Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Personal Parenting Proclamation

I, the mother of my childrens' bodies and the wife of my husband's soul, solemnly proclaim that our marriage and my parenthood of you is divine. It's divinity is honored daily in the actions I take, the words I speak, and the lessons we learn together.

I declare that my role as a mother does not diminish my role as a wife or as an individual. Instead my role as a mother does requires that I re-evaluate priorities in order to care best for my family as well as take care of myself. As an individual I chose to become a wife and chose again to become a parent. With those choices I accepted the responsibility of you, my children, and of partnering with you, my spouse.

I believe it is the combined solemn responsibility of us as parents to nurture and teach our children as well as to provide for their basic (and sometimes complex) physical needs. I believe that each marriage, each partnership, must come to an agreement on how the roles and responsibilities of parenting and partnering play out on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Mothers and Fathers - parents in any form - will be held accountable for their children. Society is built and destroyed by the children we raise. Parenting practices will live on in our children who will at one point decide what to do with them. Our rearing of them effects the way they treat the earth, the relationships they have with other people, and their fundamental beliefs of themselves. It is an incredibly challenging and sacred opportunity that we have engaged in.

I challenge myself to find ways each day to celebrate my role as a parent, my role as a wife, and my individual person. It is my shared obligation to care and provide for the souls of my children. It is my responsibility to care and provide for my own soul and needs, to ask for help when I need it, to seek and use resources, and to allow the time for these.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Last night was filled with random dream after dream after dream. And a little boy who decided that our bed was somehow better for sleeping than his. Unfortunately if my bed is good for his sleeping than it means it is bad for my own. The dreams weren't helping either. I've always been a vivid dreamer. One who can wake up to write down my dream or fall back asleep and will myself back into a dream Then, of course, there are the dreams that haunt me and I find myself crying when I wake up and unable to shake the emotion from the dream.

I am more inclined to believe that most of the dreams last night had more to do with my late night bowl of Cocoa Pebbles rather than deep-seeded issues. Still, one issue was prevalent in each dream last night.

The overall feeling of being in a tug-of-war game. On several issues. For example one of the longest dreams I had last night involved my extended family (on one side) having a huge family reunion. Now we usually don't have family reunions so this was strange in and of itself. Given that family members from both sides of the family read this, I am going to leave most of the details out to avoid identification.

We were all in a large hotel suite that, as can only happen in dreamland, had separate areas large enough for each family. My aunts and uncles arrived in chapter-like phases. My family, meaning my parents and my siblings, were the first to be there. Shortly after one of my aunts arrived, with one of her kids. What followed was as strange procession that I can only liken to an emotional reception line. As each person, or couple, arrived my mind, and often my behavior, mirrored the emotion I felt. I grew tense and self-conscious when one couple arrived, followed by giddiness and silly affection when another person arrived.

Usually I am a social butterfly, but like in real life, I found this situation to be emotionally taxing. Somehow our little hotel happened to be right at my favorite beach. Gotta love dreams for that stuff! Not only was it a surreal location but everyone was arriving before sunrise. Soon I found myself leaving the hotel, paddling out into the ocean in a kayak, and watching the sunrise.

It actually reminded me a lot of junior high days when part of the (or at least my) social skills were learned by flitting between groups of people in order to not only find and make friends, but figure out how I fit in.

In the light of day I realize that this dream, mixed with sugary cereal GI effects, stems from the fact that I've been sending out 'Save the Date' cards for my sister's upcoming wedding. In a sense, each person (family or not) that I have sent a card to I have had some response to. Positive, negative, apathetic. Then combining all of those people into one central location and feeling an overall sense of fatigue...and the party is still months away.

In truth, there is one invited guest who I have a keen fear of being around. Not that I am scared of this person but rather I am scared of how I will act in front of the person. Kind of like what was enacted in my dream. In fact my sister has actually asked my advice about this guest. And here is where this tug o' war begins. See, the mostly positive relationship that my sister has with this person supercedes the negative relationship that I have had. It is her wedding. So when I give advice I get tugged between being opportunistic and being neutral.

Not to mention the fact that my sister is having an incredibly small wedding - which is hard to do when you have a large family (I have 44 cousins not to mention spouses). So while I find myself trying to not to oust people she has already chosen I also have to be careful not to argue reasons for why someone should be there. Still, those are my reasons, not hers.

And this is just one tug-of-war that I find myself engaging in. There is also:
work v. school
work v. family
to the gym v. not to the gym
kid v. kid
being like my parents v. being like ourselves

We all engage in tug-of-wars. With our kids, with our parents, with friends, with foes, with people we don't even know. It's an active process. An active control process.

So how do we get out of the the tug-of-wars? First of all, for me I need to remember not to engage in tug-of-wars that I am not completely vested in. Then, if I remember back to the few times I actually played the live game, I remember that giving up some control (i.e letting the rope slide a little) ends up putting the control back in my hands.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The calm after the storm...

Most of the time the phrase is 'the calm before the storm'. Alerting each of us to the awkward silences, pauses, and tranquility that comes before something stormy or out-of-control.

I am finding that, while sometimes the red night sky does offer peace, the most calm comes after the storm.

Have any of you noticed that? For me I am see that after I make a decision, no matter how hard the decision is or how much I struggle to get to it, my soul feels profoundly calm. Right now I am in the midst, well my whole family is in the midst, of trying to make changes. Changes to put our family on the right course.

And we've just been through a storm. We're not actually through will be back. Still, I find myself eerily at peace. Anchored. Calm.