Tag Archives: letting go

LISTEN: Check out our interview with the ladies at “One Bad Mother”!

onebadmotherlogoHey Mamas!

We are so excited to share this week’s episode of our fav podcast “One Bad Mother”, which includes an interview with….you guessed it – the two of us!

Listen to the podcast here

We had a great time chatting with the lovely OBM ladies, and both came away with our heads buzzing with more ideas for Raise a Mother. Stay tuned!

We’d love to know what you thought of the conversation – add a comment or send us an email to share your ideas!

 

6 Things My Husband Taught Me About Mat Leave

There’s a lot of bad stereotypes about men caring for children. The Bumbling Dad is its own pop culture trope, and a quick image search for “when dad is left alone with kids” finds:

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The caregiving bar is set pretty low for dads. They’re expected by society at large to be lazy, reckless, selfish, and to just generally not take the job seriously. With our first child, my husband and I shared parental leave. And on the surface, it might have looked like he fulfilled some of those stereotypes:

  • Frequently left lunch dishes on the table until they had to be cleared away to make room for our dinner? Check.
  • Enjoy whole days where nary a chore or task seemed to cross his mind? Check
  • Take more naps than I did when I was on leave? Check.
  • Feed our son more fries and Goldfish crackers than I would have been okay with? Check.
  • Take silly, sometimes scary photos/videos to show me at the end of a workday (like the time his friend captured a shot of my 10-month old being thrown so high in the air that Dad’s hands were entirely absent from the picture)? Check.

Yet, despite these things, I’m trying to take more of a ‘paternity’ leave myself with baby #2.  Because more important than any of those tangible differences are the bigger picture, truly invaluable things I learned from watching my husband on parental leave:

Continue reading

Flow & Resistance

I’ve learned many valuable things about parenting from my own mother. She’s given me tips and tricks for dealing with things like whining/arguments (ie. the ones she used on Shannon and I as children), as well as bigger-picture principles and approaches to motherhood in general. One of the simplest and yet most influential things I’ve learned is the mantra that she says informed all of her parenting:

“Say yes when I can, and no when I have to.”

When she gave me a no, I rarely made a stink about it, because I knew she would have said yes if she felt she could. I fully intend on using this approach with my own kids.

This little mantra has got me thinking about something else, though – not my interactions with my kids, but with my partner, as well as my general approach to life inside our house. While I don’t find myself saying no a lot, I do find myself resisting things, or intervening when it’s not really necessary. This resistance or intervention seems to be my default setting, and it doesn’t feel good. Continue reading

Mom Things I Learn During Yoga #2

Recently, my husband and I were at partner prenatal yoga. The last class of each eight-week session is always offered as a partner class, which is just one of things I love about the yoga through Rebirth Wellness Centre here in my hometown of London, ON.

In this particular class, the teacher was directing the partners to massage the pregnant yogis as we lay in relaxation pose with our eyes closed. We had been having a pretty standard yoga class experience – calm, focused, quiet. And then my husband decided to mess with the calm: when the teacher encouraged the massagers to touch their pregnant partners in “the way that feels good,” my husband stuck his hand down my shirt, and nudged his other thumb into my mouth, just for a second. I couldn’t help cracking a smile, and had to do my best not to laugh so as not to disrupt the other participants.

In that moment, he had broken the yoga code, since we were supposed to be all zen and focused. Often, this might have irritated me, as I really like to maintain the calm and quiet of yoga, the soft, introspective nature of the practice. But somehow, it didn’t bother me. And for the rest of the class we kept being a little bit silly: silently high-fiving when balancing in partner tree pose, grinning with mock-risk that we might fall over when sinking down into a partner squat.

My husband reminded me in that class that it’s important not to take things too seriously, and that even if I usually like something one way – a calm, focused yoga class, for instance – allowing myself to enjoy a shared experience of that same activity in a different light is not only okay, it just might even be better sometimes.

As a parent, this applies to lots of activities, especially with a toddler. While my impulse might be to try to introduce my kids to life experiences in the way that I have always enjoyed them – dancing to a certain kind of music, noticing certain things on a walk in the woods, or tackling a household chore with a certain focus/drive – it’s also important to sometimes let them take the lead. Because trying those same experiences with them the way they want to feel them, and the way they want to learn, might open up a new experience for me, too.

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