Perhaps it is the sugar, the change in sleep habits and just the energy of the holiday excitement but my kiddos are out of whack the last several days. I am too I suppose, we have been nestled in the house for several days watching snow and playing games – which is wonderful but it hasn’t exactly allowed for any energy release. So here we are not quite through the holiday season and we are all a bit antsy and irritable. So today we are working to rebalance our home. Hubs went to the office, I am cleaning and doing laundry, the kids are snacking on healthful foods, playing with toys and napping, and of course the TV and radio are off.
Yet, even as I work to get our energy aligned again I am still hearing loads of whining and fussing and find myself getting irritated and in my head saying (ok, yelling), “WHAT!? What is it!??” While the kids were napping I was reading up on Nonviolent Communication and was reminded that as humans (and especially in children) everything one expresses is in search of having a need met. It may be something basic like food, rest or exercise or something deeper like attention, validation, praise, direction, reassurance…you get the idea. I had to remind myself that my children (although bright as can be and excellent little communicators) still struggle to share their needs. In part because it is often difficult for them to even know what exactly it is that is bothering them, let alone what they need to make them feel better. A child of four cannot express feelings of hyper-anxiety from too much sugar and not enough rest; they simply act out with undesirable behavior. I am reminded that it is my job as mother to not just listen, but to feel the needs of my kids. By paying attention to their rhythms and responses I have the ability and the duty to respond to their needs. Some days it feels a little like a long process of elimination to get to the “Ah! That’s what you needed!” moment, but it is always worth it when I do.
I think because children come with such obvious noise and chatter it gets a easy at times to shut the noise out; to ignore the cries and the pleas (and the arguing!) but all that type of parenting seems to lead to is a wrecked kid and an angry parent (typically both shouting), never any good for anyone.
I wish I were more patient and calm than I am. I must remember my journey of motherhood is just that, a journey. I worry about my parenting mistakes but am also amazed at the resiliency, forgiveness and desire for love and peace that is always present between my children and I. For this, I am grateful.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Meeting the Need
I am a free spirit, growing in my creative desires. I write, read, sew, knit, craft and garden. I am striving to live a more natural life everyday for Mother Earth but mostly for the health and well being of my children. I am above all committed to my family, my hilarious husband and life partner of 15 years makes sure I laugh every day. We cloth diaper, babywear, share sleep, and generally live a child led existence. I am strongly against the idea that children must be socialized but believe vehemently in the idea that children need their parents close and always - until. Until they are ready to leave and explore. Lest you think my life is too tranquil and nothing but sitting and reading books while children play with handmade toys; I spend the better part of my days wiping noses and butts, cooking, cleaning, cooking and cleaning some more, figuring out where that (insert any bizarre item you can think of here) came from, and explaining why Mama needs a TO and nap. Above all, I am human. I fail myself and family everyday and every day I am committed to give tomorrow another shot. Because after all, tomorrow will provide another opportunity to smile and laugh!
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