Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hey Girls....this one's for you!

This is a shout-out to my girls who always read my blog.  Some great things have been happening in my house over the last week.  Here is an example:
“Mom, I poured myself a glass of milk.  It is all gone.  But I saved you enough for your morning coffee.”  
“It’s been 5 days Mom and no fights!”
“If we can’t watch tv, I have nothing to do.....(this comment was followed up by some amazing piano playing, the rediscovery of a knitting hobby and of course, drawing.)
Last week I hit an emotional wall.  My girls saw that I was upset with the way some of our family routines were not working and that bedtime was just a disaster and rarely happened before 10pm.  They saw me frustrated.  They saw me cry. 
Sometimes you have to share your feelings and emotions with your children so long as it is done in a way that does not burden them with issues that are not theirs to solve.  In our house we had a dual-disaster.  I needed to refine and streamline routines and they needed to stop arguing.  But perhaps they were arguing because there was a breakdown in routine...  I know that Grace’s stress level is always in direct proportion to my own.  In that way, we are in complete symbiosis.  
Living together 24/7 is not always easy.  We do not get the 8 hour break from each other that children who are in school get from their parents and siblings.  We need to find our own space, solve our own conflict and when we do this through peaceful parenting, we are working on some very real life skills. 
Some changes were made as a result of my mini-breakdown.  Changes that will help to smooth the rough edges of our days.  Changes that will guide us from one place to the next.  

Grace's knitting
We no longer watch tv or use the computer after 6pm.  The 6pm is not a set-in-stone time.  It can move if a friend is over or if there is something really great that we are watching.  But for the most part our home is quiet after dinner.  When the inevitable question of “what can we do?” is asked we have new choices.  We are pulling out new games.  We are beginning new knitting projects.  We are working on new drawings.  We are playing with our dogs.  We are listening to Grace play the piano.  We are building fires and reading in front of them fighting Daphne for the prime spot directly in front of the fireplace.  
We plan our meals together.  I realized that we are missing meals.  Because I like to let the girls sleep as long as their body needs, they are waking late.  Often this makes our whole day feel like we are one step behind.  We are eating while we are working or we are eating rushing out the door or we are simply not eating.  The three of us discussed a solution that we can all agree with.  The girls will be woken at 8:00am and have until 8:30 to watch The Weather Channel, read or draw.  At 8:00am I will start making breakfast and it will be ready at 8:30 at which time they need to join me at the table.  I miss our sit down breakfasts and our morning conversation.  This should help us stay on track, begin our day in a healthy way and allow us time to share what we would like to accomplish in the 12 hours God has given us until we go to sleep.
The girls have been decorating...
We are respecting each other’s space.  Each of my girls has the opportunity to explore things alone. Grace has joined the Youth Group at Church that meets every Sunday afternoon.  Lilah is not old enough yet for this group so it gives Grace time with friends, and it gives Lilah time to do what she wants with some individual parent attention.  Each girl is planning their own movie/pizza night, Grace with the older siblings, Lilah with the younger.  I am working very hard to validate their wants and needs, recognizing that they are unique and individual to each girl.  
I am inspired by the blog Wander Wander, Discover.  This mother used peaceful parenting to transform her family.  Her story is not that different than mine.  Five years ago I had children in school, no idea about organic food, no interest in gardening and farming, felt it was much easier to purchase what I needed than make it myself, and was caught up in our fast paced, jam packed way of life.  The old me would have told my girls when to go to bed, when to wake up, what to eat and when they had to be done eating with very little input on their part.  Given, most of that stemmed from necessity.  It is very hard to get two girls up, dressed, fed and out the door by 8:30 with a full backpack, stuffed with homework, library books, musical instruments, and healthy snack and lunch.  Very hard indeed.
But now.  Oh now.  It is so much better.  I hope that the awareness that seems to be taking place in my girls, especially in my 11 year old girl, continues to grow and develop.  I am so proud to be their mother.  When she consciously thought to leave me enough milk for my morning coffee it was symbolic of much much more.  
So much so, that I did not mind one bit when Lilah came along and finished that one last drop of milk and I had to have my coffee black the next morning!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Don't You Just Stay Home All Day?

It’s funny because last night at youth group some of the kids friends were discussing homeschooling and really truly felt that we stay home...