I am a good mother

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #6 – Developing Positive Self-Talk

This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about Developing Positive Self-Talk. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Watching Our Language.

My mantra for this week was to remind myself that I am a good mother.  It’s a hard thing to believe because I constantly critique myself and worry that my actions and reactions are moulding my children into emotionally challenged adults.

But for this week, instead of giving myself hell for yelling, screaming, or throwing things, I decided to praise myself for the times I got through the hardest situations, using a quiet voice and gentle understanding.  Now I don’t scream and yell all the time, but I have been know to “lose my shit” once in awhile.  And then I feel like the worst mother on earth for that.  But it was my mom who, when counselling me after an unfortunate screaming event, said “Do you give yourself praise when you don’t lose it?  As mother’s we need to notice the great things we do, rather than beat ourselves up for the times we can’t control our emotions.”

There were a few challenging episodes this week, but one I can remember vividly was leaving Heritage Park, after a nice day of rides and ice cream, and the kids were whining and crying, saying they didn’t want to go home and refusing to get into the car.  I managed to stay calm, let them know that I understood how they were feeling and that it was hard to leave such a fun place, but it was time to go, and continued to encourage them to get into the car.  Sounds easier than it was.  By the time I finally got the second one buckled up, I was ready to scream, but  I didn’t.  The reason I didn’t is because I want to set that good example for them, that they don’t need to freak out in order to get what they want.

Anyway, as soon as I sat in the front seat, I thought to myself, “Nice one Michelle, you rocked it!  Way to control yourself.  You are a good mother.”

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

Affirmations– Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting turns anger into Peaceful Parenting Affirmations for herself.

Week #6- developing Positive Self Talk– Jennifer from Children’s Directory says yes every day for a year.

Positive Self Talk – Peaceful Parenting Challenge – Week 6 – Katrina from Kalem Photography has been developing positive self-talk for about 30 years.

Positive Self-Talk – Ricky from Daddy Blogger is feeling more comfortable with this week’s challenge.

Week 6 – Positive Self Talk– Amanda from Sticky Hands practices positive self-talk out loud for the benefit of her most important audience.

Peaceful Parenting: Week 6 –  I am NOT an Independent Woman … and that is okay.- Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat reminds herself it’s ok to ask for help.

Positive Transitions – Lolly from My Journey Home is back to a stressful job after maternity leave.

 

Right here, right now

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #5 – Practicing Presence

This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about Practicing Presence.. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Developing Positive Self-Talk.

I have been behind on this weeks challenge, but I gave it a go last night.  I always lay with my boys to put them to sleep.  Usually my hubby lays with the little one and I lay with the 4 year old.  And in recent months I have come to enjoy this time, so I thought this week’s challenge would be a cinch, but it actually proved to be pretty tough!

It took me many months to slow down to enjoy laying with my little guy until he falls asleep.  My hubby started the tradition and I thought he was nuts, but now I like holding my 4 year old close and listening to his breath.  But last night I tried to stay with that, cuddling his little body, listening to his sweet sounds, and my thoughts kept on intruding!  What was I going to do the next day, what did I need to clean, how was I going to prepare for an upcoming training session.  I continually had to bring myself back to the present moment.

It was a wake up call, I might enjoy what I’m doing, but I’m not taking it all in.  I’m excited to continue practicing being present in that moment.  From previous meditation exercises I’ve learned to just accept the thought and let it move on.  Hopefully in a few weeks, I’ll be able to put my busy mind to rest while I send my monkey off to dream land.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

Sweet Sleepy Time– Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting realizes that by focusing on all the things that she ‘could’ be doing she was missing out on what she ‘was’ doing.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

Week 5 Practicing Presence – Jennifer from Children’s Directory finds it’s easier to practice presence when there is no Wi-Fi available.

Being Present – Peaceful Parenting Challenge – Week 5  – Katrina from Kalem Photography learns to listen not only with her ears but also with her heart.

Practicing Presence – Ricky from Daddy Blogger has a wonderful time waiting for the ferry.

Week 5 – Remain present – Amanda from Sticky Hands has got this presence thing nailed.

KICK THE PANTS! – WEEK 5– LISTEN UP WILL YOU? – Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat finds it ironic that she’s learned all this before.

Being present can bring great gifts– Lolly from My Journey Home feels she still has some work to do.

Doing One Thing At A Time – Amber from Strocle.com is looking for tips on how to stop multi-tasking.

Time to Play!

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #4 – Slow Down

This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about Slowing Down. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Practicing Presence.

This week’s challenge to slow down is one that I’ve always had a very hard time with.  I love to be with my children but I’m usually busy cleaning, cooking or on the computer and rarely take time to sit and play with them. And when I do take the time I am usually watching the clock!

My husband doesn’t have my affliction.  He’d way rather hang out with the boys and play than clean!  So I usually send them somewhere else to play so I can clean in peace.  It works for us.

Although I am inherently a “busy body” I have found that since I’ve been on anti-depressants, I have been able to actually enjoy slowing down. For example, I lay with my boys until they fall asleep every night.  My husband started the tradition with our oldest three years ago and I thought he was insane! It took such a long time, and sucked up all the free time we had once the kiddos went to bed. But at some point last year, we switched which kids we put to bed and I put the older boy to bed who was used to having someone lay down with him. And now I love it! I lay down, practice my deep breathing and inhale the sweet smell of my little boy while cuddling his warm little body. I find myself thinking about the future when he won’t want his night time cuddles and I get sad!

I blame my busy-ness on the fact that I have anxiety.  As an anxious person I tent to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, so when they anxiety is dulled, I can enjoy life as it is happening. My medication enables me to be a more patient and present mother.

And presently we are on vacation in the Okanagan and it’s been very easy to slow down and play with the boys. I have been building sandcastles at the beach and having water fights in the back yard.  Part of the reason I can take so much time to play is because I’m not under pressure to do anything else, like work or clean.  So I feel like a bit of a cheater this week.  My goal is to continue to play with the boys like we are on holidays, even when we get home 🙂

Small Things Often– Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting realizes the small moments are the ones that matter the most.

Stop, Amy Stop. Amy from The Connection We Share accepts her family’s invitation to slow down and finds that life will not be “better” when items get crossed off to-do lists. Life is perfect, right now.

Slow Down- Peaceful Parenting Challenge – Week 4 – Katrina from Kalem Photography calls her week a complete failure.

Slowing Down – Ricky from Daddy Blogger says slowing down doesn’t come naturally.

A Work in Progress  Verena from Memory Maker Events builds in some time for herself.

What really matters Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat realizes it is the little things that matter and help to put our life into perspective.

Time to Play Michelle from My Peaceful Parenting feels like a bit of a cheater.

Slow and Steady wins– Lolly from My Journey Home questions what are we all rushing towards.

Being in the Now

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #3- Practicing Mindfulness

This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about Practicing Mindfulness. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Slowing Down.

Being in the Now – Week #3 of the Peaceful Parenting Challenge, Mindfulness

“Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans,” said John Lennon in his song “Beautiful Boy”.  I believe this whole heartedly.  Relishing your life at this exact moment is, in my opinion, true happiness.

That’s why I was so excited about this week’s challenge to practice mindfulness.  Unlike last week’s challenge where I felt like I’d been there, done that, this week, practicing mindfulness was new to me.  I get excited often and my thoughts tend to take over my being, and when that happens I usually stop and start to breathe slowly to slow myself down.  This week, I added mindfulness to my calm down routine and it was awesome!

I found that when I stopped, started taking deep breaths, closed my eyes and concentrated on either what I could feel or hear, I was able to be totally present for a good amount of time.  Concentrating on what I could hear or feel gave my mind something to do which kept it busy.

Just last night, my husband, my brother and I were all sitting outside on the patio after dinner.  The kids were playing and I started to think about what had to be done: collect dishes, put them in the dishwasher, get kids in, get them bathed….etc.  But then I felt the warmth of the sun on my skin and closed my eyes and just paid attention to how good that felt.  I felt the sun on my forehead, my arms, and my neck and it felt amazing!  It was so powerful to just sit for two minutes and really take in the moment.

This week I plan to practice a bit of mindfulness with my 4-year-old.  What works for me will work for him too!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

No Need To Schedule Mindfulness– Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting discovers mindfulness isn’t something she needs to make time for.

Living in the Present Moment – Amber from strocel.com shares how she has been practicing presence.

Practicing Mindfulness Ricky at Daddy Blogger takes his wife on a date to The Dark Table restaurant in Kitsilano to practice mindfulness.

Being Mindful – Peaceful Parenting Challenge – Week 3 – Katrina from Kalem Photography finds her way back to a good old habit.

Week #3- Practicing Mindfulness – Jennifer from The Children’s Directory discovers how sometimes we get so caught up in all the garbage that life dumps on us that we forget
the little things that makes it all worth it.

Week 3 – MindfullnessAmanda from Family and Baby Sign Language harnesses her power to attract more positive.

Lesson Already Learned – Verena from Memory Maker Events realizes she’s already learned mindfulness.

Mindfulness of Self – Week 3: Peaceful Parenting – Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat finds mindfulness exhausting.

Being in the Now – Week #3 of the Peaceful Parenting Challenge, Mindfulness – Michelle from My Peaceful Parenting finds true happiness in the moment.

Have a full mind?  Try being mindful! – Lolly from My Journey Home challenges herself to live in the moment and stop looking forward.

Deep Breaths

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #2- Mindful Breathing.

This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about creating awareness. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Practicing Mindfulness.

I am no stranger to this week’s challenge.  About six years ago a naturopath prescribed deep breathing exercises for me because she said I was anxious.  That first prescription has been compounded on by a variety of sources like yoga and practicing Hypnobabies in preparation for the birth of my son.

I heard a good quote from a yogi once.  She said that we are all given a certain number of breaths, and the quicker you breath, the quicker you expire!

After reading this weeks challenge I have been thinking more about deep breathing.  The other day I put the deep breathing into use while dealing with my screaming 2.5 yr old who didn’t want to go down for a nap.  I tried to reason with him, but he was really frustrated and tired, so instead of “flipping my lid”, I chose to stand in the room with him and practice my deep breathing.  It calmed both of us down and I feel like I was teaching by example.  Its amazing how powerful breath is.

I’ve always thought of deep breathing as a great way to centre myself, but through this challenge I’m thinking it’d be a great tool to teach my children to help them to settle themselves down.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

Teaching My Spirited Son About Deep Breathing – Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting shares some ways to teach kids about deep breathing.

Deep Breathing Challenge Ricky at Daddy Blogger has been practicing and will be putting his deep breathing to the test on his family trip.

Just Breathe – Peaceful Parenting Challenge – Week 2 – Katrina from Kalem Photography goes up against her incessant need to be busy.

Remember to Breathe – Jennifer from The Children’s Directory discovers how breathing can work with parents-in-laws, friends, partners, co-workers and annoying neighbours as well as children.

 Week 2 & Epic Fail -Amanda from Family and Baby Sign Language discovers how challenging it is to find a few minutes to herself.

Breathing On  – Verena from Memory Maker Events talks the difference mindful breathing made in her busy days.

Epic Fail — Peaceful Parenting Week 2 Challenge 2: Breathe – Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat wasn’t drawn to deep breathing.

Week #2 Peaceful Parenting Challenge – Michelle from My Peaceful Parenting models deep breathing for her sons.

Week #1 Suddenly aware of all this anger….

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #1 Creating Awareness.

This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about creating awareness. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Mindful Breathing.

So this week I was trying to be aware of my feelings.  It didn’t tend to happen at the time I had an intense feeling, but rather when I reflected later.  My biggest trigger?  My children not listening to me, especially in public. Guess I care a lot more about what people think of me as a parent than I thought!

There was one especially bad day when I took my oldest to get his hair cut.  The lady said I would have to wait a little bit….fast forward 25 minutes later and after telling my children to be quiet repeatedly, and trying to keep them away from the toys for sale in the waiting area, I blew my lid and left!  But that day had compounding triggers.  I was PMS’ing and I had missed a day of my anti depressants 3 days before (the down day tends to be a few days after the missed day).

It is enlightening to see how much of a trigger non compliance is.  Especially since kids are known for shutting their parents out!  Guess I better learn how to deal with it!

Check out some of the other blog posts from parents who are taking part in the challenge as well 🙂

Balancing being a stay-at-home-mom & working from home – Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting realizes her home base business and mommy duties don’t mix well.

My Top Card – Amber from Strocel.com shares her experience attending the Peaceful Parenting Mini Retreat.

Peaceful Parenting Challenge Week 1 – Katrina from Kalem Photography explores her expectations on herself and asking for help.

Peaceful Parenting Challenge Week 1: Awareness – Jennifer from The Children’s Directory talks about her frustrations over getting out the door and dinner time.

Emotional Highs and Lows of Parenting  – Verena from Memory Maker Events talks about the emotional highs and lows of parenting.

Peaceful Parenting Challenge Week 1 – Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat is reminded about checking her “stuff” at the door before dealing with her twins.

The Two Faced Mom in search of peace – Loly from My Journey Home chats about expectations.

Amanda from Family and Baby Sign Language describes her physical response to intense emotions.

Ricky at Daddy Blogger reflects on how peaceful the first year of his daughter’s life was and wonders where all that peace has gone.