had my revelation and shared with my husband “you know, I think this is more than a phase, I think this is us for now” – – I ran across Maya’s quote.  I had heard it many times before, but when it popped up on a Google search for me was the reinforcement that I needed.  And you know what else?  Ever since I changed my attitude about our current situation…things seem to be getting better.

Has that ever happened to you?  You have a change of attitude and the universe sends you reinforcements to back up your decision or new-found strength?  Share your story with everyone!

Tomorrow I’ll share with you how I’m working around the no nap situation.  My son’s, not mine.

Happy Monday, Everyone!

~Amy

 

 

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Thursday’s Take….Thoughts on Attachment Parenting

I’m guessing that most people read the recent Time magazine article about Attachment Parenting.  Or maybe if you didn’t get a chance to read it, you certainly heard the buzz around the cover and got from comments what the article was about.

I don’t normally read Time, but I was curious about this article, so I picked up this issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are my thoughts on Attachment Parenting…

I don’t like labels.

So for that matter, I don’t care much for labels like “Tiger Moms”, “Grizzly Moms”, “Soccer Moms” and “French-style Mothering” and whatever other labels there are out there.

I think the reason I don’t like to subscribe to one dogma of parenting style is because it is too limiting.  I don’t want to be placed in a box and only be able to determine what is best for my kids based on a few  guidelines.

My style of parenting is called “Tim and Amy Parenting“.  (Tim is my husband and the father of our two sons – ages seven and three.)

What I have learned from my two sons is that both are very different and both require a different approach when it comes to parenting.  And to try to fit them into a prescribed method, doesn’t seem fair to them or to me as a mother.

Here’s our approach when it comes to parenting:

  • Consistency is key.
  • Flexibility is key.
  • Don’t approach every situation for every child, the same way.
  • Trust our instinct.
  • Take examples from our parents and how we perceived our childhood – what we liked and didn’t like about it and apply them to our children.
  • Take examples from our sisters, cousins and friends – see what works and doesn’t work for them and determine if it might work for us too.
  • Children need lots of love, patience and understanding, but they also need a dose of firm discipline every now and then.
  • Communicate with each other what works and doesn’t work and try different things – always adjusting.

I am lucky to have two really good friends in my “village”.  One is a teacher and the other, a family and child therapist.  I strongly recommend getting some friends like these.  I have a Business degree and we didn’t learn one thing about the development of the brain and how children process things.  (But I can tell you all about how supply and demand works with kids…..it is very simple, really –  if they demand it – you better supply it!).

Seriously, my two friends are a source of expertise that I routinely rely on. They offer my insight from their experience and knowledge that I’d have to find else where if not for them.   If you don’t have friends with this knowledge, I suggest books or search for other sources of help like your family doctor or your pastor.  I’ve read many parenting books and always walk away with some sort of new knowledge or new tool in my belt.  I even learned something from the Time article.

For me – I don’t want to be put in a box and then try to cram my kids in there with me too.  I feel I owe it them to listen to their needs and watch their personalities and work my molding of them in ways that they will respond best.

Good luck with that parenting thing!

Happy Thursday!

~Amy

Thursday’s Takes are my personal opinion on current events or just random thoughts.  I’d love to hear what you think…leave your comments below.