The Day 11 challenge was reminding ourselves how lucky, I prefer blessed, we are to be moms. To have these kids. That phrase is acute in my life, because people often remark to me that Mikey is 'so lucky to have us as parents.' because of his adoption. In truth, we sought him out, we wanted another child in our family. I was excited for the day that we got a call that Mikey could stay with us forever. Then there is Ethan. There are very few people who will ever understand the blessing of raising a child like Ethan - selected, lucky, chosen. Gavin brought us such joy when he was born. He was like a little ray of light! He has so many great attributes including his competance, confidence and maturity. Sean is the cherry on the top of the Sundae! I know all the boys would agree with me that Sean is just the cutest kid you ever met and we are *all* lucky he joined our family. Parenting has pointed me directly towards God. Do I feel like this everyday? No, of course not. That is exactly the point of Sigrid's challenge. I will make it a daily exercise while I am doing laundry - remind myself how lucky I am to have them.
Which segways into Day 12 - watching what expectations we have for our kids. I like to be prepared. I try not to set my sights too high, don't want to be disappointed. I am prepared for things to fall apart and I seemed to expect that something would go wrong. I definately took note of some pretty low expectations. I was very surprised when I took this day to ask myself what I was expecting. I expect Gavin to get out of control and Mikey to wake up grumpy. I expect and dread Ethan coming home in a bad mood. I haven't sorted it all out in my head yet, but there is a fine line between being prepared for the worst, but expecting the best. I really did not know I held these expectations until I took a day to focus on it. Remember, this challenge is not a 'one and done' type of activity. I am committed to continuing to focus on the challenges.
Day 13 asked us to look at our boundary setting and learning to say 'No'. My early parenting experiences taught me to set firm boundaries, to correct all unacceptable behavior and to say 'no' firmly and mean it. I read tons of books about discipline. Truthfully, it skewed my parenting for many years. I think I said too many 'no's before I was lucky enough to rethink my position on 'discipline' and begin to place my relationship with my children above any behavior program. I wish E, and Gavin & Mike had the mom that Sean has - but now they do! It is possible to say 'no' too much. If you think that could be a problem, spend a day watching how many times you say 'no' I believe that many of us moms say "no" way too quickly and arbitrarily things you could easily say 'yes' too. Although this challenge was stated differently, this is where I ended up.
Day 14 was committing to one thing that is going to take care of me. I knew immediately what that would be. I am committing to 30 minutes of intentional exercise, everyday. My preferred method is walking a few miles outside. That is not always possible, but I have other options at the ready. I also need to shift my focus of why I want this for myself. I need to lose weight. But whether or not I ever do, I still need this - I need the beta endorphins provided by exercise, I want to keep my heart healthy, I need the stress reduction exercise gives us, I want my kids to see me taking care of myself in that way. I recently had a physical in which all my statistics came back great. Low cholesterol, low sugar and good blood pressure. I want to guard that any way I can. I actually enjoy exercising, but have stuggled since becoming a mom with consistency. I am committing to making this a 'habit'. Ask me about it - encourage me if you would.
I like the work that is going on in my head and my heart. I am enjoying having something specific to focus on everyday. I don't know that my diary entries always convey the life-changing'ness' of addressing the issues in the challenge. I am plugging ahead, and hope that you are too.