Mothering

Inspiration on parenting

What They Really Need

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When our children were small, we opted not to have t.v. reception. It was always interesting to me to see the difference in our kids when we were staying for a short time anyplace there was a lot of t.v. watching. All of a sudden, they were preoccupied with what they now knew they needed! The latest game or toy or movie. Funny, that had they not watched those commercials, they never would have felt deprived at all!

Being submersed in affluence is mind altering.

And since this is all many of us have known, we don’t register the many ways our collective thinking is distorted!

Except we get a glimpse of that distortion, when we see children needing their parents, when the parents are otherwise occupied– sure that they must provide, what turns out to be luxuries for their children, even if the expense to provide them is being separated from their children day in and week out.

Is part of the problem that we’re so used to possessing things that we’ve turned children into objects?

Thinking that we want them so that we can possess them, and on our sometimes misguided terms?

Truth is, our children aren’t our possessions. And they don’t need more possessions.

They generally don’t even need more lessons or opportunities.

Parents and children actually need more daily, committed, loving and trustworthy connections. {The ten o’clock news confirms this observation.}

I wonder how long it is going to take our culture to stop looking for the next government-funded program to rescue our nation’s children; to recognize that the only real rescue is to provide a home, with parents and siblings who want to spend the time making the connections that all human beings need?

And, while we’re doing our best to give our children what they really need, adults have the opportunity to be nurtured and taught as well. What parent hasn’t learned great life lessons from their toddler who forgives instantly or simply from the growth {motivated by love} they require to continue to lead?

People need food and shelter, chances for learning and developing gifts are great too. Beyond that, people need to be cared for by people. And the best people to give what the next generation needs, are those who have sacrificed to bring them here and love them enough to sacrifice whatever else isn’t necessary, for their good.

Maybe if we regularly turn off the bombardment of social and advertising media, we’d be able to clear our thoughts, take a deep breath and just be. Just be together.

I hope you are well and living the real dream. The dream of family.

Love,

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”

Nurturing Civility

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Civility: politeness, courtesy, respect, mannerliness, graciousness, consideration, gentility.

Think of what can be lost when a family doesn’t practice civility at home –opportunities to connect; to work as a team; to support one another; to learn patience and self-control.

As our culture declines in it’s expectation of and commitment to civility, it becomes even more crucial that as family leaders, we expect and commit to teaching our children civility.


Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash

And we do that best with our example.

When and where do we have opportunity to shine in this regard?

All the time. And everywhere.

When we are driving.

When we are having a conversation.

When we are learning or teaching something new.

When we are shopping.

When we are cooking.

When we are cleaning.

When we make mistakes.

Parents who behave in civil ways will be teaching their children without words. {The. Best. Teaching. Ever.} Children who practice being civil to their family members and friends will become anchors of strength in society.

What ways are you teaching this important principle at your house?

Could it be part of our validating mantra of kind, gentle, respectful and FIRM? I think so!

I hope you are well! Keep moving forward, I know you’re making progress!

Love,

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”

“Finish It Flaversham!”

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Ha! This is one of our family’s most frequent movie quotes. Do you recognize it?

It was hissed at the clock maker, Hiram Flaversham, by the evil Professor Ratigan. Do you remember that part of The Great Mouse Detective?


Photo by Arno Smit on Unsplash

Many years ago, I had a conversation with my husband about feeling like I couldn’t keep up with all the work there was to do at home. I listed the myriad of maintenance items that needed to be done daily and weekly and I asked for his input. He quietly suggested that maybe I could focus on finishing the tasks I start.

As I looked back, I could see that I was running from job to job, with a dozen interruptions or chores in between; making a meal or helping a child or changing a diaper or whatever need was highest on the list at that given hour, and consequently, I seldom really finished anything!

This is the time that I did my best to shift my focus from just diving in and getting whatever I could done and leaving the rest for the next day, to starting only what I felt I could start and finish in the time I had.

So instead of ending the day with three loads of laundry in a pile needing to be folded the next day, (and we all know that laundry that is unfolded is at risk of never being put away and may even end up on someone’s bedroom floor and may end up getting washed and dried again, just because it has merged with the other clothes in the room!), I might end up with only two loads of laundry done, but they were washed, dried, folded and put away.

This inspired idea has helped me so much!

Instead of seeing unfinished everywhere I looked, I could see peace beginning to emerge because I wasn’t trying to swallow every chore in the house in one bite!

Not long thereafter, I started time-blocking and we started dividing up the household chores with the kids, and that meant bite-sized pieces of work for everyone. Hurrah!

Today, when I do a load of laundry, I take it from the dryer, pour it onto our bed, fold it and put it away immediately. No waiting in the basket. No sitting around in piles. No unfolded laundry lurking anywhere!

Finish it Flaversham! It’s a recipe for peace when we start what we can finish and finish what we start.

I hope you are taking good care of yourself!

Love,

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”

I just had to add this picture, ha!…this guy came up when I was searching for a picture of “folded laundry.”


Photo by Sander Wehkamp on Unsplash

Think Process

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Do you ever get out of patience because it seems as though you are teaching and learning, but you don’t know if you or your children are making any progress?

Teaching and learning are kind of like growing out a bad haircut. It takes 1000 times longer than you want it to take!

And it happens so slowly, that you aren’t sure that anything is happening at all…


Photo by Jenn Evelyn-Ann on Unsplash

But, if you measure your hair growth after a month or six, you’ll see that yes, it was growing all along though it was imperceptible day to day!

And if you look back at what you knew or what your children were learning a year ago, you’ll see that yes, you’ve all come a long way since then.

Teaching and learning are processes, not events.

If you taught or corrected or mentored or led someone today and you don’t know if it will help, give it a little time.

If you read and studied and practiced and applied some new thing you desperately want to learn, but you don’t yet have a solid grasp on it, give it a while. In time you’ll see that you were acquiring that new knowledge or skill all along.

Part of being patient with ourselves and with others is understanding this truth: teaching and learning are slow, simple, minute and sometimes unconscious processes that require time.

I hope you are off to a good start this week; that is, that you are full of love and patience for yourself and others.

Be well my friend!

Love,

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”

Perspective

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I’m excited to share an article with you that a dear friend recently shared with me. {Thank you Ann!} She reports that it was written at least 40 years ago and has no byline except, Anonymous.

Knowing that this was written before many of you were born, I offer a few notes about the author’s perspective. When she was writing, “the common denominators of women’s days,” it was simply accurate. However, in today’s world, it may sound like inequality talking.

She says they listened to a record, which you may or may not have experienced {think big, vinyl CD that plays audio recordings by spinning around on a gramophone or record player}, and yes, people used to chat with their backyard neighbors a lot more!


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Now for you, thoughtful reader, who will hear and understand the profound point the author is making, here it is. I hope you are as moved and blessed by her words, as I have been!

Let Me Hold You While I May

“The day is over; now I will sleep.

It had been a normal sort of day, common like a rock along the path. Nothing about it would make one stop suddenly, pick it up and exclaim over it, as one might do with a shell, or a glistening piece of quartz. It was just a rock, lying there along my way. But now, knowing that it is about to go from me forever, I hold it in my hand curiously, turning it this way and that, marking its shape and texture, weighing it on my palm. What was it really, this normal day?

It was routine, mostly—washing, ironing, a trip to the store, meals, dishes, the common denominators of women’s days.

It was pleasant here and there—a letter from an old friend, my husband’s telephone call for no reason, a back fence chat with my neighbor, half an hour with a good book, some loud laughs with the children at dinner time.

It was irritating now and then—a sticky ocean of spilled maple syrup, mealtime with one greedy child and one finicky one, the arrival of a bill unexpectedly high, a persistent salesman’s theft of fifteen beautiful minutes.

It was deeply joyous at times—the whole house glorified with the strains of the new “Greensleeves” record; our unliterary twelve-year-old’s first book (begun today, to be finished tomorrow) with its dedication to–wonder of wonders–his parents; our eight-year-old and her friend playing dress-up, painted and perfumed, scarved and veiled, clattering through the kitchen in spike heels and innocence.

It was sobering and frightening in some ways—Mom’s waning health and increasing discouragement; the big blow-up after dinner about homework and learning to accept responsibility, and the guilt that followed my hasty words; the vague, huge uncertainties that draped themselves over us, cobweb-like, with the ten o’clock news from a tense and shadowed world.

It was blessed with love throughout—in a pig-shaped bead board made, and presented to me by my son; in the wave of feeling as I watched our little daughter sleeping in soft moonlight, her long lashes shadowing her cheek; in an hour alone with my husband at the end of the day.

Just a normal day. A normal day! It is a jewel! In time of war, in peril of death, people have dug their hands and faces into the earth and remembered this. In time of sickness and pain, people have stretched themselves taut and waited for this. In time of loneliness and separation, people have buried their faces in pillows and wept for this. In times of hunger, homelessness and separation, people have raised bony hands to the skies and stayed alive for this.

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so. One day, I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want more than all the world your return.”

Be well my friend.

Love,

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”