Welcome to Paisley Petunia…part two!

I find inspiration in pretty pictures, endless possibilities in a bowl of Meyer lemons, the meaning of lifetime devotion in the wagging tails of our 3 rescue dogs, end-of- the-day bliss in a glass of red wine and now, the boundless, soul clutching meaning of life in the faces of my 2 little angels.

It's a happy, creative, joy-full life we've got here in the LA sun. Come play! Bring wine.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

IMHO

IMHO (working title: in my humble opinion)

It seems like if you are a mom and a blogger you were required to weigh in on the recent Time magazine article. I am both (though much more mom than blogger these days) and I’m just not going there. I will say this: I don’t attachment parent but I don’t care if you do. I reject the notion I am not attached to my kids because we don’t co-sleep. But I also don’t know any of these women who openly criticize, sneer and generally aim to make other moms feel bad. I really don’t. I know they exist but by in large I know really nice, trying-their-best-and-wishing-you-the-best-moms.  My twin mom friends and I do compare notes but I think we usually come away feeling inspired, connected and reassured. I don’t know too many of those other moms but maybe it’s because my time for socializing is limited and I carefully choose who I spend that time with.

Here are some of the things I believe and do; these are just my ideas. My own shaken-not-stirred way to raise my babies. You do whatever feels right to you and solider on momma.

We listen to music everyday, all the time. We listen to live music and bang on instruments whenever the opportunity arises.

I talk to them, a lot. I assume they can understand and I believe that because I believe in them they rise to occasion. I hold my language and conversation to a higher standard because I know little ears are always listening.

I am committed to raising bilingual children. I am not bilingual but they will be. Finis!

We play outside, in the mud everyday. I don’t care about dirt, I don’t care about grass stains and occasionally they eat something they shouldn’t but we only use organic stuff in the back so a fistful of potting soil probably isn’t the end of the world.

They go to bed every night at the same time. Sometimes it is painful but I am the momma, they are the babies and it’s lights out at 7:30 p.m.

I give them choices. I believe this empowers them and they relish the bits of independence associated with choosing which piece of fruit to eat or shoes to wear. It doesn’t matter that they are only 16 months old. They have an opinion and sometimes the vote goes to them.

I do get frustrated but as our teacher told us “better that your babies cry for you than from you” so when I find I am in the mad zone, I make sure they are safe, I walk away and remind myself it’s just a phase.  They aren’t being vindictive. They want to tell me what they need and want; they want to be heard. They are communicating the only way they have right now.

I am a stay at home mom who does not feel guilty about the great fortune of having a full time nanny. My job is to raise these babies, but it would be crazy to not accept all the help available to me.

I am not obsessed with scheduled activities or playdates or classes. We are spontaneous. I don’t really know what mood we all will be in when we wake up, so we take it day by day.  Some days we wear pajamas all day and eat watermelon for lunch. Sometimes we wake up, put on our fancies and go to Neimans.

I don’t make my kids carry my baggage. I do my very best to compartmentalize the emotions and experiences they don’t need to be part of BUT we are a human, living breathing family and sometimes the reality of relationships is unavoidable. It is ok (in my opinion) to be a real person, with real emotions around my kids. But I impose the same limits for tantrums and outbursts on myself that I would ask of them.

I don’t spend every minute singing to, playing with, talking to or frankly, annoying my kids. They love their carefully monitored, free time sans mommy. My egomaniac ways need to remember while they love me every minute- they don’t need me every minute.

I don’t care if they eat some sugar. No twinkies but homemade cookies or a mini cupcake at a party. Fine by me. Even better if we cooked it together. Sugar isn’t the enemy. Over indulgence is.

I try to be a no drama mama. Being stressed-frazzled-exhausted-neurotic and talking about it constantly doesn’t mean you are trying harder than the rest of us. It means you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself. Calm down and get it together, woman.  If you freak me out after 15 minutes of your company imagine how your kids feel. And trust me, they feel it. Figure out what you need to do to be even a tiny bit in control of your day, do it and you will find everyone benefits (and probably likes you more.)

We haven’t mastered it yet completely but I don’t respond immediately to tantrums, squabbles and complaints. As the French say “attend” or wait. We wait a few beats to see what can be resolved without our interference. Sometimes we step in, sometimes we don’t. We are all learning about boundaries and consequences at the same time.

I don’t over document every minute with 10,000 iphone pictures and video clips. I like to be with them not behind the camera. I think we have more than enough memories and moments captured on film.

I do love my family. I do love my husband. I fiercely love my children. I teach by example, show up for work everyday and hope for the best. 

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Posted by c  at   11:23 AM    1 comment

One Response to IMHO

  1. jan says:

    And don’t forget to forgive yourself when you do make a mistake :)

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