The Time I Won At Parenting

Is there anything worse than being three years old and having your mom make you get out of the bath? In my toddlers world, the answer to that question is an emphatic NO.

This day was no different. I was trying everything I could think of to keep the insanity to a minimum. “It’s no fun to be cold, is it?” I said, drying her off and praising her for doing a good job. She really was doing an excellent job. But I could tell being cold and wet was getting to her and a meltdown was imminent.

“Robe, please,” she shivered.

“Let’s get your underpants and pajamas on first, my girl.”

Then suddenly, out of nowhere she inhaled “heee” and exhaled a guttural “ahhhh”. I realized this was the moment we’d been working towards for months. Deep breaths in and deep breaths out to calm down in a difficult situation. What else could I do? I followed her lead. There we were, sitting on the floor of the bathroom breathing in and out like a couple of asthmatic hyenas.

“Is everything okay up there!?” My husband shouted from the living room.

“Yes, heeee, everything is fine, ahhhh!” I shouted back.

That day, we made it through putting on pajamas, her Wonder Woman bathrobe, and brushing her hair while engaged in our unusual deep breathing exercise. My daughter may have been the one wearing the Wonder Woman robe, but I was the one that felt like Wonder Woman after bath time.

 

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The Toes

While I’m no artist, I do love a good pun. Have a wonderful Friday!

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We’re Only Human

I think we can all accept that people make mistakes. Some of them are worse than others, there’s no doubt about that, but mistakes often result in shrugged shoulders and a comment “Hey, we’re only human.”

So then, I wonder, why do we not extend the same courtesy to units of people? This could be a married couple struggling to parent, an organization that didn’t make exactly the right statement, or friends who didn’t offer the words of comfort you were looking for. Certainly, credit should be given for trying, right?

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I’m not saying we need to throw a parade because a white supremacist says “hey, maybe people of color have value.” That would be stupid, because they should have come to that conclusion well before lighting their tiki torch and going on a rampage. A simple “I’m glad you’re trying to be better” will suffice. And then a lengthy conversation about why they felt an entire group of people didn’t have value before.

When a church realized that it’s statement that “people of any faith, or of no faith at all, should be troubled by the increase of intolerance in both words and actions we see everywhere,” was being touted by white supremacists within their midst as a statement supportive of their bigoted views (how? But whatever, I guess) and they update their statement to say “White supremacist attitudes are morally wrong and sinful, and we condemn them. Church members who promote or pursue a “white culture” or white supremacy agenda are not in harmony with the teachings of the Church.” That’s the type of statement that should have you thinking “this organization has struggled with race relations in the past. Good for them for trying to move past it, they might be worth some consideration.”

Ultimately, I think that a lot of the horror we have been seeing is due to a serious lack of respect for one another. While not every attitude deserves respect, the person holding the bigoted attitude would benefit from respectful education about why their attitude presents a problem.

 

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Do you always have to be the one to engage? No way, you need to engage in self-care and (at least for me) that often means not engaging other people. You say what you can and then you step away.

People make mistakes, that’s just part of the gig. Organizations are made up of people and even though we are better together most of the time there are also times when we fall short.

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*Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

*Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

*Photo by Pablo Orcaray on Unsplash

I am Anne, I am Marilla

Anne gives herself freely to each emotion as it passes through her psyche. Surrendering completely, into the depths of despair or the heights of ecstasy.

Marilla is afraid to feel. A life of hard experiences has taught her not to expect too much, lest she be disappointed.  Her moments of passion have led to some of her biggest regrets.

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Sometimes I am Anne and sometimes I am Marilla. Often I am nervous to give in completely. In some ways this is good. As an adult I need to function on a day-to-day basis and one can’t do that very well in the depths of despair. In other ways it is terrible. I struggle to give in to the sweet moments that come, moments saturated with love and safety.

When I get excited about something, echoes of “next time dad gets paid” ring through my head and I remember all the “next times” that never came. The clothes that didn’t fit, the activities I didn’t even ask to participate in. Other times I remember being on the giving end of a Secret Santa and I struggle to express how excited I get to be able to do the same for another struggling family.

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The blessings of being a mother to daughters that feel deeply are not lost on me. They show me every day that you can give in to those feelings and still be worthy of love. I know this because they have my love. Every day I find it easier and easier to give in to my highs and lows, to feel them fully. During these times, I am Anne. Feeling the delights of extreme happiness and the depth of sorrow or grief.

Where do you find yourself? Are you mostly Anne, mostly Marilla, or somewhere in between?

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Motherhood in a larger context

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