Monthly Archives: November 2014

My Story at Made to Mother

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On this Thanksgiving Day, I have an abundance of things to be grateful for! I am blessed to have family and friends, my husband and children, my church family, good schools for my children to attend, a home, health, and infinitely more. I thank my Heavenly Father for these, and, most importantly, for the promise of salvation and an eternal home with Him.

Some, however, are sad or sick today – physically, emotionally, or spiritually weak or broken. As I offer thanks to God today, I will pray also for those less fortunate than I.

Now, for future reference…

Today is a day of celebration, but there are those times throughout the year when there seems to be no reason to be festive. So, for those days, here is a link to a very cool site. Check it out if you need a little lift or a reason to do something special. It’s a very comprehensive list of all the monthly and daily holidays and observances:

http://www.brownielocks.com/

This month is National Adoption Month, and fellow blogger, Wynter Kaiser, has featured adoption stories throughout the month. She graciously shared mine yesterday, and I would love you to take a peek at my story and at Wynter’s site:

http://madetomother.com/2014/11/26/national-adoption-month-series-hallys-story/

By the way, who doesn’t think her name is cool? Cool name, but be assured her writing is in no way cold. She writes with great warmth and wisdom, and I think you’ll enjoy what she has to share.

Be Blessed!

Hally

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NMF: An Acronym for Moms

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Like everything else in our culture, communication must move quickly. Language has to be efficient. In writing, long descriptive passages of prose like those found in classic pieces of literature have been replaced by rapid-fire dialogue and concise, but action-packed paragraphs. Less is more.

In our workplaces, there are acronyms designed to speed discussions between industry professionals. In education, there are IEP’s (Individualized Education Programs/Plans) and MAP (Missouri Assessment Program) tests, STEM courses (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and ACT (American College Test) preparation classes. In every field, there are communication short-cuts.

Our youth have created countless acronyms and codes for use in texting (TTYL, LOL, CUL, and so on and so on), and well…

It’s time for us moms to have our own short-and-sweet, direct and clear, three-letter message for use in parenting.

NMF is one I propose. NMF means “NOT MY FAULT” and is to be used in those situation when children, and this most often applies to those falling in the 13-18 age range, attempt to blame their unfortunate situations or circumstances on Mom. Dads may use NMF as well, but we mothers tend to have much greater need for it. That’s just how it seems to work.

Let me provide a few examples:

 

Problem: Child does not have clarinet when dropped off at school in the morning.

Child’s Response: “I don’t have it because you (Mom) unloaded it from the car last night.”

Mom: “I thought you might consider practicing it.”

Problem: Seventeen-year-old driver says he is late to school.

Child’s Response: “You (Mom) did not wake me up on time.”

Mom: “When I noticed your alarm failed to rouse you, I called you and was acknowledged.” 

Problem: Teen did not get his homework done for Thursday.

Child’s Response: “You (Mom) made me go to Wednesday night church.”

Mom: “That is the general practice in our home; perhaps you need to plan better.”

 Problem: Daughter feels sick during cheer because she fails to eat before going.

Child’s Response: “You (Mom) did not feed me.”

Mom: “I stopped feeding you when you learned to use a spoon.”

 

Just for the record, NMF finds many applications when it comes to food issues, because rarely do we moms have what’s desired in the household.

My children are not exceptional; they are normal kids, and this behavior is typical of normal kids. Good, smart, talented, kind, sensitive kids will try to place blame on mom if they can get away with it; they will try to push it our way if we allow it. So, we have to push responsibility right back on to their accountability-resisting bottoms.

There is a thing called “locus of control.” It has to do with the degree to which individuals believe they have control over their own lives and the events that impact them.

If a person has an internal locus of control, he feels empowered to make his own success. He will believe he is fully capable of making a successful (or dismal) future by the choices he makes and the actions he takes in life.

Conversely, if a person possesses an external locus of control, she is likely to feel her successes and failures are due to other people and outside events, rather than of her own making. She may feel she is a victim of things that happen to her as opposed to an agent of change in her own life.

Though we want our children to think about others and not merely themselves, we also want them to have an internal locus of control. We want them to consider the feelings of those around them, and we want them to recognize that they have the power to make things better for themselves and others in the world. That is the combination of caring and accountability, consideration and responsibility.

Moms find enough things to feel guilty about, so we simply can’t take on any extra silly stuff. Next time your youngin’s try to put the blame on you for something that is all theirs, keep in mind some Lonestar-like lyrics:

             Tweet a message, text a note, sew a label in his coat,

            Write a letter, spell it out, say it clear so there’s no doubt.

            Draw a picture, make a sign, use the language for the blind,

            Send a Snapchat, make a call, get your point out most of all.

 I’ll accept no bad excuse, N-M-F.

In light-hearted country music songs, excuses may be preferred, but not in parenting. We can’t allow our kids to make excuses on the little things, because they will learn to do that on the big things in life as well.

Next Monday, I’ll talk about the line between accountability and advocacy – the fine art of knowing that though kids need to be held accountable, there may be times when they also need an advocate.

Here is the link to Lonestar’s hit song, which is way better than my “Weird Hally” version:

http://www.metrolyrics.com/no-news-lyrics-lonestar.html     (lyrics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcxA4w3KKLE           (video)

Happy Monday!

Hally

The Beauty of Balance

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She’s found a cube, a rectangle, an orb, and a cylinder, but we are still hunting down a pyramid for her art project. Last night my daughter was gathering a variety of shapes for an art assignment. The class is studying art concepts, including balance. Shout-out to the teacher for this particular project, which goes deeper than most in assessing understanding.

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If you know me personally or have read past posts in which I talk about technology, you know that I am a “reluctant reader” when it comes to the world of technology. I don’t easily embrace the multitude of gadgetry and social media options available and seemingly required of us today.

I am not an inflexible, unintelligent, unenlightened, or old-fashioned person. What I am is someone who struggles with balance. My natural all-or-nothing, extremist personality makes “dabbling” in anything a challenge. While I don’t officially claim a diagnosis, the OCD tendencies are there.

When I read blogs on writing or blogs of friend-writers I have, I may spend my entire available hours doing that rather than writing myself. And, I’ve spent several hours on FB one week and completely steered clear the next.

I see that with our children. I have one very social child who has a hard time with a device in her hand. She wants to use every application she can to “connect” with friends. She is currently phoneless.

My son, on the other hand, has ADD. So doing homework with a buzzing, lighting-up, time- and attention-sucking phone in his presence is a disaster; however, I doubt it works well for any of our kids.

Yet who among us can deny the benefits of technology in our lives? Quick access to information in a classroom, directions when lost in a large city, the ability to instantaneously reach loved ones and help in an emergency, as well as a multitude of other advantages I’ve yet to discover. But, our challenge with anything good in our lives is to learn to achieve and maintain BALANCE.

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The conductor of the train from Durango to Silverton knows all about balance. It’s critical that he keep his train on course and stable. For visitors to Colorado, this is an awesome time. We were in Pagosa Springs, but took a day trip to Durango.

http://www.durangotrain.com/

http://www.durangosilvertonrailroad.com/

 

 

My challenges, and perhaps yours, have to do with BALANCE. Balance is a beautiful thing, in art and in life. Finding that happy     place, that sweet spot where work meets play, solitude matches socialization, mental output connects with physical exertion – well, that’s got an awful lot to do with finding contentment. And, it is a struggle for me and for most of us. We need to find it for ourselves and teach it to our children.

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Frank Lloyd Wright knew the beauty of balance with regard to nature and architecture, though perhaps not so much in life. His Falling Water home is amazing, perched splendidly over the water with water actually running through the home. It’s definitely worth a stop if you visit Pennsylvania.

 http://www.fallingwater.org/

 

I’ve learned that, as an introvert, I become more creative when I disconnect from people in person and in the virtual world for a time. I need quiet to allow my mind to wander and re-energize. I know that yoga is good stuff and too much sugar is not. My to-do list will overwhelm me if it is too long and allow me to be lazy if there’s nothing on it. I know prayer and time with my church family help me stay on track. Knowing those things, though, does not always equate to balance. I must still put these things into practice daily, or at least regularly.

What have you learned about balance? How do you achieve it? Share your thoughts with us.

And…

Have a Blessed Wednesday!

Hally