Thursday, May 03, 2012

25 Rules for Mothers and Daughters...

25 Rules for Mothers of Daughters


25 Rules for Mothers of Daughters

1. Paint her nails. Then let her scratch it off and dirty them up. Teach her to care about her appearance, and then quickly remind her that living and having fun is most important.

2. Let her put on your makeup, even if it means bright-red-smudged lips and streaked-blue eyes. Let her experiment in her attempts to be like you…then let her be herself. 

3. Let her be wild. She may want to stay home and read books on the couch, or she may want to hop on the back of a motorcycle-gasp. She may be a homebody or a traveler. She may fall in love with the wrong boy, or meet mr. right at age 5. Try to remember that you were her age once. Everyone makes mistakes, let her make her own. 

4. Be present. Be there for her at her Kindergarten performances, her dance recitals, her soccer games…her everyday-little-moments. When she looks through the crowds of people, she will be looking for your smile and pride. Show it to her as often as possible.

5. Encourage her to try on your shoes and play dress-up. If she would rather wear her brother’s superman cape with high heals, allow it. If she wants to wear a tutu or dinosaur costume to the grocery store, why stop her? She needs to decide who she is and be confident in her decision.

6. Teach her to be independent. Show her by example that women can be strong. Find and follow your own passions. Search for outlets of expression and enjoyment for yourself- not just your husband or children. Define yourself by your own attributes, not by what others expect you to be. Know who you are as a person, and help your daughter find out who she is.

7. Pick flowers with her. Put them in her hair. There is nothing more beautiful than a girl and a flower.

8. Let her get messy. Get messy with her, no matter how much it makes you cringe inside. Splash in the puddles, throw snowballs, make mud pies, finger paint the walls: just let it happen. The most wonderful of memories are often the messy ones. 

9. Give her good role models- you being one of them. Introduce her to successful woman- friends, co-workers, doctors, astronauts, or authors. Read to her about influential woman- Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie. Read her the words of inspirational woman- Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson. She should know that anything is possible. 

10. Show her affection. Daughters will mimic the compassion of their mother. “I love yous” and Eskimo kisses go a long way.

11. Hold her hand. Whether she is 3 years-old in the parking lot or sixteen years old in the mall, hold on to her always- this will teach her to be confident in herself and proud of her family. 

12. Believe in her. It is the moments that she does not believe in herself that she will need you to believe enough for both of you. Whether it is a spelling test in the first grade, a big game or recital, a first date, or the first day of college…remind her of the independent and capable woman you have taught her to be.

13. Tell her how beautiful she is. Whether it is her first day of Kindergarten, immediately after a soccer game where she is grass-stained and sweaty, or her wedding day. She needs your reminders. She needs your pride. She needs your reassurance. She is only human.

14. Love her father. Teach her to love a good man, like him. One who lets her be herself…she is after all wonderful.

15. Make forts with boxes and blankets. Help her to find magic in the ordinary, to imagine, to create and to believe in fairy tales. Someday she will make her 5 by 5 dorm-room her home with magic touches and inspiration. And she will fall in love with a boy and believe him to be Prince Charming. 

16. Read to her. Read her Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. But also remember the power of Sylvia Plath and Robert Frost. Show her the beauty of words on a page and let her see you enjoy them. Words can be simply written and simply spoken, yet can harvest so much meaning. Help her to find their meaning. 

17. Teach her how to love- with passion and kisses. Love her passionately. Love her father passionately and her siblings passionately. Express your love. Show her how to love with no restraint. Let her get her heart broken and try again. Let her cry, and gush, giggle and scream. She will love like you love or hate like you hate. So, choose love for both you and her. 

18. Encourage her to dance and sing. Dance and sing with her- even if it sounds or looks horrible. Let her wiggle to nursery rhymes. Let her dance on her daddy's feet and spin in your arms. Then later, let her blast noise and headbang in her bedroom with her door shut if she wants. Or karaoke to Tom Petty in the living room if she would rather. Introduce her to the classics- like The Beatles- and listen to her latest favorite- like Taylor Swift. Share the magic of music together, it will bring you closer- or at least create a soundtrack to your life together.

19. Share secrets together. Communicate. Talk. Talk about anything. Let her tell you about boys, friends, school. Listen. Ask questions. Share dreams, hopes, concerns. She is not only your daughter, you are not only her mother. Be her friend too. 

20. Teach her manners. Because sometimes you have to be her mother, not just her friend. The world is a happier place when made up of polite words and smiles. 

21. Teach her when to stand-up and when to walk away. Whether she has classmates who tease her because of her glasses, or a boyfriend who tells her she is too fat- let her know she does not have to listen. Make sure she knows how to demand respect- she is worthy of it. It does not mean she has to fight back with fists or words, because sometimes you say more with silence. Also make sure she knows which battles are worth fighting. Remind her that some people can be mean and nasty because of jealousy, or other personal reasons. Help her to understand when to shut her mouth and walk-away. Teach her to be the bigger -the better- person. 

22. Let her choose who she loves. Even when you see through the charming boy she thinks he is, let her love him without your disapproving words: she will anyway. When he breaks her heart, be there for her with words of support rather than I told-you-so. Let her mess up again and again until she finds the one. And when she finds the one, tell her. 

23. Mother her. Being a mother—to her—is undoubtedly one of your greatest accomplishments. Share with her the joys of motherhood, so one day she will want to be a mother too. Remind her over and over again with words and kisses that no one will ever love her like you love her. No one can replace or replicate a mother’s love for their children. 

24. Comfort her. Because sometimes you just need your mommy. When she is sick, rub her back, make her soup and cover her in blankets- no matter how old she is. Someday, if she is giving birth to her own child, push her hair out of her face, encourage her, and tell her how beautiful she is. These are the moments she will remember you for. And someday when her husband rubs her back in attempt to comfort her...she may just whisper, "I need my mommy."

25. Be home. When she is sick with a cold or broken heart, she will come to you: welcome her. When she is engaged or pregnant, she will run to you to share her news: embrace her. When she is lost or confused, she will search for you: find her. When she needs advice on boys, schools, friends or an outfit: tell her. She is your daughter and will always need a safe harbor- where she can turn a key to see comforting eyes and a familiar smile: be home

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

If I Could Give New Dads Some Advice... this would be it:

I know I know, I'm not dead - just haven't blogged in almost 6 months.  But for my bi-annual blog post, I thought I would share my response to a guy friend who's wife recently had a baby and was struggling with how to help her.

Here are my thoughts - uncensored - the way I like them.

I'll be honest with you - as a guy you will really have no idea what it feels like for a mom. However in the Baz Lightman's (you know the Wear Sunscreen song guy) - "if I could tell you some things to keep in mind-"

Your wife is going to be crazy - she will feel completely out of control and hate it - but she really can't do anything about it. She hates this range of emotions and the fact that they are unexpected and unexplainable more than you do... though that will be hard to imagine.

She needs to hear the obvious from you daily if not multiple times a day (I love you, this is normal, it's not going to be like this forever)

She needs to take time for herself - you will need to force her to do this - and help her not to feel guilty for being away from you and the baby

On the subject of guilt - she is going to feel guilty... about everything, even things that she can't explain why. This will get much worse once she goes back to worse - simple things like going to the grocery store on the way home will induce almost panic-like symptoms. It's fine, she just again needs continual encouragement from you that 1) the baby is fine (that's why you picked a good daycare) 2) you don't disapprove of nor look down on her taking time to herself or do household errands

Women are bitches - they are horrible at making you feel less than a good mom - whether it is baking or daycare or working or whatever, women constantly compete and will drive your wife crazy if she lets it. Try to encourage her to remember who she was before the baby and that she is still there. For me, returning to work actually helped - it was nice to have a purpose other than feeding and caring for a child/husband/house/dogs.

You can help her with little things to make her experience at work a bit better - set your phone to text her at different times in the day - just a simple Love you and I'm proud of you - you're a good mom, etc

Surprise her with a calendar of picture for her office - shutterfly is awesome at this - I found that having that in my office helped me to feel connected to my family and was nice since I look at the date no less than 20 times a day (as if the date somehow changes mid-day or something)

Tolerate her idiosyncrasies - I have heard of moms literally taking multiple days before successfully leaving her baby at daycare. Try to understand and realize that at the end of the day - all of this flows from a few basic things:

She wants to be a good mom (but doesn't "feel" it)
She wants to feel like you are proud of her and the job she is doing now as a mom
She wants to know that you still think she is sexy - even when she is in a spit-up laden teeshirt and doesn't feel it
She wants to know that you don't resent the baby even if you feel like your needs aren't being met
She wants to know that she can be a working mom but is terrified that she isn't doing it right or that people think she is selfish for working and not staying home like "good moms"

Lastly - realize that even though sex has resumed it probably will be nothing like before and just wait it out - it will get better around the 1 year mark.

  The first year of having baby was ridiculous for me. I felt crazy - literally crazy. I was angry half of the time and sad the other half. I constantly felt like I was out of control and that freaked me out and made me feel stuck in some kind of horrible Groundhog Day. The best things that happened for me were simple - and almost all came from Lee.

The only other suggestion other than using therapy techniques (I seriously pulled from my deep breathing techniques, self talk, and such that I used to teach to counseling clients) is to find funny "mom" books. She won't want to admit aloud to others how she is feeling more than likely but I found that reading about how I wasn't alone or how others had it way worse than me helped a ton - and helped me to talk to Lee about what and how I was feeling.

I would suggest:

Lastly - check out this blog - it puts how I feel about toddlerhood in complete perspective.

So carpe the heck out of the Kairos moments and leave the diem to the crazy moms who haven't figured out that they can't do everything and stay sane yet.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember, and Never Forget

I posted this Sept 11 2009, a few weeks before we found out that I was preggers with Addie-cat.  It still holds true today...

Taken 9/11/02 From the Times of London by Tony Parsons:

"ONE year ago, the world witnessed a unique kind of broadcasting- the mass murder of thousands, live on televesion. As a lesson in the pitiless cruelty of the human race, September 11 was up there with Pol Pot's mountain of skulls in Cambodia, or the skeletal bodies stacked like garbage in the Nazi concentration camps.

An unspeakable act so cruel, so calculated and so utterly merciless that surely the world could agree on one thing - no one deserves this fate. Surely there could be consensus: the victims were truly innocent and the perpetrators truly evil.

But to the world's eternal shame, 9/11 is increasingly seen as America's comeuppance. Incredibly, anti-Americanism has increased over the last year. There has always been a simmering resentment to the USA in this country - too loud, too rich, too full of themselves and so much happier than Europeans - but it has become an epidemic. And it seems incredible to me. More than that, it turns my stomach.
America is this country's greatest friend and our staunchest ally. We are bonded to the US by culture, language, and blood. A little over half of a century ago, around half a million Americans died for our freedoms, as well as their own. How have we forgotten so soon? And, exactly a year ago, thousands of ordinary men, women, and children - not just Americans, but from dozens of countries - were butchered by a small group of religious fanatics. How are we so quick to betray them?

What touched the heart about those who died in the Twin Towers and on the planes was that we recognized them. Young fathers and mothers, somebody's son and daughter, husband and wife. And children, some of them unborn. And these people brought it upon themselves? And their nation is to blame for their meticulously planned slaughter? How?

These days you don't have to be some dust-encrusted nut job in Kabul or Karachi or Finsbury Park to see America as the "Great Satan." The anti-American alliance is made up of self-loathing liberals who blame the Americans for every ill in the 3rd World, and conservatives suffering from power-envy, bitter that the world's only superpower can do what it likes without having to ask permission.

The truth is that America has behaved with ENORMOUS restraint since September 11, 2001.

Remeber the gut-wrenching tapes of weeping men phoning their wives to say, "I love you" before they were burned alive. Remember those people leaping to their deaths from the top of burning skyscrapers.

Remember the hundreds of firemen buried alive. Remember the smiling face of that beautiful little girl who was on one of the planes with her mum.

Remember, and realize, that America has never retaliated for 9/11 in anything like they way they could have.

So a few al-Quaeda tourists got locked without a trial in Camp X-Ray? Please do pass the Kleenex.

So some Afghan wedding receptions were shot up after they merrily fired their semi-automatics into a sky full of American planes? A shame, but perhaps next time they should stick to confetti.

AMERICA could have turned a large chunk of the world into a PARKING LOT. That it didn't is in of itself, a sign of its great strength.

American voices are already being raised against attacking Iraq. That's what democracy is for. How many in the Islamic world will have a minute's silence fo the slaughtered innocents of 9/11? How many Islamic leaders will have the guts to say that the mass murder of 9/11 was an abhorant abomination?

When the news of 9/11 broke on the West Bank, those freedom loving Palestinans were dancing in the streets! America watched all of that - and never pushed the button. We should all thank the stars that America is the most powerful nation in the world. I still find it absolutely incredible that 9/11 di not provoke all out war. No, not a "war on terrorism" but all out war. A real war.

The fundamentalists dudes are talking about "opening the gates of hell," if America attacks Iraq. Well, America could have opened up the gates of hell that you would have never had believed.

The US is the most militarily powerful nation that has ever strode the face of this earth.

The campaign in Afghanistan may have been less than perfect and the planned war in Iraq may be misconceived.

But don't blame America for not bringing peace and light to those wretched countries. Exactly how many democracies are there in the Middle East ore in the Muslim world? You can count them all on the fingers of one hand - assuming that you haven't had any chopped off for minor shoplifting offenses.

I love America, yet America is hated. I gues that makes me Bush's poodle. But, I would rather be a dog in New York City than a Prince in Riyadh. Above all, America is hated because it is what every country wants to be - rich, strong, free, open, and optimistic.

Not ground down by the past, or religion, or some caste system. America is the best friend that this country ever had and we as a British people should start remembering that a bit more often.

Or do you REALLY think that the USA is the root of ALL evil? Tell it to the lvoed ones of the men and the women who leaped to their death from the burning towers.

Tell it to the nursing mothers whose husbands died on one of the hijacked planes, or were ripped apart in a collapsing skyscraper.

And tell it to the hundreds of young widows whose husbands worked for the New York Fire Department. To our shame, President Bush gets worse press than Saddam Hussein.

Once were were told that Saddam gassed the Kurds, tortured his own peopel, and set up rape camps in Kuwait. Now were are told that he likes Quality Street.

Remember, Remember, Please REMEMBER, September 11. One of the greatest atrocities in human history was committed that day against America.

No, please, hear me, PLEASE, do more than remember....

Never forget."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

15 Months and Counting

Yesterday Addie was 15 months old - I don't have all of the stats just yet but for those interested she now:

Weighs around 23.6 pounds (she loves standing on the scale and watching it light up with numbers)... that will change my dear girl!

Stands around 2.5 feet tall

Loves - Elmo, going outside, and Pooh Bear (if you say any of those words she freaks out if you don't produce them in rapid fashion), climbing into the fridge and sitting on the bottom shelf, baths or water sprinklers, slides and climbing toys, watching TV on Daddy's lap, carrying purses around the house, playing on a computer keyboard

Says with Recognition (pointing) - Elmo, Pooh, puppy, Mama, Dada, ZsaZsa (PaPaw's dog who recently passed away), MaMaw, PaPaw, Poppy, Gigi, Andie, Monkey, Pizza (her current favorite), More, Up, Down, No, Outside, Bee

Says without Recognizing always - Cracker, Duckie, Paige (Pay), Done

She's growin' up pretty quickly and entering the "fun" phase - we took her to the water splashpark this past weekend and she was braver than some of the older kids running through the sprays.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I got your crazy

I posted a blog similar to this one back when I was 8 months preggers here and I must confess, I really thought that would be the end of the "crazy."  Or so I thought.  Addie-cat is gonna be 15 months next week... and me, well, I still have a few, some, ok, more than my fair share of "crazy" moments still.

Truth be told, I hate it.  Absolutely hate how I feel out of control sometimes.  How I have the patience of a toddler in the midst of their terrible 2's some days.  How I can get worked up and actually angry over something as simple as a decision my poor husband made that he thought would make me happy but obviously didn't.

I blamed it on the hormones for a long time.  Probably longer than I should have.  In all reality it probably is a combination of a few things - some lingering hormone imbalances, a lot more stress in my life, a ton more responsibility in my life, and less sleep than I'd rather.

But it doesn't really matter.  God's pretty clear on this one - "Be thankful in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thes 5:18)

Thankful when I come home to a pile of dirty clothes, dishes, and dog hair everywhere....yeah, not so much.
Thankful when Addie reaches out to pat my hair with hands full of spaghetti sauce...cute, but thankful?
Thankful when bills outnumber the advertisements in my mailbox.... uhm....

So I started looking online - not sure what I was looking for, but I came across 30 Day Challenge to Wives   Being one that can't resist a challenge I'm going to try to do it - Maybe I'll conquer my "crazy" moments once and for all and return to nice, happy, calm, fun-loving, energetic, thoughtful Crystal of  old.... gosh, looking at that list, I sure thought well of myself back then ;-)

"Call me crazy?  I gots your crazy!"

just hopefully not for long