Some Thoughts On Motherhood

For my monthly wrap up post this month, the theme is Motherhood! I have been thinking a lot about me as a mother lately. Wondering if I am doing it right. Am I worrying too much? Am I getting it wrong with the kids? Is my balance in the home going okay? Am I looking after myself properly?

So it was natural to be drawn to posts that were exploring similar issues. If you have read a post on motherhood recently, feel free to share it in the comments below. A couple of these I did share on my facebook page, but love them so much I wanted to share here too!

1. The Blessings of a B-Minus

Lisa Belkin from the New York Times discusses a new book – The Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenagers by Wendy Mogel. In the article Belkin lists 15 statements she gleaned from the book that offer such honest and practical parenting advice. A list to print out and stick on your fridge!
In the book Mogel:

..dubs her philosophy “compassionate detachment,” defined as “viewing the upsetting aspects of adolescence as normal and necessary — as blessings that represent healthy growth, parents can put them in perspective and react thoughtfully instead of impulsively. Thus, bad grades, emotional outbursts, rudeness, breaking the rules, staying up late and experimentation become signs that a teen is on course, not headed for disaster.”

2. How to Change Your Family, Part I

The formatting is a little odd in this one, but it is worth reading. The post starts with a quote from a book called Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard:

In our lives, we embrace lots of big changes: not only babies, but marriages and new homes and new technologies and new job duties. Meanwhile, other behaviors are maddeningly intractable. Smokers keep smoking and kids grow fatter and your husband can’t ever seem to get his dirty shirts into a hamper. Chip Heath and Dan Heath

The book by the Heath Brothers is not a parenting book. Christine Carter from University of California Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center takes you through how you can use this book to help you make changes in your family:

Although I love my children just as they are, I also want them to change. For example, I want them to put their clothes away without having to remind them, and I want them to remember to feed their pets before we’ve turned out the lights for bed. These things will make me a happier parent.

3. Stress is a Choice

This post from Simple Mom was a brilliant reminder to me about choices that I can make for myself, particularly as we head into the busy end of the year.

But it’s still my choice. Stress isn’t happening to me, it’s a reaction to a situation I’m allowing.

It’s funny, because I tell my daughter this all the time about her anger. When she and her brother are fighting over a toy, she’ll often yell, “He’s making me so angry!” I’ll gently remind her that no, he’s not making her angry. She’s choosing to be angry because of something he’s doing.

How is stress any different, really?

4. Not (knot).

Tiff from My Three Ring Circus was one of the first Australian mum blogs that I ever read. It made me cry then and it regularly makes me cry. Tiff’s beautiful daughter Ivy has it tough and she is in and out of hospital constantly. Tiff is just amazing and her reflections of her time are beautifully written:

and there are times when I feel

like I am totally lost

and wonder if I will ever find me again.

I worry incessantly about the other children

and how they are coping with all of this

5. Questions to Make You to Stop and Think

Some thought provoking questions from Sherri at Zen Family Habits. It is quite centering to take out some time and think further than the next meal for the kids:

We get so wrapped up in mundane activities that it’s tough to stay on track sometimes. We can easily lose focus of what’s important and where we want to be.

6. How to handle sibling rivalry

This is actually a post from me over at Kleenex Mums! It uses a favourite quote of mine:

“Sibling rivalry is inevitable. The only sure way to avoid it is to have one child.” Nancy Samalin – Parenting Author

I talk about as a mum what we can do in handling sibling rivalry, to minimise the impact it has on the rest of the house.

7. Overnight Success: How to Be a More Patient Mom

I eagerly clicked through this post from my reader. It was on Motherhood Your Way and what I read was a big dose of reality for me. I won’t spoil the post, by telling you what the secret is, but it is certainly something I need to work on.

8. Grumbling Weekend -Weakness

It can be so nice to read that someone else feels the way you feel sometimes! Sarah at Clover Lane is also a mother of five and she is a brilliant blogger, honest, warm and very positive in her outlook. She also has one of the best about pages I have ever read!

In this particular post though Sarah talks about weekends, the way she feels and trying to shake the grumbles. I loved it!

See there I go. Getting crabby. The truth is my weekends are spent organizing, feeding, driving and managing a large family. They are NOT for relaxing. They are NOT for sitting in a chair with a good book. And I know this. And my weakness is that sometimes I still can manage to give really dirty looks to my husband when he sits in a chair and relaxes. Because why does he get to?

9. Reflections of Motherhood

I have shared this elsewhere, but it is so lovely, you just have to watch it. It is only 3’45” and it is worth every second of your time!

10. What To Wear To A Rock Concert When You’re 40!

And for something a little different, Imogen from Inside Out Style put’s together some outfits to answers a reader’s (a mum!) question:

I am going to a Powderfinger concert with my children aged 19 and 17 in a few weeks time. I am not at all sure what to wear, I don’t want to look like someone my age trying to dress like their age, but I want them to think “Mum still has it”.

Happy reading!