Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 10: 20 Day Commitment to Becoming a More Mindful Mother

Sooooo I have been MIA for a few days. The weekend was busy with Halloween and the furnace issue is still not resolved so lots of contractors in and out of the house. My poor house looks like a tornado whirled through it. Ah well, all will get put right again.

Day 10 is on realistic expectations. I have been reflecting on realistic expectations all weekend. I had read the post in advance. On Thursday night H and I had a date night and I brought up the topic of our expectations of M. H said he had been contemplating this as well. Great! We are already on the same wavelength. We both agreed that we have some unrealistic expectations of both M and D. With D it's mostly sleep related which is referred to in an earlier post. So we are working on correcting our expectations of that.

M is a very articulate and coordinated child for his age. He also has more concentration and bladder control than the average 3.5yr old. Since I do not know many kids his age I have been trying to observe those I see in his preschool and gymnastics and this is what I have been noticing. I think because of these capabilities we often place higher expectations on him than his age dictates. He acts and talks big much of the time but he is still very little.

He is in a very turbulent emotional state these days and little things can set him off. We need to work at avoiding the angry states which seem to be getting more frequent. I need to find some calming influences for him. Books are good and so is music. Anyone have any other suggestions? I am working on being more physically affectionate during these times. Often with the baby I feel touched out but he needs this connection on a daily basis and I am working on making this happen.

He is also very bossy and whiny. I am struggling with this because when I ask him to use a nicer voice he says "but this is my girllllll voice!" I really dislike his girrrllll voice! If his bossing does not work he has an all out meltdown. I am going to try instituting more 'I like' statements and giving information statements. For example 'I like when you say please can I have a drink' because his current method of asking for a drink is "I'M THIRSTY! I'MMMMMMMMMMMM THIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRSTYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" If his statement is ignored the noise level escalates.

We also ask that he get dressed for school and often get frustrated and give ultimatums when hes not fully dressed 15-30min after the request. I know that we ask because we've seen that he can get dressed in 2min flat when there is inspiration. But there will not be daily inspiration. Parenting passageway suggests less requests, less words, less choices and more action with the 3yr old. So this is what I am working on. I will bring an outfit downstairs and help him into it without asking if he wants to. If he rebels and wants to choose his own then I will lead him upstairs and physically help him put on what he chooses.

I realize he is not going to cooperate and will resist the rhythm of the day. How do I find the strength to let it roll off? I want to enjoy my days regardless. I guess this is part of my inner work.

I am doing a lot of observing and critical thinking in regards to M so more changes to my parenting practices and our day will probably follow. This is key for me to head off some of the meltdowns (my own and M's). What are our triggers?

My realization: It's easy to stay in tune with a nursing baby and even a nursing toddler. I think those physical check-ins allow me to take the moment to really observe my child and see what they are feeling or needing. Now that M is so much more independent and not nursing the distance between us has widened. I am not as tuned in to him. My goal is to get us a little closer. Pretty soon he is going to be too big to want to snuggle with Mama. I do not want to miss this golden opportunity.

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