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ruddygood

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ruddygood's Latest Comments View all

Finding the balance (my theme)

17/11/2010 - 12:50

I've experienced this both as a former wife of someone with wildly differing background/upbringing/values/parenting style to myself and as a single mother.

I know I'm blessed with my boy, whose intelligence both mentally and emotionally makes me smile on a daily basis. But boy! does it press my buttons sometimes, which makes dealing with his stuff and my stuff a constantly evolving thing.

When I was married, I was really worried about the mixed messages he was receiving about processing and accepting his feelings, from his father and from me. I recognise that is likely very much a part of most children's experience, yet feel for a sensitive child, finding a balance in that is critical. When one person validates your feelings and the other dismisses or tries to encourage you to repress them, what are you learning? Who do you believe?

Now, on our own, there are new pressures. I am everything, most of the time, and that's too much, sometimes. We cry, we fight, we fail, and I wonder what the hell I'm doing being responsible for this beautiful little soul. Luckily, the fighting and crying are far less frequent, the apologies and explanations more frequent, and the conversations are far more significant and heartwarming.

I've come to terms with the fact that my parenting style, somewhere between tough-mama and earth-mama, is going to continue to evolve and change as he does with me. Frankly, like you, Sarah, I'd rather have those wonderful heart-to-hearts and negotiate a meaningful understanding, though sometimes I'm still going to stand my ground and risk being labelled "mean mama".

Re the room issue - I hear what you are saying about keeping rooms a special place, and I've mulled over this one long and hard, but I still ask him to go in his room for a think when he's really lost the plot. He slams the door, rails a bit, cuddles a teddy or kicks a car, then comes out when the storm has passed and calmly picks up the discussion. Maybe it's an imperfect solution, but I'd like him to be aware that he can take control of his feelings, and his room, his own private space, is the safe place to do it.

PS. I so hear you about the computer games - new territory we've entered this year. Still working on that one. ;)

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Gratitude

03/11/2010 - 13:34

Before I comment, you might be interested to know about the hashtag #gratitudelist on Twitter. I've been lax with it for while, but it is a nice way to remind yourself about the attitude of gratitude, especially when you regularly see lots of other wonderful moments captured and shared.

As for me, riding a rollercoaster of emotions the last few weeks, my immediate answer is definitely friends; near and far, old and new, known and 'cyber'. So many lovely people who rally and cheer me, and make me infinitely grateful, too, for the magic of the interwebs that puts just about everybody I care about at my fingertips.

For the senses, my sleeping pooch curled companionably behind me, and the golden light lying across my desk are small treasures I'm grateful for. And shortly, I'm off to pick up my boyo from school, he who daily makes me so grateful that I undertook this journey of motherhood. x

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No argument from me..

08/09/2010 - 12:28

...I'm totally with you on this one. Great article, Yvette, and it'll be interesting to see what others think.

There is a prevailing 'what's in it for me' attitude, perhaps a lingering hold-over from the Greed-is-Good 80s, which I would like to see disappear entirely. To that end, I'm trying to foster a sense of teamwork, and 'we're all in this together', and personal responsibility in my house. It's sometimes tough, as I'm the only adult here and am seen to do most things, but I encourage the boyo to take on small age-appropriate regular tasks, and will increase his share as he ages.

I give him a small amount of regular pocket money, but it's utterly unrelated to the work of running the household. My only expectation with that is that he splits it, with half being available for immediate spending (or pooling for a few weeks), and the rest for long-term savings. We set a savings target for him at the beginning of the year, which was worked out to be perfectly achievable if he did just that.

Of course, his father HAD to hand him the extra money he needed to reach the goal a few weeks ago, because he (father) doesn't get it (and yes, he's bloody hopeless with money!). Yes, I could have made a point, but I think there will be plenty of opportunities to repeat the lesson. At 6, I decided it wasn't worth the tears if I made him give it back. Co-parenting joys. *sigh*

PS. Sorry for the novella! ;)

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