If you look at my Nook or home library, it will be full of three types of books. Books on self-help, parenting, and nursing textbooks. Okay, so Fifty Shades of Grey may be entwined some where in between. 🙂
Some of my favorite books are Drama of the Gifted Child, which was actually mentioned in The Battle Hymm of the Tiger Mom, Real Marriage, and Loving Kindness. I read four or five books at a time. Right now, I’m reading Reviving Ophelia, Raising Cain, Wild, and just finished Battle Hymm of the Tiger Mom.
In my quest to become the best parent I could be, I realized that WHILE reading these books, I stress out. The stress seems to stem from the notion that I feel like I haven’t done anything these books are suggesting I should do. I start thinking “OMG, thee impressionable first five have gone with my daughter!!!! Is she doomed? Will she resent me for the rest of her life??? Will she suffer from depression due to my parenting??? Will puberty be my payback?” That’s when I have to put the book down and try to convince myself that I can’t look back at what I’ve done.
I always tell O (my daughter) “don’t make the same mistakes momma does or just because someone else says something or does something dumb, doesn’t mean you have to.” Unfortunately, I have made duplicate mistakes with her a number of times. Namely when my patience runs thin or my own frustrations get the best of me and in that moment… I can’t control my own emotions or reactions to the situation. I’m praying daily that I practice what I preach and control myself by giving myself a timeout and a chance to breathe.
I don’t think we should coddle our children from emotions though. We are human and like I tell my mom and sister all the time, “the world is not going to cater to my kids like you guys do.” Tough love. It’s hard, but I refuse to raise entitled and spoiled children.
My daughter is a mini replica of my husband and myself. I see how she gets frustrated sometimes and it sends chills up my spine because I feel like I’m staring into a mirror. Those are the moments I pray she hears my voice again saying “O, do better than momma, teach kindly and patiently.”
The postcard photo I posted rings so true for me and most of my girlfriends I’m sure (J. Peddy… I know you feel me). I think we all think we are damaging our kids to a certain degree especially when we read these books and aren’t doing half of the suggested material. What I come to learn is that I can pick and choose what works in MY household and reiterate to myself every second of the day that I am doing the best that I can and reinforcing more than anything else that “I love you, O. I love you Husb. I love you, Will.”
These books are tools and guidance materials, not the bible.
What once was a leisurely activity of perusing aisle after aisle at my own pace… has now turned into a strategic, goal oriented mission. Taking a toddler to the grocery store poses many challenges, for me at least. First and foremost, it’s this cart!!! The one with the car!!! Why???? Why does it have to be at the front of the store???? Why, I ask??? In plain view, so you can’t even lie to your kid saying… “oh no babe, it’s not available today!!! Rats.” Haha. I’m a small girl. It takes brute force to maneuver these bad boys through crowded aisles.
Yesterday was no exception. Just the sucky part was I was sore as heck from my run. After literally going through every aisle looking for quinoa… I just wanted to plummet to the floor and weep. Like a cranky, whiney baby. I wanted to shake and stomp my legs and just let out a wail. I was just exhausted. I wanted to hang my head and just sob. And sob loudly.
Not only was my body sore, I had my little munchkin spilling things in the car, so I had to bend up and down numerous times. I had to continuously tell her to keep her head and arms in the car. I had to stop the cart every time she wanted to “look” at something. While I love my grocery shopping experiences with her, yesterday was an entirely different experience.
I love the laughs I got from the men in the store. The comments, “oh that looks like a lot of fun.” Really? “Then, why don’t you push this beast while I walk pleasantly next to you without breaking a sweat.” (That of course was my own internal dialogue with my irritable hamster running wild). There are the sweet, understanding people who just give you that look like… “girl, I feel you. Been there. Done that.” A nice, super buff guy was like… “wow, I feel you. I have to do that with my son. It’s hard.” It’s comedy when you think about it, but going through it was agony yesterday. I don’t know how many times I bumped into something. And the best part… when I got stuck like Austin Powers in the aisle because I put the cart horizontally. So here I am trying to squeeze past the handle and the shelf while trying to get the cart to turn around!!! Ahahahahahahaha.
You can tell too… the people with kids and without. The ones with kids…they smile and move out of the way in sheer empathy and comradery. The ones without… eye roll. Stand until YOU MOVE. Wth.
Anyways, all this was for the sake of making a new dish my BFF with four kiddos told me about. A healthy hamburger steak. I know. You hear HAMBURGER and think how can this be healthy. Well, we put in QUINOA (took me on a mission to find), kale, spinach, shallots, carrots, and celery. I always use organic meat and the leanest possible.
Here’s the result of all my effort while I maintain an inkling of sanity!!! It was delish!!! The best part… O just gobbled it up without knowing how many veggies were inside. The white leafy vegetable is white kimchi… made by my mom. O has now ventured to eat peanut butter sandwiches and white kimchi. Hooray. So now, lunches are getting easier to make.
I am a part of a great mommy group called, “Moms Club of Mid-Wilshire.” It’s an international group and you have one for your local area. Just use your search engine to look for it.
The best part of this group… the current Board Members. They are such a supportive group of women. I had to step down from my position as Activities Coordinator because there was a lot going on in my life. And yet, they didn’t turn the other cheek on me. They just reached out and said, “let us know if we can do anything for you.” How awesome is that? I’ve been in other mommy groups where I got kicked out (from other blog posts) for not attending an activity at least monthly. But no one called to find out why I wasn’t attending… no one cared that I was suffering.
It’s such a breath of fresh air to be amongst these women. Their support really encourages me to want to be a part of this group. They are so welcoming and non-judmental. So please, go out and find your local MOMS CLUB group. If you are a new mom… take advantage of playdates. No joke. I didn’t and I regretted it so much.
If you are in the Mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles… it’s momsclubmidwilshire.com!!