Channeling Daddy’s Cool

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My fiancé is everything I’m not. He is, for the most part,  calm and cool and collected.

I am not.

He can quell whining with a single word, make the kids laugh without effort and even banish  them to their rooms without seeming like a big meany.

I cannot.

Not to mention he looks even more calm, cool and collected next to my more intensely feisty and frazzled personality.

Yet,  we found a way to make it work.

Our 4 year old daughter tells me several times a week that I am the Bestest Mommy in the whole WORRLDD. It’s always a shock to me because most days I feel like an ogre of a mother.

I know bestest isn’t a word, but I can’t bring myself to correct her. One, because it’s so darn cute. Secondly, out of fear that the admonition will cause the compliments to stop.

This seems needy, but don’t judge me too harshly.  I promise to correct it before she goes to Kindergarten. Besides, that compliment is a real pick me up.  Especially, when I know sweet things like that will disappear the moment she reaches 3rd grade and learns Moms aren’t cool.

I often wonder if she tells me this because she knows I admire Dad’s external composure and it is her way of letting me know it’s okay to that I’m Mercurial Maniac Mommy. Because she knows having a mercurial maniac for  a mom does have its special perks.

Who else is anal enough to go the extra mile to iron her clothes (including the socks) right before she puts them on, so they feel like a warm hug on cold Winter mornings?

Or, be competitive enough to have jumping rope contests in the middle of living room and teach her the mystical strategy to winning tictactoe every single time?

Me, that’s who.

And while I may not be able to channel daddy’s calm cool collectedness as often as I would like; having him there to strike the balance and be my buffer, makes all the difference in the world.

For a long time, I saw his coolness as aloof, disinterested and detached. I would wonder, with my hair on fire, of course, “How can you sit there so unaffected with ALL THIS [Enter some random parenting/working/family crises here] going on?” 

It was only recently that I realized how powerful his composure is in balancing the scales of my more intense nature.  With me so amped up, someone had to remain underwhelmed and steady. Hindsight is King.

The more we learn to set the other person free to be who they are, the more acceptance and balance we find in being who we are.

When I focus on bringing it down and channeling his cool, this frees him up to engage with more intensity, so that we balance each other out.

Is it perfect? No.

Have I gotten better at being more Mellow Mommy than Maniac Mommy? Yes.  

In fact, I found my way to becoming a Liberated Mommy.

Now, if I could just get my 4 year old to send my 13 year old the, I know Mommy seems crazy, but she means well memo, I’d be okay…….

But, we’ll save that for another post.  In the meantime, Be Liberated.

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Finding a way to build parental synergy with your partner of an opposite demeanor. #That’s Liberation

Do you and your partner differ in personality styles? If so, what ways have you found to build parental or relationship synergy and balance eachother out?

Leave me a  comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Imperfect Parenting Chronicles

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There are some really great parents in the world. Parents who  do a phenomenal job of raising exceptional children without breaking a sweat. There are also some really horrible parents who do the unimaginable to children and should have their procreation rights revoked.

Then there are the rest of us. The mediocre parents who are muddling through. Hoping we are making the right decisions, striking the right tone and getting through. We fear we’re doing it all wrong. Afraid that our best efforts push our kids further into a world inundated with peer pressure, instant media and unabashed images of effortless fame a’ la Kim Kardashian. How many times have I thought, “Why couldn’t the kid come with a handbook, instructions or a warranty”? Something. 

As an imperfect parent commissioned to parent within imperfect circumstances, I’m working on the following:

  • Embrace being  misunderstood. It’s a fact of life.
  • Resist the urge to explain and re-explain and explain one more time. Just in case.
  • It’s okay for me to judge as long as I keep the verdict to myself.
  • Focus less on trying to parent and more on creating good memories.
  • The memories are what matter in the end.
  • Shut down the crises center. Not everything requires parental response.
  • Occasionally respond with a smile. A gentle one, not a crazed Joker-like one. No matter how bad.
  • Set them free. Love them strong, but set them free.

#ThatsLiberation

Good Grief

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The term good grief is one of the more perplexing oxymoronic phrases. It is one I had used often and without much thought until my Brother was gunned down in cold blood by a masked gunman this past September. The words good and grief took on new meaning. They were meant to be distinct and separate. They had no place together because there is nothing good about grief. Or is there?

The days following his death, my mind and spirit were filled with anguish, sorrow and disbelief. It pained me to see his picture, to see his resemblance in my mother’s face, his daughter’s face and my own reflection in the mirror. I was stricken with grief and there was nothing good about it.

The image of him lying in his casket is now a permanent fixture within my recall. A body once filled with life’s energy now inanimate, solemn and dead. The image is there like a gnawing foreign body that I cannot dwell on because when I do, I become irreparably undone.

Initially, I was overwhelmed by the seeming expectation that someday I move on, take a shower, eat, drive, smile,  go back to work, laugh or do anything other than ponder the great mystery of how someone I loved more than life itself was there one minute and gone the next. And to know that it was at the hands of a cold blooded murderer? How could this be?

Yet, my own life beckoned me, my children and fiancé needed me and my mother deserved a daughter who could stand tall while she had to bury her only son. There were numerous times I collapsed. Somehow, someway, I had to find the good in the grief.

I knew I had to be mentally and spiritually proactive as the holidays approached as these times have the potential to be the most difficult.  When I need to cry, I cry, when I need my mind my emptied I sit in silence and when things need to be done, I do them…most days.  When I am angry at a loved one or anyone, the grief is there to remind me to forgive and do it quickly. Forgiveness is Good.

What makes it tough is that Christmas was his favorite holiday. He loved Christmas and I loved him. More than I was anxious to see what was under the tree for me, I looked more forward to what would be there for him.  Christmas morning would bring a smile across his face that is and forever will be indelibly on my brain.  It is that image that I hold fast to even though doing so breaks my heart in a million pieces. Simply because I don’t want to remember him, I want to see him. Wanting to see him, but knowing he is with God is Good.

A few days ago, my family received news that my Brother’s murderer was caught, remanded without bail and will stand for trial. This was God’s Gift to us. The first steps towards justice delivered to us right before we face our first Christmas without him.  This man’s crime will not go unanswered. God’s Will will be done. Justice by way of God’s Will is Good.

They tell me that one of the last things my Brother ever uttered as the paramedics carried his body away was “I’m good” and resounded with another reassuring, “I’m good”. By my earthly standard, he was not good. He was dying, leaving here to float forever amongst the stars and in his wake leaving behind a mountain of grief  for hundreds if not thousands of people who loved him.

I’d like to think that he said those words because God gave him comfort in those last moments. When my heart gets too heavy,  I share in that comfort. God’s Comfort is good.

And so there it is. It is all Good and at the same time it is all Grief.

Good Grief…#thatsliberation

 

In loving memory of Phillip Harrison, Jr.

 

 

Learning to Tebow

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Yes, That is Tim Tebow. The Tim Tebow. Let me start off by saying, I know very little, if anything about football.  If you are looking for Tim’s football stats go here. This is not a blog about that. Tim’s football game is amazing. Tim’s faith is astounding.

Recently Mr. Tebow has been on a phenomenal winning streak. When asked about where his seemingly super human ability to play the game of football comes from, Tim attributes his success to his faith in Jesus Christ.

His response does everything from raise a few eyebrows to stirring religious fervor from the devout and skepticism from the religiously devoid.

His faith is by all means Radical. Some argue that what Tebow is citing as an unwavering faith in God is really extraordinary faith in himself which allows him to perform the way he does.

I personally believe God is within all of us and when we believe in ourselves, we insolubly believe in Him. I think this works in the reverse, too.

Whatever the case may be, we need more of what Tebow is doing. Radical faith that moves mountains and in his case 300 pound men.

Let’s spend more time learning to Tebow.

We spend way too much time worrying about what people believe instead of the fact that they believe.

Radical Faith….#ThatsLiberation

The Miseducated Mindset

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Imagine arriving to class and finding that this is the lesson of the day. How long would it take you to realize this is not the class for you?

For many of us, this class is in full-session within our minds. Yet,  we have not figured out how to get up from our seats and change course. We stay in the class because we:

  • Find comfort in our bad habits.
  • Feel less burdened by placing blame on others.
  • Feel vindicated by our incessant negative thoughts.

We are passing the Dysfunction 101 course with flying colors, but failing miserably at Life.

Be careful about what you are learning and the lessons you allow to take root in your head.

It is time to break the rules and start asking questions.  This is one time it’s okay to cut class.

Challenging the way you think and  behave to break free from a miseducated mindset. #thatsliberation

Before I Awake

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About three years ago, I picked this book up because it was on Oprah’s Book Club. I liked some of the other books she picked and the title of the book was provocative enough. At the time I was thinking, “I can use an awakening right about now, a real awakening to my life’s purpose.” Whatever that may be.

I purchased the book from Target and started reading, certain my life’s awakening was a few page turns away.

Needless to say, no such awakening happened. At least not that day. I read the first three pages and dismissed the book as absolute nonsense. I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. Something about a flower and the flower’s awareness or awakening. Clearly flowers don’t have awareness. Do They? I decided that New Age philosphy just wasn’t for me. I tossed the book on a shelf where it collected dust for about 3 years until 2 weeks ago.

A few weeks ago, a good childhood friend of mine mentioned she was reading the book in one of our text exchanges. I told her I had the book, but couldn’t follow. She said she had made it all the way to Chapter 6, Triggers. I was impressed and decided to give the book another shot.

This time the flower made perfect sense and that was only the beginning.   I couldn’t put the book down.

I wasn’t ready before, but now I am. My awakening has begun and that’s liberation.

Interested in reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth? Purchase at Amazon.com

Fill in the Blanks

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Try This. Fill in the Blanks

The words time, energy and money can be inserted into any blank in the sentence below and make sense.

“I don’t have enough _____________, I just can’t seem to find the ____________ and  I’m all out of ____________.”

They fit for good reason. Time, energy and money are the currency we pay to get anything done. We must either have the money to outsource the task, or the time and energy to do it ourselves.

Some of us might find that we come up short on all three which can make for one very unhappy life, or should I say unliberated life.

Let’s Try this again. Fill in the Blanks. 

“I have enough ___________and if I don’t, I will find the ____________ because being out of ___________ is not an option.”

Again the words time, energy and money make sense in any blank.  The words didn’t change, only the attitude about them.

Learning to think and speak about things from the position of a victor and not a victim…..#thatsliberation