Halle Printed Flare Skirt
Sam Hi-Lo Short Sleeve Tee
I first became committed to Gentle Parenting–parenting without threats, spanks, yelling, anger–three years ago. We always have been Attachment Parents–breastfeeding, baby wearing, cosleeping are a few of the tenets–, but I didn’t understand Gentle Parenting or Peaceful Parenting, or how it could possibly “work”. I even joined a Gentle Parenting board and tried to learn more, almost a decade ago, but it was not a good fit at the time.
Gentle Parenting as described eloquently by L.R. Knost “is guiding instead of controlling, connecting instead of punishing, encouraging instead of demanding. It’s about listening, understanding, responding, and communicating.” It is a concious shift away from the way I was brought up, away from what everything in my body is demanding, away from the gut center of my brain.
Gentle Parenting is, I think, a bigger challenge for me than traditional parenting because it requires more from the parent. More thought, more emotion, more connection, just more. No matter how you parent, or how many kids you have, it’s hard, don’t get me wrong. When I had two little daughters and I was spanking, it was hard. Now though, I have to think more about why I’m being reactive and what is going on in my child and what is the behavior trying to tell me and teach them how to problem solve at the same time I’m trying to change a diaper and spell a word and give directives and help a child and there are six of them!
I follow several Gentle Parenting pages on Facebook and it seems like they all have one or two children. It feels frustrating because they offer their good solutions, and say things like “if you…then they will…” and it just doesn’t happen right away. The dynamics in a home with one or two children are very different than a home with several. I am dealing with teenagerish hormones at the same time I’m nursing a baby with four loud and active and strong children in between!
I don’t think I thought this “big family thing” through very well.
|Brielle and Finnella looking for books on CD|
I haven’t blogged for six months! I have lots of good reasons/excuses, depending on how you look at it. But I miss it and I enjoy it and I am doing it for me, so I’m back! It’s hard to let go of expectations–like how blogging has kind of turned into article writing, and I don’t always (ever) have the brain space for an actual article, so I felt like I couldn’t compete. But with whom am I competing? And why!?
I have more than doubled the garden this year. I’m doing Square Food Gardening and trying something new, Straw Bale Gardening. I don’t think my peas are going to make it, and will have to start over with them, but everything else looks good. I’ve gotten a new hobby of “planning”, which is writing my to do list and decorating it, and writing down what we did in quick bullet points in a composition notebook. It’s a fun segue between scrapbooking and keeping track of what I need to do on the backs of kids’ drawings. Writing “water garden” in my planner helps it actually get done. Funny how that works.
|Finnella on Memorial Day|
I’m doing something new with the boys for school, called Easy Peasy Homeschool. The woman who put it together did a curriculum for ALL THE GRADES, of activities to do with links added. It’s amazing she did this and I am so thankful. It eliminates the problem of never being able to find the book I need. It doesn’t matter how organized I am, there is always a missing book! They like being able to play games and be on the computer.
I am starting to feel like I can do this thing, this mothering six souls thing. I am not crying every day any more and I am laughing. It feels wonderful to laugh again.
One thing that really helped is the Handsome Husband and I went on a short impromptu vacation to Las Vegas of all places. We went with another couple which just made it even better. The laughter! The being a person, not just a mom! The space in my brain!
|Finnella and me waiting to go up in the High Roller|
|The Farmer, Finnella and Me at Hoover Dam|
|Just some farmers checkin’ out the big city.|
I’ve also been having a hard time because I am still wearing maternity jeans and leggings all the time. I realize I’m 40 now and this is baby #6. I know that appearance isn’t everything. I know my heart and love and compassion matter more. I know all that, and yet it still bothers me that I went from my high school size pre-pregnancy to not even being able to fit into my “fat clothes” now, six months later.
I heard about Stitch Fix and thought it might help my self view a little bit to have some nicer things to put on this amazingly capable, mama strong body. I decided to join Stitch Fix because I never have time to shop for myself. I’m only just now leaving the baby with her dada for any length of time. Stitch Fix is an on line stylist/personal shopper. You fill out a detailed profile for yourself, noting what styles you like and any details you think would be pertinent, such as needing access to be able to breast feed, or a preference for no holey pants.
I also like that it’s completely free to join and there is no commitment. I signed up to just try one fix, although you can do it monthly if you want to. There is a $20 styling fee that you only have to pay if you don’t keep anything from your order. If you keep all five of the items they send, you get a 25% discount. Since I’m almost exclusively a Goodwill shopper, the prices are definitely high for me. I hardly have anything in my closet I bought new.
I got my first Fix on Tuesday, unfortunately when I was sick in bed and couldn’t even bring myself to open the box. I tried on the items yesterday and decided to keep all five because the discount was equivalent to getting one of the shirts free. One interesting thing about my Fix was that I wouldn’t have even tried on most of these items if I were in the store and saw them on the rack.
This is a navy asymmetrical cardigan and infinity scarf. The cardigan makes me appear to have a waist 🙂 and the pop of pink in the scarf matches almost everything in my closet and keeps me warm.
This is a grey crochet inset shirt. The fabric is “nicer” than what I usually wear (nearly always tee shirt fabric). The cut isn’t super flattering but I really like the details and the fancy feel of the fabric.
This is a charcoal extraordinarily soft tee shirt. Business up front, party in the back! It’s perfect for accessorizing with something, perhaps a bold necklace or a scarf.
I wasn’t too keen on a tank top in my December Fix, but I thought maybe I could wear it under a jacket or cardigan and I would be warm enough. My sister-in-law does this all the time, so maybe it will work for me too. Nevertheless, I can wear it in the summer because I love the scalloped hem, the gathering at the yoke, and the button detail in the back.
If Stitch Fix is something you would like to try, I’d love it if you used my referral link!
We have been making birth affirmations the past few days.the first day we made water color paintings with my mom, Rose Hains, and Lydia Hains.
then that night I wrote calligraphy on them.what?!?!?!?!?!?!? You say that’s NOT calligraphy?!?!? Ok fine. it’s not ACTUAL calligraphy, but My brain is Too tired to do ACTUAL calligraphy at the end of the day. Then that morning Brielle made them into banners.don’t you like the pattern? The thing is that we ran out of the white ribbon, THEN we ran out of the pink ribbon.
We still have more to do. last night Brielle wanted to do more, but I said no.
I have a new business page! www.farmfreshbirth.com
I recently got certified as a Birth Boot Camp childbirth educator. I am thrilled about this new endeavor. Share this information with anyone you know who is expecting this winter.
Birth Boot Camp will help you prepare for the event of a lifetime! The sign up is located here.