Category Archives: Abstract thoughts

pretending

Stop pretending it is important when it isn’t

Pretending something is important to you just because it seems to be important to others is a highly misleading way of life. There are things considered to be important and substantial. Considered by whom? By the society, mamas and papas, teachers and preachers, friends and their mothers, brothers and sisters, authors and their granddads and many more.

Fresh moms, like I used to be once (I can still be refreshed), tend to fall into the trap of pretending something is important, because they were told it is important. For example,: you should always have breakfast, you should not go to sleep after midnight, kids should be sleeping by 8 p.m. and wake up accordingly, oatmeal is good, being angry is bad,  green tea is good smile when you say hello and so on and so forth. This list looks like a swollen jaw: it’s big, ugly and you don’t want to look at it. Well, I don’t know about you but I know that I don’t want to look at it. Because I no longer want to pretend that something is important when in fact it is not.

There are things that are valuable to me. My list, however, is elegant and shiny like a diamond ring. It’s not even a list, just a few things that turn in my head like a merry-go-round. Something like this: keep the balcony door closed when kids are unattended. Change socks. Eat fresh. Drink clean water. Breath.

Don’t lie to yourself about what is important

pretending

I remember when my first child was two I always put her to sleep around 22.00. It  was the convenient time for our family – we could enjoy the evening together, I didn’t have to be “half-asleep” after putting her to sleep at 20.00 just to find out at 20.30 that I’m already too sleepy for anything. I could dive with her at 22.00 for a full night’s sleep. She made her sleeping hours because a 2-year old doesn’t have to get up to work, and kindergartens are flexible with arrival time. I got my sleeping hours. Everyone was happy, until I discovered that I’m doing it all wrong and children must go to sleep at 20.00 otherwise… (you put the scary things that happen otherwise). Nobody could explain me why kids have to go to sleep early, it was stated more like an axiom.

The main disadvantage of being a young mom

Since I was a young mom and took advice to heart, I honestly did my best to ruin my schedule to shift the bedtime two hours earlier. It even worked once, and I was almost proud by my educational and parental achievements. Only it did not work for long and soon we were back to the old convenient regime. When the number of kids grew, however, the bedtime hour became, unlike before, something that matters. And it has naturally shifted to a mutually acceptable hour like 21.00 (plus bedtime stories and night conversations, but let’s not count that now for the sake of this brilliant example). Things have settled naturally when the time was right. 

This example had taught me a lesson, something I have been carrying with me all through the years. It’s so obvious, self-explanatory and yet – so many fall into the trap of trying to be “normal”. I myself was shocked when I discovered that a relative of mine (child, at that time) used to go to sleep at 1-2 a.m. during summer vacation. But then I caught myself being in this “shocked” state and said: hey, weren’t you the one, at the time, claiming to have learned the lesson that “to each his own”? After these words, my “shock” has killed itself at once.

When is it pretending and when is it real?

pretending

This is the question I’ve been asking myself – how do I know it is really important? How do I know I am pretending something is important? The answer is, again, so simple it’s a shame to write and I will do it nonetheless: it’s the mom’s intuition that tells her what really matters. It’s the reaction of the child to certain events and changes. It’s the overall  family atmosphere that changes for the good or for the bad.

Pretending it is important to wake up veeery early

For example: my children do not wake up easily in the morning on school days (let’s talk about it?) And the next big questions is: how important is it to wake them at 6.00 a.m. so they have “proper” morning with breakfast and all the other things that honest people do in the morning? If put another 30 minutes of sleep on one scale and breakfast and other organizational stuff on the other – what will weigh more?

Most parents I know do wake their kids early enough (at least about 40 minutes before going out of the house). Or at least this is the official version of most parents I know (I don’t really visit their houses at 6 a.m. to check things out). Therefore, my big doubt was – am I doing anything wrong when I dress my kids right in bed, help them brush their teeth on the way out and give them snacks instead of breakfast to devour while waiting for the bus?

Had it been 7 years earlier, I would have followed the common advice and would torture my kids with the commonly acceptable practices of morning routines. Since I am more aware of things now, I do what’s best for them. By the way, there is no need brag about it on every corner (bragging and sharing personal information will only lead  others  to misjudge, misunderstand, misinterpret and all the other “mis…”).  Since – to each his own.

What are the benefits of not pretending?

The benefits are immerse. The best part of living life in a comfy mode is, that benefits flow on you immediately. You don’t have to wait until the end of the year for dividends. Life turned out to be miraculously easy and almost fun when I started tailoring  and customizing every little bit of life according to my preferences. It works like magic and yet, it is nothing but a tedious conscious routine. Pretending that something is important to me while it isn’t is a huge vacuum hole that sucks life energy into nowhere.

However, only living by my own rules is not enough: I need to know, deep inside me, that what I’m doing is really good and has the best possible influence. Otherwise, it’s easy to go astray and shift back to the “acceptable” mode, blend with the crowd, start losing energy and individuality and, eventually, suffer from “cruelties” of life.

As a bottom line: each moment is a door to wisdom and truth. Pretending means taking a step back. Being true to oneself at least on milestones is a leap forward. It is vital to remind to oneself why I am doing it and whether this thing or another  (small things like waking up and big things like choosing a country to live in) derived from a conscious choice. Consciousness and affection, once again, yes.

allocation of energy

Allocation of Energy – how to learn the skill?

Every mom knows when her energy boils down to emptiness. This familiar feeling when nothing matters anymore. It’s ok when is happens once in a while, can be even fun, in a way. But not when it becomes an unfriendly routine. Not when there are kids to take care of. Allocation of energy is a far-reaching strategy and tactics, that every mom must master (three times “m” is a pure coincidence).  Why? Because mom’s energy supply is limited, at least this is how it is known to me at this point of existence. I haven’t yet found an endless channel of abundant power and, therefore, I get greedy when it comes to my very own energetic resources.

Allocation of energy – says it all

There is no recipe for harmony.

However, the author of this blog is sharing her own, checked and proven ways to maintain balance of energies.

The key word is – right allocation of energy.

As I’ve  written here and in another post, the energy supply is limited. Therefore, mom should be extremely careful when she chooses to invest her energy in this thing or another. She is not a super-hero (only sometimes) and, therefore, must keep a finger on the pulse of everything – when to act and when to rest.

Allocation of energy means, that mom:

  • makes a billion of micro-decisions every few seconds.
  • keeps cool and weighs her words, intonation and decibels.
  • uses mental tools to supervise the situation (with kids, her tiredness, mess etc.)
  • knows when to let things go.
  • smells herself burning from fatigue and runs away into the chambers seconds before the explosion.
  • controls the expression of her face (eyes especially), her mimics and never fakes a smile.

There are these and many more. Today I discovered something: my kids can maintain their quarrels perfectly well, they can figure what was wrong, how to share and how to find a solution. It was an amazing experience to watch and learn from. And this too, is allocation of energy when I spare forces for other things rather than control their every step and every fight.

How to learn the skill of allocation?

It’s not a quick trick and it’s not something that one can learn from another. It’s a transcendental experience and comes from daily practice.

Still, there are a few basic questions that mom should ask herself  as guidelines:

Do I need to rest or can I go on?

Grabbing a 15-minute nap is always, always, always a blessing. I do it on every possible occasion and this way of allocating my resources works perfectly well. I rarely get a “normal” 8-hour night sleep but rather steal these short nappy moments that save me. This way I can not only “function” but even do luxurious things like knitting, cooking specialties, practice yoga and smile.

Do I really need to do what I do right now or is there a better plan?

Moms often run on autopilot and it’s completely normal. There is a ton of “autopilot” things for a mom to do, like laundry, picking up kids and so on. However, the automatic lifestyle might bring a mom to an unpleasant state when she starts doing everything on autopilot. Here is the turning point when a mom must ask herself – the soup that I’m cooking at the moment, the homework that I’m trying to help my child with, the windows that I suddenly decided to clean – is it all a part of my conscious choice or is it another output of the endless recursion of my autopilot life?

Do I feel pain or discomfort in any part of my body right now?

This is a very important element of mom’s healthy routine.  Moms tend to neglect themselves until they’re half dead, because there are other important things to do first, right? But my body is the working machine and it must work well. Listening to one’s body and catching its signals before it’s too late should be happening on the background in a continuous mode. Not only during meditation. (Or ,in other words: a healthy mom should be living in a meditative mode at all times). When any tiny discomfort is felt it may be a sign to act or not to act: to take a rest, to stretch joints, to take 5 deep breaths, to shake off thoughts (literally, shake your head and body, it helps), or many other movements that moms find useful. The worst thing to do is to ignore the signs of discomfort and postpone the activity for a “better time”.

Is there any particular disturbing thought making circles in my head?

Thoughts are like small tricky monkeys, jumping around, pretending to be nice. They control our thinking apparatus through inner dialogue, silently. Without knocking and asking for permission. Recognizing a disturbing thought is a halfway to heaven success. When a mom is not reading her thoughts but only acting emotionally she is at risk of getting involved in horrible situations: quarrels, fights, exhaustion, strong distaste of life and even depression. All that, only because there was something that was bothering her apriori but she was not aware. She only took the emotional output of the yucky thought and streamed (screamed?) with it. Bad, bad choice.

The author of this blog suggests her method – but as a suggestion only .  Gently massage the central point of your chest (right where the fourth chakrah is, for those who know) with the index, the middle and the ring fingers. If your inner state of mind is calm, you should not be feeling any intensive emotions. However, if this gentle massage arises stronger feelings and you seem to enjoy it immensely, it is a sign that something is disrupted and should be brought back to balance. Then do it. Keep on massaging the area until you don’t feel the need for it anymore. Nothing tricky, only requires attention and consistency.

Here is a recommended video by Danica McKellar, who is sharing her views on how to stay aware and make conscious choices. I advise to start watching from minute 2:20

 

first, second, third

Transformer-mom: first, second, third

First, second, third – this post is not about these brave moms who bring children with a very small difference of 1-2 years. My reality is different, I had had the time to taste the essence of motherhood with every child for a few years. And my way of accepting and rejecting has been changing dramatically as years flew by.

First things first

First child – take him, somebody, let me sleep. Please, I want to sleep. I want to do some shopping therapy. Make money. Blog, go out, be stylish, slim, pretty and fresh. Will my baby ever grow up? I want to do everything except being the 24-hour mom. This new mom uses every opportunity to sneak, evade and crawl away to get some fresh air. I look for nannies, private kindergartens, after-kindergartens activities – then I realize I want to be a good mom and it frustrates me even more. A vicious cycle with only one way out – understanding what I really want from life.

First child – there is so much hidden meaning in these two words. Lots of emotions, expectations, disappointment, frustration and joy. Rushing about between trying to be an ideal mom and wanting to escape to the nearest moon from the hassle. Asking myself – was I conscious when I made the decision to thrust myself into this spinning-wheel? Looking at the wheels of the stroller (pun intended) when walking and thinking that I must be somewhere on that wheel: being smashed and crushed every few minutes, getting up just to be crushed once again in a never-ending series called parenthood.

Middle Finger

Second child. O.K., this is hard. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. It’s not even close to what it felt like with the first one, when I could get some morning sleep and afternoon nap. I can’t handle this. I can’t handle two small creatures running, shouting, breaking things and driving me insane. All I can do is look out of the window and feel jealous of the young girls who can go shopping hands-free. Yoga doesn’t help: I still don’t like the way I look and I am not calm. NOT CALM AT ALL! I still want to make money, to look good, to have enough sleep, to have some time for myself. I want to stretch time. But it is impossible. And I’m going totally insane. It’s amazing I can still function, smile, talk, run tasks and even make some money. I spend sleepless nights sending energies into the monitor, pretending I’m making a career. Time cannot stretch beyond itself and even the horrible sleepless nights spent in working end. And I’m a sponge. No time or energy for the two sweetest individuals who crave my attention. The feeling of guilt is far behind me, I did what I felt the right thing to do at the moment. But…

Third time is magic

Third child – what a blessing! Every moment is a gift. How come I am so relaxed, confident and happy? Where do I find the time to blog, to take care of myself, to have enough sleep (ehhh?…) to look good and feel even better? I wish I had started with the third one right away. Is it the timing? The age? The experience? Life conditions? Different environment? Or is it me and my inner world, having changed so drastically, that handling three of them plus a million of other tasks seems almost a routine pleasure?

 

life scenario

Life Scenario that is being rewritten

What is life scenario anyway? Who composes the script, who decides which way it will unfold? And the most important question: can life scenario ever be rewritten? Can it be shifted the way I want it to run? Can I change my role in it? Can I remove certain people and invite others? Can I really make things happen?

The following review is based on my recent acquaintance with the book “Busting Loose from the money game” by Robert Scheinfeld. This is my unique estimation and, therefore, may differ from other opinions, assessments and conclusions.

A breathtaking journey into the life scenario.

I see this book as a breathtaking journey to one’s deepest self. When assembled together as one segment Robert Scheinfeld’s words form a masterpiece. I see its main point focusing on life scenario that is being crafted (by whom? how exactly? This is what the author of this book is giving an answer to. Not just analyzing or philosophizing, but providing an eye-opening technique). At first glance (especially considering the title) it may seem like “another book” about the you-can-do-it thing. But it is not. Its content is SO much more profound than title promises. It’s much more sophisticated and yet, the strategy offered is so breathtakingly straightforward. The author uses clear words, transparent metaphors and this what makes the book so staggering – its striking simplicity, and its ability to get in touch with the reader. It’s like I’m sitting in some room and listening to the author narrating the words to me in person.

Striking and to the point. Not just another you-can-do-it book.

The author of this post is a meditating mom with a baggage of experience. Therefore, it’s really hard to blow her mind with just another book. However, this book became the missing piece of the puzzle, the complementary to the meditation, the milestone, the stroke or whatever you may call it. The topic of the book is not new – life scenario concept is an old tale. However, in the “Busting Loose from The Money Game”, Robert Scheinfeld has outlined the human potential from such a unique viewpoint, emphasizing creation and achievements from a new angle making it completely prodigious.

This is the reason why she – still carried by a mixture of joy, relief and surprise  – recommends this book to those who are ready. I bought it as an eBook on Google Books first, but then decided I should have it at home as a paper book.

How to read this book?

Whether this is your first book in the genre, or you have already been familiar with literature of this type before – the idea is to dive deeply into the content with trust. Otherwise, there is no sense beginning in the first place. This is not a novel or science fiction. These are guidelines. Skeptic moms, tired moms, moms who’ve “had it all”, moms who have no time to read from the first page to the last page (and this is exactly how this book should be read) – all these moms ought to swipe everything aside when getting acquainted with the idea of this book. I, personally, couldn’t read it at once. I had to digest every chapter for a few days, then move on. The reading pace is up to you, but the most important thing, in my opinion, is be consistent and advance as slowly as needed – word by word.

What is so different about “Busting Loose from the money game” compared to literature of the same genre?

Since everything is a matter of personal perspective, the author of this post, obviously, shares her own impressions.

No Nonsense Language

This book is written in extremely captivating, no-nonsense language. There is no attempt to impress the reader with unnecessary lingual sophistication, with excessive metaphors, with shocking exaggerated facts or anything of that kind. The content is extremely straightforward and to the point. The book is divided into chapters and each chapter has one or several Key-points. The main thought of a chapter or its part is concentrated in the key-point (which is one-two sentences).

No “Homeworks” or Brainstorming Assignments

Another appealing side of the book – it has no “homeworks” or assignmnets of any kind to be done by the reader (like brainstorming, writing things down on a piece of paper and so on). I am usually too lazy for these written assignments and I was grateful, that this book did not include any psycho tasks.

Extremely Well Structured

The book is extremely structured. It leads the reader step-by-step to the entire picture. It arises curiosity, excitement and the desire to move on. Since I felt that I can’t take more than one chapter per day, I had to depress my desire to bite off more than I can chew. But other readers may feel quite the opposite – that they have to run through quickly once and then move slowly for the second time. Regardless of your reading style, the book’s clear structure helps building your emotional and cognitive understanding and trust to the author.

Stories from Real Life

Personal examples – this is my favorite part – when the author shares personal experience and the way these are affecting their life. My blog is built exactly in the same way – I share only information I, personally, know (meaning, felt and experienced empirically). The real stories shared by the author are the best example of how things demonstrated in the book really work.

As a conclusion – the changes brought by reading and practicing are already being felt (and I am still in process of re-reading the last pages). The result of these changes is unknown and the timing of whatever is going to happen is also unknown. Which is something I couldn’t care less about. Getting exposed to this book may shake the usual picture of the world, may leave a memorable trace and fundamentally shift the track of commonly accepted thoughts, ideas and the conventional perception of the so-called daily life.

Knock loose thoughts that spoil the magic

Bad mood can be reached in seconds. But does a mom want it? How to knock thoughts loose? Thoughts that can spoil a sunny day, a romantic evening, a relaxing afternoon? I call these thoughts – laundry thought – and here you will learn, from my perspective, about the hidden danger in these seemingly harmless mental wanderings.

What are “laundry thoughts” and how to knock them loose? First, it’s important to recognize the wrong mental objects that appear in mom’s head at the wrong time: a cooking pot… a broom… carpet with scattered toys… speckled socks. You get the point. 

Imagine a mom walking home on a magic spring evening. Cool, refreshing breeze, full moon, twilight. Amazing night, and she does not even have a stroller to push, or loads of grocery shopping or anything like that. That mom is in the most romantic mood, which can be spoiled with just a hint of a thought. Let’s not spoil that mood, and here, in this post I am writing (from experience, of course), how to say “no” and knock thoughts loose. 

The worst thoughts to spoil a happy mom’s mood are thoughts about the mess at home. The laundry. The dishes. The homework. The laundry again (the wet, the dry, and the one in the machine). The unprepared dinner (even if for tomorrow, but why not think about it in advance). The toys, generously spread all over the place. The small Lego parts, waiting for the bare feet at the night time…

These redundant thoughts clamber into mom’s head in the most natural way, like undesired guests who call in the least appropriate moment.

So, just like you would say “no” to unwanted guests (unless they bring food with them), you can say “no” to unwelcome thoughts. Here is how I think about it: “These thoughts came to steal my energy, to spoil my magic, to gnaw from my happiness. I knock thoughts loose right away, I send them away on a speed train, I clean my consciousness from them with a magic broom. 

Awareness is the king

If a mom is aware enough of what’s going on she will chase them off, free her mind from the unnecessary cognitive activity, from the vain trouble-solving process (because it’s not actually solving anything), from the painful process of rewinding the dirty laundry of her life in a mixing bowl called “head” by a machine called “mind”. Once a mom is aware she will easily knock these thoughts loose. 

I know, that people like guidelines and lists, so here I prepared a short and comprehensive guidelines on how to recognize, avoid and knock loose thoughts that spoil the magic. 

Step 1: Knock thoughts loose – recognize when it starts

It’s the hardest and the most important step. Because once you catch the thought from its very beginning, you can get over it more easily. Tracking thoughts should be a mom’s healthy habit, something she does on a regular basis. When the “laundry” thought creeps in on a magic night with a sky full of start, a conscious mom has two ways to handle it: either she smiles to herself and says “No. This is not happening because I don’t want it to happen.” Another way is, if the thought brings a great degree of embarrassment or unpleasantness – mom can boil a little, then – puff – let it out. 

And here we come to step two:

Step 2: Knock thoughts loose: cut and replace the “laundry thoughts” by “magic thoughts”

Cutting thoughts to zero thoughts, stopping the process and staying alive is, in my opinion, kinda impossible. The author of this post surely cannot just hang in there not thinking about anything at all (though she tries and maybe some day she will do it). Therefore, the easier way to do it, for now, is to REPLACE the “laundry” thought by a “magic” thought. Something good that matters. Something positive that seems good for real (not something a mom has read in a book or seen in a movie). A wish to come true, an old dream – anything that brings the authentic, good vibes. Don’t try to fool yourself, don’t fake it – the thoughts should be about something that matters and it is the key point here. Otherwise, you simply won’t believe yourself and the trick won’t work.

Step 3: Focus, count, repeat.

It’s vital to focus on this positive thread, be it anything that makes you feel vigorous, powerful and happy. Breathing and counting works great, but if it sounds boring just walking out there counting and focusing you may try other technique. For example, repeating words that matter, words that help knock the laundry thoughts loose from your mind. I say to myself sometimes: “the sky is blue, the breeze is fresh, isn’t it a miracle that I can walk like this, watch these blooming trees, this graceful architecture, these fascinating cars. Isn’t it awesome that I can breath, smile, enjoy good food, listen to music, watch movies, read books, paint, dance, stretch, jump and feel good about myself?

Once it becomes a habit you don’t need to do the counting work anymore. Things happen naturally, you learn to stay focused on what YOU pick from the diversity of the world. You watch the movie you choose and you knock the awful thoughts loose in a wink of eye.

What is the best present for a modern child?

Here’s a riddle: where hides the best present for the modern child who has nearly everything? To put it short: my children don’t enjoy the sweet small gifts for the new year that I put into their socks at night. They show signs of disappointment if it’s not some shiny model of a trophy tank or a mermaid who solves double integrals. They show almost no interest if it’s a simple thing like a set of color markers or stickers for room decoration – something I would enjoy tremendously in my childhood.

Spoiled? Maybe. But I believe it’s more of a trend, that has to do with the growing addiction to the digital devices: smartphones, tablets and so forth.

Every time a problem pops up, I like to analyze, look for reasons and come up with a smart and elegant solution and feel very smart. But this time I admit – I only see the phenomena but no way to get rid of it.

Children of the digital age – my children, in particular, obviously have different set of priorities than I used to have in my childhood around 30 years ago. I’m more than OK with the digital age but yet – I still read thick paper books, appreciate moments of total silence boredom? and make sure I do not become too addicted to the smartphone. But how come, that my little people have lost a great part of appreciation of material things called toys?

This is a cry into the void. Yet, I have come up with observations and ways to turn the old-fashioned toys into best presents.

Listen to your child – she will tell you everything

Children often tell us directly what kind of presents they wish for. It’s parents, who systematically choose to ignore or forget. Busy, tired, distracted – there are many reasons why moms don’t hear the messages that are poured directly into their ears.

I make a conscious effort to hear them. I struggle to create a space somewhere between the nerve cells of my brain, sort and store the most important information. It ranges between casual after-school conversations to serious evening talks about global social issues. It’s about getting used to being there when your child talks. (Even if that means answering with an “uh-huh” because you are too tired to stir the muscles of your jaws). Then you both may find yourselves in a better place of mutual understanding.

Ask them

Yes, the element of surprise will disappear. However, asking a direct question will save the guess work and will ensure you give them something they genuinely crave for. By the way, it often happens that kids forget they had told you what they had told you, so the element of surprise might reappear if you wait long enough.

Surprising or not – the conclusion:

Despite the said above, once the digital devices are put away for a while, a magic thing happens – my children become children again: creatures happy from just being there at home with their mom and dad. They jump on sofas, mold with play-dough, stand on their heads and write stories (on paper). Plush dogs and cats become best presents again. My straightforward conclusion: it’s us, parents, who allow children to hang an endless amount of time with the devices, because it’s us, parents, who crave for the quiet hours moments. Which means, that it’s all up to the mom – how long can she last (work, rest) without her kids being fixed on the monitor?

Success or Failure? Life scenarios we pass to our children.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
Confucius
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/c/confucius.html

Mom’s fears and expectations are close relatives.

I have noticed long time ago this problematic relation of expectations from our children (and ourselves, our lives) along with subtle fears shall something go “wrong” (read = not as we have expected).

I see a big issue about it and take all measures to get rid of all possible future scenarios, leaving, perhaps only the frame.

Games People Play – one of my favorite

There is a very interesting book I’ve read many times by Eric Bern “Games People Play”. The author explains how we program our children (consciously or not) to a certain life scenario and how hard it is to get rid of a certain program that has been embedded into our brain since early childhood.

At the same time, the author explains (in the end of the book), that children actually do expect us, the parents, to pass them some scenarios, since these life programs structure their (children’s) time and provide a sort of guidelines to the future.

That means we cannot totally refuse to give a scenario and have zero expectations but there should be a very delicate balance between the mom’s and dad’s view of life and the child’s generic layout (these are the best words I could find to express my thought, hope it was clear).

Hence, I see my primary task as a mom to avoid destructive judgment as much as possible and moreover – avoid expecting certain behaviors, certain words and certain actions from my children – based on my personal prejudices. It’s hard and I catch myself that I enjoy it when my kids copy me in different ways. But at least I am aware, which makes things a little easier to cope with.

Success of Failure, huh?

But let’s go back to the frame of the scenario (or in other words – mom’s expectations). The frame is a binary thing – like a “success” or “failure”, while the small details consist the contents of this scenario and make it happen. I know it sounds weird to mention failure because no sane parent would wish failure scenario for their children, but some parents, unfortunately, have an unconscious tendency to failure and pass it to their offspring without thinking. Therefore, I do mention failure, as Eric Bern did in his book. I even know some “failure” cases from life, so it’s not a myth at all.

So where lies the line between constructive judgment and the freedom of children’s actions where the parents stands aside and watches no matter what it is? It’s an unresolved mystery to me, and I do my best to take the lessons life generously offers me every day.

What matters when choosing a baby name

 

Jason scratched his head. “You named him Festus? You know that in Latin, ‘festus’ means ‘happy’? You want us to ride off to save the world on Happy the Dragon?”
Rick Riordan, The Lost Hero

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/names

What, in your opinion, are the most important name attributes?

  • The way it sounds?
  • The historical meaning?
  • The ethnic origin?
  • The number of syllables?
  • The compliance with the last name?

The author of this post thinks, that the most important thing is the association, that you, the parent, personally have with the name.

It can be the most adorable set of vowels and consonants, but if I know someone evil, unattractive, mean and unsuccessful carrying the same adorable set, I will probably refrain from this choice.

Does it sound stupid? Maybe, but this is the reality for the author of this blog and she is trying be on the right side of her intuition, common sense and information she gets in the internet.

There are (too) many ways today you can find sources of different names.

Names websites:

Hundreds of websites interpreting a name, a nickname, a variation of a name or a nickname and so on. Even when you narrow your search to the most specific options (“native american origin, female names, 2 syllables, starts with M”) – there are either no options given at all (the search was, probably, too narrow) or there are some two-three really weird names, that you don’t like.

Name forums:

With more human touch, name forums is where people (future moms, mostly) exchange their sympathy or antipathy for specific names, asking for advice or opinion and sharing thoughts. The downside of this way of choosing a name is, that there is not a lot of practical information on a specific name (e.g. its historical meaning), but rather the biased opinion of an undisclosed female, which, in some cases, can be nice nonetheless.

The good side of using name forums is, that you can get some information about nicknames and other versions of the name you had in mind – something you don’t always find on names websites.

What if you don’t want to use the internet?

At least at first stages of first rough choice (e.g. the first 5 optional names to choose later from).

I would do a traditional paper brainstorming. Take a pen and a piece of paper and write down all the names that come to your mind and make you feel good. Names of friends, literature heroes, movie stars (though I would be careful about that), ancestors (I would be even more careful about those ones) or names you might have wanted for yourself, have you been given the choice at your birth.

I think this nice and simple method open options that do not exist on the web, since they come from your own “field of information” (which is based, of course, on the reality you live in, but still – it’s something that has gone through your system and has not been taken fully and directly from outside sources like the internet).

Here is an interesting thought though, which is related to any choice, including that of a name.

“We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.”
Alan W. Watts

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/names

Do brainstorming but be careful about associations with the ansestrs – you don’t always want your baby to repeat the same life as your great grandfather (no matter how magical figure he might seem to you – you don’t know all the details, plus, every person is unique).

Avoid celebs and famous people – naming your baby after a super star (I don’t mean a new galaxy or a supernova) doesn’t seem like the best idea, because the fate of living public people is way too unpredictable. It’s not the same about deceased kings, writers, philosophers and so on. Though I, personally, would refrain from naming a little new individual after anyone at all.

So what is the bottom line?

Use your imagination but don’t give your name a weird baby – sorry, your baby a weird name – she’ll have to live with it her entire life, remember?

Moms’ life rule – thinking, trusting, treating

The three “T” rule became my rule for life since I became a fresh mom many years ago.

The first T: Think less, breath more

“Raising a kid is part joy and part guerilla warfare.” Ed Asner

http://www.happyworker.com/supermom/mom-quotes#.WC__CCTn–c

It’s not that I don’t like the process of thinking and having this inner dialogue with myself. But not when it begins to control my time and my energy.

From empirical perspective, most of the thinking I’ve done in my life was absolutely useless. It’s hard to admit. It’s the same thing like saying – I wasted tons of time – my only precious resource, a resource will never come back.

Since I started meditating on a continual basis I realized, that conscious breathing and chaotic thinking do not come together. Try it yourself and you’ll see, that it is impossible to concentrate on the flow of air coming in and out your nostrils while your brain is working on a problem at the same time.

Conscious breathing or meditation (choose the most appealing word, even aqualung will do), is what helps mom (and soldiers on a battle field, managers or hunting tigers) freeze the leaks of energy and gain powers.

Mothers of teenagers know why animals eat their young” – Unknown

http://www.happyworker.com/supermom/mom-quotes#.WC__CCTn–c

Why is it so important?

Moms need energy more than any other human beings. Moms are on non-stop demand (guess by whom). Moms eat on the go. Moms never really sleep. Moms are expected to multitask and still look good (no, really?). Hyper responsible moms have no time to visit cosmetologists (they only have time to put sunglasses to try and hide the blue circles under their eyes). Moms don’t have time for gyms (fitness at home – yes. Aqua aerobics = mopping the floor, weightlifting = picking up the baby, cardio = running between the kitchen, the bedroom and the bathroom). In short, moms DO need an effective and affordable way to keep themselves afloat.

Disclaimer: when I say “think less, breath more”, I do not mean this nonchalant style of living when your motto is “this will never happen to you”. All I am saying is, worry less about hypothetical things. Most of our fears do not come true.

The second T: Trust your intuition

Moms (especially first-time moms) are walking receivers of never-ending advice, remarks, question and criticism from relatives, friends, colleagues and even female strangers on the street.

“Oh, watch it, the edge of your child’s blanked is on the ground…”

“It’s so cold, your child’s hat is 30 degrees on the left than it should be, the tip of his ear is exposed…”

“Do you breastfeed?”

“Do you breastfeed at night as well? You shouldn’t do it, you know”

“You should give yourself some time off, ask your husband to stay with the baby from time to time”

“Don’t pick up your baby, he will get used to it and will never want to stay off your arms”

“The baby must get used to sleep in her own room after the first month.”

“The baby must sleep in her parents’ bedroom until she is at least one year old”

“Never breastfeed in bed”

“I always used to breastfeed in bed, it’s the most comfortable way to do it”

“Never put the baby in bed with you, you might accidentally strangle him”

“Always put the baby on you, stomach to stomach, it will relax her fast”.

And the list never ends.

I’ve learned to trust my intuition right from the beginning, taking apart my own feeling and professional advice. It’s true, that sometimes you have to shut up and listen to what the nurse or the doctor says. It’s true, that moms need to be open minded. However, this does not contradict something very basic, that all women bear in themselves, but do not always let it pop out – our intuition.

It comes handy in a million of situations starting with a newborn, then a toddler, then a schoolkid, a teenager and so on. Actually, trusting your intuition stretches far beyond your motherly duties. But since it’s a mom-focused blog, I will not spread on other things.

So – mom and intuition, just like in Sinatra’s song about love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage. I know moms who cannot make a single decision without asking for somebody’s opinion (though, paradoxically or not, they mostly ignore these advice. It’s more of a tradition – to ask everyone around). I don’t really know what they are doing that – lack of confidence? The urge to get an “official confirmation”?

I’ve never suffered from that and I’m happy to have always walked hand in hand with my inner feeling in every smallest details along my kids’ growth:

  • how many layers of clothes to put on my kid when the weather is unstable?
  • does he cry because he’s hungry or just to get my attention
  • is she really sick or does she pretend only to skip a day in school?
  • is it a good idea to make him read a book now or better do something else?
  • Should I let them watch cartoons and rest or force myself into some activity?
  • Should I allow another piece of chocolate or should I play the strict mom this time?
  • When they fight – should I be the judge or let them try to figure it themselves?
  • Should I praise my kids for every little thing or let them know my honest opinion about the drawing (sculpture, toy-tower)?

These questions are endless. There is not a single book, person or website, that can clearly answer them and give mom the perfect advice for every small occasion. It simply does not exist, because we, humans, are meant to respond and not react in an automatic way (if a then b).

The third T: Treat yourself well

This one is my favorite. As Christmas time is approaching, I find myself spending amounts of cash on gifts, trying to remember everyone – from the cleaning lady’s dog to the painting teacher.

Somehow we, moms, tend to neglect ourselves in this messy gift-buying process. Or maybe we secretly hope someone will get us something magical, like a medium-sized diamond ring or at least two tickets to the opera. Sometimes it actually happens, but to count on that? Seriously? Remember: a mom needs constant supply of positive energy since her energy expenses are enormous, extending far beyond financial amounts she can possibly spend. Mom’s happiness stands above all (of course, that still does not give moms the indulgence to do certain things). Don’t listen to those who say, that happiness cannot be bought. Of course not – in the broad sense of the word. But when it comes to treating and spoiling yourself with little necessities, no one can do it better than mom herself.

Face oil, black lacy stockings, earrings from a bijouterie shop – yes, there are things than money can buy and provide a temporary splash of joy. The problem does not lay in the money. It’s the attitude.

 

 

money saving

3 things I would never buy for my newborn

A newborn means a lot of joy, a bit less (but still a lot) of expenses and even less sleep.

“A lot of people will tell you advice like “sleep when the baby’s sleeping.” It’s good recommendation unless the baby sleeps when you’re driving! “

http://congratulationsto.com/baby_congratulations/funny_new_baby_quotes.php

I have been wondering recently where lays the root of this uncontrollable desire to spend more and more money on our children? Clothes, toys, educational posters, smart devices… are you in the club as well?

So here is the hypothesis:

The act of buying, the act of spending money on another kid-friendly gadget gives us an illusory feeling of satisfaction. Illusory, because we don’t really gain anything in the long run. Does your child really need all the bunch of toys and educational stuff you buy for him or her? How many devices are really being used for good? How many are stored idly somewhere in dark corners of the apartment? How many are you trying to resell on eBay?

Guided by these thoughts, I made a short list of three items, that I, personally, think parents don’t need. If you disagree, you are welcome to state your opinion in comments and I’ll gladly prove why you are wrong confront it.

1. Newborn swing (jumper, bouncer)

Why? Too expensive and short-termed.

Buying something so expensive (around $100 on Amazon without shipping fee) just for a few months use sounds inappropriate to me. Plus, as an experienced mother, I know a child will not really spend a lot of time in this thing. Why? Because all children really want is their parents’ attention. It’s not like you can relax in peace and quiet once your newborn is peacefully playing and entertaining himself in the swing. You will need to spend the same amount of time and energy as you would if you put your child in a regular baby car seat (you know, these semi-car seats intended for home use to carry the baby around) which can be purchased in perfect condition for 5$ on a second-hand market. So why spend $100?

Final conclusion: is not worth the money and is too short-termed for use.

2. Musical potty chairs –

Why? They are more like toys than real potty-training equipment. Some are even annoying.

Musical potty chairs are just another kind of useless toy and is something I can definitely live without saving myself about $30. Kids (well, my kids) got potty trained perfectly well using these regular cheap plastic potties without musical background and cheering sounds. Why do I think this item is unnecessary? Its cost-effectiveness is low if you think about the initial purpose. Plus, if you made a thorough research like I did, and read the cons and the pros for every hyped and branded potty there is on the market, you would find that the cons are not that negligible as they may seem. For example: slippery potty rings (the part where the child sits), music sounds that you CANNOT TURN OFF (unless you take the batteries out or smash the damned thing on the wall), lids, that don’t shut properly, music, that stops working after 4 weeks of use and so on.

Final conclusion: if you want another toy at home, go for it. But remember, that children learn perfectly well with a regular potty (it doesn’t have to be the cheapest plastic thing that slips and moves under your child, but you can find some decent, stable pot that will stay still and keep itself silent).

3. Baby food makers

Why? A simple gadget available in every human’s kitchen can successfully replace any baby food maker.

Ok, I know it may sounds like a revolutionary product that makes mom’s life much easier (ask any grandmother). However, as an experienced mother who raised kids deliberately not buying all these shaking devices, I’ll tell you what makes me step back when I see those fancy electric bottles, cups and blenders:

a. I want my kids to use their teeth and actually chew the food. Steel fork! A primitive great tool to mash and squash whatever is at hand. Here is a great article explaining why I am not the only weird mom one who thinks so

http://tribecanutrition.com/2015/03/textured-food (if the link does not work please let me know in comments).

b. I don’t want to waste time washing the electric device (yes, I know most are super easily cleaned. And still, to rinse a fork requires less brain activity and less movements).

“If you want to make good use of your time, you;ve got to know what;s most important and then give it all you’’ve got.” Lee Iacocca

http://sourcesofinsight.com/time-management-quotes/

I am sure every mom has her list of must-haves and things-she-will-never-buy.

The three items listed here –are my personal choice based on experience of raising several kids. I believe, that it goes far beyond the child’s list and that we don’t really need most of the things we spend money on (another USB? Another pair of shoes? Another book? Another set of clothes?)

It’s not a sin to buy these useless things that make you happy as long as you are conscious of what you are doing, knowing that it’s for the sake of shopping therapy only. As a mother and a woman I am guilty of that as well –buying stuff I don’t need just because I like to take my wallet out, open it, pay and then put it back into my bag. The only thing I am really trying forced to do is to minimize the financial damage and arise consciousness.