Posts Tagged ‘mothering’

All Those Lonely Men

December 15, 2017

lonely man

 

“This is for all the lonely people.”
I saw an elderly woman in a waiting room the other day. She was having a great time chatting everyone up. At first, people were giving her the side-eye, wondering if she was normal or a bit crazy, talking to all those strangers as if she were there friend.
Soon, though, one person began to warm up to her and responded, and they started talking. Others looked curious.
After a while, everyone was smiling and relaxing more in their chairs.
The scenario struck me as familiar in how I tend to move through the world, fortunate to have been raised by a mother who treated everyone as if they were her children. She was outgoing and friendly, and really didn’t think anything of talking to people around her. With that role model ( and often included in the conversations as a child) I find that I am the same way.


During this holiday season, it saddens me to think of so many who have no one to celebrate with, or who are experiencing such deep loss or suffering that the celebrations around them only seem to compound the loneliness.


I heard yesterday from Dr. Christiane Northrup who was doing a video, that men are 4% more likely to commit suicide, and 50% of men do not have a single close friend to talk to (from the Mask of Masculinity by Louis Howes).

It was quite shocking to me, that number.  I began to think about how much easier it seems for many women to create community around themselves, with that gatherer mentality. So I’m wanting to encourage men to reach out if they’re feeling isolated.
I have the honor of men writing to me, in my line of work, who are sincerely expressing their feelings and transparently tell me of their struggles. I feel especially humbled that they courageously risk and reach out, in a culture that does not encourage emotional transparency in males.
I opened my work to men recently, because although women’s empowerment has been my focus, I now realize that my original purpose of healing the feminine does not preclude men, but includes the feminine in all of us.
This morning, I’m thinking about how all of us, men and women, can stretch a little further into reaching out with caring and sensitivity to others during the holidays.
After all, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Would love to hear from you in the comments.  What are some ways that you reach out or don’t reach out, and

~ Goddess Oceana

www.GoddessOceana.com

https://www.facebook.com/GoddessOceana/

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Parenting from the Heart

July 1, 2012

I had a rather exceptional pair of parents who had already raised three other children, and they just didn’t punish me.  They allowed me to be who I was, and supported my interests, loved me big, and stayed out of my business unless I asked for help.  Who knows, maybe they were just too old and tired to deal, but somehow it worked to my benefit in some amazing ways.

I find I’m similar in my parenting style.  I’m easy going when it comes to allowing my son to pursue his interests, even if those interests aren’t what I had in mind for him.  This has required some willpower and ego wrestling on my part, but I’m pretty good at it now.  We both come up with interesting questions and we find new answers together.  I rarely ever tell him to do something simply because I said so and I’m the boss, and if I do it’s because I’m personally overwhelmed or stressed, so apologies follow.  Reasons for my requests that seem impractical to him in the moment are discussed, and if he comes up with a better way, we try it out.

In witnessing my internal process about whether I’m doing a good enough job as a mother, I’ve noticed this hidden voice emerging that tells me I’m falling behind, not good enough, that because of me my child won’t be a well-rounded and independent adult.  I’m realizing that the ensuing worry is such a waste of energy, now that I can see myself  doing it.  So instead, I’ve started handing my son’s well being over to his Higher Power and affirming clear guidance in supporting him, and for wonderful outcomes for his highest good.

Last night I received some great confirmation that it’s working.  Usually, because there’s only the three of us entrepreneurial spirits, we rarely eat at the kitchen table for meals.  If we’re home together, we sit on the couch and watch a show together.  I desired more face time with hubby and son, so I requested we turn off the tv and just eat together, expecting my son to be upset and sulk over missing a favorite show.  Surprisingly, he ran over and promptly shut off the tv while exclaiming, “Oh good!!!”.  We proceeded to have a great time catching up on his interests and enjoying our meal.  What I realized is that my lack of authoritarian parenting has actually produced a child who genuinely appreciates the time we spend together, and that he’s not only all right, he’s awesome.

Goddess Oceana

www.GoddessOceana.com

http://www.theparentszone.com/

http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/

http://motherhoodlater.com/our-blog/

http://www.childperspective.com/

Motherly Advice: A New Child-Rearing Manual

June 19, 2012

I’ve heard it and I’m over it.  I’ve heard every old belief, every story, and every ‘rule’ about child rearing possible and most of them don’t apply to my child.  Is it possible that they don’t apply to anyone other than the ego of the person that is touting the advice?  It may be.

When I had my son I was open to all manner of advice, and unfortunately I tried it all, but to no avail whatsoever.  You see, my son was unique in that he was born as himself, infinitely individual, unlike any other model ever made and only similar in that he was one of a species called human.  No two are the same.  Let’s start there, shall we?  A rational, totally left brained approach would have us believe that if it works for one, it works for all.

What are the things they tell you to do with babies?  Put them in a crib to sleep, they say, and swaddle them, let them scream it out.  You should take them for a ride in a car to get them to nap, but don’t ever let them sleep in your bed because they will never, ever fall asleep again by themselves for the rest of their natural lives.  Yes, someone said that to me.  There are plenty more where those came from, but I don’t feel like digging into that slime pit at the moment.

Our child would only sleep with me or my husband, screamed louder if we swaddled him, screamed as if on fire at the sight of a car, and made our ears bleed with the decibels inside a car from the sheer terror of the movement.  I have a memory regretfully branded into my brain of when I tried putting him in a crib.  He screamed at naptime daily until he vomited and shit himself for three days straight, and then was wary of me, his own mother, for two weeks afterwards.  (I was following the directions in the book which told me not to rescue him under any circumstances, while I sobbed silently outside the door, curled up in a ball on the floor.)  Both of us sweating and shaking, I finally came to my senses and realized cribs were not for us.

You see, he was too smart for Dr. Ferber who invented “ferberizing”, but I didn’t know this yet.  I allowed Dr. Ferber to alienate me from my own infant.  I just read last week that the other famous doctor whose advice I tried to follow like a good mommy, Dr. Sears, left a tidbit of crucially important information out of his books and has recently added the information.  Thank you, Dr. Sears, we are still suffering the repercussions of your neglect, 12 years later.

Do I carry a little bit of self righteousness about this topic?  You bet I do.  I feel that I have run alongside the best of them, and any one of us who’s had a child who doesn’t fit into the regular mold (as if there is one) and has been patronized, ridiculed, judged, advised, and bullied until she builds an armor like that of a Roman soldier,  I have earned stripes so deep that I’m loathe to explain anything to anyone anymore.

One thing I will tell you is that I have some wisdom to share.  My wisdom doesn’t include telling you what to do with your baby, or how to be a good mother.  My wisdom doesn’t give you some pat answer that’s going to fix everything.  My wisdom is about trusting your own wisdom, because every single mother is a unique being and every child is a new creation.  There’s never been one like her and never will be again.  You do get a manual, but you have to listen in the quiet for the information.  You have to listen to your heart and your gut, and you have to be able to withstand the onslaught of everyone else’s opinions and then not waver in your truth.

If I’ve come away with anything from the gift of motherhood, it’s the realization that I have to trust myself above all others, and that I have my beautiful, bright, highly intelligent, uniquely perfect son to thank for it, not Dr. Know It All.


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