Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Becoming a happy mother, part 2

I had to return 10 Habits of Happy Mothers to the library the other day, even though I hadn't read every chapter. Oh well. I read the chapters that seemed relevant to me, and skipped the rest.

One of the chapters that I did manage to find time to read was about Fear.

Ahh, fear. My constant companion now that I have a child. Fear creeps into my house more often than I would like to admit, and I don't always know how to make him go away. He usually creeps in slowly, as a brief passing thought, and then suddenly I can't sleep, my heart is pounding and my brain is full of "what-if's."

What this chapter said was that often times our fears for our children, such as something terrible happening to them often stem from the fact that there is so much that is simply out of our control, and we don't like this.

Um, hi. Yeah. That right there? That's me. There are two things that I really am not comfortable with. Not knowing, and feeling like I'm not in control. Looks like fear is here to stay.

Except that she talks about how when we understand that this is where the fear is coming from, and then let go of it, it doesn't bother us as much anymore. (maybe.)

The author gave the example of a parent's worry that their child will contract some life threatening illness, like Leukemia. If we really sit back and think about it, this is a pretty rare illness. The odds are in my favor that my child will NOT get leukemia. (phew. of course, half the parenting books out there would lead you to believe that while you're pregnant anything and everything is going to go wrong, and that even more will go wrong once that little bundle of joy is out in the world, but whatevs.)

It's our job as mothers to worry. If there was a job description, I'm sure that would be #4, after feed, clothe and love your child.

Actually, I'd love to see that job description.

So, I'm trying a new thing. I'm trying to let go of some of the control. Well, I'm trying to be comfortable with the fact that I can't control everything. I can sure as heck control SOMEthings though. I can keep him as safe as I can, baby-proof, teach him things that are safe and things that are not, and I guess, the rest is...

out of my control.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day

Dear Hubs,
You are an amazing father. I love watching you play with the owlet. (Most of the time. Sometimes I think you're just trying to give me a heart attack, but whatevs. He seems to like it.)

From day one, I knew you'd be great with him. I mean, just look at how proud you are!

You light up whenever you see our son, and he does the same around you.

You deal with poopy diapers and screaming tantrums in the restaurant.

You wipe his tears and make him laugh.

I know that the fun (and the challenges) are just beginning, but I also know that you will continue to be incredible. Not just to him, but to me as well.

Happy Father's Day to one of the greatest Dads I know.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Becoming a happy mother

I checked a book out at the library the other day (one of the perks of working there is that I get to see allllll the new books come in) called The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers.

So far, I've only read the first few chapters, but it has really changed my way of thinking.

The first chapter talks all about how important we are as mothers, and how valuable we are, even if we don't think we're very valuable/worthwhile/whatever. At the end of each chapter the author provides some suggestions about how to put into practice whatever she talked about in the chapter, and one of the suggestions at the end of this chapter was to write a list about all the things that you are good at, or whatever.

Basically anything that you are proud of or that makes you feel good about yourself.

I really tried to take this to heart, and while I didn't actually make a physical list, because seriously, who has time for that? I did think about one thing that I really like about myself and that is that I do what I need to do for myself, even if it takes some time.

For example, when I was in graduate school studying Wilderness Therapy, I realized a year and a half in that this was not what I wanted to be doing. I LOVE the wilderness. I love the feeling that I get being out there, and I wanted to bring that same joy and healing to others. Except, I started to hate it. To despise being out there. So, I switched. And I studied straight up Transpersonal Counseling instead.

And, more recently, I made the incredibly difficult transition away from being a full time school based therapist, to a part time shelver in a library so that I could be a more present, less stressed mommy to my owlet. It took me forever, but it was a wonderful decision.

The other chapter that has really affected me is the chapter on not being so competitive/judgmental with other mothers. And we are ALL guilty of this. Even when we judge other moms on the way they are dressed, either to make ourselves feel better, or, as is often the case, make ourselves feel worse, we are judging others.

And it needs to stop.

We're all doing the best damn job we can, aren't we? (well. most of us.) <---another judgement.

But seriously. All of our kids are going to hit their milestones at different times. Some will be talking before their first birthdays, others will be running and jumping and climbing first. Its not a competition. And when we compete or judge others, we just end up losing. Because we either end up feeling like crap for what we're not doing, or we end up feeling like crap because we come to the realization that we were totally being all judgy mcjudgerson just to make ourselves feel better.

So the next time I ask you about your kid and how they're doing, I'm asking because I really want to know, not because I'm going to tell you how much better my son is doing than yours.

And when you tell me that your kid has been sleeping through the night since they were a week old, I'm not going to secretly want to smack you, because I have learned how to function on next to no sleep, so there.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Happy 9 Months, Owlet!

My dearest owlet,
You turned 9 months old today. It is hard to believe how fast time has flown. I know I say that every month (and then I say that every month), but its totally true. You are growing up so. darn. fast!

Just a few short months ago you were just a wee little thing, barely even able to sit up on your own, let alone crawl.

look at how small you were! And how different!

But slowly, you started to grow and change. You started sitting up on your own, and got better with tummy time. Then you started rolling around everywhere you went.

And now, look out world, because you are crawling with a vengeance. It took you a while to get there, but once you got it boy, you got it. Within just a couple days of learning to crawl, you also learned how to move from a sit to a crawl, and mommy's life will really never be the same.

Of course I knew it would never be the same when you entered my world 9 months ago. It has been such an amazing journey so far, little owlet, and I look forward to the journey still yet to come. You are such an incredible little boy, and I love watching the little boy you are becoming. You are constantly exploring your world, even the things that we don't always want you to explore, like the cable box or the dog's water bowl.

But you're learning and growing every day, owlet. You are so fun, and I am so glad that you are in my life.

Happy 9 months birthday, my little man. I love you.