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My Big Plan – Extra

27 Nov

I’m not sure if this would really count as a part of the plan but it might. Getting rid of stuff that’s floating around in my head annoying me is probably helpful on my journey to self improvement. I have something to get off my chest. There is a person frolicking about in my world. A person who may refer to themselves as a close and long time friend to my husband. I am not going to name this person. I am writing this in the hopes of gaining the satisfaction which comes from addressing your attacker. A satisfaction I do not expect to gain in real life by speaking to this person as I am confident that even if they did admit to their wrong doings they would make them my fault. There are people who will recognize this person from my accounts of some events, please respect my choice to not name names and keep it to yourself or comment to me privately. Thank you.
The following is a selection of incidents perpetuated by the above mentioned frolicker. From this point on I will be writing as if I am speaking to them, because thats easier.
(1) Calling me a whore and telling me I forced my husband into depression and ‘ruined’ him. Then in response to a request for an apology from me stated that (2) you meant what you said and would not take it back. Later (3) insinuating that my son should be circumcised by uttering “a boy should look like his father” and (4) stating that my desire to send my children to a Catholic school is stupid and doesn’t make any sense. When Scott asked you about 3 & 4 you (5) denied the occurrence and blatantly lied stating that (6) I behaved completely differently than I would have had Scott been present, telling him that I attacked you. And finally when asked to take responsibility for items 1 & 2 claimed (7) to not recall them at all.
When I think about one and two I wonder how you can truly consider yourself a friend to my husband when you are so openly disrespectful of his choices. We are married because we love each other and you being so unkind to me shows a great lack of consideration for the feelings of your friend.
In regards to number three I think my sons penis is absolutely none of your concern.
As far as number four is concerned what school my children attend has no bearing on your life whatsoever and I fail to see what you hope to accomplish is saying anything about it at all. Except perhaps to be mean or get a reaction.
Number five? There were others present who recall precisely what you said.
And six how dare you lie to your friend, and about his wife. He knows me and knows what I would and would not do. To expect him to believe your falsified account of the incident could suggest that you have little faith in his intelligence.
Seven, I find it difficult to believe that you cannot recall. Especially being that Scott talked to you about it later and you apologized to him for treating me that way.
To me it appears that accepting responsibility for your actions is not a great strength for you. Lying to your friends seems to be your defense of choice. My husband has maintained a hope that you would recognize the error in your ways and come around. I hope that he is right, and I believe the first step to being the person he hopes you to be would be admitting your mistakes and attempting to make it right with those you have wronged. I wish you luck in this.

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My Big Plan – Part 3

10 Nov

Goal: Stop being a judging judgey-faced judger.

It’s a bad habit. And I’m pretty sure just about everyone does it. Having a reaction is normal, I’m not sure I can change that. However, once I have my reaction I am going to stop and remind myself that I am only seeing a small portion of someones story. There is a lot I don’t know and whatever snippet I am a witness too is really none of my business to judge.

I use it as a means of small talk. When I meet someone and find that I have nothing to talk about I often rely on criticizing people and events around me as a means of filling the awkward silence.  It’s bad I know. What’s really bad is that quite often my dry and sarcastic humor is probably coming across as just plain evil. I hope that making people laugh will mean they like me when in all likelihood they’re like whoa this chick’s a b*tch!

This realization has been largely due to all the criticism and judgement I have received in response to various parenting choices.  Not for anything crazy. Just about everything people have condemned me for is somewhere in another post here. Things that I tend to fight a little too hard for even when no one is asking such as breastfeeding – especially into toddler-hood, co-sleeping with both of my kids, letting my kids lead the way, not having our son circumcised, heck even what school I plan on sending my kids too. People have mocked, questioned my rationale and flat out told me I’m wrong. This can really hurt. And one thing I never want to do is make another parent feel bad for the choices they make for their kids. It is so confusing and maddening and tough to navigate your way through raising your kids. And people are mean. I think a lot of it comes from the fact that other parents might be having a hard time with the choices they have made, or simply don’t have the information. Unfortunately though there are those out there who really do mean to harm, and who cannot fathom the possibility that they themselves may be the ones who are wrong. That’s frustrating, but those ones do it to themselves, it would be nice if someday those who believe they can do no wrong recognize the harm they are doing to others. I have learned, I recognize the hurt I can cause other people by scoffing, raising an eyebrow or muttering something under my breath. I know that hurts, and really serves no purpose.

So from now on every time I think “OMG! Look at those shoes!” or” WTF? Why is that woman doing that to her child” I am going to stop myself and realize there’s a lot more going on than what I am seeing. That we are all just finding our way through. We have good moments and bad. Quite often the bad come when we have an audience. You should try it too. Join me on my mission of not being a judging judgey-faced judger.  Unless the shoes are really bad…

My Big Plan – Part 2

7 Nov

I want to be more specific on the being a better parent part of my plan.

I believe I have excellent intentions when it comes to being a parent. I believe I have an open mind when it comes to seeking out new and improved ways of being there for my kids. I believe I am accepting of the parenting choices that others make. I know I love my kids in a way I can’t actually put into words.

However all the good intentions and love int the world do not a perfect mother make. I get mad, frustrated, irritated and sad and I can sometimes take it out on my kids. I yell, I shut down and sometimes I even withhold my attention out of spite. Ugh. I’m so disgusted with myself right now.

I have been reading about positive parenting. The idea of using positive reinforcement versus negative consequences has always been a good idea in my head but the truth is I haven’t been putting it to practice all that well. Bad Sarah!

The goal moving forward is to really use this positive thing, like really. Not just think about it, but you know…do it. I read these two posts:

http://www.authenticparenting.info/2011/10/practicing-punishment-free-parenting.html

http://www.authenticparenting.info/2011/10/four-alternatives-to-punishment.html

And realized it is who I feel I am as a Mom and so I need to really work at doing it. For the last week or so when Logan has been upset about something and behaved in a less than desirable fashion I have gotten down to his level and asked him how he was feeling and why he did what he did. He often has an answer for me. We talk about a better way to handle it next time and we hug. After we are both smiling and feeling better. I don’t want to punish them when they do things I don’t want them to. I want them to be able to recognize their emotions and deal with them in a positive way. So my hope is that if each time they get a bad feeling running through them I am there for them they will learn that it is OK to have those feelings and we can learn together the best way to deal with them. They are people. I often find it hard to wrap my head around this thought. I know it’s obvious. but when I really think about all of the emotions and thoughts that are going through them all the time I think WHOA. And then I think as if I expect them to just know how to cope with all of this. Well adjusted adults have a hard time dealing with all of that stuff. At the end of the day I think if I can treat them the way I want to be treated. With love, understanding and support than I think I will be doing a good job.

I am not going to use yelling, threatening, withholding, time outs or removal of privileges. This feels right for me. It’s not easy because I have been doing these things so far but I believe the change will be SO worth it. It’s really not easy because popular beliefs in regards to parenting include these things. It’s hard to be different with an audience who doesn’t see it your way.

When Logan and Bella were babies I knew right away that I wanted to be a parent who followed most of the ideals of attachment parenting. I co-slept(sleep), I nurse, I kept them close, rarely put them down. Let them lead the way when it came to when they ate, slept, learned new skills, moved onto solid foods. I now need to work at doing the toddler and preschooler equivalent. I need to let them lead the way. Follow their cues and be in tune with how they are feeling and what they are needing.

When Logan was new and I was at a doctors appointment feeling overwhelmed and in tears my doctor said, “All he needs is love and those dumb things” (pointing to my boobs) and that helped me to trust in myself to do the right thing. As they grow and change it’s still pretty much the best advice I have heard. All they need is love. What comes from the love I have for them is my drive to do the best for them that I can.

My Big Plan – Part 1

7 Nov

I have a plan. That’s right I have been thinking about it for a while and have finally decided to put it out there. If I tell all kinds of random people I’m going to do it I simply have to follow through.

This needing a plan business came from the recognition that I am not being the best parent or wife that I can be. Not even the best friend I can be for that matter. In fact the friend thing is kind of a center to the other two. In the past couple years I have started to see the flaws in my friendship skills and have thought about them and made an effort here and there to be better at it but it’s time I try harder, try all the way.

Laying in bed awake is a part of my usual routine. I lay there and quite often think of things I might like to blog about, I’m really excited about it at the time and think I’m going to be all gung-ho the next morning. But I’m not, I wake up and look at all the things I need to get done and the kids need my attention through the day (a part of the plan is giving it to them) so I never get to the actual writing part. So when I sat down today I decided that rather then trying to organize my whole thought process and the plan in one post I would break it up. This post being the explanation of where this while plan thing has come from (see what I have been writing thus far) and the first part of said plan. PLAN PLAN PLAN. I’m going to be saying it a lot more so get used to it.

Part 1

The reality is I can’t just be a better friend/wife/parent like POOF. I could probably fake it for a while but what good is that really? I think what I need to do is be a better me first. I have a feeling the rest will kind of fall into place a bit more easily if I’m, you know, a good PERSON to start the whole process.

So my first step is to forgive and accept MYSELF. Right now this sounds really self absorbed to me…that might be something I need to work on.

Problem : I tend to be pretty hard on myself. I have pretty high expectations and I rarely live up to them, let alone exceed. And truthfully I prefer to exceed. I have a picture of the friend/wife/parent I would like to be and each time I miss the mark I get frustrated. Mad at myself ultimately. This often makes me want to give up and I spiral a little bit. A common issue for me is keeping my house clean. I really don’t mind house work I just struggle to keep myself motivated and moving forward with it, especially with the constant kid interruptions. And then I plan on doing it while the kids are sleeping or busy with their Dad or something but then I find myself wanting to indulge in those moments and just shut down for a while. I think being a good wife involves keeping up the house, being a good parent means keeping the house clean for my babies and I am not too comfortable having friends over when the house is a mess so it’s a part of the friend thing for me too. I start out with good intentions. I make plans and lists. Then something gets me off course. I don’t get things done the way I want to and I get annoyed. Then I procrastinate because the job keeps growing and I don’t want to deal with it. After a while I get overwhelmed and feel that I can’t handle it on my own at all. At this point is often where I start telling myself that I don’t even care about the mess and it’s just a part of life and blah blah blah. The truth though, is that it makes me crazy and I really just need to get on it and keep up with the place. I mean it’s not that hard.

I have a habit of being quite selfish. With friends I see it each time I cut them off or turn the focus of just about any conversation into something about me. I try to convince myself that I am just relating but I’m pretty sure I’m just being selfish. With Scott I expect much more from him in our relationship than I expect of myself. Selfish. I feel that he should be thinking of me and how his actions impact me at all times. But I don’t really think that way about him. I go on my own way and just assume he will follow along with whatever choices I make and I really am surprised each time he doesn’t just agree with me. With the kids I have a big problem with myself. I hate that I do it but quite often when I am trying to do something and they want my attention I tend to feel annoyed. I’m mad and tell them to leave me alone while I do whatever it is. Lately I have tried harder to take a step back and recognize that whatever I am doing can probably wait and that what they need from me is to be in tune and responsive to their needs.

Goal as far as friendships are concerned: Be a better listener. Really focus on the person while they speak and empathize without constantly talking over them. I really want to be the friend that people think of when they need someone to talk to. Someone they feel they can really open up to and feel safe with. I want to be a loving and thoughtful person. I would also like to be fun, hilarious, give the best advice and have an awesome sense of fashion but I am going for realistic in this plan.

Goal in the wife category: Give as much as or even more than I expect. I keep wanting from him but I give him no reason to try aside from my demands. For all the things I ask of them I need to be accountable myself. Each time I am mad because I haven’t heard from him when he’s late I should stop and realize he is probably busy and I can easily loose track of time so I should allow him the courtesy of recognizing that he can do it too. Each time I am annoyed that he hasn’t put more effort into helping me around the house I must see that I am mostly mad at myself for not trying harder and cut him some slack because he’s exhausted too. Most importantly when I feel that he is not putting the effort into the relationship I would like him too I need to be finding a way to contribute in a way that is meaningful to him. Communication and the sharing of thoughts and feelings is how I feel connected. He is not me. He has is own way of feeling connected, and since I have spent the past nearly 8 years focused mostly on myself I don’t really know what that is but I will figure it out.

Goal with my kidlets : Give them what they need from me without resenting it. Show them I love them not only when I say it or hug them because I am feeling it in that moment but by being loving with them even when I wanted to be focusing on something else. I need to let them feel how important they are by putting their needs above the silly little tasks I perform on a regular basis.

Ultimately to accomplish these things I need to stop thinking I am a failure for not already doing them. Not be mad at myself each time I get mad. Forgive myself for the mistakes I have made and really use them as a learning experience, not just tell myself that I will. After I have my little fit I will look back at the situation and seek out better ways for me to handle it. I aim to spend more time in the moment and less worrying about the next step. I want to enjoy each day, with all the good and bad that comes.

I can so do this.

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