Alien Talk

Why is it so difficult for someone to listen? I swear I have told my children 100 times tonight to get in the shower, brush their teeth, and do their homework. What part of these everyday tasks is so difficult for them to comprehend? Do mothers speak alien that the asked tasks are not able to translate through the blood brain barrier of a small child’s growing mind?

If you haven’t gathered by now I will let you in on a little secrete. I want to pull my hair out tonight and scream at the top of my lungs with the inability for my children to listen. I am literally fit to be tied! If I had the 21 century of communication on my blog I would have inserted a red-faced top blowing off emoji right here, and then again here too; followed by a couple teary eyed emojis and a glass of wine.

When I was about to repeat for the 101st time tonight “get in the shower now, you stink and your hair has food in it” I paused. Not a slow motion, romantic movie pause. But rather a sole jerking, hit the brick wall running pause. I AM speaking alien to them!!!!

A child, and in fact many adults, do not understand what is being asked of them. Society has taken away the ability to communicate to one another in an efficient manner. None of these times when I asked my children to get ready for bed, shower, or even brush their teeth was I directly focused on them. I was washing dishes, doing laundry, and shamefully I was even blogging. My asking was merely a conversation of convenience for me. I expected my children to stop what they were doing to listen. Yet, I could not even stop my own task to look them in the eye and ask them to obey my request.

I sure hope you are not continuing to read this blog and hope for a cure-all answer to the age-old dilemma, because I truly and honestly have no idea how to break these “alien speaking” conversations in my own home. Let alone give advice to someone else.  What I do know is that tonight I grew aware of the fact that maybe my children do listen. They sure are modeling their behaviors after what they are observing. Maybe what they are trying to tell me is not that they lack the desire to obey their parents, but rather giving me a wake up call to listen to them.

As soon as I had my soul jerking moment and I halted everything I was doing, looked both of my children in the eyes, and ask them with full attention to get in the shower. They obeyed!!! No fighting, no arguing, and I even kept all of my hair intact on my head. Yes, even the grey one I have recently discovered.

Life is so rushed. We are forced to have unemotional relationships between even those we love because of convenience and time. Why are we allowing this to happen? Why not take 5 minutes to stop the dishes to simply ask your children to get in the shower. Breaking a habit of rushing is difficult. I am sure it will be overwhelming at times and even more frustrating than the 101 repetitive asks to shower tonight. With the realization that I want the alien talk to stop in my home I am setting a goal. When speaking to someone I will give direct eye contact, pause what I am doing, and expect the same in return.

Although it is so easy to see my flaws as a parent because of my amazing children and their hearts filled with forgiveness. It is not so easy to see my flaws as a friend, co-worker, and even spouse. Alien talk is not just with your children, but is also found even more frequently between the adults we choice to interact with. My challenge with giving full attention needs to be followed through with my adult relationships as well. In addition to this goal I am also going to attempt to pick up a phone. Yep, you read that correct. I am actually going to call someone tomorrow rather than text them. I am going to put the personal relationship back in the relationships I have placed in my life. Does that mean my texting is done? Absolutely not, texting is still a way of communication, but sometimes a phone call is better. Or even a snap chat video message, anything more personal than a 2D emoji on a white 3×3 screen.

Are you up for the challenge of decreasing the “alien talk” in your home?

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Acceptable Me Time

A mother has two basic jobs in life. 1) Take care of your children and 2) take care of yourself. Society has influenced our self perception of being a mother to be all about her children, her family, and how much she can do for everyone else. No where in the ideal state is it acceptable to worry about yourself? This is such a difficult concept to grasp as well.  

What I am going to talk about below does not matter if you work outside of the home or stay home. Both have their own sets of challenges and are equally difficult in their own ways. I am not judging the choice to stay home vs. work outside of the home. You do you for whatever works for your family in your season of life. Last week in my own personal journal I described myself as being selfish. This was part of my negative self talk I am breaking down and working on. In reflection selfishness was far from the truth.

I myself am a working mother outside of the home. I am driven and desire the personal satisfaction of employment outside of the four walls I have helped create for our family. In fact many may disagree with my personal beliefs that I feel my children are better off with me working outside of the home then if I were home with them every day. Not that I love them any less because they are my world. I have learned to appreciate the moments I have with them to a greater depth. They have learned to socialize with others, become self motivators, and independent thinkers.

However, I still see other moms on their days off not with their children and I internally have a personal battle inside. “They must be selfish to not want to spend every waking moment of their free time at home with their family.” “How do they have it all together that they can actually have time to do things on their own?” I even go as far as to feel bad for their children and spouses at home that must be holding everything together so they can go have “fun”. While all this is running through my mind as fast as the freeway in San Francisco; my heart is aching to join them. I am tired, exhausted, and every part of my body wants to just have some me time.

These thoughts may be running through my head, but I truly do NOT believe a lick of any of them. I envy these women! I want to leap out of my moving mom vehicle and run to join them with every being of my body. I desire to be like these women. The realities of my thoughts are based on the false lies I have told myself over the years to overcompensate for the inability to take care of myself. These women that I judged so horrifically are the ones that have the tasks figured out so well, taking care of themselves. Why should I cast the stone of judgment when I am so broken in the one of two tasks I am given?

 So today I changed this. I went to Des Moines for a doctor’s appointment and I spent the entire time with just myself. I ate by myself, I shopped by myself, and I even walked through a book store looking and dreaming without guilt. I drove home going the speed limit and not a mile over. I enjoyed every ounce of the day. When guilt would slip in I would force the negative talk out of my mind and just enjoyed myself.

Do you know what I concluded? I feel great! I loved every moment of today. I was so much happier when I walked into a messy house and saw spilled Cheerios on the living room floor. I was ok with the nightly bedtime arguments over the length of snuggle time and I was ok with not being the “perfect” mom and wife that society portrays in social media. Because I took time for myself today I am a better mom for it. The overwhelming feeling of love for my children and husband when I walked in the door flooded me.

Next time a girlfriend asks me to stop over for a glass of wine or go for coffee; I am going to say yes. Next time my husband wants to take me on a date; I am going to say yes. I am going to say yes to these moments of personal time, because I deserve it. When I take care of myself I can better take care of my children. It does not mean I am not happy in the life that I have created for myself. I have an amazing husband and two amazing children. However, I am quickly learning that I can not be an amazing mom for them if I am worn down and exhausted all of the time.

 I challenge you to take time for yourself. Go get your nails done, have a fancy coffee at the coffee shop, read a book in the bathtub, or go for a walk. Your housework, laundry, and bills will still be there when you get back, but your mental clarity will be well worth the break in life.

I would love for you to subscribe and follow my blog if what I have to say hits home to you too.

Negative Nancy AKA Self Talk

Self talk is a new concept for me. Mervin introduced me to a philosophy called “think before you think” on our first session. I thought this concept was the most idiotic oxymoron that I have heard in a very long time. I asked for clarification, thinking he meant “think before you speak”, which is something I am told often. Nope, he totally meant think before you think.

I am constantly inside my own head. I wake up in the morning and instantly have things running through my mind. I constantly psychoanalyze every small detail of almost every interaction I have with others throughout the day. So, in my mind this must be self talk. Why would I stop to think if I was going to think about it anyhow?

This simple concept leads me to the light bulb moment that I am down right mean! I would never consider myself to be a mean individual to others. Nor would I ever desire to be mean to someone else. In fact if I offended someone in any way I usually internalize it and ponder over it for weeks to come. Prilosec ends up being my best friend and several apologizes are applied to the situation. I have learned early on that the feelings produced inside, when being mean, are horrible feelings. I do not like who I am or how I feel when I am disrespectful to others. The Lord teaches us to love thy neighbors. The act of being mean to others is not displaying God’s desire for us.

Are you asking why I am defining myself as being mean? My self talk is one of my worst qualities. I would be appalled if someone spoke to my children the way I self talk. In fact I would be appalled if I heard someone talking to a complete stranger the way I talk to myself. Why do we do this? What or who gave us permission to talk this way? The answer is I did a long time ago! I allowed the negative thinking to slowly seep into my mind. Like a drop of food coloring into the cake batter. One minute my mind is clean and white like batter and the next the single drop of green negativity infects the entire cake.

I am on a journey to turn my green cake back to a close white cake. I can never turn the cake all the way back white and I will never be able to remove all the negative self talk or the impact that it has had on my life. But I sure can lighten the green hue in the cake of life.

Today in my session Mervin said he felt like I was not getting benefit from him today. This broke my heart. Not because of his honesty, but because of the amount of self talk it produced after the comment. I worked so hard on my first week to think before I thought. Yet in an instant everything came flooding back like a hurricane of negativity. “He is giving up on me too. I must be so broke that even the therapist cannot fix me. I sure screwed this up again” In reality he was probably commenting on the fact that I was avoiding eye contact, disengaging in the conversation and shutting down.

Well screw that! I am good enough to work on getting better. It does not matter if someone gives up on me because that is their opinion, not mine (Disclosure: he is not giving up on me either, that was my self talk perception). Lastly I do not screw things up.

The self talk of Negative Nancy is getting evicted. I am tired of her taking up residency in an area that she is not welcomed in, my mind and my life.

Giving the eviction notice to the self talk of Negative Nancy is not an easy task I am quickly learning. Her roots are set deep and wide. Last week I started writing things I like about myself. This was a horrific task to conquer, but worth continuing. As you walk through this journey of self-improvement with me I ask that you too take a tip from Mervin and write down what you like about yourself. I have moved from things I like about myself to things I love about myself. Negative Nancy does not have room to service if the mind is too busy thinking positive.

  1. I love my desire to help others
  2. I love my family and life that has been created
  3. I love my deep desire to improve myself for myself.

Idea of Blogging~Introduction

I sat down at the keyboard, with what many may call a shamefully small glass of wine, to write my nightly journaling and I had an idea. We will get to the idea shortly, but I feel I need to set the stage for what is to come. I have recently started seeing what many may reference as a therapist, but he is a trusted friend to me.

From the outside world I seem to have things mostly together; perfect family, positive outlook on life, and energetically driven. Internally I am screaming for a life preserver. My negative self talk has me drowning in what is considered life. A series of rejections lead my path to reaching out to my friend, we will call him Mervin, for help. In my second “session” with Mervin he complemented me on my journaling and writing. Although the English language and writing has never been my strong point, I find writing to be very therapeutic.

That is when my idea came. What if instead of journaling I write my feelings and ideas into a blog format. A collaboration of words strung together to formulate something that briefly represents my life, the things that run thought my head on a daily basis, and the wishes I wish someone would have told me. This manuscript will probably always remain on my computer with no audience to read. It is my journey and my thoughts. If documenting them down allows me to see my feelings in black and white and process them. Then this is what I will do. So going forward you will see bits and pieces as I work towards a better me. Wish me luck.

Snow Storm View

Many of you may not know this small fact about me but, a snow storm is one of my most favorite things in life. I had a wise man once tell me to drive on fresh snow and look in your rear view mirror. It is the only time in life you will see your true tracks on this world.

Days like this on the farm are a lot of work. The white and beautiful snow lay covering mud and muck that you are forced to expose. Life isn’t always perfect and clean, but like a lost lamb in a snow storm the reward of drinking the first sip of fresh water after a long journey is rewarding. Others depend on your hard work and dedication to get thru the mud and muck in their own lives.

So what do your tracks in life look like? Do you know a lost lamb you can help along the way?

Another year of marriage down.

Yesterday we celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary. Our family was once again separated by the all too frequent theme of CANCER.

9 Years ago when I said I Do it was with the intent to live forever with my best friends, have a few children, and live happily ever after on a farm. Yesterday marked our second anniversary where that was not the case. Sidney’s diagnosis has forever changed and shaped our family. On May 25, 2016 our ideal life/marriage died at diagnosis. So why was this anniversary more difficult then the last to comprehend the changes?

I have pondered this question all day. Tossing around feelings and ideas to justify to myself the reason my feelings are extra raw. My conclusion is that my marriage isn’t at the level I had originally intended it to be 9 years ago. If you stick with me I will explain a little more.

Love blinds people with the excitement of forever. You get married with the thought that the “better” is going to be great and the “worst” is probably just going to be a man cold, dealing with in-laws, or even sleepless nights because your kids wont go to bed. The moment the “worst” hits is the true test of the marriage.

Andy and I have always had what we consider separate lives united together. We both work outside of the home and assume different responsibilities inside the home. We choose to participate in different actives and we can rarely be seen together. You may be thinking this is your problem. This is not a good combination… well it works for us… and has served to be our biggest asset. One of my responsibilities is typically running and managing the kids’ schedules.

The first week we were home after Sidney was diagnosed Andy and I were having a lengthy discussion of what we should do next. He looked me in the eyes and said. “She is my daughter too and I will be at every appointment. You do not need to do this alone.” This was the pivoting moment in our relationship. I could have refused and he could have run. Instead we linked together and faced the next several months/years as a united front.

Here lies another problem. I have spent the last several paragraphs talking about our daughter. And to catch you up to speed this same daughter had to spend several hours in the Emergency room on our anniversary getting fluids and antibiotics. While Andy and I were with her our son was home with my parents. This is why my heart aches on this anniversary. Andy and I have become this amazing united front, but someone always gets left out.

How do you explain to a 6 and 7 year old why at the drop of a hat plans change, why there are random tears, and more importantly why there life is so much different then there friends. If you can answer these questions please let me know. Until we figure out a better way we stick to the honest truth. So, as I sat down with my son tonight he enlightened me with his wise beyond his years thoughts. “Mom, you leave me because you love me and Sidney. It’s ok. I have fun when your gone.” Wow, Is it really that simple.

So, no my marriage is not at the level I intended it to be when signed on 9 years ago. It is has far surpassed my wildest dreams. The bond I have with my husband and children is the type of bond I thought only existed in the fairytales. (full disclosure… we still have our ups and downs just like everyone else). The reason this year was so much more difficult then the last is the realization that my heart is so full of love. That for once in my life I am doing something right.

If I could pass one thing on besides Faith then family it would be: Stay honest and true. You married your spouse not your girlfriends (or buddies). So when you hit your “worst” parts of your marriage remember to communicate with your spouse honesty not your friends. Because as a united front you can move mountains.

Why I’m Blogging.

Hi, my name is Amanda and I am a 32 year old mother of two (ages 6 and 7) and a wife to my high school sweetheart. Yep, I have already lost your interest with the “picture perfect” family. Well if you dare to continue to read you will quickly learn I’m unfortunately one of those oncology moms too. We are a special bread of moms that have faced a set of challenges that none of us would wish upon our worst of enemies.

I started a caring bridge site for my 6 year old who was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 4. Because of this I have learned I have a few more opinions on things then I ever thought; without an outlet to express them. This is why I’m attempting the avenue of blogging.

So, let’s start with a little background. My faith in the lord is number one followed by being a wife and mother. I believe hard work and persistence pays off. I prefer to work with numbers over grammatical corrections so my blog will be far from perfect. My philosophy in life (this week) is “Why me… because why not me.” So let’s get started and see how this goes. Welcome…..