Tag Archives: baby

Words Fail

Words Fail

I am
A writer
A singer
A poet
A songwriter

Words are my medium
Words are my turf
Words are my home

But when I became
Your Mother

Words could not express
How much I love you

I cannot bend them
Shape them
Assemble them
Speak
Write
Or Sing them
In a way that expresses
How much I love you

I embraced you
With my whole body
For nine months

I will embrace you
In my heart
Forever.

Love Always,
Your Mom

Choosing to Soften

Nap Trapped Thoughts: For my baby shower, friends and family wrote me advice and well wishes on cards. My sis-in-law wrote that our children challenge us, and we can choose to harden or soften towards them. She urged me to soften. That advice sang to my heart. Of course!

But at almost 7 months now, my baby IS really starting to challenge me at times. She is wonderful. I love her more than words can express. She delights me more than I could ever have imagined.

And she pinches, scratches, and smacks me a LOT while breastfeeding. I have hypersensitive skin and my eczema has been flaring lately. It’s hard enough to not scratch myself, and when her razor sharp little nails rake my skin, it’s kind of like chalk on a blackboard. Not exactly painful, but very VERY irritating.

Ain’t gonna lie. I’ve been tempted to harden. Bat the little claws away. Speak harshly. Swear under my breath. Even though I know it is ME who has not been keeping her nails short enough. But I consider it a good practice to soften instead. Instead of batting the little hands away after wards, I practice prevention: bring her hand up for kisses BEFORE she scratches or grabs. And zerberts. The zerberts get me a sly smile while she’s preoccupied with the task of nursing.

This current potential conflict reminded me of what I heard Shelly Lefkoe* say, that a good question parents can ask themselves in the heat of the moment is, “What are the long-term consequences to my child of me getting what I want right now?” Anytime there is a conflict with my child, I am the adult in the situation, and I am the one with the responsibility to take action that serves both our interests.

I don’t succeed every time in my practice of patience, tolerance, and love. But I will do my best to choose to soften.

Keep Shining,
Julie

* I can’t find a source for this quote at the moment, but Lefkoe and her late husband discuss their ideas on parenting in this article.

PS – Just trimmed and filed her nails as she slept. Phew!

Non-Violent Communication: Lesson for Business

I’m on maternity leave and massively in debt thanks to my PhD. I also love Mother Earth. And I have a baby, so of course care about her health and about the planet she will inherit.

And I needed a mop.

Something that wouldn’t just push dirty water around. The cleanliness of my floor had suddenly become more important since my baby spends so much time on it!

In fact, having a baby brought housework into the foreground. I now have more to clean, and less time to clean. Being sanitary is more important, but without using toxic cleaning products.

A friend invited me to her Norwex party, and there, along with other Cool Things, was a mop that sounded too good to be true! It cleans without any floor cleaner. Just water. Thanks to the microfiber it is made of.

I consider myself to be a very conscientious shopper. I know that every dollar I spend on something tells its manufacturer, “Yes! I like that! Do it again.” For obvious reasons, this means I don’t buy plastic toxic crap made in sweatshops.

So I fired a bunch of tough questions at the Norwex Independent Consultant running the party, and was impressed by her good work in getting answers. One thing lead to another, and suddenly… I became a Norwex Independent Consultant, too!

After the initial mop and Enviro Cloth euphoria (“I can clean anything with Norwex microfiber and plain water! I am UNSTOPPABLE!!”), it dawned on me I had my own small eco-business. And that I had to Do Stuff to make sales. The products are excellent. But no one will buy any of they don’t know about them.

To encourage performance, Norwex clearly subscribes to dangling tantalizing carrots instead of using a stick. It works. I did not have to hit my first sales target, but I really really wanted to. Because then I would get free products which I either use myself or can offer to customers, which helps build my business.

But with a baby and a late start, I did not set myself up for success. There was not enough lead time before my launch party. Both the in-person and online versions flopped. Following up was slowly working, but it was now noon of the day my orders were due, and I was not even close.

A delightful and gregarious friend had been away during my launch party, and had just gotten home. She cares about me, loves Mother Earth, so I figured she would love the Norwex gear and be keen to buy some and host a party. Voila! Problem solved.

I kept working my other leads, but really I just wanted to meet up with her.

But she was busy, and I felt the clock ticking. My partner was out, and my baby not terribly cooperative about Mommy’s business.

Finally we met at 7:30pm. And she was not interested. At. All.

It was rather awkward and icky for a few moments as we navigated the fact I’d had an expectation of her that she was not willing to meet.

We were both honest about it. And I took a deep breath and reminded myself about my (albeit brief) training in non-violent communication (NVC).

Besides healthier and more compassionate communication, the gift of NVC is the shift in perspective. One of the premises of NVC is that the purpose of communication is to meet our needs. A source of conflict is when it seems our needs are not being met. A “no,” seems far worse about something I really need, versus something not that important to me.

But the truth is there are usually multiple ways to have our needs met. Suffering comes from thinking only this specific person, or that specific action, will meet our need. When I have an expectation of a specific person, for example, then I’m disappointed if they refuse to meet my need. And they may feel bad, too. But meanwhile, someone else may have been thrilled to meet my need.

And that is exactly what happened that night. In the afternoon, I had flung out a last minute Hail Mary post on FB. Basically, just being honest about what I was trying to achieve with my business that day, and that I would really appreciate it if my friends would check out my website and consider placing an order with me.

And as I talked with my uninterested friend about non-Norwex subjects, other friends were placing orders online.

In the end, I surpassed my goal. And had a lovely visit with my friend, who delighted my baby and regaled me with her adventures while away.

I’m sharing this because I think it’s valuable to remember when we get stressed out and are not thinking clearly that there really are multiple ways our needs can be met.

This is freedom. To ask for what we need, and be delighted by a “yes,” and to know that a “no,” just means a different way or person will say “yes.”

And then we can enjoy the gift of each other’s presence without expectation or disappointment.

AND be UNSTOPPABLE!!

Keep Shining,
Julie