Posts filed under ‘quotes’

unbecoming

Ageing is an extraordinary process - David Bowie quote copySometimes a blog post writes itself because someone else hits the nail on the head so hard you can’t ignore it or say it any better!  This David Bowie quote and the additional thoughts shared by Glennon Doyle on Instagram today is one such post.
It also adds meaning to a post titled ”Unbecoming” that’s been in my draft folder for many months that begins

”Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything.
Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place”
(author unknown)

Some days I marvel at how far I’ve come, dealing with anxiety, work related stress, infertility, baby loss and the unexpected bone wearying exhaustion of  being a parent.  Some days I wonder why I’m still triggered by things from my childhood, teens and life pre-children.  I take comfort at least that I am discovering, painfully and slowly, that there’s always something to be learnt from our mistakes.   Growth only comes from walking the difficult path to challenge the person formed in the shadows of the opinions of other and encourage the person you really are to wriggle free and into the light.  Perhaps thats what the phrase ”Life begins at 40” really means?

5-2-17 - my boys* copy for blog

My boys are asleep upstairs and I shall soon crawl into bed between them and end my day counting my blessings. I’m always too tired to read and if I try to by day L just bats the book out of my hand but the one book I’m getting glimpses of at the moment is Brene Brown’s ”Braving the Wilderness – The quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone”  I’d forgotten what the book was actually called and when I re-read the quote about unbecoming was reminded instantly of it. It seems to me that the journey to unbecoming is on the same road as true belonging.  A journey that enables you to be so comfortable in your own skin that it doesn’t matter to you what anyone else thinks.  So much so you don’t need to belong anywhere or be anyone other than your beautiful, unique self.
Brene Brown Authenticity quote

January 12, 2018 at 10:46 pm 1 comment

big shadows

worry gives a small thing a big shadow

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”The nice thing about being a second time Mum is that you know what to expect (from pregnancy through to life with a newborn). And the wisdom that comes with age is that fretting about ifs, buts and maybes doesn’t prepare you any better if those worries become reality. So with less than 6 weeks to go now until baby I’m waddling along in a bubble of ”I’ve got this” Mumma courage”
– Me, Feb 2016

It can be so amusing looking back through journal entries, emails or in this case, unfinished blog drafts. It’s true that caring for baby second time round has been easier and less fraught with worries about little things. What hasn’t been so easy is juggling the needs of two children, as well as my own (practicing self-care is not something I’ve ever really mastered in all honesty). It can feel so messy sometimes when my own emotions are becoming frayed, energy is low and both boys need me at the same time. We get through it of course and with not too many wounds but the Mum guilt around attending to one child at the expense of the other is heavy baggage to carry. And sadly my own tendency to anxiety in such moments sometimes leads to impatient, abrupt juggling rather than the calm, unflappable response I’d prefer. I’m learning in tentative steps to keep my own niggly, lecturing voice in check when I’m feeling tense and snappy (if I’m talking I’m not listening afterall) and reach out instead with a warm, silent embrace. Loving touch and calm connection, with a soft ”I’m right here” is always the better choice for everyone.

17-7-16 - boys in a bucket_cuddle 4BParenting is hard and we bring to it familial conditioning about how things should be done, what is expected of us, how children should behave. It can be hard to tune in to your own intuition and forge your own path. Especially if you feel a sense of judgement from others who observe your way is different to theirs and mistakenly feel criticism of their choices in your opposite view. When hurtful experiences from your own past, triggered by your child’s outburts or mis-behaviour, are thrown into the mix it can be difficult to remain calm or respond tenderly (there is a brilliantly insightful article on Aha Parenting about why we get so angry when our kids act up and how to handle it). Understanding why we overreact sometimes to small things can be really helpful. Being empathic is where healing lies, for ourselves and our wounded past self and for our children.

If I had to give our parenting choices a label ”gentle parenting” would be the closest I guess. I’m not about to write an essay on what ”gentle parenting” encompasses – if you’re interested L R Knost has it covered and has tons of fab resources. She very simply says

”Gentle Parenting is about guiding instead of controlling, connecting instead of punishing, encouraging instead of demanding. It’s about listening, understanding, responding, and communicating”.

Alongside other gentle parenting websites I read like Sarah Ockwell Smith’s and Dr Laura Markham’s Aha Parenting I also love the Hand in Hand parenting approach developed by Patty Wipfler. All four parenting experts have empathy, respect and kindness at the core of their approach but Patty also recognises the need for peer support as parents precisely so those toddler like reactions we all have from time to time have an outlet that is not directed at our children. Patty advocates listening time with a non-judgemental adult to release the frustration and hurt our child’s behaviour may be triggering in us. Developing a listening partnership with another parent also helps develop listening skills for responding to our children’s complaints!
Hand in Hand parenting meme - deep hurts are erased by many cries copy
Children naturally release their hurts through tears so it’s important we respond lovingly and supportively to allow them to release their tension/fear/upset completely. If we shame them with our response (”what are you crying for? You’re ok, don’t be silly. Stop crying right now or we’re going home” ) we risk plugging up their emotional release system. When E gets upset we tell him all feelings are allowed and do not limit his need to cry and rage (safely of course ensuring no-one gets hurt and nothing gets broken). As an adult I find it hard to extend this free expression to myself after years of swallowing down my feelings when I was younger. I wrestle with difficult emotions inwardly and don’t expose big shadows cast by worrying to the light in the way that I should – ‘‘no I’m fine, really {said through gritted teeth}. As a parent if I allow my feelings of impatience or frustration to create a response that is anything less than kind I risk chipping away at my child’s self-esteem and making him feel responsible for my emotions. E hasn’t yet learned to filter out negative comments yet at 5 years old so the way he is spoken to shapes how he sees himself. He believes everything he hears so feels the pain of being told his pictures are rubbish by a classmate or is paralysed by fears about drowning if he goes in water when he cannot swim (both true examples for my lovely sensitive boy). I always want the words he uses to describe himself to be kind and empowering and while I can’t protect him from others negativity I can do my utmost to ensure he always feels supported and championed by us.

E wears his heart on his sleeve and has such love and compassion for his brother and his friends. Slowly he’s learning to check in with himself if someone says something that hurts him. ”I felt sad when they said my pictures were rubbish with such a mean face. But I like my style and I am an artist aren’t I. I’ll just ignore them and keep drawing’.

Love wins.

October 9, 2017 at 7:06 pm 3 comments

a most happy Father’s Day

Father's Day presents 2015 4B
Collage - Fathers Day gifts 4B
Of handmade cards and secret, solo, Lego crafting by E
Fathers Day 2015 - E
Lots of smiles and hugs and my every wish fulfilled for E in the relationship he has with his Dad. My best boys.
Father's Day 2015 - E and G close up
‘It is a wise father that knows his own child’ – William Shakespeare
E holding Fathers Day present 4B
And a happy boy who knows his Dad.

(E’s ”About my Daddy’‘ picture inspired by Jen’s post here at Mama Papa Bubba)

July 21, 2015 at 6:00 am 1 comment

becoming a bookworm

‘A house without books is like a room without windows’ – Heinrich Mann
E and Daddy reading 4B
I first read to E when he was still a bump.  At a few months old we began reading bedtime stories after bath time. At 4 months old he’d explore cloth books with a look of absolute wonder on his face. 
College - E reading 4 months old
E has such a love of stories and it warms my heart when he picks up a book during the day and asks to read it with one of us on the sofa.
E and Mummy reading 4B
We’ve amassed quite a collection of children’s books so from time to time E and I play the ”keep it” or ‘‘give it away” sorting game. It’s hard not to feel a pang of nostalgia when he chooses to part with an old favourite (like ‘Each Peach Pear Plum’ at the last sorting) but I love the look of sheer delight on his face when he beams ”keep it, I love that one”.
21-3-15 - E sorting books 4B
21-3-15 - book pile 4B

New favourites since turning 3 are Mr Men books and Bod books – stories familiar to both G and I from our own childhoods several decades ago.
12-7-15 - E reading Bod books
Life long favourites for E continue to be the lyrical rhymes of any and all Dr Seuss books and most especially The Lorax. How delightful it is when he points to a picture and describes what he sees or recites whole pages.

”He was shortish and oldish and brownish and mossy.
And he spoke with a voice that was sharpish and bossy”.

E reading the Lorax 1 4BE reading the Lorax 2 4B
We have a bookworm, hooray!

‘You cannot open a book without learning something’ – Confucius

July 16, 2015 at 11:41 am Leave a comment

be content with what you have

26-3-15 - E with water squirter 4B
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“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to
you”.

– Lao Tzu

May 5, 2015 at 5:26 pm Leave a comment

today was good, today was fun

E full of life
“Today was good.
Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one.”
Dr Seuss

(phone cameras – capturing those precious moments one fuzzy shot at a time!)

March 27, 2015 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

find the gifts of your shadow

That moment when you open a book and your inner chatter is soothed a little.
life is beautiful”All of your so-called faults,
all the things you don’t like about yourself are your greatest assets. 
They are simply over-amplified. 
The volume has been turned up a bit too much, that’s all. 
Just turn down the volume a little. 

Soon, you – and everyone else – will see your weaknesses as your strengths,
your ‘negatives’ as your ‘positives’.  They will become wonderful tools,
ready to work for you rather than against you. 
All you have to do is learn to call on these personality traits
in amounts that are appropriate to the moment. 
Judge how much of your wonderful qualities are needed,
and don’t give any more than that.” 

(from ”Dark side of the light chasers” by Debbie Ford)
have a postive day
Lovely inscribed pebbles available from HappyEmotions Etsy shop

January 16, 2015 at 10:56 pm 1 comment

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When a home made cake + butter icing + sweets turns into the best birthday cake for my special 6 year old.  I'd accepted I was going to have to buy one as there was no time to fit in baking around L.  And then G accidentally took the car keys to work and our walk to collect them bought clarity - we went to the park, L napped and I baked.  I feel so pleased I've maintained my tradition of making E a cake afterall :0)
#nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #birthdaycake #loveharibo And here he is, our lovely whopper!  Uncanny that I showed this picture to Euan yesterday of him aged 3 hrs old and this morning when he woke and asked if he was 6 yet it was the exact same time!!!! "But I don't feel like I'm 6 and 3 hours old Mummy". Such a wonderful life with this curious, funny, gentle, kind, Lego loving boy.  Happy Birthday beloved Euan x
#nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #10lbbabyboy 6 years ago today I took my last waddle to the allotment to pick green veg for a vitamin packed last supper.  I knew baby was on his way but had a feeling he wasn't going to be quick about it.  It's his birthday in 2 days time and I'm so excited for him, my darling Whopper (he was 10lb 2oz and my bump in this picture is 48"!)
#nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #ginormousbump  #10monthspregnant Amazing customer service from @tatterhood_ to help make sure her framed Mother poem arrived in time for my Mum's 70th birthday.  So many other wonderful poems available as postcards and her new book is also in stock on her website.  Go check her out, she's ace :0)
#motherhood #70thbirthdaygift Roadies.  When your Dad @musicalgeorgemoorey has a gig coming up and doesn't want to keep lugging his kit downstairs it becomes THE place in the room to sit!  #spacesgloucester #gloucesterlife So lush, they've made a den under the table and called for the iPad so they could watch their favourite Netflix episode inside.  #5minutespeaceandquiet
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