Thursday, January 16, 2014

wisdom nuggets.

Today, Emerson is sick. Poor baby. I was greeted this morning by vomit and other satanic fluids shooting from multiple orifices. Did this just make you sick? Welcome to motherhood in 3D!

 I happen to think the most supreme mind/body mastery strategy ever attempted in parenting is The Clean up your Kids' Vomit WITHOUT Vomiting Yourself technique. I've mastered this challenge only a handful of times. I've found that a combination of rubber gloves, clorox fumes, nose pinching, visualizing the clear blue ocean, spastic levels of hee heee heee heee breathing while intermittently repeating out loud this is not my life. this is not my life. this is not my life. tends to provide the sort of  psychomotor deception that becomes necessary for survival as you sprint back and forth between the laundry room and bathroom for the entirety of your day {or week}.

This past week was kind of a brutal one. I was a pretty low grade, loser kind of mom. It was just hard, ya know? I lacked patience. I got pity-potty and pouty and snarky. My most consistent sentiment towards my children could be summed up as please stop making so much sound and when is it bed-time?. We got through it. Homework was completed, meals made, baths given, stories read. But I struggled through so much of it. Trying to feel the joy. There are weeks like that, I've discovered. When you're on a round-the-clock kind of job like this, and you just don't get the sort of breaks that you need as often as you need them, there are going to be some days that you just ttttttrudge and dragggggg yourself through. Then there are the nights. The nights can be the worst. When you lie in bed and cry and feel so guilty that you aren't enjoying it like you should. You have sweet, beautiful children, and you feel like you are failing them. Those nights stink. But, after a good cry, a pleading prayer, and a decent night's sleep (sometimes an impossibility), I've miraculously awakened feeling renewed and ready to try again. Perspective tends to rise with the morning sun and I forgive myself and recommit.

But, occasionally, I like to cry and vent about this stuff to my Mom. She's like the patron-saint-of-emotional-wisdom to me. She'll help me cut through the crap and adjust my perspective. And she's a great solution finder. Sometimes I call  her just wanting to complain and whine and feel sorry for myself. But she's a pro-active one. She tends to comb the recesses of the universe and find that one avenue of change or enlightenment you ought to consider. She reminds me that solutions are possible. I love that about her.

I also have wise women mentors who have come into my life. Some, for a brief time, and others who have remained close friends. Women, from all walks of life, have pearly gems of insight to share. I especially treasure the wisdom of women either older than me or with even more children than me. I see some of them and they are like the soldiers who made it through the crazy, sacred, mine-field. I always like to hear about how they do it.

I'm going to share a few nuggets of wisdom that have become ingrained into my being along the way. Maybe you'll find one or two that will help you when you're having a rather exhausting week too.

Rae's favorite nuggets:

Lighten Up.
This one is pretty straight forward. But hard to practice for someone like me. Chill. Out. Is it that big of a deal? 99% of the time, it's probably not.

The Three Minute Rule.
You can do anything for three minutes. All day, your children will hound you with big requests. When your three year-old daughter asks you to play barbies and you need to get dinner started, the laundry is piling up, you have bills you need to pay, the 6 year-old needs help on her book report, you still haven't showered, etc etc etc, the last thing you can fathom doing is sitting for a good fifteen minutes in rather mind-numbingly boring child play. But you can do three minutes. NOW. You can play Barbies. You can  read a book. You can pause and snuggle. You can color. You can listen. You can sing a song. For three minutes. Three solid, focused minutes of uninterrupted attention for that individual child. 3 minutes right now is better than endless empty promises of 20-30 minutes later. You'll find that if you spend multiple intervals of three minute chunks, you end up giving more than one 20 minute block of interaction a day anyways. And you'll feel really good about it. It's makes more of an impact than you might think.

Live your life in such a way that The Spirit can instruct you on your children.
This is a spiritual practice. The Spirit is Mormon lingo for the Spirit of God. I believe that the inspiration of God is in each one of us. Trying to live my life in a way that aligns and plugs into this undercurrent, this channel of inspiration, is something I'm trying regularly. I fail miserably. But! I believe that I won't be in a position to receive good insight about what my children really need from me if I'm caught up in garbage. If I'm speaking hatefully. If I am dwelling on the negative. If I am unkind or reading trashy books and filling my mind with bankrupt entertainment instead of enlightening words and important information.

You're a Better Mom than you Think you Are.
It's true. Maybe not for me, but definitely for you. ;)
Okay, FINE. No more self-deprecating. I'm a good mom too. If you're trying to be a good mom, that is being a good mom.

I did not raise Wimps.
That's a straight quote from my Mom. I used it the other day when I took my girls for a little hike and heard nothing but I'm hot, I'm tired, my shoes are dirty, when are we going to have a snack?, yada yada yada. Ladies! I said, I am NOT RAISING WIMPS. Now keep moving! They ended up loving the hike and the views.
However, I still apply this phrase to myself. Quit being A WIMP, Rachel. Enough with your FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. You live in America. You are free. You have more rights as a woman than any other woman has had in the history of the world. You are loved. Your body functions. You have a washer and a dryer. You have access to antibiotics. You don't regularly worry about your children contracting smallpox and dying before your eyes. Wah, wah wah, you're crying because you're feeling "stressed" keeping up with your children's PIANO PRACTICE or because you still need to make a meal that will most likely include some sort of fresh produce ingredient that has been FLOWN IN FROM BRAZIL to your local grocery store? Or, because of your schoolwork assignments from your University that gives you access to a wealth information and expertise from ANY LOCATION at your convenience?!!

I sometimes wonder if we went back 200 years in time and selected  25 random women to come back to our day and sit with us in one of our therapy sessions. What would they say? I imagine it would be something like:.... what IS therapy?...... Wait, women ARE VOTING?!,.....What is this magic contraption you speak of that cooks your food for you (AN OVEN)?...... You've actually tasted a real, actual GRAPEFRUIT?.... BIRTH CONTROL?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Keep sippy cups filled in the fridge where your kids can reach them.
Self explanatory. It's amazing how many "self-explanatory" tips I have actually needed explained to me throughout the course of motherhood thus far. Right!, I thought, as this mom further clarified that then they don't have to interrupt constantly asking for a drink. This tip alone was a massive, existential A HAAA moment for me.

Last, divorce your gadgets.
Put away your phone. Quit texting, social media-ing, pinteresting, computer-ing, and all the like during your children's waking hours. I'm working on this. Getting slightly better.

And with that said, the irony is not lost on me...I should be going now.

You have a great week.


Brittany said...

Not sure if you would even remember, but my family, the Wilson's were in your ward in Sparks when I was in H.S. I was friends with Sarah :) anyway, found your blog a while back and stop in time to time. I really needed a few of your little "nuggets" today. Thank you! Your family is darling!
-Brittany Hensrude

Rachel Haack said...

Hi Brittany! Of course I remember you and your family! How are you all doing?! I told Sarah you stopped in and she wanted me to say hi as well. Thanks for popping in!

Anonymous said...

Love, love this. Also needed it. I've had 2 months of crappy parenting. :) Recommit!

Love You--

Joan said...

AMEN! :) The 3 minute rule is my fave.

Katie Kehoe Daane said...

Love this Rachel! Great job! And very useful since I just became a mommy myself! Your fam is adorable!