Tag Archives: mothering

Emotional Life with Tweens & Teens: Inspiration for Moms

Tweens & Teens: Mom InspirationTweenagers.
Sigh.

If at any point today, you are staring at your little baby or toddler, thinking how “hard” it all is, remember that it will get easier…And then they will turn on you in about 8 years.

Sorry. If you haven’t had this experience, then I applaud you. And then I’d either call you a liar, or silently think that you will get your due in some fashion or another. Perhaps you had a baby that slept through the night after just 1 month too? So be it. You will get yours. The universe maintains its balance, my friends. This is my due, I guess. Now I am an expert in the emotions of young girls trying to assert themselves as independent and capable young ladies. It started at 8 year of age and has continued through until almost 12 years. I know that this will not end soon.

My best, best, best advice (not that you asked, but this is my forum, I guess, so I will go on….) is to remember the advice of the poet, W.H. Auden, who tells us

 ‘If equal affection cannot be, then let the more loving one be me.’

Words to heed. Yes. Yes, indeed.

Now don’t get me wrong- my beautiful, loving creatures still hold and love me dearly every now and again… but it can be fleeting. And the warm fuzzies are quickly forgotten after a short moment of good snuggles. The good and bad of it is that every day is a new one when you live with budding teenagers, and every other day they decide that loving anyone or anything around them is super hard. Liking anyone other than their friends is still harder. Dour moods and doom rule these dark days. If I am lucky, I manage to remember, how these moments must surely be harder for this precious child than for me…the object of their manifested feelings.

How hard it must be for the child, still figuring out their bodies, their minds, their emotions. Understanding comes with experience, and these kids wake up never having felt like this…their feelings high-jacked by hormones. I get it. I smell it too. The hormones are high during this time, my friends. But it is a sight to behold. You can see the dark moods coming if you are lucky or take care to pay attention, but beware the turn of the tide mid-day, when you think all is well…That’s when it comes in handy, these beautiful words:

‘If equal affection cannot be, then let the more loving one be me.’

Yes. My best self will say, “I am sorry that you feel that way. Do you want some time alone? Would you like some mom-time?”

These are three little things that a mom can do or say, which tackle it all:

  1. acknowledge the feeling: “I am sorry that you feel that way.”
  2. ask them if they want to go to their room and leave everyone else out of this thunderstorm of doom: “Do you want some time alone?”
  3. see if they just need a hug: “Would you like some mom-time? Let’s talk.” (WARNING! You aren’t supposed to really talk at all, as this creates more problems. Really, this means “You talk all you want and tell me how unfair and horrible it all is and I will just nod and reaffirm that your feelings are valid.”  It’s best to time this one to keep it from going on and on. Leave it to under 5 minutes or it can make your day dis.ap…e.a.r…into the vortex of tween-dom emoting.

All good things, and pretty easy right?

But it starts with me shutting my big mouth, and remembering how much this sensitive and emotional time hurts my child way more than it hurts me. Love first.

Easier said than done. So next time one of my Tweenagers decides that I am the Enemy #1 and so “UNFAIR!” I will try to breathe in and out slowly. Exhale again for good measure and shut my mouth. If either of them wants me to answer, I will remember these 3 little things: Acknowlege, Alone, Hug. (Acronym to remember: A.A.H. as in “Aah. Isn’t that better?”)

‘If equal affection cannot be, then let the more loving one be me.’

I am torn in this remembering the soft, fragile and chubby babies, who are now becoming hilarious, smart, and wonderfully independent kids. I am moving forward and trying my best to mother them into becoming kind, empathetic, and strong human beings in this world. Trying not to yell. The struggle is real. I fail all the time. Acknowlege, Alone, Hug.

‘If equal affection cannot be, then let the more loving one be me.’

Yes, Please.

You may now reward yourself with wine. Or chocolate. Either will do. You are doing awesome.

How Did I Get to Be the Mom of a Ten Year Old?

littleJ

Time flies. I remember my friend visiting us and taking this picture. My daughter couldn’t even ride the bike- we had to pull her with this rope around the block and it would take close to 20 minutes!

Flash forward to today, where a bike ride around the neighborhood for her is only 2 minutes!

10 years old for this girl. She has grown up sosososososo fast it seems. There are so many times that I wish I had done things differently…She always seemed to being growing up so fast. Sometimes have to slow myself down enough to really see how young she still is at 10 years old. She is still this little one. How did I get so lucky? I have no idea what I did, or if I will pay for it later, but I am one of the luckiest moms around.

Today we will have time together. We are taking the time- I just want to hold onto it (and to her). At least for another day.

Inspiration for Moms In a Hurry

This post may contain affiliate links.

I am reading a book right now, that speaks to fellow moms and parents who struggle with trying to fit it all in- work, family, friends- and enjoy every moment. Aren’t we all? Trying, I mean?  The author of the book is Katrina Kenison.  She is, I think, pretty well known in some circles, at least circles of moms. But she wasn’t known to me, and so, after now reading her work, I am sharing her with you.

This is the one that I am reading now:

Not on my normal reading list. Can you read the fine print? It says, “Mitten Strings for G-d,; Reflections for mothers in a hurry.”

Yup. That is me. In a hurry.

And so are most of the moms that I am friends with too.

Here’s a quote:

When I stop myself, when I draw a circle of stillness around me, my children are drawn into that peaceful place.  They visibly relax…(24).

Always in a hurry.  Relax.

Here is  another of her books:

I haven’t read this one, but I will. And then she also has a new one… but this ISN’T a sponsored post! You can go to her blog and see for yourself all the more that she has and is!

Those of you  who may know me, are always surprised by by own feelings about faith, but know I keep it to myself and I don’t create borders around it or try to define it too much.  I was raised without any religious guidance really, but we celebrated both Christmas and Hanakah.  My childhood best friends were Catholic and Born-Again Christians. My sister studies Buddhism and my grandparents were an array of Presbyterian, Methodist, Orthodox Jewish, Reform Judaism and Mormon (converted). Seriously.

So needless to say, you can’t fit my thoughts about faith in a tidy box. But I do appreciate the over-arching messages that religion provides, without question, and know that for me, faith is extremely important.  I don’t talk about it very much, but I do like to read about it and find inspiration in this.

Kenison’s book has been a really nice diversion from a busy, hectic life.  Her delivery, is really very open and honest and I can just read a 4-5 page chapter, put it down, and then think about it all day long as I go through my day. Nice.  If you find inspiration by reading, you may enjoy her reflections.

I will leave you with this one:

It is not what I do as a mother, but who I am as  a human being that will make a deep and lasting impression on my children (Katrina Kenison, Mitten Strings,161).

 

 This post may contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through these links, I get paid a small commission but you do not pay any different amount.