Monday, April 27, 2009

Breastfeeding App for your iphone (or Palm)

The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog has a link to an app for iphone or Palm (yes, two different apps) to aid in breastfeeding and look up medications. It's FREE!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Quote to Ponder

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Maryanne Williamson

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Promises and delays

I PROMISE with all my heart that I am going to do the series I outlined below... after Tuesday. I have to make my presentation to my committee, and I am feeling the crunch! In the mean time, consider this new study... it appears that even when controlling for weight, women who breastfeed reduce their risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. My favorite quote:

The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that women breastfeed for the sake of their children's health. Schwarz says it may be time to recommend breastfeeding for women's own health.

I agree completely! Many women are completely unaware of the benefits to the MOTHER, not just the child, when it comes to breastfeeding! It is time for a recommendation that recognizes the benefits to mama too!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009: Environmental Stewardship and Women

This post truly will be the beginning of some thoughts on why women play a very special role in environmental stewardship and how that role has changed over time.  Before more modern women Lois Gibbs and Rachel Carson,  women such as Ellen Swallow Richards were pioneering women's involvement in environmental issues.

In the upcoming days and weeks, I will cover in more detail the environment as a woman's issue. A google search for "Women and the Environment" brings up over seventy million results. The topic is not new, but hopefully we can all learn something from the series.
In the coming days and weeks, I will cover a few of the many reasons why women need to take an active role in environmental issues, including:
  • Biology, bioaccumulation and estrogen mimics
  • Socio-economic considerations and exposure rates for women
  • Occupational difference impact risk
  • "Hysterical Housewives" and "Emotional Fanatics" practicing "domestic science" using "housewife data."
  • International Trade, The Budget and why The Government cannot protect you
  • Women as mothers
  • There are no small things (including the purchasing power of women!)
Before I go there though, on this Earth Day, I want to share a bit of where I am coming from. As many of you know, I grew up in Minnesota. Rural Minnesota. My dad is a farmer, and on my mom's side, my grandparent's own a cabin in the woods. At times I am torn between the real issues my father faces and the environmental stances I hold. I think it keeps me grounded a bit in reality, but it does not stop me from questioning.
I spent a lot of time growing up at my grandparent's cabin. It lacks running water and many of the modern day conveniences most are accustomed too.  Recent upgrades have included a composting toilet and (gasp!) a telephone line! We spent the days clearing brush, digging earth worms, and fishing. During the fall we would hunt. You can hear the loons calling and the water is clear. I used to sit on the dock (and still do when I can) and see this:
Spending a lot of time in the wilderness certainly opened my eyes and taught me a healthy level of respect for nature and the environment.Yes, I know how to fish and hunt. I can start a campfire and cut down a tree...
 
But I also know how to sit in the quiet and enjoy a fawn drinking by the water's edge. 
 
That special time in my life forever shaped me and my love of nature. Later in life, I came to respect my body and the other issues surrounding the environment, but at first, I was simply struck by the beauty. Environmental stewardship takes on many forms and meanings, but as women, it needs to take on a special role in our lives. This brings us to the next post, which I hope to have up in the next couple of days-- Biology, bioaccumulation, and estrogen mimics.
Some resources if you are interested in learning and/or doing more.

Now for the fun part-- the contest submissions and winners!!!
Rachel found a great soap company and is going dark on Earth Day! Find out why and how!
Alicia on what she does to teach her children environmental stewardship.

So, before I break the tension with the winners. I am adding a fourth prize, because well... four entries, three prizes... I can afford a fourth, so I have a fourth prize!  For the ladies (no men entered! Boo!!!) winning Baggu bags, please go to the website and tell me which two colors you would like (comments or email). Also, email me your address, so I can send you the prize!

The Diva Cup-- Rachel
Baggu-- Bethany
Baggu-- Alicia
Baggu-- Erin

Monday, April 20, 2009

Breastfeeding "Resources"

This is going to be a bit of a long post-- starting with a story and ending with an all out RANT!

The Story
A friend of mine sent me a message yesterday asking me to call her. She had just had a baby last week, so I figured it was related to nursing and promptly called her after church. We spoke for a little while and no surprise, she was having some problems. I offered her support and some advice based on what she told me and suggested she call a local LLL leader. Times like that make me wish I were physically closer to some of my friends so I could have driven straight to her house.

Immediately after I got off the phone with her, I walked in to the after hours pediatric clinic. It is our "normal" clinic, but we get whatever doctor is working that day, which means not my son's pediatrician. I like to go there, however, because all of the information stays on one chart. (The Boy has an ear infection.)
After the obligatory wait, followed by weight and temperature, we went to "the room." Each doctor has their own set of rooms or maybe the after hours clinic always uses those rooms, because we are never in the rooms near this one or this room during a regular visit.
Do you know the very first thing I saw in that room?

WARNING: THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF THE RANT!!!!!!!


Oh yes! A flipping Enfamil Breastfeeding "Resource" kit. Yes, from a company that makes its money on the FAILURE of new moms to breastfeed successfully. They are there "helping" us to succeed with their "magic" kit. "For the nursing mom on her first visit." The FIRST visit!!! Are you kidding me??????????????? Not for the "I am formula feeding or I refuse to try breastfeeding mom" but for the ones who made a decision and ARE BREASTFEEDING!


I was LIVID! I AM livid. I took a picture and wrote a note about it not helping women succeed! No where was there a number to a lactation consultant or to the local La Leche League leaders. No where were there any pamphlets on successful breastfeeding.

The doctor made me wait too long, and I moved beyond my initial anger and frustration, kindly throwing the kit in the trash. Yes, by the time the doctor showed up, it was no longer prominently displayed on the counter. It was in the garbage-- where it belongs!

Let's explore what is in this kit...and then some REAL tips on how to succeed at breastfeeding.

In the kit:
  • A sample of Expecta® LIPIL® DHA Supplement for pregnant and nursing moms.
From Kellymom.com: There is no evidence whatsoever that breastmilk is deficient in DHA, and there is no evidence that DHA supplements taken by a nursing mother will improve the long term outcome or IQ of her baby. Nursing mothers who get more DHA do have have higher levels of DHA in their milk, but it is not known whether these higher levels are beneficial or what the optimal levels might be. Vegetarians, particularly vegans, tend to have lower levels of DHA in breastmilk.
  • An excerpt from The Nursing Mother's Companion, a useful guide with tips and suggestions.
I searched around and found out what is REALLY included in the "excerpt." Do you know what it is? How to wean your baby off the breast and on to the bottle, scheduled feedings (rather than on-cue), etc. Not exactly "helpful" tips for success.
  • A sample of Enfamil LIPIL®, our closest formula to breast milk, should you choose to supplement
Oh yes. A sample, so when you are wavering rather than calling someone for help, you can reach in the cabinet and pull out some formula. Growth spurt? Grab that formula! Sending new mom's home with samples has been shown to decrease the duration and success rates of breastfeeding, yet do not worry, the formula companies will make sure you have the samples. So will the pediatrician's office.

So I say-- again-- BAN THE BAGS!!!

Now for some real help!
Before I end this, I leave you with a statement I found on the Mssachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition website:
"The only way to sell more formula is to sell less breastfeeding."

(Yes, I will be writing a rather pointed letter to the facility as well.)

REMINDER: Earth Day Contest!

As I announced last week, I am hosting a contest for Earth Day 2009!  I know I said to post before today, but due to The Boy's illness (long story), I am extending the deadline to 1159 pm tonight!

The details:
Here's how to win-- before April 20 by 1159  (to allow me a day or two to add everyone's posts/comments AND get The Boy to draw the lucky winners):

  • If you have a blog, write a post about what environmental stewardship means to you (and your family). There is no limit-- it could be how you instill environmental stewardship in your children. Environmental Stewardship and God. The special role of women in the protection environment. The importance of environmental stewardship. Pretty much everything is game.
  • If you do not have a blog or the theme does not fit your blog, email me your post on environmental stewardship, and I will host it here with a link to your blog OR write a comment describing what environmental stewardship means to you.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What a difference God makes.

Let me start by saying -- by no means is this post meant to be in a complaining tone, nor is it to generate pitty. I live a very blessed and amazing life, but like all people, some times are harder than others. This past week... well, it pretty much stunk.  The Boy got a cold. Kevin was injured in a game. I caught The Boy's cold. Work was out of control. I am trying to wrap up my requirements for my Master's degree. Insanely, I decided to do the front landscaping (well, most of it) Saturday, and last night The Boy woke up every two hours or so complaining that his ear hurts. Today after church (and yes, during nap time), I took him to after hours care, because I knew if he napped first, we would go there later and wait...for HOURS instead of an hour.
The point of all of this?
I could have spent the week in a horrible mood. I could have been super stressed. I could look at it all in a completely negative light. I could allow the entire situation to overwhelm me and my normally positive attitude.
Instead, I took care of what I could and left the rest to God through prayer. Each day I would take care of what I could, and what I couldn't? I would leave that at Jesus' feet. 
I was not always like this. Overwhelming life events used to...well, overwhelm me. They would take me over and control me, but I have turned that over, and the result is a much happier and more productive me!
It's all a part of my journey.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The State of Birth: You're so Brave?

Thank you Kim at DoulaMama for bringing this link to my attention.

The Motherhood Online is doing a series on the State of Birth in America. Wednesday's author, Helena Holgersson-Shorter, wrote on her experience of being told she's "so brave" for having three home births.

While her language is a little ... um ... well, she curses, her point is still valid.
Who the f*** robbed you of your birthright as a woman? Who convinced you that you don’t have the power to do what you are literally born to do? Who the F*** stands to benefit from your inculcated fear, your deliberate ignorance, your passivity when it comes to the fruits of the most intimate and dearest of your labors?

It is no accident that our dying society sustains its capitalist, industrialist power in part through a Brave New World health system designed and perpetuated through the denial and destruction of health, in the true sense of the word. So don’t be impressed by my homebirth: I just happen to have some primitive Wolf Woman gene that seems impervious to years and years of cultural brainwashing. You can do it too, of course you can. If you couldn’t, the entire race of homo sapiens would not exist. We need a revolution to rival Descartes’, except our motto will be "Gero ergo sumus".

She ends with:
Birth is power.
Knowledge is power.
It is, and always has been
yours, mine, and ours.
I could not agree more. While the birth of my son was not all I hoped it would be, I do believe that birthing in many "developed" nations is BROKEN! Women trust more in doctors, machines, and opinions than our own bodies.

The medical profession alone is not responsible for this perpetuation of fear and anxiety-- trust of medicine over our bodies. No, we do it to ourselves too! Women share their "horror" stories, but very few share their peaceful (not to be confused with painless!) birth experiences-- especially those who birth at home! I say-- share away! Let's hear about home births and unmedicated hospital births. Tell women, young and old, that it can be done. That YOU DID IT! That our bodies still know how to function as they were designed...without unnecessary interventions, pressures and monitoring!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A blog post and a pediatrician

I subscribe to The Motherwar Breastfeeding Blog, and today Tanya tackled the every tough and ever present question-- What do you do when you and your pediatrician do not see eye to eye?  Rather than speculating or listing a bunch of ideas, Tanya is asking breastfeeding friendly pediatricians what they think. Afterall, it is the doctor we (parents) are hiring and firing. What does the doctor think?
Today's response is from a pediatrician in Wisconsin-- Dr. Jenny Thomas.   Here are some of my favorite quotes from the interview. (Bold emphasis mine)
Here’s the thing: we are the hired help.  We are the people that family has chosen to help them through their journey. We are not the arbiters of right or wrong, good or bad. We are the people who are supposed to give the information they need to make an informed decision, to help aid in the encouragement of and confidence in parenting instinct.
My first day of medical school, one of my deans told my class “fifty percent of what we are teaching you is wrong - we just don’t know which fifty percent,” a phrase that has stuck with me when I begin to feel like I have it “right” or I know what is “best” for a child in my practice.
(Dr. Thomas repeats this in several locations on her website.)
 In the end, as long as the debated parenting practice is not illegal, I am the paid employee.  If that kind of dialogue is not encouraged, if that freedom to parent is somehow curbed by a provider who is sure they have it right, if that mother feels as if she somehow has to modify what she says or outright lie about how she parents for fear of backlash from a physician, that family should fire that provider and hire a new, more-compatible employee.
After checking out Dr. Thomas's site, I can say that I love her spunk and straight forward talk. I will issue one warning-- if you do not want to hear that your two month old baby should NOT be sleeping through the night, do not go to her site. Or go and learn a little about normal sleep patterns for babies AND adults (I learned that 80% of kids have a "sleep distrubance/problem." Wow!) On the other hand, she is straight forward about what is medical advice, what is parenting advice, and where the studies are strong and weak in certain parenting areas. Her soapbox is especially intersting, but she also offers this disclaimer on her breastmilk/formula page-- again, emphasis mine--
If you are reading this and thinking that I won't respect your decision, should you make it, to bottle feed, you're wrong. I have a reputation as a "breastfeeding supporter" like it's something aberrant.  All pediatricians are breastfeeding supporters, given all the great benefits to our patients from breastmilk.  So I ought to be supporting it, and loudly. 
However, I will support whatever feeding method you choose for your baby, as long as it's an informed decision.  And I don't want all the information to be from formula companies because they aren't giving you the whole story. If you still choose to formula feed after reading this stuff, then you have made an informed decision, and I will support that.
And those of you who are medically unable to breastfeed, I want you to know that it isn't just breastmilk that makes a child special.  If you have tried to nurse, and were unable to or you have a medical problem that makes nursing impossible, then take heart in the fact that formulas now have the nutrition children need, and that you tried.  Your children are better for that effort.  And they can still have the important skin to skin contact, no matter how you are feeding! 
My personal experience with our pediatrician (and the pediatricians in the practice)-- He does not offer advice in parenting areas, and I do not ask him. He asks the necessary questions for the medical and developmental assessment of my son, but does not prod. HOWEVER, I have no way of knowing if the way he treats me and my son is the way he treats other patients. I do know that I go in confident in my parenting, and I leave little room for doubt about where I stand. The nurses also leave me and The Boy "be" ever since I got on to the nurse who made comments about my son's growth pattern. (Breastfed babies have a different growth pattern than formula fed babies.)
While no doctor or person is perfect, I found Dr. Thomas's answers and website to be refreshing. In a time when formula feeding is sadly the norm and much of the parenting style from the past two thousand plus years has been lost to that of the past one hundred, her website provides a lot of detail in an easy to read format.
Is your pediatrician supportive of your parenting style? Have you switched pediatricians? Do you want to fire your pediatrician?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Earth Day 2009: Contest time!

As I mentioned in late March, I have a contest to celebrate Earth Day 2009! I said I would have two prizes, but... I have 3! 

Here's how to win-- before April 20 (to allow me a day or two to add everyone's posts/comments AND get The Boy to draw the lucky winners):

  • If you have a blog, write a post about what environmental stewardship means to you (and your family). There is no limit-- it could be how you instill environmental stewardship in your children. Environmental Stewardship and God. The special role of women in the protection environment. The importance of environmental stewardship. Pretty much everything is game.
  • If you do not have a blog or the theme does not fit your blog, email me your post on environmental stewardship, and I will host it here with a link to your blog OR write a comment describing what environmental stewardship means to you.
On Earth Day, along with my post, I will link to everyone's posts and announce the winners.

The prizes-- a size 2 Diva Cup, and two sets of two Baggu bags (one set is definitely less "girly" than the others).

In the mean time, check out my Earth Day 2008 posts!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Easter. One of the most glorious days of the year. Last year, I was so wrapped up in grief  and busy taking care of a sick kid that I could not fully embrace the day.  This year, however, I was able to spend a little time trying to comprehend the pure torture that Jesus' death on the cross was-- from the nails to being unable to breathe. Pure torture. Because of that, this year is especially meaningful to me, but I am still trying to wrap my brain around the pain he felt. I think this will be a theme that I will have to revisit each and every year.

Happy Easter everyone! Enjoy this glorious day!

Friday, April 10, 2009

We are starting a garden

Well. I have made the leap. I am starting a small garden. I hope it expands in the future, but I figured it would be better to start small.  We are still participating in our local CSA with Three Springs Farm. We love Mike and Emily, and they offer high quality produce without the use of agrochemicals at a reasonable price! (I am going to be asking them to do a short interview later this summer, so if you have any questions for them, let me know.)  At the same time, I wanted to produce extras of certain things so that we can have them during the week and in the late late fall. The growing season in Oklahoma is unbelievably LONG!
In doing some calculations, with the investments we have had to make in order to get this production going, I figure it will take us two or three years worth of planting/harvesting to cover some start-up costs.  This is primarily because we are using some self-watering planters for some of the produce. Also, I bought some sprouts, tomato cages, and an upside down pepper grower for Kevin's fancy. I might be most excited to grow greens, spinach and sprouts indoors all year round.  If I can grow at least some of the food myself, I can save a lot of money in the long run while maintaining our focus on health and proper nutritition! 
Where is The Boy in all of this? Helping me!  He loves to help plant seeds, and he even planted some of his own items.
I'll try to get pictures up of our fun soon!
You can find a local CSA and other local producers on LocalHarvest.org

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

To milk or not to milk?

I know a lot of families drink cow's milk without ever considering the choices. I, however, have thought long and hard about the role of cow's milk in our home. I use it to bake and cook. I currently put it on my cereal on the rare occasions I eat cereal. As I have written in the past, "while some people tout the benefits of cow’s milk, we consume it sparingly, and do not use it as a “cure all” food. In other words, we get the vitamins and minerals from other foods, so cow’s milk is not used to fill the gaps." A carton of milk often times goes bad before we can drink or use it all. We do eat some cheese, but not nearly as much and are slowly phasing it out.
So-- why take this position on milk? Here's the long and the short of it-- in bullets. I'm in a bullet type of mood.
  • Cow's milk is designed for baby cows. Often times, while we drink cow's milk, the baby cow gets formula.
  • Yes, cow's milk is used in the production of human infant formula, and infants do need milk. For us, that means breastfeeding until The Boy is ready to stop-- physically and emotionally. This also means that when he weans, he no longer needs any milk.
  • Breastfeeding in to toddlerhood prevented the need to "fill the gaps" with cow's milk. The Boy got what he needed from me (and still does). We do not use a vitamin for The Boy, but I do take one. To balance The Boy's nutrition needs (really all of ours), we will be starting to drink green smoothies this summer (and all year once started). It's really easy, and The Boy will be able to help.
  • Mucus, mucus and more mucus!
  • Cow's milk inhibits our ability to tune in to our bodies. I know some will say I am crazy for this one, but hear me out. Milk is a "filler" food containing vegetables, nutrients, etc that have been processed through the cow and passed on in the milk. When we drink milk, our bodies are fooled in to believing we have enough of the nutrients, but we are still missing the "other stuff" those foods provide to our bodies (i.e. fiber, etc). As a result, the body says you do not need to eat your vegetables when in fact, you need additional benefits that raw (or cooked) vegetables provide.
  • Cow milk production has a high environmental impact, and the difference between organic and conventional milk is small when it comes to its life-cycle. Add in hormones and anti-biotics... no thank you!
It is our preference, for these reasons and more to forgo the cow's milk as much as possible. What about you? Do you drink cow's milk? Why or why not?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dulce on Spanking

After Dulce commented on a post of mine and linked to this post on her blog, I could not help but share it more publicly. It is an amazing piece! I could not agree more!

The plan behind redemption is clear: God wants to reconnect with us. All of the history of the Law shows that merely punishing sin doesn't change the heart. What changes the hearts of our children is relationship. Obedience grows out of love and trust rather than a self-centered desire to avoid punishment. If children obey simply out of fear of being spanked, their motivation isn’t righteous, but only self-centered.
Dulce links to some great resources as well. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Open thoughts

"I have too much evidence of my liability to err to make my present opinions a test by which to judge the hearts of my fellow Christians."     
-- Barton Stone
I was reminded of this quote when Pastor Mike gave a moving sermon a few Sundays back. He spoke about "A Changed Life" (John 4:1-45), which really had me thinking about the way I interact with Christians and non-Christians alike. 
As a whole, I find I need to reach out more-- take an active role in befriending non-believers. I have said before (hmmm... on this blog or not?) that "Christians do not corner the market on morality." In believing this, I find no reason not to friend, hang out with, or otherwise become involved with good people outside the faith. Sure. Sometimes I will miss the mark and get burned, but I cannot disciple to others without reaching out. It is not enough for me to show His love to other believers or even those  believers perfectly aligned with my own beliefs, I must show it to ALL people.
I have also been studying the history of the Disciples church and came across this tidbit in Lesson 2 of Streamers:
Recognizing that God speaks differently to each believer and that each believer’s path to God is
personal and unique, then judging others’ beliefs was to be left up to God. Another motto grew from this belief: “Not the only Christians, but Christians only.”
and
As with a group of people holding hands and standing in a circle, so it is with the church. As with our hands, we overlap in an essential place—our belief in Christ and love for each other—while the rest of us are the wonderfully, uniquely diverse people of God.
 Believers and non-believers are an important part of my life. I feel no need to turn away from others. On the contrary. I feel compelled to reach out to good people of all faiths and non-faiths...believers and non-believers. Reading the above lessons and listening to Mike's sermon only reitereated that I am on the right path, but I still need to do better.
What about you? Do you stay in your comfort zone of like minded people? Or are you extending your hand (so to speak) to the Samaritan by the well?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Comment Policy Revisted

I rejected a comment today for the first time in a long time. I had noted the IP in the past when borderline comments were made, but this time it was too much. This person continually makes hurtful and inappropriate comments, and to complicate the matter, I am fairly certain I know this person in real life. Actually, I KNOW I know this person in real life. IP tracing and syntax gave the commenter away. I am not sure why the person continues to read my blogs (yes, the person visits my family blog too) when it is obvious that they are upsetting or otherwise not enjoyable for the reader, but from this point forward, none of the comments from the work IP will be published-- worthy or not.

If you are new or old and have not reviewed the Comment Policy , I encourage you to do so now.

Play and Being Present

When I became pregnant, I really began evaluating how I wanted to play with my child. Many of you are probably thinking, "What is this woman talking about?" Allow me to explain. 
Imagine yourself on a playground with your child. Are you sitting on a bench to the side? Or are you sliding, swinging (or pushing), and running around with your child?
Imagine your child with a train set in front of him/her. Are you to the side watching or are you on all fours pushing trains too?
Imagine your child outside playing with chalk in the driveway. Are you watching or coloring?
Me? More times than not, I am getting dirty with my son and loving every minute of it! Sure, sometimes I am to the side at home. The Boy can play independently, but a big part of being present in his life is playing on his level and mine! We kick the soccer ball. We get wet and dirty. We do not need expensive games or loud electronics. We need one another to climb on, laugh with, and chase. We make every day tasks fun games. In doing so, we have a lot of fun together.  Alone, I see laundry as something that needs to get done, but with The Boy helping me, it is a fun game.
Through play, we continue to grow closer. The first time he said, "Mama, you play with me?" my heart melted. Some of the games and talk might be silly, but the giggles, smiles, and belly laughs will live forever in my mind.
Submitted to the PhD in Parenting Carnival of Play.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ten Goods from Ten Mistakes

As I said, Erin sent me ten good things that come from days I fail (or feel like I fail) The Boy.

1. You get to experience God's forgiveness
2. Your son gets to see you demonstrate repentance
3. Your son gets to see that you are a sinner too
4. You get to pray with your son
5. Your son forgives you quickly and reminds you that we should all be as quick to forgive as children are
6. You learn about what you can do better next time
7. You get to blog about it and share wisdom with others
8. You get to ask God to grant you another chance tomorrow
9. You get to remind yourself that your righteousness is not based on how well you do
10. You get to remind yourself that how your son turns out is not solely dependent upon you, but on God's work in his heart

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Disappointing Myself

This morning was horrible. Horrendous. I am not a perfect person, in spite of what some might believe, and I make mistakes, including parenting mistakes, like everyone else. This morning was one HUGE mistake. It really started last night. Instead of setting The Boy Up for success, I set him up for failure, and this was worse than when I told him to "just stop crying."  No, I did not hit or abuse him. I did not endanger him, but I was ugly. Let me start from the beginning...
Last night, I went to dinner and BRU with my neighbor. I got back later than I normally allow myself. (Mistake #1)  The babysitter does not do a good job of implementing our bedtime routine, and I need to talk to her about that. (Mistake #2) When I arrived home, The Boy was riled up, exhausted, and infinitely sleep. We went directly to bed, where he squeezed me because he missed me (he told me!), but when morning came, he was still in bed far past his normal time. Normally, I'd gently wake him and get him out of bed. This morning, however, I left him to sleep until he woke up (Mistake #3), which was a terrible idea. I felt rushed and due to a trip to Stillwater for a presentation, needed to get to work sooner than later (Mistake #4). 
This is where it got ugly.
The Boy was upset being rushed out of bed, didn't want to pee on the potty, and was all out crying and throwing a tantrum. Rather than dealing with it calmly, I scolded (Mistake #5), shouted (Mistake #6), and was disrespectful to him in many ways (Mistake #7). Rather than acknowledging his emotions and talking to him, I threw my own little tantrum. 
I know he does not respond well to shouting. He actually behaves worse in response and becomes more angry, which is exactly what happened. Rather than slowing down and gaining a handle of my growing frustration and anger (Mistake #8), and rather than slowing down to calm him and talk to him (Mistake #9), I continued to yell and act ugly (Mistake #10). 
When we arrived at school, we had both calmed down, and in spite of my already super late status, we sat in the rocking chair for five minutes or so snuggling and loving on one another. I felt incredibly guilty leaving. I wanted to snuggle more, and tonight we have done more snuggling and loving. The best of all things to come from this-- observing my son's complete willingness to forgive me in an instant for my shortcomings.
I am so incredibly disappointed with myself. Some will argue that he should have listened and not thrown the tantrum, but I set him up to fail, AND I made it worse by modeling poor behavior! I acted like a two year old rather than an adult. I failed my son, and I failed myself. However, as Erin reminded me of ten good things that will come from these ten failures. I haven't been able to ask if I can share her list, but hopefully she will be comfortable with it, and I can post them later this week.

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