Tag Archives: life scenarios

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.

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.

mom and children

How to allocate mom’s attention between several kids

 

Having many kids around means mom needs to allocate her time, energy and attention between them efficiently. By efficiently, I mean, that each kid will feel loved and appreciated in their own unique way. Some kids love to talk to their mom, asking questions and listening to long lectures. Other kids like to play and construct, build and create things – being together in the process of making stuff. There are also kids, who just need long hugs and flows of energy without too much other activities going on.

One of my kids is the talking kind. We exchange a few thousands words per day and it does not seem to be enough. I find myself being exhausted of these conversations but,on the other hand, I realize, that this is the way of my kid to get their share of me. Any other ways won’t work as well.

My other kid is the hug-and-play kind, who chooses to stay close while I work, cook, read or knit. Talking is less of a priority, which gives me more space to concentrate on other things while sending rays of mom’s energy at the same time.

Is it that simple? Well, not really.

The interesting part begins when all the kids are tearing their mom apart sitting together each trying to get her unique attention – and my role here, as I see it, is to be able to quickly switch from one kind of attention to another.

The competition for mom’s attention does not end regardless of the kids’ age. I guess it’s something that lasts all the way through and never actually stops, maybe until full adulthood. Not sure I will still be running this blog when I get there, but if so, I will let you know.

Ta-dam! A newborn joins a family with older kids

Every time a new child is born into a family with older kids, mom needs to reallocate her attention, so that the change will not be so drastic. Quite a challenge, I should say. The competition is tough, each sibling is trying to prove himself as best of everything – especially when it comes to helping mom with the newborn. The balance is so delicate here, that I weigh almost every word that comes out of my mouth. Praising one child too much might mean hurting another. Judging or criticizing actions or behaviors might be interpreted in the wrong way given the sensitive circumstances.

Having thought about it for a while I developed my strategy of not simply praising but creating a system of roles and niches.

A winning niche for every kid

Here is a situation from real life:

An older kid helps mom by staying next to the newborn while mom is taking a shower. The middle kid does not really find a way to help and feels being out. Mom creates two niches: the older one is the “top-nanny” while the middle one is the “top-messenger” (delivering messages and items such as diapers, napkins etc. when needed). With this strategy every kid fills a niche where they are on top – beyond feeling appreciated, now each knows exactly what duties and responsibilities are expected of him.

As a bottom line – the delicate balance of attention is not subject to formulas or rules – it’s an ongoing process, a changing strategy, something, that requires live reaction. From my own experience, the niche strategy works best. Each kid fills a space where they feel kings. Each kid is a small rules of its sovereign virtual territory of rights and duties, expectations and rewards. On top of that, of course, there is the great mom’s appreciation, spraying ike an air-purifier above all. 

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.