Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Beginnings of change

I have been doing a lot of reading lately. That's not a surprise, seeing as how I work in a library, but I've been reading a lot of a very specific type of book: parenting. Is that a surprise? Probably not. But part of the reason I've been reading so many parenting books is because I've decided to start my own private practice. I'm going to work with mothers, on enjoying being moms again.

There's a lot of blogs, websites, and books out there that poke fun at us. As we poke fun at ourselves. There's even more blogs, books and websites devoted to telling us what we're doing wrong, what we should be doing with our kids, how we should be raising them. But what every single book/website/well meaning stranger often fails to take into account is where WE are in OUR lives, what works for our children, what works for US does not necessarily work for everyone else.  And that's what I want to help moms with. I want to help sort out all the things that are getting bunched up, tied up in knots inside them. I want to help moms understand their own triggers, their own pasts, how they were raised, and how that all is affecting them now. I want to help moms enjoy being moms, enjoy their kids, enjoy this amazing journey that is motherhood.

I remember reading a quote somewhere that said something about how a mother is this new person who only arrives after her child is born. We have no idea how we're going to be as mothers until we are thrust into this role. I had a very different idea of mothering when I first learned I was pregnant with the owlet. I like to think I've come back to a lot of how I wanted to be, now that I've done some soul searching, read some books that I feel like actually spoke to me, stopped listening to stupid advice that didn't feel right.

Anyway. What was I talking about? I don't remember. (mom brain doesn't go away, does it?)

In the coming months you might find more posts about things I'm reading, about things I'm discovering in my own life that works really well with the Owlet. I hope it will inspire you to take a second look at what you're doing with your own families, to see what works and what doesn't.

For now I'm going to leave you with this little thought-provoker. In 5, 10 or 15 years, what do you envision for your child? What kind of life do you want them to have? What kinds of attributes do you want your teenager to possess? And are you working towards those now?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Accident Proof

Choking Hazards. Keeping shoes on outside. Making sure the metal slides (do they even make metal slides anymore?) aren't too hot. Don't let kids do X, don't let them do Y.

I saw this picture on pinterest today, and someone commented that whatever came out of it would be put in a child's mouth regardless of whether it was a toy or candy. Yeah, it probably would be, because that's part of how kids learn about their world. Could it be a choking hazard? Probably. So is it meant for a 6 month old to play with? No. Should it be used with adult supervision? Yes.

What happened to us? What happened to letting kids be kids? To trusting our intuition about what our kids can do/ can't do/ handle/can't handle?

(and who the heck am I, Mrs. Mama Owl, always the fearful, to be writing something like this?)

I have come to the realization that we are living in a culture of fear. We are so afraid of letting kids be kids, that we are holding them back. We are not letting them experience things because we are afraid of what might happen.

I am afraid too. I don't want the owlet to hurt. Ever. But he is going to hurt. He is going to trip, and he's going to fall. He's going to try to climb too high on a tree and he's going to get scrapes and cuts and bruises. And I know this. And I hope that he is going to be ok.

I am trying to love him deeply, to allow him to enjoy every single moment. While still keeping him safe. I'm standing back a little farther on the playground now. Letting him run a little freer. While still making sure he stays safe, of course. We still tell him, "that doesn't go in our mouths," but we don't yell and scream if a little bit of dirt, or a stick, or a crayon goes in his mouth.

I'm slowly learning to trust my intuition. To give the Owlet a little more space, to grow into the amazing boy I know he's going to be. To watch him make good choices, to learn what the rules are, to do things by himself.

And he's really such an amazing little guy, just as I knew in my heart he would be.