putting a kid in school is hard for me. hard because i've put my entire being into making sure she is awesome. that's the goal, happy kids who have abundant love in their hearts and want to share that love. sharing love through knowledge, talents, humility, and how they regard the earth, and how their just being a good person is important.
my oldest, unfortunately, is learning that there are not so nice people out there that missed these basic elements to humanity. it starts early. it starts at home.
i cannot protect her from the feelings she will have about these newfound truths. but i can teach her by example and love, how to act.
"kids don't remember lessons, they remember moments. when we make education an experience instead of a checklist, it can be the difference between a lifeless and a LIVING education." -ainsley arment
when i wake at 4:30, i make a mug of coffee, find a spot in the house where a light won't wake my family, and settle into my brain dump, my book, journal and blog.
this morning's spot is in my daughter's room, she wandered out of bed last night.
and some mornings i get to do these things sans kid, though i got two sentences into this post and my little boy's missing mommy radar went off so now he's cuddling beside me.
i love these kids. i find myself completely 100% unable to yell at them. because yelling doesn't resolve any behavior or action. at most, it startles and scares kids, the opposite of what i want my kids to feel. i want to understand them. truly peaceful parenting is all-encompassing mind, body, thought work to develop a trusting relationship with your children. i have never felt understood when i'm yelled at or dismissed, have you?
but to have someone who loves you to squat down with a tiny version of yourself and ask first if you're okay, work through the reason a door is being slammed, why the kids are fighting, why he keeps grabbing things off the counter. all of these behaviors have a reason. kids don't do things absent-mindedly. adults do. and i am breaking that cycle with peaceful parenting to be sure my kids grow as conscious, loved and loving adults.
i have been very interested in the concept and research on transgenerational parenting. that is another post in itself. essentially, how you were parented is engrained in you. and to not parent the same way, a lot of conscious effort needs to be made to not create little broken people. because broken children become broken adults. we have enough brokenness in the world. enough pain. a beautiful, mindful life starts right here, with sleepy cuddly babies who love me.
as a mother, i have come to notice that when people-all people-talk about how smart or articulate or loving my two children are,
the people comment as if these beautiful children were born that way. that they were born with words and reflection, counting and colors.
as a mother, i'm astounded at the lack of acknowledgement of a mother.
a mother who pours her being into her children so that they can make a difference.
a mother who stays home to nurture and be nourished by her children.
it takes a lot of a mother to raise children who are aware of the world around them.
it takes a lot of her children to raise a mother who is aware of the world around her.
mothers. our children didn't come into the world outside of us.
our children weren't birthed into our world with names for objects or numbers for fingers.
but our children were birthed into our world wanting to wonder and understand.
it is the mother, learning alongside her children, who blooms these qualities.
so, mama. i'm here to tell you that i see you.
i see you.
as i read more, get rid of more, and want less, i notice more around me.
i notice all of the things competing for my attention. not just advertisers, which no one is immune to, but the things that are in my house that call for my attention.
it started with marie kondo's book and decluttering. then it was onto brooke mcalary helping me discover my why.
so we donated so, so much stuff! so. much. stuff.
joshua becker has proved to be an ongoing inspiration as i continue my journey into wanting less--because i know my why.
if you want to figure out how to start being happy and stop buying things to make you happy (it will never work) or stop saying "i'll be happy when _______" and you want to spend more time on experiences and with meaningful relationships, then you have to stop buying things to fill your void.
happiness is bad for the economy. once you're happy, you won't be wanting this thing or that thing or the newest version of this thing.
you can walk through a mall and not want want want. my family can go to the mall and not buy a single thing except a treat for our kids. or a nice lunch. that feels really, really good.
stuff will never make you happy.
be happy. pay attention to your stuff. how much stuff do you own? does your stuff own you? does your stuff own your time? how many times have your kids wanted your attention but you're too busy cleaning, sorting, folding, shopping, scrolling, watching. instead of building those memories? you're not going to remember watching netflix or putting away multiples of x,y,z utensils, clothes, toys, stuff. you will remember, and your kids will, too, building something together. going for an adventure walk, really getting to know your family instead of just having them drive you crazy in the background while you try to watch other people live their fake lives while your real life passes you by.
it drives me BONKERS when people say they don't have the time. they DO. they just don't prioritize the important aspects of their life. or they don't know what is important to them yet because they are too busy numbing their minds, pacifying. wasting their time.
we are all given the same 24 hours in a day. wouldn't you rather fill that time with goodness? with activities that fulfill your life? or do you want to continue not having the time or money to do the things you've always wanted to do?
you, and only you, are responsible for your happiness.
over the summer, i decided that enough was enough.
we all know that almost every single piece of plastic ever made is still in existence. but what about your clothes? i bet you're wearing acrylic, polyester, nylon, spandex or rayon right now. these are synthetic, man-made fibers. and you're probably drinking those man-made fibers right now. those synthetic fibers, tiny itty bitty pieces every time you wash your clothes, go into our water supply and are too small of particles (micro fibers) to filter out. our bodies, not just the bodies of whales and fish and birds, are full of plastic.
you don't want to drink plastic water, or give your kids plastic filled water? then stop contributing to it. if you want change, you must change. posting angrily about plastic pollution in our oceans but still wearing acrylic, or buying those cheap kids clothes from big box, is contributing to this. no one wants to be told that they are a part of the negative impact. but you are. we are.
i find that with the holidays days coming up, i can feel my anxiety starting rise, anticipating the garbage gifts. the synthetic fiber kids clothes that we won't use, the plastic wrapping that everything comes in. a simple, straight-forward conversation is all it takes to change your consumption of crap. talking about it with your friends and family causes awareness.
so. over the summer my family and i went through every single piece of clothing we own and ditched all the synthetic crap. 100% cotton clothing, wool and hemp, linen and nettle. nettle sounds itchy, its similar in feel to jute and is very cool how it's made. i don't personally wear silk, but that is another natural option. bamboo clothing has some questionable practices to get it to that soft fiber which in turn makes it a form of rayon, so we don't wear that either.
my husband was all "you're getting rid of that dress?!" yep. that patagonia dress. well, they're a company that does a lot of good, but no one is climbing a mountain in that dress. there is no need to contribute to the shitty synthetic mania of our culture.
eliminating the plastic and chemicals from your life is not going to be easy, and it will never be easy. you will be tempted to buy that cute outfit for your kid or that cheap shirt, but read that label. if you don't want to contribute to the wasting of our world, then don't. being a mindful, conscientious person starts with your mind. your mind. before you try to change the minds of others, you have to change yours.