I am a mother of three, and while I am by no means a perfect mom (whatever that means), I treat my children with respect, love and care.
My inner child does not receive this quality of parenting; not even close. She is asked, “What is wrong with you?”, and her feelings are frequently shut down for fear of seeming too needy or immature. She is constantly pushed away or neglected.
It is time for her to be seen, to be healed. When she takes control of my life, I am holding her, parenting her, listening to her, and giving her boundaries. I am showing her respect, and making sure she is heard. I am no longer rejecting her, and I am telling her she is safe.
I am telling her she is loved.
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I may not do these things all the time (OK, I know I don’t, and I know I preface this way because I’m a perfectionist and wish I could do these things all the time, but feel bad that I don’t), but these are my mom skills that are working, most of the time:
- Patience. Yeah, I’m having particular trouble ignoring the times that I am not patient, but if I’m really honest, I’d say that these moments are few and far between these days – it’s easier now that they aren’t toddlers.
- Mean what I say, and follow through. I’m pretty good at this one, perhaps because I’m stubborn. Haha!
- Listening. My goal is to always listen and thoroughly, with eye contact, with presence, to my children – in a way that they feel heard. It doesn’t always happen, and I’m particularly hard on myself when it doesn’t. Sometimes I’m distracted, or busy, or both. But still, it’s my goal. Constantly.
- Quality time. This is directly related to #3.
- Hugs. Lots of them. Again, I’m not perfect at this. I want to give them more hugs than I do. Although sometimes, I give more kisses than my son appears to want (he wipes them off). Like Charlotte Diamond sings, “four hugs a day, that’s the minimum”.
- Open, candid, honest. I have spoken to my children about sex and puberty and related topics, with candor and openness, since they could speak. I feel strongly that knowledge is power and particularly in this area, I want them to have a sense of strength, power and wisdom when it comes to their bodies and their sex lives.
- Teaching responsiblity. My children have been doing chores for many years now – age appropriate things that I resented doing when I was asked as a teenager to start doing for the first time. They are learning what it takes to keep a house in order, learning how to work together, and sometimes they even enjoy themselves. I’ve even heard these words spoken: “cleaning toilets is fun!” and “cleaning mirrors is my favourite chore”.
- Setting examples. The best way I know how to do this is by taking care of my own needs. I go dancing once a week, and have been for the past ten years. I go away on holiday without the children, and take naps or quiet time as needed. I express my anger in healthy ways.
It’s been over year since I had the idea of making printed reproductions of my paintings. It took me months to research the place to do get it done, another few months to get it done, and another few months to actually tell you about it.
My “To Do” list is so long, that very little actually gets done. After painting (which takes most of my time), there is not much time in my day left for the other things I would like to do. I can accept this. I am a mother of three children, so my time is split between household responsibilities, and my artistic career. I am not willing to put in the night hours, working after my children are in bed – that would make me insane (after making me tired, cranky, and probably sick). My evenings are usually filled with dancing or class meetings, or spending time with my hubby. Sometimes I wonder if I just don’t take myself seriously enough, but mostly, I feel like I have a good balance. So, when I am wondering why I am not in galleries yet, or why I am not selling more paintings yet, or why there isn’t a greater demand for my work yet, I remind myself that I get what I put into this process, and this is as much as I am willing to put in right now.
Rarely do I remember to look back to pre-2009, but I should. I can remind myself of how far I have come. Before 2009, I knew I wanted to be an artist. No wait, I knew I was an artist, but I was so good at procrastinating, and kept putting off creating. There was something really scary about starting on the path of becoming an artist. Scarier than a blank canvas, scarier than the blank page – this was a blank path, and I was so scared to take that first step.
I’m so glad I did.
(just do it)
My prints are available in my Etsy shop. I still have one more to list – it might take me another few weeks to do that (ha!).
Every day I make resolutions, and every day I don’t keep them.
1. Drink more water.
2. Take all my vitamins.
3. Be more present, more often.
4. Really listen to everything my kids say.
5. Go to bed as soon as I feel tired.
I am reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, and she keeps a checklist do things to do everyday. That seems like a set-up for failure, but hey, I can’t fail much worse than I am now, right?
This is a short post because I am away from home and posting from a WordPress app instead of my computer. It is a bit awkward.
I was listening to a parenting podcast today and the topic was how to make gratitude a habit for children. The women spoke about gratitude being a skill that children need to learn, mostly by watching their parents modelling it! I hadn’t really thought about that before, but it sure makes sense. They also spoke about how the more we experience gratitude in our lives, the happier we are. How true!
To this end, I am going to write down things I’m grateful for (I kept a gratitude journal for about a year, over 4 years ago – it’s been awhile!), and start a dinner-table-“What I am grateful for”-thing.
Today, I am grateful for: my health, my family, abundance, the sun shining today, and spring.
There is nothing quite like being a parent of a 5 year old boy. Of course, I could say that about any age (in my experience) or about my girls, too. Maybe it’s because he is going to be in school full time as of September, but right now, I am really appreciating this stage. We have fun together, laugh together, and play a ton of games together (I am still amazed by his capacity to learn and play adult strategic games, like Caylus, Carcasonne, Allhambra, etc – keeps me interested, anyway!!). I hear, “Can we play a game?” about 5 times a day, usually right after we have just finished, of course!
Today we had fun with the special effects on the Photo Booth app on the computer. Lots of fun!