Archive for parenting

Daddy Time

Posted in parenting with tags , on February 10, 2008 by erin

I noticed something today as we were going about our usual morning routine, I was doing all the work and my husband was not doing any work. Let me say this first, I make it a point to not complain about my husband and really I don’t have much at all to complain about. He’s a great guy! He has been working hard so I can stay at home and I really appreciate that. So this is not actually complaining but more of a realization. What I mean by him not doing any work is this: as I am feeding Petunia her morning bottle, he is watching the morning news. As I am entertaining P he is making himself a nice scrambled egg omelet thing-y (in his defense he did ask if I wanted any eggs-bleck! Not so much an egg person). As he was peacefully enjoying his scrambled egg omelet thing-y with toast and juice I am juggling my instant oatmeal and making P’s solid breakfast. As he is still enjoying his scrambeled egg omlet thing-y with toast and juice, I run P upstairs to change her diaper and clothes (while my oatmeal is getting cold). As he is playing on the computer I am feeding P her solid breakfast while trying to eat a few bites of my own. As he is playing the guitar I am cleaning up the dishes and then putting P down for a nap.

So I am asking you wise and experienced mommies, is there anything wrong with this picture? Or is this how it always is? Am I naive in thinking he could take some initiative and feed or clothe our daughter? He will do whatever if I ask him but do I always have to ask? Am I too controlling so he doesn’t want or think he should do anything? I am curious how do you all split responsibility of the kids, is there a designated daddy and kid time or do your husbands take control once and while?

I brought up the subject with him this morning as we were getting ready for the day. I practiced my speech in the shower 12 times and had every response covered. Not that I was expecting him to say “no way” but so I could really get my point across. So I say, “Do you think you could be in charge of P one morning a week, you know feed her, dress her, change her? I think she would benefit from her daddy doing that with her once in a while.” and he was all, “Yeah, I could do that.”. What, it was that easy? So I feel a little better. I would like him to take the intiative rather than me asking him but maybe I shouldn’t push it. I would like him to think, gosh my wife works hard, maybe I could take care of P one afternoon and so she can grocery shop alone for once. Alas, that hasn’t happened. Will it ever?

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Little Earthquakes-It’s getting deep

Posted in parenting with tags on January 1, 2008 by erin

I hear “Having a baby changes everything.” and boy, is that saying right on. Things have changed in more ways than I could possibly imagine and no one could have prepared me for. Our social life changed (stopped, for a while) but will eventually continue in a different way. I also find I am more aware my character and I am seeing things I don’t like. I guess I’m more in tune to my character flaws now because I have a child soaking in my every action -or better yet reaction- like a sponge. I know no one is perfect but I do see some things I believe I need to change.

In my yoga practice (which is much less often since P came along-yet another change) I have learned many valuable lessons. One of which is learning to be present. During class the teacher will say “be present, we never get another chance to live this moment again.” It’s true, often I worry about the future or what happened in the past that I don’t live the present to it’s full potential-it’s even in the Bible. It is a very hard skill to master, I believe, but also very important. Though I am not a Buddhist (I am a Jesus freak!) I love the Buddhist philosophy of life: Peace, Happiness, Thoughtfulness…. We chant this in our yoga class “Lokah Samasthah Sukhino Bhavantu” -I think there are a lot of interpretations-but our teacher says it translates to: “May all beings everywhere be peaceful and free.” Makes me feel good all over.

So I have made a conscious decision to spruce up my character, make it shine and sparkle (most of the time) be positive and less reactive, live in the moment and have peacefulness and thoughtfulness foremost in my mind and actions. Wow, that’s a mouth full and will be tough but I am determined. My change is two fold: Cherish every moment I have with Pear (even the mundane everyday situations) and (the hardest but most needed change) learn to control my anger. I don’t want my daughter to remember her mother having a short temper. I want to stop, count to 10 and relax. I am sure this gets more challenging as she grows. Right now I am frustrated when she doesn’t nap or won’t eat. I need to practice this now so I will never feel completely horrible and regret my reaction one day.

I read the book “Trees Make the Best Mobiles” simple ways to raise your child in a complex world. What this books says about spanking (which is a re-action) really makes sense to me.
“Striking your child-when you’re angry, scared,
or don’t know how else to handle the situation-
is an open admission that, rather than being
the one in charge, you’re out of control.
When you’ve “lost it”, your child’s
trust in you falters. “
My tendency is to lash out when I am upset or frustrated and usually my dog takes the brunt of my frustration (poor guy), but I am so afraid that I might smack Pear one day and I couldn’t bear it. Therefore the need to change my character.
“Much of childhood behavior is learned.
Make sure that what your child is
absorbing isn’t your ragged, frustrated or furious self,
but your best self.
And when it’s not let her know that you know,
and that you’ll try harder next time.
Your thoughtful expression of emotion, or remorse for
inappropriate behavior, represents everything to your child:
all the humane, considerate feelings that you aspire to for her and for yourself.”