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Confident Parenting ( Past Judgement and Fear ) #Parenting #Moms #Dads

There has been a ton of articles on mental health issues lately.

I started A Motherhood Memoir about a year and a half ago. It was a piece touching on post-partum depression, and I didn’t think it would have gotten welcome reception then. But now…I still hesitate.

Some thoughts are better left unsaid or unpublished. In my private journal is one thing–but to put it out here for the world to see is also putting my daughter at risk for certain privacy issues. There is no way to write about it without it also reflecting on her in some way. Since I love her more than life, certain thoughts will remain dead in concerns to publishing them online.

It is also quite a leap to go from writing romance fiction to press into the non-fiction world of memoir writing.

I am not an expert on mental health or parenting, but do know there are a few insights I can offer to those who may have been or are going through many of the same things.

However, there is still a desire to express this story. If you’ve tuned into Heart-to-Heart with Kyrian Lyndon on her worldwide blog talk radio show, you have heard her interview me about issues I’ve held back on discussing until recently.

A couple of things we talk about is mental health and the effects of childhood abuse. I share a beautiful memory of me and my mom sitting by a heater during a thunderstorm as the oil lamp burns.

And so though I will go through and write more about my challenges and overcoming depression as a (then) new mother, it will be from a better place of gratefulness (now.)

I’m able to see the positive aspects during those challenges, so as to note that point in life as a time for better understanding and learning to nurture myself and my daughter without apprehension.

Every parent worries, but coming from a place where childhood abuse shaped my way of life–I was beyond worried about my daughter on every occasion.

The anxiety sucked the life from me knowing any and every trip to the grocery store, to church, or even to a day at the playground was a full-fledged emergency waiting to happen. Especially when she was around the ages of three and four.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. Many parents (especially new parents) continue to feel isolated and alone, even when they take actions to un-isolate themselves.

Everyone has an image ingrained on what makes a good parent. There may be a few who do not hesitate to shove their wisdom down the throats of struggling or discouraged parents in the middle of a poop-smearing or snot-rocket storm right before that comfortable and big event for childless parents, grandparents, friends, and/or family.

Of course, they mean well, but it isn’t always the perfect timing when these issues do arise. In fact, you can count on it not being the perfect time–ever.

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[Image credit: quoteswave.com]

I think what pulls so many away from well-intentioned advice is when it is shaming or meant to cause guilt. At times, those people have no clue that they have rubbed a parent the wrong way by saying things like “Santa is still in the store, but he’s leaving in ten minutes.” (When it would take the parent over ten minutes to even get to the line for Santa.) <<<< This happened to Zoko and I just before Christmas. I wanted to ask the lady if she had a clue as to what her words were causing…but it would be a waste of breath.

You learn that as you go. What battles to fight and which ones to leave alone. It’s often best to Let it go.

There are occasionally people who want to stir the pot on your parenting abilities. Keep in mind that their snarky or sometimes very harsh comparisons or advice are only reflections of their insecurities. Even when it is in humor!

It is important to your eye on what works instead of what isn’t working. Remember, people speak from their own experiences, NOT YOURS. (I have to remind myself this all the time because I’m one of those people who will hug you, buy you dinner, and rub your back if you cry, but I will also sock your lights out if I witness you saying meany-butt things to hurt my kid’s feelings.)

I encourage any parent who feels condemned or shunned by their efforts to remember this list of reminders. I’ve seen my daughter flourish in the past six years because I stay aware of these things:

* By choosing not to adopt others’ perceptions of your parenting, you are freeing yourself to give your child what he/she needs the most–love and security in a way only you can give it.

* When your children see how you are not affected by other parents or critics comments, they learn true confidence takes restraint and discipline. They learn how to focus inward on what they do right and how to improve, instead of what they do wrong, causing low self-esteem and doubt.

* Your children will be a reflection of yourself and behaviors. Imitation is not a bad thing when you parent on *your* terms, keeping in mind the love, safety, and wellbeing of your child is in your capable hands. It also does no good to go around paranoid about your every action and how it affects them because though a child imitates many of your actions, you both are human and will make mistakes. If they learn no one makes mistakes, it could cause the opposite affect…a lack of compassion and love toward others and/or themselves.

* It teaches your children how to be actively aware of conflicts and resolve them amicably, without physical, emotional, or verbal violence.

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[Image credit: smartmom.co]

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<………………..>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

2015 is a new year and new start! First and foremost, it is easy to continue doing the same old thing. Continue to pile on the guilt for not spending that extra few minutes with the little one before bedtime because you’re tired and preparing for the next day. Or you may over-commit yourself to focusing on your child’s worries instead of taking time to slow down and find a reasonable or new solution that could make you both happy.

Let’s leave those things in the past. The doubt. The worry. The guilt over the small stuff. The outside opinions that rile us up and cause discouragement either unintentionally or intentionally. Take away from those moments what is constructive, learn from them, and say “bye, bye, bye” to the rest. Even the New Kids on The Block agree. See!

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[Image credit: scottradecenter.com]

(Those random rock-star poses say “YES, these random audience members and our higher stage lighting power agrees, too!”)

Trust that the love, safety, support, and attention you give your little one(s) is sufficient because you have what it takes.

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Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

Health and Wellness · Humor · Inspiration · Musings · My Motherhood Memoir · Parenthood · Relationships · Things That Matter · Writing · Writing Life · Writing Tips

Parenting, Forging A Writing Career, And A Birthday Wish For My Daughter

I think most people have wondered if the “grass is greener on the other side.” If they haven’t, well….they may be smoking the very cannabis (for medicinal purposes – of course) near the greener grass and be oblivious of envy.

If everyone (including myself) who is caught up in catching up with others would  just water their own damn grass it probably wouldn’t be so dried up and brittle and they wouldn’t be envious of something that DOESN’T EXIST. I DO have a point here: keeping a balance between work life, family, and health is much the same way.  

When I was dating my husband I made a solemn vow to myself: I would NEVER dedicate my life to house and home – leading a boring life day in and day out of cleaning, cooking, and serving people while losing myself in the process. The thought of leading this kind of life gave me the impression of weakness and incompetence…certainly, I was capable of MORE than just being a stay-at-home MOM and WIFE.

Then I squeezed out a 7 lb, cone-headed, drooling bundle of precious wonder and tucked her inside my post-maternity gown for the very first time – right upon my beating heart. The heat from her tiny, warm body lay snug against my skin, and in that moment my heart swelled with uncertain emotion. I stroked her soft hair and saw her tiny lips – she had a small chin like mine. She was so quiet and calm until she was hungry, much like I am when I get hangry (so hungry, it makes you angry and affects your mood.) I wondered if I had what it took to give her the life she deserved, and deducted at that time, I was just glad to have a healthy and happy baby. If I had done anything right in life, it was having her in my arms just then.

Next, life happened. A few days after she was born I finally took a look at my body in the mirror, touched my stomach, and cried. My navel wasn’t in the same place as it was before my pregnancy – it was like I was looking at a distorted version of my former self and the body wasn’t mine. I looked down as the tears continued falling to the floor to see my ankles were still swollen. In an effort to “pull up my boot straps” and keep going, I was unforgiving of the fact that my body and emotions needed time to recover from the labor, birth, and the shock of transitioning over from life as I knew it to the never-ending duties of being a Mom. I remember my husband holding me and telling me I was beautiful – I’m almost certain he wrapped his arms around me, touching my stomach as I cringed and shook my head in disbelief. We took on the roles of early parenthood together, but our experiences were so different it pushed us away from one another.

I tried to become that woman I vowed I NEVER wanted to be. I only managed to accomplish ONE of those things really well in the first few years of my daughter’s life: taking care of her wants and needs day in and day out. I THOUGHT I WAS A FAILURE THEN, BUT TODAY REALIZE IT IS THE BEST THING I HAVE DONE OR EVER WILL DO WITH MY LIFE. Being here for her whenever she needs me. Being available to her when she wants to spend time with me. Giving up the things I thought were most important in life (like my pre-pregnancy body and consistent peaceful alone time)…for her. If my husband hadn’t consistently shown his commitment to our family so much, I would say the love of my daughter is the deepest love I’ve ever known. There is no contest, really. The love I share with both of them is making my life what it is today.

I never thought I’d say this: I LOVE BEING A MOM. I freaking love the hell out of it. I love it now that she is in school and more independent, but at the same time I’m scared of that independence because she’s needing me less and less each day. So when she asks me to cuddle or read to her when I’m in the middle of a critical plot-boosting scene, I STOP TO HUG HER AND READ WITH HER A FAVORITE STORY. When she’s taking skating lessons, instead of having that time to write or work on a story outline while a trainer takes over, I GO OUT THERE AND SKATE WITH HER. Instead of staying up late at night to catch up on my social media platform and network with colleagues and friends, I’m trying to do something special with her each evening before her bedtime.

*Sigh* I’m not saying that I don’t have what it takes to be a writer – I think I do. I’m just saying that today, on my daughter’s birthday, I’m giving us both a break. I’ve realized that every writer has their own unique family and relationship situations that have to balance out with their career from home. It’s hard to turn off work mode when a person works from home, but it has to be done.

I have a young daughter, and this is a time in her life that I don’t want to be too busy for. It may take me longer than I would like to make it through several rough drafts before jumping into the publishing pool, but it will happen as it happens. I may have to re-evaluate my goals several times as situations arise during this constant learning process in parenting, but I’ll stick with it and keep writing. 

I’d like to thank everyone who is following my blog and has been supportive through various social media channels to help me get this far. I’ve connected with some really great people who have offered guidance and advice as I go along this journey as a writer and have had the joy of interacting with those who visit and comment. I am so truly appreciative of your support.

It’s a tough thing – forging a writing career, taking care of family duties, and remembering if you don’t take care of your health you may not be around long enough to have more memories.

I want to conclude this post in a positive way and let you know I’ll be back here soon blogging my brains out when I’m able to do so. In the meantime, I’ll be writing and sharing time with family, occasionally on Twitter and Facebook when time allows to let you know of my writing progress on Sweet Texas Temptation – the first book in the Lonely Hearts In Texas Series.

*Please note: the former Lonely Hearts In Texas Series has been re-named. It is now the Riverbend Way series as of August 2014. All copyrights still stand. Thanks.*

I also want to wish my daughter (whose head is now mostly round, has lips that won’t stop talking, and still gets cranky when hungry) a very happy birthday. I love you, Skina-Marinky-Do.

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Health and Wellness · Humor · Inspiration · Mental Health · Music · Musings · My Motherhood Memoir · Parenthood · Relationships · Things That Matter · Uncategorized · Writing

A Motherhood Memoir (Pt3): Doggone Mommy Madness

Every parent has their bad days, maybe feeling like they fall short of the holy grail of parenthood and moral goodness. Rules may fly out the window on a whim during a moment of defeat and it’s easy to think we’ve failed. I want to speak to those parents, and anyone who is interested in knowing more about postpartum depression. I found during pregnancy, there were an abundance of articles, books, and resources with answers for new parents and the joys of parenthood.

About a month after my daughter was born I decided I would never trust a self-help book on parenting and threw the damn things away. The reality is, many new parents fight an uphill battle and are struggling to get through it. I’m not an expert and don’t have the answers, but am sharing how it was for me. Motherhood doesn’t come natural for every woman nor does every man embrace the duties of Fatherhood. It helps to try and heal from the past, make the most of the present, and find joy as we work toward a better future for our families.

I hope my memoir of motherhood gives some insight into the challenges of new parenthood and the first and most important years of childhood as well as what life is like during postpartum depression. My intent is to reach out to people who are in similar situations and may be going through a tough time to let them know they are not alone.

Posts on A MOTHERHOOD MEMOIR have been temporarily removed, pending a completion of the full story in its entirety. A release date for this blogging series (and now book memoir), has not been set and is temporarily on hold in order to complete other works in progress. Thank you to readers who have followed this blogging series. I will re-post the entire story to the blog when it is completed.

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Inspiration · Mental Health · Music · Musings · My Motherhood Memoir · Parenthood · Relationships · Things That Matter · Uncategorized · Writing

A Motherhood Memoir (Pt2): Death of A Career-Feed the Children or Feed My Child

Every parent has their bad days, maybe feeling like they fall short of the holy grail of parenthood and moral goodness. Rules may fly out the window on a whim during a moment of defeat and it’s easy to think we’ve failed. I want to speak to those parents, and anyone who is interested in knowing more about postpartum depression. I found during pregnancy, there were an abundance of articles, books, and resources with answers for new parents and the joys of parenthood.

About a month after my daughter was born I decided I would never trust a self-help book on parenting and threw the damn things away. The reality is, many new parents fight an uphill battle and are struggling to get through it. I’m not an expert and don’t have the answers, but am sharing how it was for me. Motherhood doesn’t come natural for every woman nor does every man embrace the duties of Fatherhood. It helps to try and heal from the past, make the most of the present, and find joy as we work toward a better future for our families.

I hope my memoir of motherhood gives some insight into the challenges of new parenthood and the first and most important years of childhood as well as what life is like during postpartum depression. My intent is to reach out to people who are in similar situations and may be going through a tough time to let them know they are not alone.

Posts on A MOTHERHOOD MEMOIR have been temporarily removed, pending a completion of the full story in its entirety. A release date for this blogging series (and now book memoir), has not been set and is temporarily on hold in order to complete other works in progress. Thank you to readers who have followed this blogging series. I will re-post the entire story to the blog when it is completed.

Daughter in Great-Grandmother's jewelry. Clip-on earrings were the bees knees :)
Daughter in Great-Grandmother’s jewelry. Clip-on earrings were the bees knees 🙂

 

Health and Wellness · Inspiration · Mental Health · Music · Musings · My Motherhood Memoir · Parenthood · Things That Matter · Uncategorized

A Memoir Of Motherhood(Pt 1):Tossing Out The Rules For Reality

Every parent has their bad days, maybe feeling like they fall short of the holy grail of parenthood and moral goodness. Rules may fly out the window on a whim during a moment of defeat and it’s easy to think we’ve failed. I want to speak to those parents, and anyone who is interested in knowing more about postpartum depression. I found during pregnancy, there were an abundance of articles, books, and resources with answers for new parents and the joys of parenthood.

About a month after my daughter was born I decided I would never trust a self-help book on parenting and threw the damn things away. The reality is, many new parents fight an uphill battle and are struggling to get through it. I’m not an expert and don’t have the answers, but am sharing how it was for me. Motherhood doesn’t come natural for every woman nor does every man embrace the duties of Fatherhood. It helps to try and heal from the past, make the most of the present, and find joy as we work toward a better future for our families.  

I hope my Memoir of Motherhood gives some insight into the challenges of new parenthood and the first and most important years of childhood as well as what life is like during postpartum depression. My intent is to reach out to people who are in similar situations and may be going through a tough time to let them know they are not alone.

Posts on A MOTHERHOOD MEMOIR have been temporarily removed, pending a completion of the full story in its entirety. A release date for this blogging series (and now book memoir), has not been set and is temporarily on hold in order to complete other works in progress. Thank you to readers who have followed this blogging series. I will re-post the entire story to the blog when it is completed.


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