Blissfully Informed Hippie Chick

Encouraging people to think critically about everything.

Back Talkin’

So true! A good reminder.

Nurturing Insanity

Back-talk-me-One-more-time--IEver feel like this (without the fist lol)? I mean, my kids can really get their “smart mouths” going, that’s for sure but ya know what? I am pretty sure there are times when I have brought it out in them.

I learned years ago that the more angry I sound with them or the more snappy I get, the more they do the same and I decided, well, that it is understandable! As adults, when someone gets snappy with you, don’t you naturally feel a quick defensive snappy retort build up inside you and maybe you even let it out. We can’t expect children do keep know how to keep their tempers in check if we can’t do the same.  I am terribly guilty of being over-tired or “over it” and not give my children the respect they deserve at times. Usually I am good at recognizing it when…

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Food: What You Eat is Important!

Normally, my arthritis is horrible when it gets cold. I realized the other day that I haven’t had ANY major joint pain so far since it’s been cold. The only thing I’ve done differently is my diet. I buy mostly organic food. Non-GMO. No preservatives. No artificial colors or flavors. No hormones, nitrates, antibiotics. I don’t eat dairy, only small amounts of organic soy, no wheat. I limit other grains (corn, rice, etc). I also limit beans. We eat mainly meat, veggies, fruit, and nuts. Healthy oils, limited sugar (and usually organic cane sugar).

Now, yes, sometimes I can’t find the best meat. Occasionally, we go to people’s houses and eat other things (except I still don’t eat dairy, soy, and wheat, since it bothers my breastfed baby). But when we eat too much, I can tell! The kids act differently, we feel bad, we get sick more often. This is how I know this way of eating really is the best. I’m sure we’d feel even better if we were eating all veggies, fruits, grains, and beans from a garden. And eating all meat raised on our own farm. People aren’t meant to eat processed foods. We aren’t meant to eat chemicals.

I believe that nearly all chronic illnesses could be “cured” by diet alone. This includes “behavior” problems, sleeping issues, and even mental health troubles. If you suffer from health problems, isn’t it worth a shot?

And yes, it’s affordable! When you aren’t buying anything that isn’t real, organic food, you can absolutely afford to buy all the real food you need! I’m a breastfeeding mama and can feed my 10 year old, 8 year old, and 16 mo old, plus my husband, all on about $650/mo in one of the more expensive states, California.

If you would like to know more, please, feel free to ask! I would love to answer your questions. =)

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Savor the Moments

Such a good reminder!

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A New Day

Let’s face it, we all do and say things we regret. As a parent, this happens more often than I’d like to admit. I yell at my kids. I treat them with disrespect. I am short-tempered with them. I’m unempathetic. I’m selfish. I’m impatient. But today is a new day. Let me repeat that…today is a new day! That is a beautiful phrase to me, as a parent who is trying to reform from my former authoritarian ways to a more peaceful, gentle ideal. I may have reverted back to my old self yesterday, after much stress and exhaustion, but that doesn’t have to dictate what I do and say today. Every time I choose to do things differently today, I’m writing a new past for my children. One that isn’t filled with hurt, anger, and frustration. I’m giving them memories of love, caring, and understanding. And maybe, just maybe, I can give them more happy memories than sad ones. What’s more, I can show them that it is possible to be the person you want to be if you don’t give up trying. It’s possible to rewrite your destiny. We are not slaves to our circumstances. We have the choice every day, every hour, every minute, to be the person we want to be. No change is too big or too small. So carpe diem; seize the day!

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Huge Reality Check

I’m just going to come out and say it, we are disengaged from our children. You know why our kids have so many behavioral “flaws”? Why they are late, moody, whiny, forgetful, and act way better for grandma? It’s because we always have these damn phones in front of our faces! Admit it! You have your phone in your hand, a screen in front of your face, or are busy doing something 95% of the day. Don’t feel bad about it, because I admit it. I’m on my phone doing something or other pretty much ALL day. And it’s distracting my whole self away from my kids, the ones I say are my whole life. And while we’re at it, it’s distracting my whole self away from my husband, the one I claim is my best friend.

This afternoon, I put my phone down. I paid attention to my kids, every little detail. I heard every word, saw every tiny action. I talked to them, answered every question, made suggestions based on things I saw happening. And guess what? No tantrums. No whining. No toddler getting into stuff. No baby fussing. What’s more, they were happy, and even compassionate. And I was happy, too. I was relaxed, patient. I told stories from my past, stories about my husband. I taught them things, like talking about Pearl Harbor. And they listened, willingly, to every word. And guess what? Natalie, the toddler, went to bed and sleep with no fight, no fuss whatsoever. And the older girls aren’t talking loudly amongst themselves. They aren’t arguing, playing, nothing. They’re laying in bed, quietly, going to sleep.

What’s more, I learned a lot about my kids. I learned why Meghan is usually whiny. It’s because she feels unheard. I learned that Natalie gets into stuff because she’s bored and wants attention. I learned that Elizabeth says really awesome stuff when she talks under her breath. She just lacks the confidence to say it more loudly. But when I pay close attention and realized what she was saying and laughed at her jokes or agreed with her, she lit up like I don’t remember ever happening before.

As sad as I feel about not realizing this sooner, I am grateful I figured it out before it was too late. Before I had teenagers who don’t talk to me. Before I had a couple little kids running around actng like they had ADHD or were just “brats”. I honestly think that all the “problems” we think our kids have are actually stemming from lack of involvement on the part of parents. And it’s only getting worse. Every time we choose something over spending quality time with our kids, we are telling them they aren’t important. We are telling them we aren’t listening, we don’t care. Not only that, but we are expecting them to obey without knowing why. We are expecting them to be on time without teaching them how to keep track of time. We are expecting them to know how to play nicely with each other without showing them how to interact. We are ignoring them, and it’s messing up an entire generation.

I can see now. I can see how, as technology has become more present in our lives, it has taken more and more from us. It happened slowly enough, and excitingly enough, that we didn’t realize. We didn’t see what was happening. I think the older generation has seen. I think that’s why they’ve resisted it so strongly.

I think I will end up having to continue this post another day. I’ve decided I need to go to bed earlier. I need to remove myself from technology as much as possible, even when the kids aren’t needing me. Because I can’t be fully present for them when I’m cranky and overtired. I plan to seriously cut back on my phone/Internet usage, starting today. And I believe I will be happier for it. I believe my kids will be better off because of my realizations I have had. And I hope that my story touches someone else. Someone struggling with parenthood. Someone who is ready to hear the harsh truth and join me in backing away from technology. It’s for you that I’m writing this now. And it’s for you that I continue to write.

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How Do You Do It?

I get asked this question so often. The simple answer is “I just do!” My husband and I didn’t exactly plan the age differences between our kids. We wanted 3 years between the first 2. They are almost exactly 2 years apart. We wanted 2-3 years between the 2nd and 3rd kids, and they are 7 years apart! I’m not sure what our plan was for the 4th, but it definitely wasn’t less than a year after the 3rd! lol For some reason, the universe decided to bless us with these 4 wonderful children born at unplanned times. I adore each and every one of them, and I am delighted to be their mother.

That said, yes, it’s tough! What little sanity I had before has completely abandoned me. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since my 3rd baby was born. I live off coffee and adrenaline. Sometimes, like the last few weeks (moving,  holidays, falling down the stairs), I feel I’m barely surviving. Here are some things I have learned in my years of motherhood:

– Laugh. Often. Otherwise, you will cry a lot. My mother always told me not to cry over spilled milk. What she didn’t tell me was that you might as well laugh before cleaning it up. You’ll feel a whole lot better if you do!

– Embrace the crazy. One day, your children will be grown and gone. Believe it or not, you’ll miss the constant noise from talking, playing, and arguing. You’ll miss finding toy frogs in the towel drawer and towels on the floor. You’ll miss searching for the pacifier. You’ll miss having a toddler around to rearrange the decorations on the Christmas tree. You’ll miss seeing their smiling faces at the crack of dawn. So embrace it, enjoy it, tuck each memory away for the day the last child moves away.

– Hold your kids. I know it sucks to have a baby who wants to be held constantly. You just would like to pee alone, and take your time eating a meal while actually sitting at the table. It would be nice to shower for longer than 2 minutes or at least wear clean clothes every now and then. But sooner than you realize, that clingy baby will be an independent toddler, and you will honestly feel sad that you don’t get to rock them to sleep several times a day anymore.

– Don’t forget to play. Be silly. Make your kids laugh. Build with blocks. Go down the slide. Run! Don’t grow up, it’s a trap.  😉

– Notice the little things. Stop to see the little bug your son discovered. Take time to watch it and imagine being that small. Watch the clouds go by. Find the dragon your daughter sees. Watch the leaves falling from the tree. Rake them up, then jump in them! Rediscover the joys of a bouncy ball. Play hopscotch. Sit and stare at the Christmas lights.

– Let it go! I know that’s so overstated right about now, but it’s true. Stop worrying so much. When your kid discovers something new to play with or do, ask yourself,  “will it make them bleed? Will they break a bone?” If the answer is “probably not”, then go for it! Yes, they are going to fall. Yes, they will hit their heads. They will get bruises and scrapes, and they will cry. Your job is to be ready with band aids and kisses. But please, by all means, let them play!

Yes, there are a lot more things I could add. I could talk about chores, cooking, sleeping. But all those things are going to be different for each family, each child. You have to figure those out by trial and error, by what works best right now. And it will constantly change and adapt to your family as the years pass. Most importantly, wake up every morning determined to be happy, no matter what. And you will.  =)

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