The happiness of pursuit

cloudsAs an Attachment Parenting parent, I’ve always listened to my children. I always will.  I treat them with respect, and I truly care what they have to say.  I do my best and hope they always know that someone hears them. I don’t want them to go through their lives wondering and feeling like they are alone, as so many of us do.

I’m not a movie critic, although sometimes, when I’m deeply moved by a film, I wish I was. My husband and I took our boys the other day to see the delightful “Hector and the Search for Happiness.”

The sweet woman giving us our tickets was a bit taken back when she saw how young our boys were and wondered why they were about to see this film and not a kid’s movie. She kindly and gently said, “They may not get the subtleties.”

She obviously doesn’t know our boys.

I must say how proud I am to witness their attentiveness, comprehension and interest in such mature, thought-provoking and enlightening films. When they saw the preview of a man traveling around the globe in search of happiness, they both exclaimed their desire to see it.

You wouldn’t believe the questions they asked during and after. They are such curious individuals and so in touch with themselves and this wonderful gift of being.

We enjoyed the film very much, and I’m always affected by any verbal, written or otherwise expressed work of inspiration and insight into one’s journey through this life.

I don’t usually read or care for reviews, because like anything, I believe we need to experience things for ourselves and form our own opinions. Someone’s opinion regarding this film, however, did capture my attention and inspired me to share on this subject.

To briefly sum up his thoughts, he described this film as a depiction of a middle-aged man who prefers to live in fantasy and who chases an unattainable ideal across the globe, only to realize this figment of happiness is a creation of his own feelings of cowardice and insecurity.

The critic also went on about ego and narcissism, and why would anyone be interested in a man, with means, who traveled to other continents in search of happiness?

He wasn’t only searching for his happiness. He wanted to figure out how to make others happy as well.

This, along with one of the featured messages in the movie, got me thinking about the quote, which is so simple, yet so important…

“Listening is loving.”

I really sat with that thought all day, along with this critic’s interpretation of ego as it pertains to expressing interest or a need to search deeper and why that makes someone vainglorious and self-important.

I couldn’t disagree more.

In fact, it’s this very opinion of what makes something self-important that sometimes holds me back from expressing myself. I sometimes wonder if and why anyone would care what I have to say. I wonder why my opinion matters.

I believe we all have something to say and we all want someone to hear us. Using our voice and expressing what we are searching for, what we stand for or otherwise, does not make us narcissistic.

From birth, perhaps before, I believe the first thing we all wished for was to be heard.

When we cried as babies, we weren’t crying to manipulate; we were crying because we needed something. When those cries and calls for attention went unnoticed and unanswered, we possibly retreated and found the answers within ourselves and have spent our lives wondering if anyone ever truly listens or hears us.

Listening is loving. When I want or need to speak, sometimes I don’t need a solution, I don’t need you to judge and I don’t need an answer.

If you can listen and just hear what I am saying, you may help me find the answer within myself. You may discover something about yourself within my truth.

We are all searching for something. If we aren’t searching, we aren’t growing. We will never know everything about ourselves or this life. We will never have all the answers.

The preview of this film inspired me from the moment actor Christopher Plummer narrated these words:

“How many of us can recall that childhood moment when we experienced happiness as a state of being when everything in our world was all right?”

Happiness.

As a state of being.

Not just something to present to the world via social media so it appears that you are happy. I’m speaking of true happiness. Where capturing the moment didn’t matter because that feeling was so pure and that moment was ours. No one needed to understand it, and no one needed to witness it.

I could go on and on about the ways in which I’m inspired by people in real life, books and films. The people who go far beyond what is comfortable. The people who bravely walk through fear, even though they have rational and irrational reasons to be afraid. People who choose their own paths and don’t follow the masses. People who jump. People who truly love. People who unselfishly and unconditionally help others. People who truly live.

Lastly, at the end of this film, Christopher Plummer was experimenting with a brain-scanning technology on two subjects and placed them in a room with a wired device on their heads.

Before they walked in, he told them to go to the places where they recalled feeling happy, sad and scared — in any order.

I won’t reveal too much about the film, but I will tell you this: We experience all of these emotions, simultaneously. It is the complex, yet beautiful, combination of these feelings that pushes us beyond our limitations.

As I get older, I embrace my happiness, my sadness and my fear.  I let them guide me to places I never thought possible. I let them sit within and circulate around as I evolve a little more in each moment.

I am in search of happiness and peace also. For my children. For my Family. For you. For humankind.

As Hector was about to depart on his soul-searching expedition, his girlfriend wholeheartedly proclaimed, “If you’re going to do this, do it totally.”

Yes, this is how I believe we should do everything. Totally. This is how we will continue to feel alive, despite the forces constantly telling us we’re dying.

The author, Mark Twain, once said something that I’ve always appreciated:

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

You have already been born, so if you haven’t figured out why yet, this will be my wish for you.

Thank you for listening. I feel loved and heard when you do,

sandy-signature

Own the Road You Travel

Boys Waterfall BLW

.When it comes time for traveling, the proper kids’ luggage for traveling makes parent’s jobs tons easier and therefore the trip more fun for the youngsters . That’s because if the youngsters like their Fake Louis Vuitton Bags they’ll be more likely to hold them, which suggests you do not need to keep track of it for them. Since everyone is keeping track of their own bags, it makes even the foremost arduous holiday traveling much easier, and with tons less hassle and stress, that in and of itself makes the trip tons more memorable and fun. You can also check here for memorable travel reviews.

Mom and pop will probably have space in their bags for baby clothes and in fact , the ever present diaper bag, but small kids need their own piece of bags for his or her clothes, toys, toothbrushes and other stuff they’ll need while traveling. once they grow old and need to ride within the car for long trips to go to relatives during the vacations , they’ll need a place to place their favorite toys and books. kids luggage for traveling satisfies all of your kids’ travel needs and keeps them happy and peaceful during what are often a stressful time of year.

If you’re in need of bags for your kids to travel this Christmas, you ought to consider totes, messenger bags, lunch bags and backpacks of varied designs, colors and sizes. If you are not organized, holiday travel are often particularly stressful. With all the good shapes and sizes of kids’ luggage, being more organized may be a snap since great luggage makes it easy to pack smarter and more efficiently. With luggage styles like pilot cases, backpacks and duffel bags, every child within the family will surely find something he or she likes.

A Tip for Your Kids’ Luggage

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When traveling anytime, but especially during the vacations , your older kids will want to pack and carry their own luggage and personalized totes, duffel bags, backpacks and pilot cases will make that tons easier. Kids’ luggage comes altogether shapes and sizes and can help make your holiday travel experience far more pleasant this year!

Attachment Parenting International (API) as a whole and are not necessarily connected to API’s Eight Principles of Parenting.

 

My Husband Has Something to Say

I’m so delighted to introduce my husband to those of you who don’t know him. He’s been wanting to share about our trip around the world from his point of view and took the time today to put his thoughts into words. I’m very proud of him, his commitment to our family and for the truly amazing and unforgettable gift of this journey together. Here’s Mr. Daddy…

My wife has done such an amazing job capturing breathtaking pictures and writing beautifully descriptive pieces of our journey so far. I have not felt the need to add any additional perspective from my viewpoint. As I was catching up this afternoon, I had the opportunity to take a full glimpse of our trip up this point. Seeing every picture, reading every blog and reliving every moment, has inspired me to put something into my own words and share it with you.

People often ask me what I am learning from this experience. The simple answer is…more than I can ever put into words or this format. There are so many things that may not seem important but are everything to me. Holding both of my boys’ hands and running through some new place that none of us have ever seen before. Watching the awe in their eyes (and mine) as we discover new ground, a new country or a new castle. Driving on roads that should not be driven on and seeing their pure amazement that we are paving new roads. I have learned that I am appreciating the journey more than the destination.

Sandy and I picked the countries we wanted to see and so far I have no regrets. I feel that the least pleasant of our destinations has given me the greatest personal rewards. It might be seeing people live such different lives than ours or the chances I’m given to really remove myself from my own day to day routines. It has awakened something in me that either has not existed or was long ago forgotten. This for me is the marvel of this journey.

Time with my family is the key. I have always tried to spend quality time with my boys. I have put emphasis on being the best father I can be. This trip allows me to be with my boys, all day everyday. I am witnessing how they develop constantly and they get to see me in a more complete light. I will never regret taking this time with my family and stumbling through this beautiful and sometimes rocky journey. It’s a gift that I haven’t finished unwrapping but I know will continue to be incredible and life-changing.

Best,

Dana

 

 

 

Signed…Better Late Than Never

Hello all,

I wanted to share this letter below that I received today. I am deeply touched that this person, identity unknown, took the time to express himself so openly and honestly. I hope we can all read it and take something from it, whether we are parents or not.

 

Dear Sandy,

I’m probably not your average reader. I’m a single man without kids.

I take responsibility for the path I have chosen to follow in life and the dreams that have never come to pass because I have never followed them to see where they would lead. Still, there is a part of me that wonders how much different my life would be today if I had a mother who had loved me, the way you love your boys.

I wasn’t yet in the first grade and I remember going to bed at night, looking forward to the hugs and kisses my mom would give me. I loved her so much and couldn’t tell her enough times or kiss her cheek often enough. Then a moment would come, before bed, when she would tell me that she’d had enough and it was time for bed. I would ask her to tell me just one more time that she loved me and she would refuse, telling me that it was getting to be a bit much.

I would begin by asking nicely and when she refused to tell me that she loved me, just one more time, I would begin to beg, “mom, please tell me that you love me, please.” “No”, she would say. “Now go to bed and quit being a baby.”

I remember the feeling of going to bed wondering if I had upset my mom and if she even still loved me at all. In the morning, I would wake up and look for a smile on my mother’s face or a hug to reassure me that she did in fact still love me.

It was this one event that continually reoccured. She quit tucking me in at night because of the fuss it would cause and this is what began the deterioration of my self confidence. From that point forward I remember that I would never hear her say, “I love you” often enough. Even when she did say it, I doubted whether she really meant it or was just saying it so that I would behave.

The feeling of insecurity that comes from believing you must earn your mother’s love, is damaging beyond belief to a child. When I made this observation last week, I began crying uncontrollably.

I just want to say, “Thank you for showing me what love looks like.” From this one observation I have been able to take back control of my emotions and I have a confidence in myself that I have never had before. Now, for the fist time in my life I truly feel comfortable in my own skin.

Signed,
Better late than never.

Thank you, Mr. single man without kids, for your kind words and for allowing yourself to be vulnerable. I respect you for looking at yourself, and your upbringing, and for being open to learning and growing. I am so happy you are comfortable within your own skin and I wish you so much love and happiness in this life. We all deserve to be loved and I do believe that the need for LOVE begins at birth and continues on always. I am so delighted that you get to move forward and live your life from a different perspective and with a newfound confidence. Much Love and Respect.

Please always tell the ones you LOVE that you LOVE them. Please do your best to show it by being patient, respectful, loving and kind. We all need to hear it and feel it. I choose Love always and I am sending my Love to all of you.

Our Journey Begins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am sitting on the plane en route to Costa Rica…both boys on my lap asleep, my husband a few seats down asleep as well, and I am so grateful for this quiet time to share. I have so much to say and I only hope I’m able to convey some of it in these precious moments.

When I first suggested we take this trip as a family around the world a few years ago, I remember the surprise and enthusiasm my husband experienced as he pondered the idea. I’ll never forget the look on his face and the light that shined within him in those minutes.

There are so many roads to take in this life. There are so many choices. I’ve never been one to take the road most traveled and since becoming a parent, I’ve truly found a path and many side streets that are my own. I’ve been questioned and doubted along the way and as I always say, I’m sure that will continue and that is just fine.

This story and idea of traveling with our family first began as an idea, a thought and perhaps even a dream. I do believe strongly in visualizing what you really want and putting your energy, passion and love into everything around it. That said, with the actions and intentions, I also believe things happen the way they are supposed to…when they are supposed to.

So, here we are. We are at the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. We are facing the unknown with all eyes open. Inspiration, love, and excitement are taking over our beings as we fly away to new lands and toward new experiences.

The preparation of this journey alone sparked new life in all of us. Our sons not only took an interest in world maps because they found them fascinating and colorful, but also, because they wanted to understand the world we were planning to tread our feet on. They want to talk about the food in each country, the sports played, the modes of transportation we will take, and mostly, of course, which superhero costumes they will be wearing in each place along the way.

Curiosity is one of the greatest gifts we are born with. Sadly, I believe society often wants to squander that natural curiosity in an attempt to place everyone in the “traditional” norms most people find to be comfortable.

I am thankful and proud to say that I didn’t conform. I didn’t let anyone take my curiosity away or the spirit that makes me, ME. I will do everything in my power to give our children the opportunity to explore this world freely and openly. I want them to discover and create who they want to be in it with all of the love, determination and free spirited nature of their precious little souls.

This is how I choose to parent. This is what I believe will empower my sons with all of the tools necessary to grow and thrive in this world that so badly wants to make everyone the same. As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”

Here’s to an enlightening, thought-provoking, fascinating, soulful and loving adventure. My wish is for all of us to allow new awakenings and perspectives for and within ourselves. More risks and less fear. More action and less hesitation. More Love, More Love and More Love.

We are just over Costa Rica right now and I am feeling the importance and magnitude of this very moment. Allow yourself to do the same, no matter where you are. This is your life. Live it the way you want to and don’t back down.

I am grateful to be an attachment parent now and always.  Home is wherever we are together.

Much Love from this crew of superheroes above the clouds and beyond.

Why Attachment Parenting Promotes a More Connected Society

My family and I spent most of the day yesterday in the Federal Building updating passports. It was a very long day in a crowded space and what else does one do, other than watch your kids play superheroes with other kids in their common language, except people watch.

I’ve always enjoyed people watching as a way of understanding the world and people more. It’s so easy to let the little gifts pass us by unless we take the time to look for them. Today we were surrounded by newborns. There must have been at least 20-30 of them with their parents in line and in the waiting area. At first my heart just melted and I had to ask how old they were. Most were only a week or two weeks old. Then my boys and I just stared as we viewed the miraculous sightings of these precious little angels.

I watched the mothers and fathers and it took me back to those first days and weeks. I remembered the magic, the LOVE, the fragility, the fatigue…all of it. I saw first borns, twins and siblings with their new little sidekicks. It made the day go by and I truly enjoyed being around and interacting with such a diverse group of people and witnessing my boys doing the same.

What surprised me the most in this very large crowd was the fact that not one person was wearing their baby in a wrap or carrier. It actually made me sad but I also felt fortunate as I reflected on the years I wore both of my boys in wraps and carriers. I wanted to stand up and tell everyone the joy that comes from wearing your child. The room was filled with strollers and car seats. I watched the babies drink from their bottles, get burped and then placed back into their seats, then repeat….over the course of several hours. My wish is that one day soon, I will walk into a waiting room or public setting and see a room full of parents holding and wearing their babies.

I am not judging those who bottle feed, nor am I judging you if your baby is in a car seat or stroller. What I am saying however, is that I feel our society has become and continues to promote and encourage detachment from our children. They go from car seats, to strollers to walkers, to play pens to cribs. I know they get fed and cuddled somewhere in between but I can’t help but to wish we could all connect even more. We all need to know we are loved and our babies are completely dependent on us for everything. If we are able to give them as much love, contact and warmth as possible, I believe they will feel more secure and safe which will only make them thrive even more.

In other societies and cultures throughout the world, it is normal and commonplace to wear your baby all day, sleep with your baby and spend as much time skin to skin as possible. Especially in the first year of life. I think about newborns. I imagine their world before they were delivered into this one. They are tucked in, warm, cozy, safe and comfortable within the womb of their Mother. When they enter this new realm, they are no longer tucked in tightly. The stimulation must be overwhelming and the warmth and basic necessities are all they require. Sleep, eat, burp, poop, repeat.

I know as a first time parent the responsibility of it all can be intimidating and taking care of the basics makes you feel like you made it through the day successfully.

Again, I want to make it clear that I understand we all do our best. At least I hope so. Not everyone was born to be a babywearing, cosleeping, breastfeeding parent. I get it. Not everyone will agree with me and in fact I realize many will disagree with me and my ways. That is okay also.

My need to express here isn’t about you or me or how we parent. It’s about the most fundamental principal in all of life. LOVE. If you aren’t wearing your baby in a wrap or carrier, I’m not saying you don’t love the same way a babywearing parent does. I’m saying, let’s do it more. All I thought about in that room all day was how happy those little babies would have been if they were wrapped up close against their Mothers.

I saw people getting frustrated and annoyed that their babies were crying. Babies cry. Don’t ever feel embarrassed or ashamed when yours does. To me though, the quickest way to ease them once you tend to their needs, is to hold them close. Let them feel your heartbeat. Let them smell your skin. Let them hear your voice. Let them feel the thousands of kisses on their little heads as you carry them throughout your day.

Yes, I support babywearing. Yes, I am an attachment parent. I am not saying I’m better. I am not saying it is all easy. What I am saying is this. This time goes by so fast. These moments need to be cherished. The sacrifices we make are worth it. I promise. The love, security, stability, warmth and connection you offer will make a difference. My wish for the New Year is for all of us to Love more. To connect more. To Accept more. To Attach more. That is my wish.

Congratulations to all of you who have already experienced the extraordinary gift of giving birth. I wish those of you expecting to have safe and healthy deliveries. Being a mother is the greatest gift and role of my life. I am so thankful for my boys and for my family and I will love with all of my heart each and every minute I am breathing.

Much Love and Support,

Are You Afraid to Admit the Challenges You Face As a Parent?

I often look into the eyes of my friends, or strangers in Target with toddlers and babies in their carts and ask, “How’s it going? Most of the time I get the big smile and the cheerful voice telling me, “Great!” I stare a little deeper and I ask again in case I might be the one person they want to tell the truth to. If I still don’t get the answer I’m looking for, I’ll ask again, “Do you ever find that it’s hard?” “Do you ever have really rough days?”

I have found that I desperately want to connect and relate with others in the reality of parenthood. I feel the magic, Love, gratitude and magnitude in each moment. This love overwhelms me in the most powerful ways. I am truly thankful for being given the greatest role of my lifetime. The gift of being the mother to my two sons. This said, I find that many people don’t want to admit how crazy hard it can be sometimes. Even when I am standing there giving them the space, or at least that’s what I’m attempting to do, to speak the truth. To let it out. To relate. To understand that you are not alone. I want you to help me realize I’m not alone just as badly.

I am a very positive person and I have so much love inside and so much love to give. I am an extremely patient person as well. Patience may be one of those things that comes easily for me or a choice I make in each moment, yet sometimes, even that doesn’t make certain situations any easier. Yesterday, I broke down a few times in tears and felt completely helpless. I knew why it was rough but that didn’t make the hours go by any quicker and it didn’t resolve the stress and sadness I felt.

I believe we all do our best to know ourselves. Know our limitations, our bodies when we are sick, and our instincts when something doesn’t feel right. I also believe we do our best to know and understand our children. For example, I have learned recently how important a solid twelve hour night sleep is for my boys. They wake up cheerful, enthusiastic and playful the following day. It’s so simple and yet, so true.

Well, my boys have had stuffy noses the past few days and this hasn’t allowed for much restful sleep. That is my excuse and justification for why the past 24 hours have been absolutely and beyond…challenging. I now understand the need to lock yourself in a closet for just a minute to cry and regroup. It is just necessary sometimes. The crankiness, the crying, the attitudes, the not listening to anything I say, the getting hit in the ear with a wooden plank (accidentally)…all of it. I am laughing now as I write this because the visual seems amusing in this moment, but trust me, there was nothing funny about my day yesterday.

At times like those, even with the excuse I tell myself about the lack of sleep, I look at myself and wonder what I am doing wrong. I wonder where I can improve. I wonder if anyone in the world experiences days like these. I just want to cry. I want to go to sleep and let a new day begin.

I got the boys to bed early last night and they slept a full and tranquil twelve hours. Like a scene out of the Sound of Music, a new day began this morning. Big smiles and hugs from everyone, birds chirping, a shower WITH my hair washed, a lovely and peaceful breakfast, boys playing together, a dentist appointment with no crying, and smiles, love, and fun this entire day. I am thankful, recharged and happy. We skipped and laughed and hugged and as I was walking through my day, I felt compelled to share my thoughts.

I believe we are all grateful for those enjoyable moments spent with our children. We are grateful when we get through a store or a day without any ‘episodes’. I just had to express to you how hard it can truly be sometimes. I am not afraid to tell you that. I would love to ask you to express the same when you need to. If it isn’t me you want to vent to, please tell someone. I see so many people in our society working so hard to pretend their lives are perfect. Facebook, a platform I adore for many reasons, is one of those places especially, where I witness the ‘My life is perfect’ syndrome. There is comfort in hiding behind the protection of a computer screen, and fabricating the life you want to present to the world. It is really comfortable though?

I also believe that many of you, including myself, truly are positive and happy and feel compelled to share wonderful moments or photos publicly. I get it. I also believe that when you are down, putting out positivity or even receiving positivity is helpful in beginning a day with a good attitude…even if you don’t have one in that moment.

I’m not telling you to spill all of your hardships onto the social media masses. All I am saying is, don’t be afraid to be who you are. Don’t be afraid of what people will think of you. Don’t be afraid when you divulge a certain truth, that people will discover you are not perfect. Guess what. None of us are. We are not. Our children are not. Our lives are not.

Whether we have kids or we don’t, we go through ups and downs. I believe it is our attitude and the way we approach and respond to those downs that will get us through. Dig deep for patience in those moments. I know sometimes it may seem impossible. Go cry in the closet. The moment will pass. The day will pass. A new day will begin with another chance to experience the miracle of being alive.

I also want to acknowledge those with newborns. I always think of you. Hang in there. While you are enjoying first smiles and precious glances, you are also experiencing sleepless nights, fatigue and responsibility for another like you’ve never known. Hold on to each moment. Enjoy it. Find the beauty. Find the patience and the Love. Be present. I promise you this. You WILL sleep again. You will have moments to yourself again and most importantly, I promise you this. It all goes by faster than you know. This is it. This is your chance to be the mother or father you never had or like the mother or father you did have and respect so much. This is your chance to be YOU. This is your chance to be the best Parent you can be. There isn’t a greater role or responsibility on Earth…in my opinion.

Much Love and Support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Children’s Behavior and How We Respond to the Challenges

I was recently asked by a few people to write on the subject of behavior and how I deal with my boys when things aren’t smooth and easy. Tonight feels like the night to share on this subject. Today was a crazy, challenging day and somehow, we all survived and communicated through it without anyone feeling any worse than we already had within ourselves. There wasn’t enough sleep last night which created a day filled with moodiness, sensitivity, and crying to name a few.

I was having a lupus flare up with major fatigue and to top it off, we got home from a long day only to be locked out! So, I had the boys telling me they were cold and tired, ten bags on my arm, a borrowed ladder from the neighbor, our dog in tow and had to handle this situation. I attempted to climb up to the second story balcony like spider man. As my boys cheered me on, and after calling a few people walking by to assist, we were finally successful and opened the door I thankfully left unlocked today! Just another day in the life. Should I share or should I only share my smiles and happiness? I am choosing to share.

One of the things I’ve always believed is that most of us grew up with the feeling of not being good enough. I learned this several years ago and not only did I remember the point in my life when I made that decision, but I began to see the pattern in everyone I knew. That point when you were a child and the world was yours. You were carefree with mismatched socks on, crooked glasses on your face, a missing front tooth and had no idea what perfect or imperfect was. You just walked around fulfilling your curiosity and trying to find your place in this world without knowing exactly what “fitting in” meant yet.

Then, one day, something happened. Someone made fun of you. Someone judged you. Someone pointed out your differences. Someone made you cry. At that point, you made a decision, most likely unconscious, that you weren’t good enough and the negative self image, comparison to others, and quest to fit in or stand out began.

The reason I am mentioning this is because that happened to me and I’ve spent most of my life actually standing on the outside. I wanted everyone to like me and then I realized I cared more about being ME and understood that not everyone would. Today, I want to share with you because I believe that as a parent, or as any human being trying to find your way, you must realize and understand this pattern so you can not only heal yourself, but also do your best to prevent the same feeling from affecting the younger generations of this world. This awareness and transformation begins with ourselves and our children first.

I had no idea what kind of parent I would be. I had no idea what patience was until I had my first child. No idea. I had no idea what unconditional love was although I thought I had known it well. I truly discovered Love, Patience and an Instinct within myself that I had never known. This instinct is what guides me each day. This Love is what allows me to be patient and kind and strong, no matter what.

I didn’t know that the term ‘gentle’ or ‘positive’ discipline existed, yet I knew that’s what I was practicing. Once you hear a term or you hear others doing what you are doing, it makes you feel like you have support, like you are not alone and like you are not as different as everyone says you are.

I am non-traditional in my ways. Yes. I have been judged and doubted and questioned along the way and I’m certain that will continue. That is fine. My sons may cry in front of you or they may throw a fit in a public place. You may stare and say, “Can’t that woman get her kid’s under control?” You may say, “I know her kid’s are crying because she is an attachment parent and she’s still breastfeeding.” Let me think of what else you might say just so you know that I’m already aware you are saying it. “Sandy really needs to do time outs and discipline those boys or they are just going to be crazy.”

Although I wish you would be kind and have empathy for me and all of the other parents or caretakers out there struggling in moments when they can’t control a situation or sad that their child is suffering, I can’t do anything about you or those like you. You either don’t have kids, think yours are perfect, think you are perfect, or have no idea what it is to love so much that you care more about comforting your suffering child, than being embarrassed because someone can’t handle the annoyance of your struggle.

When children act out, they are crying for attention. They are crying because something isn’t right. They are hungry, they are tired, they are frustrated, they are scared. They may simply need you to hold them. That is all that matters to me. Being there for them in those moments. Logic sometimes works. Sometimes it’s just removing them from the situation if they will let you. Sometimes it is just holding them and assuring them that you are there until it passes.

We must breathe deeply and remain calm. Even if that doesn’t seem possible. I don’t ever want to threaten or shame them into anything. I don’t believe in it. When I do the juggling act of distraction that I sometimes find necessary, I do it in order to get them out of the momentary stress they are experiencing. I don’t dismiss what they are going through. I acknowledge their feelings and their point of view once they are able to communicate with me and we move on with the next moment in our day.

I believe that communication is the most important thing. In any relationship. I communicate with my boys and always have. I respect them as people. They know this and this is how we work our issues out. This is how we support one another and learn who we are. Dominance, yelling, threatening, scaring, punishing…I’m sorry. I do not believe in. Think about yourself. When someone does that to you, do you react gently, kindly, respectfully, obediently. Or would you say you are more defensive, angry or hurt? Yes, you may react obediently but what is that. The negative effects of the situations are prolonged, the hurt feelings linger and something is taken away from you. Somewhere along the way, you will feel like you are bad, not good enough, or unloved.

Obedience to me may look good to others and others may comment on how well behaved your children are, but with obedience comes less of their spirt. In my opinion, communication and positive discipline allow for children to be themselves, allows for their spirits to be free and yet they will learn the respect and boundaries needed without crushing their souls and making them compliant robots for the sake of looking good to others.

To be clear, we are all different. I am only sharing what works for me and what I believe. I am not perfect. I can only hope that my example, my choices and my methods will make my boys strong, independent, free-spirited, confident, loving, compassionate, kind men. I hope that they always remember and know how loved they are. I believe it is the gift of feeling loved that gives us what we need in Being who we are supposed to BE in this Lifetime.

Patience and Love. Support and Encouragement. Warmth and Compassion.
I hear you. I understand you. I respect you. I love you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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