Monday, May 23, 2011

The One Where We Need Organization!

Managing the home, managing the children, managing the schooling, managing the household bills, groceries, etc is becoming a task that feels so incredibly overwhelming lately. A task?! Try a bazillion tasks. I actually enjoy going to staff meetings & staffing support groups just to step away from my reality for a few moments and get a breather. Some days I think having a job outside of the home would be lovely. Only problem is... all these things would still be waiting for me so it would actually add to my work load.

One of the books I'm reading is "Homeschooling With a Meek & Quiet Spirit" by Teri Maxwell. It's a pretty good book. One of those books where you can take a lot from, but leave what won't work for your family in it w/out feeling guilty. :) It's a good read so far & is giving me some wonderful ideas. I've decided to purchase both Managers of Their Home & Managers of Their Chores from the Maxwells and see if I can work them into our lives (therefore hopefully making our lives a little less overwhelming and a bit more manageable?? I hope!)

As far as parenting goes, that has been a chore in itself lately! Erich is hitting that awful stage where he has to push the limits as far or further than they can go. I don't like this stage. It's constant discipline, constant redirection and constant frustration (on my part!!) The book suggests making an If/Then chart. I think I'm going to do this. Basically each negative action has a predetermined consequence. So the child knows that if the do 'x' the consequence is 'y'. There's not question about it. No thinking it over for Mom (once it's established). I think that may help Erich especially. Even if he doesn't want them, he NEEDS firmly set boundaries at this point in his life. He's obviously unable to set them for himself and needs to know I'm going to set them and not budge on them.

I'll definitely blog more about how these things are going after we get started on them. :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One With More Parenting Thoughts

Last Friday I was asked what I do for parenting and I froze. I wasn't prepared & I didn't really explain it well. I generally do not speak of how I parent my children, especially around the more punitive mindsets that I am around 99% of the time.

So I started think about what I DO. What tools are in my tool box? I don't have one pat answer for that. Honestly, I think that parenting would be easier if I did have one pat answer for that. If they do 'x' then I spank. If they do 'y' then I spank. That sounds so much easier in a lot of ways.

My toolbox is full of other tools, though. Here's what I do: I assess the situation. I see what is underneath the tantrum or disrespect. I try to hit the root of the problem rather than just the outward appearance of the problem. Typically if a child is upset and tantruming there is a deeper issue. Are they feeling sad?Neglected? Tired? Hungry? Do they need some extra one on one time with you? Taking care of the inner problem is much more important than taking care of the outward appearance. You can't spank out heart issues. You can spank them in deeper, making it so your children will learn to hide them better & then have them come out later in life when you can no longer spank them.

I think it's good to remember that God created us with all the emotions we have: anger & sadness included. It's ok to be angry. It's ok to feel sad. It's ok to feel frustrated and not want to do what someone asks you to do. Those things are fine. However, how you show those things is what can be wrong. You can't spank out anger... you can drive it deeper and force a person to 'fake happiness' in fear of being hit again. When they are adults and have anger they won't know how to show it properly. If you teach your children to use their words and say "I'm so angry because..." or teach them to leave the room until they simmer down then they will know how to deal w/ it as an adult. They can use the same tools you give them as children later in life.

What is parenting anyway? It's training and bringing up people to become well rounded adults, isn't it? Our children are only children for such a short time.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The One About Silent Grief

It's called silent grief. It's the type of grief that you keep bottled up inside and mostly pertains to infant or pregnancy loss. There seems to be no time limit on how long you hold onto that grief. I've spoken to women who had an early pregnancy loss and still teared up thinking about it 20 years later. It's the type of grief you don't know what to do with. One one hand it seems that it shouldn't be such a big deal. The pregnancy only lasted 6, 10, 12 weeks.... you weren't even showing yet and barely felt pregnant.

But let me tell you about that moment a woman finds out she's expecting. When it's a wanted pregnancy it's exciting. You start dreaming from the moment you see that positive. You wonder if it's a boy or a girl. You wonder what name you will choose... or you already have them chosen & can't wait to see if it fits the baby. You think about the nursing and snuggling. The wonderful newborn smell and all the amazing things that come along with a baby. From the moment you get a positive on a test that baby exists. She's your daughter or he's your son. So when you hear from the Dr that the baby you are carrying inside has died or when you start to loose the baby it's heartwrenching. The hopes and dreams you carried with you for that child dies and a little part inside of you dies.

It doesn't matter if you already had children or have more children after the loss. There's a hole that's empty and can never be filled by another pregnancy or child. But you feel guilty. "Why am I still sad? I have these beautiful children around me. I should feel happy & blessed." Yet you still feel sad. And you carry that sadness in silence because you don't want other people to know how sad you feel.

Then the day comes... a year, 3 years, 5 years down the road and it's the anniversary of your loss. You STILL feel sad about it on that day. The rest of the year you are fine... it's not constantly in your head. You think of it from time to time, but you don't think of it daily anymore... not even weekly. But the anniversary hits and you remember. You remember all the hopes and dreams that were dashed & you remember all the details of your loss and you feel sadness.

How do you grieve? If you bring it up people who don't understand think you're being over dramatic. If you light a candle people will ask... at least my kids always ask & I hate talking about it and explaining it.

So you grieve in silence. Silent grief...

Tomorrow marks 6 years since I had my first loss. And August 4th marks 6 years since my second loss. I've had Erich & Katie since and they fill my life with so much joy. But on May 6th & August 4th I remember. And grieve in silence.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The One About Spring

Spring has finally arrived in Vermont. Yes, it still might snow, but hopefully it won't.

Saturday & Sunday were absolutely gorgeous. The weather was warm, the sun was shining & we got to spend quite a bit of time outside, soaking in the sunshine.

Today it's raining and it doesn't bother me. Lawns are turning green, leaves are beginning to bud on the trees and flowers are beginning to bloom. This time of year is so full of new life and so refreshing after a long winter. The only issue w/ the raining is all the flooding the lake is dealing with. Hoping it will not flood more.

As much as I hate winter I like living where there are 4 full seasons (5 if you count the in-between Winter and Spring season we like to call Mud Season)