Here’s another confession. So, the other day I’m cutting our son’s nails. Yeah. If you have done this with a 1-year-old, you probably know what a wonderful chore it is, huh? So, I’m trying to get through the wiggling and squirming and trying my best to stay upbeat about the whole process while holding my son’s hand so tight his circulation was probably getting low. “It’s ok honey.. Mommy is just going to get a few more fingers and then we will be done.” clip. And then… he let out a giant wail. “What?” I look down and I have accidentally caught his pinky finger as I was clipping the nail beside it, and it is dripping blood. That’s right. His FINGER got clipped. Oh boy. That is not what I meant to do. I immediately rush to get a cloth and my oh-so-helpful and thoughtful and caring husband says, “You know. He seems to hate getting his nails clipped the last couple of times. Do you think we should try using a nail file?”
I immediately flash him daggers via my eye balls and say, “That is only for babies. His nails are too hard for that now. I’m doing the best that I can. You are absolutely welcome to try the files if you want to” (slyly thinking in my head that I will get sweet revenge when his unrequested advice doesn’t work).
I hand him the child and he comes back with the nail file and sits CM on his lap. I agreed to help hold CM’s other hand, so he won’t try to rip the file out of Daddy’s hands, but all the while I am just waiting for this to fail. And…
He actually giggled the whole time because it felt like the nail file was tickling his fingers, and the job got done just as effectively (umm…ok. Maybe even more effectively considering no blood was drawn in his approach).
So, I am just saying. Maybe… sometimes… I should listen to my husband. *But if you tell him I said so, we will no longer be friends.;-)
Do you ever see other moms at the grocery store or at the library and think, “Am I the only mom that seems to have no clue what I’m doing”? The latest source of this self-talk for me has been gosh darn toddler clothing!
Those things have me baffled. I seriously feel like I’m back in jr high where I certainly had no clue how to dress myself. Side note: I was a major late bloomer in the style department. I got a gift of a cute purse post college from some friends with a small note attached that said, “We see you are still using a backpack”. Anyway, enough about that.
Back to my point. So, I look around at the other kids in public places and think, “My kid is the shabbiest one here. And why don’t I know how to have proper shoes for him?” I have been using some hand-me-down mocasins, but everywhere I go I seem to see children younger than my son wearing supper grown-up looking shoes. Did I miss something here? When was I supposed to know to buy shoes for a person that mostly walks around our living room all day. Do you really need shoes for that (and the occasional short stroll around the library). Am I the only mom in this world that didn’t get the memo that you are supposed to have shoes for toddlers that barely walk?
Seriously, I need some help on this one. For now, I still feel utterly baffled by this situation and pretty much have decided to just keep having my kid use socks or moccasins until he’s walking everywhere. But then again, maybe I just have no idea what I’m doing.
Oh boy. Today was…funny. I was getting my son into the bath and quickly took off his diaper while he was standing. I had changed him so recently I just assumed there wasn’t anything in there. I bundled the diaper in a heap and left it on the ground. When bath time was done, I picked up the diaper and swung my arm as I walked out of the room. Just then, the edge of the diaper (that had been folded over), swung open and I hear a “thud” against the wall. Yep! To my horror, I looked at the wall I had just passed and saw a giant brown spot and a turd lying on the bathroom floor.
It was definitely one of those moments where I thought to myself, “OK. This is my life now.”:-)
Can you relate? I’d love to hear some fellow cringe-worthy moments.
Last night I attended a local parenting workshop on Mindful Parenting. I got some great take-aways, so I thought I would share them here.
1. Is NOT about being a perfectly peaceful, tea drinking, yoga mom (or dad).
2. It is observing, “showing up”/being present with your child, not judging (yourself or your child) for mistakes that happen, enjoying the present moment, listening (really listening and not just waiting for you turn to speak), and welcoming what is emerging in the moment (which can require dropping your agenda to flow with what the moment requires).
3. It’s about connecting to your body. The best way to be a “mindful parent” in a difficult moment is to draw your attention to your body. Stop, take a breath, maybe wiggle your toes or fingers, and remind yourself that you are in this moment. This helps to pull you out of any magnified emotions that may be fueled by what went on throughout the day, or even with someone else, and it helps get you out of the “fight or flight” mode (if you’ve gone there).
4. Recommends Collaborative Problem-Solving instead of being a rigid “boss” or “doormat/people-pleaser”, over-indulgent parent.
The steps for Collaborative Problem-Solving come from Ross Green, and were described in the workshop like this:
When an issue arrises with your child where they want something you can’t/don’t want to give them, you….
- Empathize first. People (including children) are always more likely to compromise if they first feel they have been heard, understood, and validated in their feelings/request. This puts the child’s interests “on the table”. This could sound like, “OK. You are really wanting pizza right now. Let me think about that”.
- Define the Problem. This is your chance to put your side of the issue on the table (SOOOO important that this comes 2nd, not 1st). This could be, “Well, we need to get to a doctor’s appointment in 10 minutes and I want to be sure we are on time”.
- Invite the other person to the “problem-solving party”. This can be as simple as saying, “Hmmm, what can we do about that?” or “How could we get some pizza and get to the appointment on time?” It’s a chance to encourage the child to be solution-focused, and shows that you trust they have wisdom and ideas for how to solve the problem. The younger the child, the more you are going to help them come up with ideas, but you still always want it to have the flavor of brain-storming options, instead of telling them what the solution has to be.
I hope you enjoy increasing your mindfulness in parenting, and I’d love to hear what “mindful parenting” is to you.