Thursday, May 14, 2009

on parenting

Thank you all for taking the time to leave me a question via the comments and email earlier this week (I wondered if anyone would). You asked really good questions, just the kind of things I'd want to know about you.

From Patricia: "Everything you do looks good and happy. Is there ever any bad, a bad day where you might just lose it, or scream at someone? What is your strength? What is your weakness?"

From Heidi: "What are your toughest challenges in being a mom and how do you get through them?"

What you see and read here are glimpses of parts of my life and how I see it. I've never thought of this blog as a journal. I have days that are so full of difficulty I find it hard to catch my breath. I have difficult moments in almost any day: what household with small children can honestly say they don't? The thought that anyone would think that what I write about makes them feel inadequate is the last thing I would hope for. Many writers and bloggers find relief and comfort in sharing their hardest moments of parenting, and I do enjoy reading those stories. I'm just not inspired to write about that. This blog was started as a space for me to find and focus on the beauty in my life. My deepest hope is to inspire you to look for and create moments of beauty for yourself.

My greatest strength is probably my organizational/analytical side; it drives me to do things like make lunches the night before to make things easier in the morning.

My greatest weakness is probably impatience.

My biggest challenge as a parent right now is resisting the temptation to 'rescue' the boys from their problems, and rob them of that learning experience. That's hard for me.

A general key to a happy household for us is getting enough sleep: I am fairly rigid about bedtime (7 - 7:30pm for the boys). I read books about parenting (yes I'll post about my favorite books soon) that help me understand what is developmentally appropriate, and give me ideas and inspiration for guiding our family through these childhood years. I have a number of emotion coaching type children's books that I go through with the boys. I send them to schools that place a strong emphasis on social and emotional development. Our church has a parenting group led by a parent educator that meets monthly; this group is a source of support and information for us.

I get through the challenging moments by doing my best to get enough sleep - everything is easier to handle when I'm well-rested. Exercise keeps me feeling good, feeling optimistic. I commiserate with friends and my husband. It helps knowing that at the end of the day the kids will be asleep, and I'll get to do something relaxing. Sometimes in a particularly challenging moment I take a long trip to the bathroom with the door locked. I try to recite the pledge of allegiance (in my head, not aloud) before speaking when I'm upset.

Thank you for your questions and for joining me on this ride!

21 comments:

Debra said...

Lecia~ You speak from your heart with such honesty and warmth. The little glimpses that we have of your day to day reminds me to stop, look, listen and taste all that our world has to offer us.

pve design said...

Ah, sleep! My Mother would always say, "2 things, you are tired or hungry" and to this day, I hear myself repeating her. She is always right, it usually is one of the 2. Nothing like sleep or a good morsel to keep one's battery running!
As children grow and they have more demands, the early bed time changes, but still encouraging a healthy lifestyle is indeed the best way to live. I love that you share such goodness and have such an optimistic blog.
Have you visited the blog "Whatever" take a look at her photos, I think you will love them.

Frau said...

I love your attitude and I agree, sleep is the key to all things good.

montague said...

i don't even have kids but lack of sleeps make me totally cranky, so i understand the importance!! thanks for sharing dear!

Coffee with Cathy said...

Lecia -- I love your Pledge of Allegiance idea! Maybe everybody would just calm down and chill out a bit if we all promised to do this when we got hot and bothered. Thanks so much for sharing.

Jodi said...

so well written it makes me cry for happy. I'm loving getting to know you through this medium and wish that we lived in the same state. Love to Fred and happiness to you both for being so healthy. allll my love Jodi

Debbie said...

ah you are such an inspiration..i am struggling these days with parenting...work full-time, house issues (yes not fun), work, hubby in school, 4 kids, I do exercise regularly, sleep terrible...any good advice...i love your blog, it brings me down a notch!!!

Kwana said...

Thanks for this. Sleep and exercise is important. Organization too which you have. I need to work in. You are a wonderful and caring mother and a great artist.

Ina in Alaska said...

I originally discovered your blog from your comments to May-December. Our kids are grown and gone. I have always marveled at your parenting creativity and how you find the time to be so present with your sons and yet prepare such FABULOUS means.... My hat is off to you, dear. I enjoy your posts very much. Thank you... PS Love to see Cinnamon the cat in the last picture!!!

Ina in Alaska said...

PS I meant to say Fabulous Meals...

nicola said...

i don't mean to creep you out, but you and i are quite similar when it comes to how mamma traits play into parenting. i was reading along thinking "yep, yep, yep!"
nicola
http://whichnname.blogspot.com

vanessa aka Nessie Noodle said...

Lecia,
this is such a great post. thank you for sharing all this insite.

I love to look at my blog as a place to capture the good, the light and the wonderful as well- I think it is important to do so, that way when I am having one of "those days" I have a place to come and remind myself of all the amazing in my world.

keep up the beautiful photos and words.
xo

Anna said...

very nice. it's always good for us to remember that blogs aren't the whole picture, they are just (as you said) the particularly inspiring and beautiful things we want to share.
it was nice to get a fuller picture of you. i like the bedtime philosophy, where you get to look forward to relaxing once their asleep.

Kristin said...

Can you throw some of your organizational mojo my way?

KPiep said...

You know, sleep is so key in so many things. My acupuncturist and I have worked really, really hard to help me straighten out years of poor sleep and insomnia so that I'm finally getting quality sleep. (It's been a problem since I was 14, according to my journals.) Sooooo important!

Also, I find your focus on the positive and beautiful to be refreshing, and exactly what this mom - who's fought depression and negativity her entire life - really needs to see. Thanks!

heidi said...

thank you! I totally agree about the sleep thing.
I also think it makes a huge difference that you have the space to send your boys outside to explore & let off steam. It's the winters here that get SO hard...
xoh

Fine Little Day said...

I see the Bicycle bear, the coolest name :)!

Francesca said...

It's always interesting to read the reasons behind the snapshot: what one decides to focus on or to crop out. I don't think I have such clear ideas about the overall picture I want to convey.

C.T. said...

OMG...thank you! I have nothing more to say than that...it's just...honest, open and beautiful, thx.

wide open spaces said...

really fantastic answers. thanks for speaking with vulnerability & joy. cause if motherhood isn't worth it...what is?

hmstrjam said...

love the out of focus cat in the foreground. Definitely in search of patience here too!