Thursday, February 28, 2013
Not only is Mother Nature in the middle of one of her mood swings but apparently so am I. Today can't feel more different than yesterday if it tried. It's like my brain is magically tuned into the fact that the end of February is here and it can go back to being a normal functioning organ (well maybe not so normal but at least functioning). I wish the weather would get the memo too.
It was not only a productive day but it was really good for the psyche. I had a lovely time going for a walk with one of the moms who also brings her daughter to the same preschool as my daughter. I then managed to clean my house, prep supper for tomorrow and speak with one of my very close friends from BC who just had a beautiful baby boy. To top it off this evening I had a great conversation, albeit a texting style conversation, with a really cool person I met a couple days ago. I really feel after the few chats that we’ve had that this is someone that I feel might just pan out into a really great friendship. To top it all off I also am 2 ½ weeks into not yelling at my children, not even once.
I spent some serious time this evening going through some of the posts in the Orange Rhino blog (http://theorangerhino.com/) from the other parents. I signed up for a 30 day challenge that the inventor of this site has created. It has been amazing so far. I won’t go into much detail because the “challenge site” is in a secure setting and I don’t want to infringe on anyone’s privacy. Recently we’ve been asked to identify triggers (of why a person would yell at their children) and I have been literally overwhelmed. It’s incredibly enlightening reading other people’s stories and listening to their deep insights into why exactly this is a trigger for them. This has done two really important things for me. One it makes me feel that we are not alone in this parenthood endeavor. Everyone in this challenge, save the person who introduced me to the site, is a complete stranger to me. These strangers seem to be able to read my mind. It's so amazing that people who don't know anything about each other can feel exactly the same way. Two is the solutions people have offered to help with the issues that have been plaguing me since the moment my pee stick showed a positive symbol in the window. It’s like someone has thrown me a life line and is teaching me how to tread water.
Today has been a great day. I’m however looking at my clock and thinking that I’m WAY past my bed time. I had planned to go to bed about 2 hours ago and instead I got sucked into computer land. I know that one of my triggers (and 90% of the people who posted) is lack of sleep so I better get my butt into bed before my mood swings south tomorrow!
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Well that time has arrived again. My husband packed up his bags and is back off to work for his 4 week stint. We have spent the last month doing some serious budgeting and financial problem solving as we have found ourselves over spending ourselves into a pickle. It really feels good to get a solid handle on the issue and pay more attention. However with the budget in place and the children on high destruction mode it’s making life feel a little restrictive.I spent the last month in a bit of a funk. I think there are several factors weighing in on my mind at the moment. For one it’s February. I despise this month. The only redeeming quality to February is that it’s the shortest month of the year. I’m not a huge Valentine’s Day celebrator and I think that Groundhog’s Day is a kid’s thing , I really don’t hold a lot of precedence over a weather predicting rodent. It’s that awful last real kick at winter and often the coldest month. Some of the other issues that have been bringing me down include being disappointed about our poor budget planning and instead of being ahead like we hoped by this point we managed to put ourselves behind. This of course resulted in my husband having to go back to his old schedule of 4 weeks gone and 2 weeks at home to make extra money to bail us back out. Now that the husband is gone for longer periods of time and home less I’ve been feeling like I’ve been lacking in some desperately needed adult interaction and it’s been a little slower than I anticipated making a friend or two in my new home area. The last thing that has really been getting to me is how I feel about what kind of parent I’m turning out to be.
I’m a full believer of the idea that “a happy mommy makes for a happy family.” I quite often feel as, probably like most women, that I am the glue that holds the family together and ensures the household runs smoothly. Granted I’m super lucky that I have a husband who works very hard and sacrifices so much to support us and is an amazing father but I still feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, or at least the weight of the house and we have a pretty big house. When I’m feeling blue or un-motivated I can really see how it affects my family and those around me. Not only am I feeling like I don’t have any motivation to get out and participate in my usual overabundance of activities in the community but I also feel like I’m not living up to my potential as a stay at home mom. I know that in my heart I’m not giving it my all and the kids are not getting the best out of me that they deserve. I feel extremely absent in the day and each night when I go to bed I feel guilty for wasting this precious time in my kid’s lives and I resolve in the morning that I’m going to work harder at it, but morning comes and this cloud of gloom sets over my head and the cycle repeats.
Even through the funk I’ve been having, I have however been doing extremely well with my Orange Rhino challenge and it’s been over two weeks already and I have not yet yelled once at my children. Don’t get me wrong I’ve come so close about 1000 times and there are moments when I’ve wanted nothing more than to scream and rant and rave but my challenge has kept me true. I’ve noticed that by not yelling I’ve been forced into stopping and look at each situation individually instead of letting incidents build up. It has also forced me into dealing with discrepancies right away instead of putting it off for a minute or two more which just seems to build up the stress level. Just recently the author of Orange Rhino decided to run a 30 day challenge to help anyone interested in attempting to learn how to yell at their own children less. I immediately signed on, even though I already started on my own two weeks ago and I want to do a full year, but I figured that because the start day she projected for this challenge was two days before my husband had to go back to work and I knew I’d need all the support I could get. Today is Day 3 of that challenge.March is just around the corner and there is a bit of hope in my forecast. The weather will get nicer and that always cheers me up. I have also, in the most unexpected place, have made a possible new friend. I’m 2 weeks and 2 days into a challenge that’s forcing me into better parenting. Lastly my daughter turns 4 in two weeks. I know that it’s not a magic number and that each stage has its challenges but 4 years old is a milestone in my mind. I will no longer have two kids in that difficult “terrible twos and even worse threes” stage. Hopefully it will also see an improvement in my blogging commitment as well. One thing is for certain at least we can all agree that St. Patrick’s Day is WAY more fun than Valentine’s Day!
Have a good night!
Monday, February 11, 2013
I don't know what happened. Prior to the New Year I was all gung-ho on the ole blog writing bit. Then after the last of the ornaments and decorations were put away and the remainder of the post-Christmas haul was organized I was out of stuff to say. Anyone who knows me might laugh A LOT at this statement. I'm not normally a person who finds myself with nothing to say. Alas it's true. I've had no insights, no funny stories to mention. My brain I've decided is in Hibernation mode. They might have been happening around me but I had no gumption to do anything about it or even bother to remember. Hopefully as the winter thaws outside so will the iced up regions of my brain.
Yesterday I was just getting the kids ready to go to bed. My daughter was in a mood where she was hell bent on pushing all my buttons. It's like children sometimes go into self-destruct mode and do everything humanly possible to make their parents upset. Last night was one of those nights, that coupled with my already less than chipper mood and not much sleep the night before was a perfect recipe for disaster. I had a bit of a meltdown on her and ended up putting her and her brother down to sleep 45 minutes earlier than I normally do...don't worry I punished myself as well and was down as soon as I finished my own night time routine.
After the meltdown and once I was lying in bed just settling in for the night, checking my Facebook for any new gossip and trying to turn my brain off I came across another blog off a friend's page. It is a blog called The Orange Rhino dedicated to setting the goal of NOT yelling at your children. This woman who just successfully completed a year of not yelling at her 4 very young boys for an entire 365 days! Well what perfect timing. As of recent the words of Buddha have been haunting my path "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."
I have no idea how many times this phrase has crossed my mind in a month but everywhere I turn it seems to be relevant. I'm going to give it a shot anyhow. I originally thought that 365 days seemed a ridiculous goal to achieve. But as today is my DAY ONE I have thought about it a lot throughout. Why is a month any more difficult than a year? I mean yes it’s a lot longer of a time frame but if I can manage to go 30 days without yelling then you can surely strive for a year. Once you’ve hit a year you’d think your entire thought patterns will be changed by it and it becomes a regular part of life.
So along with a few other projects I’m interested in taking on this year I’m going to attempt to stop yelling at my kids. I’m really happy the hubby comes home tomorrow and will at least be a sounding board for the next 2 weeks. I think that having him home for support will be essential to get me started.
Well other than a massive snow storm, my daughter starting a dance class and me starting to turn into a vegetable nothing else is new. It turns out my brain isn’t the only thing hibernating. Usually winter is good for me and I’m more than motivated to get active. I’ve got to drag myself out of the funk I’ve found myself in and do what I do best, find solutions. I know it can be done, it’s really just about getting started.
So here’s to another start, if you never try it will never happen.