The baby led the way, teaching us all how to open our hearts, to dig deeper, and to touch our authentic selves. At only a few months old, he had no agenda other than to communicate and to connect deeply with his parents, both of whom are hurting. And maybe he helped them to dig a little deeper into themselves and to move just a little closer to each other in this moment, the only moment we know for sure that we have together.
There is no right or wrong choice in schools (homeschool, private school, public, etc.); but after doing all of them, I realized for me and my kids, life experience was more than great planned vacations that didn’t happen often enough, or being creative with your curriculum. For me, school was about community and the opportunities random people provide. I may have failed at homeschooling, but I realized that every family is different and we all have individual needs.
May you find deep healing for yourself through the challenges of your life, rather than in spite of them. The gifts will rise out of the ashes of your old life, your old worldview, and you will find a new and deeper wholeness. Just know it is there for you to claim after the flames have subsided.
I stay home with my kids. I do some different work projects, and I bring in some money, but my main focus is the kids. They’re my #1 job. It’s a struggle for most (all?) moms who are the primary childcare providers to (1) feel like others respect the fact that being a mom is a “real job” and (2) treat themselves as though they work a “real job” while they’re “just” staying home with their kids.
When we start to connect with our children’s stories- both through the telling and by listening in a different way to what they’re sharing about their stories- we open up to a new kind of relationship with our children. Sometimes the storytelling really helps a child to sleep more soundly. Sometimes transitions during the daytime get easier. But, new possibilities for understanding and changing behavior patterns almost always begin to emerge.
One hundred years ago, I wrote a poem entitled “I Am.” You know the one, where you start listing all the things that make up you in a list to create personal poetry. It’s a great exercise to get people out of their preconceived poetry notions, but it is also a great exercise in perspective.
It isn’t a miracle cure. It isn’t a quick fix. For most families, it would take about 3 weeks to see a big change in the sleep patterns from using the story telling ideas we’re presenting. Interestingly, it is about the same amount of time that it takes using cry-it-out to change a sleep pattern without the negative consequences to the brain and the relationship.
When our children are little, we know we must model for them, so we show them how to pick up their toys and sing clean-up songs to make it more enjoyable. We sit with them and do it together, showing that teamwork makes the job go faster and that we can help each other. But for some reason, when they are older, we seem to expect them to just do things on their own, without direction or help. And often parents aren’t even kind about it. “Go clean your room!” “If you can’t take care of your things, maybe you don’t deserve to have them!”
Beata, 2 ½, had always been a restless sleeper. It was a challenge to get her to sleep each night, and once asleep she would burrow herself into the side of one of her parents. She woke up screaming inconsolably from her naps each day and many times at night, as well. Sleep training was something that her parents decided they did not want to do, but Scott and Beth were tired. More than that, they knew that Beata was probably not getting a good night’s sleep, either.
Our patterns, or how we deal with situations like this unconsciously, are set very early in our childhood. What we saw, felt, and experienced on every level is repeated, especially when we’re stressed. How do we change our patterns?