Posted in 0-3 Months, 12-months, 24-months, 2T-6X, Baby Clothes, Children's Clothes, Fashion Design, Girls' Dresses, le•top, Newborn, Preemie Sizes, tagged Baby, child, fan of le top, le top, le top blog, le top children's wear, le top facebook, le top online community, le top twitter, letop, Parenting, quality children's clothing on April 16, 2010 |
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Posted in Children, Family, Mom, Women's Health, tagged Allyson Rice, Allyson Rice of The Total Human, Children, creative art projects, Dads and Daughters, Girlfriends, husband and father, kundalini, kundalini yoga, leaving children, mothers and daughters, nurturing moms, nurturing oneself, nurturing women, Parenting, personal growth retreats, retreats, solo traveling, struggling with mom guilt, The Total Human, The Total Human Women's Retreats, TheTotalHuman.com, vacations without children, Wellness, Women's Health, women's retreats on May 20, 2009 |
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…submitted by Guest Contributor: Dawn H.
A few weeks before I was preparing to leave town for my annual five-day women’s retreat, my eight-year old daughter told me, “Every mother should have a week-long retreat for each child they have.” Since I am parenting only one child, I deserve only one a year, she told me, but our friends who have four children, that Mom deserves four retreats! Now it was a fun conversation, and I liked her viewpoint, although sometimes, my daughter takes as much energy to parent as a large family!
Tif and Kelly helping each other in one of our creative arts projects - mask-making!
I began taking a retreat from my family when my daughter was five years old. I really struggled with the guilt as well as the worry that she would be sad and unhappy during my absence. She had/has a great, close relationship with her Dad, and I knew he’d do fine being the single parent. They went on a vacation together while I was at my retreat, and after she got over being very sad and crying herself to sleep the first night, my husband told me the rest of the week was great for them. It worked best for me not to call them, and I was able to just focus on being present in my new surroundings and activities. I came back from my retreat refreshed, invigorated and in a new frame of mind. It had been a wonderful combination of kundalini yoga, creative art projects, and personal growth work offered by Allyson Rice (The Total Human). I’ve now made it a personal commitment to do at least one of these retreats a year. I also have added in some solo traveling with girlfriends (also sans children) each year in order to balance my needs with the demands of being a mother. At times my daughter still gives me grief about leaving, but I just remind myself that I’m doing the best I can as a mother to set an example that it is okay to nurture myself in order to help nurture others. She may not realize it now, but someday she might be a mother and need similar retreats.
Tif with her mask
Now, I also realize that not everyone can afford the time or money to go away each year, but there are so many little things we can do as women (and mothers) to nurture ourselves. I do my best to carve out some time each week (a high expectation) or once a month (more realistic goal for me) to do something just for fun, just for myself…what ever works!
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Posted in le•top, Mom, Women's Health, tagged Adrenal fatigue, balancing motherhood, Breastfeeding, Bunco, Bunco groups, Coloring books, coloring books for adults, creative and fun activities for women, creative outlets for adults, health care practitioner, Motherhood, mothers and daughters, new baby fatigue, New Mother, Nursing, nursing mom, nurturing moms, nurturing oneself, Parenting, scrap, scrapbook, Scrapbooking, scrapbooking crops, sleep-deprived new mother, taking time for oneself, tired mother, woman's coloring books, Women's Health on May 12, 2009 |
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…submitted by guest contributor: Dawn H.
I was amazed at how demanding having a child was. I was also amazed at how I felt like I never got anything done! I had been married ten years prior to having my daughter. I was used to getting free time and completing my daily “to do” list most days. When my daughter was born, I joked to friends that she was my “new boss”. Little did I know how demanding she would be, wanting to be held most of the time, along with nursing often and only happy if I held her. Shortly after I became a new mother, I had a health care practitioner recommend making it a priority to do something for myself at least once a week. I was surprised to hear this – especially since it came from a male. I guess I was overloaded with my body showing adrenal fatigue. I needed some rest and fun in my life. It was sort of like the announcement that the airlines warn you about “in case of loss of oxygen, please secure your mask first, then help others”. How could I continue to care for my young child (especially when my husband traveled for overnight business often) if I wasn’t balanced myself? I realized I had not done much for myself in those first six months of being a mother.
I tried my best to figure out little ways that I could nurture myself. I started out slow like choosing an activity once a month that I enjoyed. I’d plan a creative outlet with a girlfriend and let my husband care for our daughter. At that time, my main passion was scrapbooking. I could enjoy and relax by getting photos into an album for others to enjoy. I realized after awhile that it was an activity that was still goal-oriented. I was supposed to be doing things for fun, right? If I was worried about finishing something, was that the most fun I could allow myself?
It’s taken me several years to get past this compulsion. I have managed to try a few new things with less pressure – things like playing in a monthly Bunco group, or doing some sort of art project. I rediscovered coloring books – yes, adults can color – it’s not just for kids! A friend shared with me woman’s coloring books with detailed designs that are just fun to color – a little or a lot at once. No deadlines, no pressure, just creative fun. I’m always looking for more ideas of simple, easy-to-do activities and ways to help nurture myself, so please share things that work for you!
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Posted in Children, Family, le•top, New Parents, tagged 28 month old, Baby, battling the terrible twos, chidlren's toys, children showing independence, children's chores, dealing with the terrible twos, disciplining children, Dressing children, First-time mom, games children play, magnetic letters, modes of parenting, New Parents, parental discipline styles, parental guilt, parental love, Parenting, parenting styles, phases of child development, phases of childhood, phases of childhood development, picking up toys, picking your battles, rules for children, setting boundaries for kids, styles of parenting, teaching children, teaching kids, terrible twos, terrible twos of childhood, tough love, willful child on April 24, 2009 |
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It’s hard to say "no" to this face!
I have a 28 month old. I don’t want to call it the terrible twos because she’s just being independent…right? I love that she has a will of her own, but boy, is it ever a challenge to get through everything these days! In the morning, it’s a struggle to pick clothes that are acceptable to both of us. Throughout the day, it’s a (not fun) game trying to get her to pick up her toys.
The other night, I asked her to pick up all her magnetic letters and either put them on the fridge or in the old coffee can. She refused. I then asked her to help me do it. She just sat there and watched me. OK, I know I can’t do it for her because that is just setting myself up for the next 15-20 years of continuing to “do” for her. I decided this was a battle I was going to win and was prepared to do whatever it took to make it happen. Now I had to get tough and tell, not ask, her to do it. She still refused. I wrapped my hand around hers and helped her to pick up each letter and then released her hand making her drop it, but all that did was entertain her. She just thought it was funny. Finally I told her if she didn’t cooperate she had to go to bed. She still refused so I hauled her to the bedroom. She cried and said, “No, no”. When I asked if she would pick up her letters she said she would. I brought her back to the kitchen. When I sat her down she again refused. After going back and forth a couple of times with longer periods of time in the bedroom she finally gave in and picked everything up.
I know this process was significantly more painful for me than for her, but at least I won this round. She’s been a bit better about it this week. Next week, I’m sure there will be a whole new battle. I’d love to find out if anyone has a fun ways to teach kids to pick up after themselves.
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