Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fairness

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It happened. We wore right through our pajamas this week. I am a baby when I'm sick. Really, pathetic.

I've been making a conscious effort to spend better time with my kids, not just give them an activity to keep them out of my hair. I feel I've been defending my stay-at-home mom role a lot lately. Sometimes to myself. So I thought--ok, I've made the sacrifice, I've made the decision. Might as well not do it halfhearted (well, actually, I thought of a different word, but I won't put it).

Plus, I've been concerned about Abbey's sassiness lately. The problem is that the things she says are taken straight out of my mouth--it sounds so disrespectful coming from her. We're just getting in some bad cycles. So I called my old friend, Andy. I learned so much about life and parenting from him and Heather and he happens to know a thing or two about family dynamics.

He recommended 'Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child' by John Gottman. I'm not too far in, but I laughed to myself at this part:

"Behavioral psychologists have observed that preschoolers typically demand that their caretakers deal with some kind of need or desire at an average rate of three times a minute."

I think that's high for my kids, you know...they sleep sometimes. But I do know Abbey is more receptive to my discipline if her cup is full. In fact, she hardly needs much discipline if I've been filling that cup with praise and attention during the day.

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So still trying to figure it out. Finding that balance of taking care of myself and doing right by my kids. Always working on balance. I hope if I err, I tend more to their side.

19 comments:

Rachel said...

Ah, I lost you and now I found you. Loved reading up on your blog and seeing how beautiful and BIG your girls are getting. You really are the oldest 26 year old I know. The flowered hats are perfect. I wish I had some interest in crocheting, but alas I don't. When are you going to open YOUR etsy shop? crkahler@msn.com if your interested in following my blog. Had to go private. You're still amazing!
Rachel

Kyle and Shayla said...

I think I will go get that book:)

Natalie said...

This post made my day because it let me know that someone else, who I happen to know is an EXCELLENT mother, has the same frustrations, thoughts, and worries that I do. Your girls are gorgeous and I hope you feel better soon!

Allison and Noah Riley said...

I found myself thinking about this a lot while we had three angels in our home in early January :) and in spending time with friends' kids in the time since.

I hope it doesn't sound like an unfair observation, where I haven't walked even a fraction of a mile in mom shoes... but I've been thinking about what it takes to be absolutely invested in your child's development. I think about so many social ills that ultimately come back to the home and what's being taught there and it seems so fundamental. Of course! Teach your children! Be an example! Actively engage with them! No-brainer! But such a committment, sacrifice and a sweet manifestation of devotion raising those little souls.

At the risk of talking too long (too late!) I have to say how much I admire your grace and dedication as a wonderful mother. Those little girls are so lucky to have you.

Nolan and Corie said...

Ah, the universal motherhood struggle. Some days you're over the moon with love & fulfillment, and others you can barely scrape by. I recently read the book I Am A Mother by Jane Clayson Johnson, and it was a nice little pick-me-up about being a full-time mom. It had some warm fuzzies and feel-good insights. I'd recommend it, if just for some reassurance.

jayne said...

Man. I know I would have been an awesome Mother of 3 kids. Maybe even 4. But 5? I think that tipped my balance scale. And unfortunately it probably doesn't err on their side as often as it should. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt. Just wait until they actually tell you that you suck as a mother. That's kind of a doozy to the old ego. Your girls are adorable. And you motivate me to be better at my calling as a mother.

Christine said...

I love love love you photos! I wish you would do some Photoshop tutorials.

Joanie said...

I can attest to the 3 times a minutes remark. I haven't had a voice so I haven't been able to respond to Kylee's comments/questions. It really is often. I might have to check out that book, too.

Amy Anson said...

Your photographs still take my breath away! I wish you were my fly on the wall and would capture my kids in their moments. What a blessing! I hope you feel better soon.

Chrissy said...

Once again, I am awed by your photo awesomeness! And I have the same sturggle with my kids too. I find myself on the computer way too much some days. And then I try to read them a story to redeem myself. Sigh...

Melissa said...

Hi Ashley, just had to drop in and tell you again how much I love your posts, your authenticity, and your desire to re-prioritize and be better. I feel the same way a lot. ("Wait a minute, I quit my full time job so that Van would become my full-time job...maybe I should treat it more like I could be fired if I don't more fully dedicate myself to my child. He may want to fire me sometimes...after all...") And such is my typical thought process. Love that you can articulate that so much better than me. And I absolutely adore your photos. You're such a sweet load of talent. :) Thanks for sharing! You have such sweet little angel-faced girls!

Danette said...

I just want you to know that I think you are one of the most amazing persons/mother I've known!

Justin and Melissa said...

When you figure that balance thing out, let me know.

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Emily S. said...

Spammy spam attacked you in the comment above. Yuck.

But back to the point.... Ashley, I SO feel you, and I am so glad to read this here, now, and with a few good book suggestions to boot. Just what I needed.

and ditto to these photos being AMAZING. Love! (And LOVE that color in the girls' room!!)

swell.life said...

Beautiful pics!

My kiddo is nowhere near preschool and already, I'm hearing you. I hit an all-time low with Baby Einstein videos last week in attempts to finish a craft project and get the laundry folded...

Keep us posted on your reads. But truly, I think you have all the love and common sense you need to make it through.

Corey said...

Umm, Ashley, I don't think these darling girls realize the incredible and talented mother they have! They are very lucky! I'm sure Abbey will never complain that her mom let her jump on her bed :)

brimhallbunch said...

How we miss those smiles and laughs. Glad Andy could help! He loves to pass along that book, alas I have yet to read it. Perhaps I ought to as well. Heather

HawesFam said...

Ash, thanks for posting this! It is what I have been struggling with lately. I am glad to hear I am not alone. You have inspired me to try harder. Thanks and good luck!