Category Archives: Parenting

“P” is for Moms are Pack Leaders

"P" is for Moms are PACK Leaders

 If you are a mom, you are the leader of your pack.

Once we become a mom, we instantly (and instinctively) become a light to someone’s path. We become the leader of our Pack. Our decisions from that moment on are no longer about our previous existence. They are about our future and our Littles future. It becomes about survival and safety and nurturing and motherhood and strength and we suddenly realize that all of those responsibilities lie in our own hands.

From day one we start showering them with love. We hear and answer their cries, even crying with them at times. I once cut my newborns thumb instead of his thumb nail and we both wailed together until his dad came home. A month ago, I had to crank my daughter’s jaw expander for the first time while she laid there mouth wide-open knowing how much it was going to hurt. They hurt = we hurt. Our love is endless and unconditional, meaning that we never want them to hurt. As they walk with us, we want to show them not only how to survive, but how to thrive.

They have our love and our respect. We let them know that we are there when they need us. We allow them to make their own choices, like picking out their own juice box flavor at the grocery store or by asking them to pick out a head of cauliflower. We let them know that their thoughts count, their decisions are smart, their school work is worthy and their talents are impressive. We show them again and again that they matter, they matter, they matter.

We teach them to respect us. We are the leader of the pack. Think ducklings, wolf pups and cats. We are momma’s that put our Littles in place when they literally get out of line. We do it to teach them. We do it for their safety. So that weeks and months and years into the future, they will still be safe and still be making wise choices. Our Littles need a strong leader who won’t falter when they do.

Many of us don’t spank our kids, but mommahood still requires a firm hand. When we put them in a time out, we aren’t protecting them from their bad decision today, we are protecting them from their bad decisions in 8, 10, and 12 years, and when they make the big mistakes, when they hurt our feelings, when they do wrong, we become more unearthed with a stronger desire to help them through it, to help them fix it and to help them right it. We want to tell them that’s not who they are, that they’re better than that, and we point them back in the right direction. Our love adheres to their little souls like glue.

My son had a little friend years ago when he was about four. His friend was into everything, while my son knew his friends' choices weren’t the same as his own. He’d watch his little friend get into trouble again and again. He’d watch the mom’s response to see what she would do. The mom would make lots of noise but no action followed, so the boy would always go past the boundaries. After weeks of playdates, my son decided that his friend was having more fun than he was so he started to act out with him. At the playground one day, the little boy ran up to the exit gate, smiling and watching his mom’s reaction as he opened it to go out. She yelled out at him, but he went anyway. It took one quick backward glance and my son was right behind him. In a matter of moments, I was at the gate gathering them back into the playground. With one event, my son found it wouldn’t work with me and his walk on the dark side ended. He didn’t get a bite from me, but he got a “no, you’re not allowed.”

There are lots of places for “soft” when you’re a mom; cuddles, laughter, tickles, snuggles, bedtime and fun. But we can’t go soft when it comes to discipline. When we ask something of our Littles, whether it be to get back in line, or to put something down or to listen better, and they don’t, we can’t go soft. If we go soft, they watch it happen. They notice that we let it go. So they decide in that moment that what we had asked of them must not have been that important. Each time after that when we bark at them to get back in line, they know that it’s not that important, and not because they disrespect us, but because we taught them that it wasn’t that important. They learn from us.

Moms are brave, strong, powerful, nurturing, loving and at times intense pack leaders, and it all comes from one place; love, unearthed by our vision of their future and the path that they will follow.

Survive, Littles, so that we can love you long and hard and one day stand back and watch you when you unearth your own love. Our job as pack leaders is hard but the love we carry in our hearts because of you, and the emotions that we feel when we watch your smile form at the corners of your mouth is proof that love is eternal and it’s our driving force. We walk in front of you because we light up the path. We force you to walk in the light over and over again so that you don’t ever have to walk in the dark.

So let us be your pack leader. We won’t do you wrong. We protect you from it. When we put you to sleep each night, whether you are 17 months or 17 years, we come back when you are sleeping. We stare at your innocence and drop our tears as we stare and count our blessings in your freckles and eyelashes. And then we turn away and close the door because we know in this darkness you are safe.

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for Optimum

Get my Newsletter here to keep up with my news and weekly blogs. Share this with friends that could do 2016 with us.

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“N” is for Nurture – simple and sweet

"N" is for Nurture

I remember as a kid walking into a room where my mom was and telling her that I was bored. Her normal response was that she could find something for me to do. Read: UNfun. Chores. Boring. It seemed to work…I’d go find something else to do to become unbored with.

I always had The Jungle Book record on my record player in my bedroom that got me out of a lot of bored moments when my three sisters were in three different places somewhere else. I’d put on my record and see how much cleaning I could do in my bedroom before the record ended. After my room was clean, (to my standards) I’d see how many somersaults I could do during the song. Surely I’d lay down on my bed after that and then my imagination would take over from there.

It was a really great tactic so I of course used the same one when my kids began coming to me out of boredom, but eventually I began to see a pattern and realized that when they came to me out of boredom, they weren’t really looking for something more to do. They were looking for a moment of nurturing. Or a few minutes. Or an hour. So I decided to start giving it to them right then and there.

As a preschool teacher, the age I teach needs lots of nurturing moments. They don’t have to last long…they don’t even have to be a huge sympathetic deposit of love. They just need to include some eye contact, a listening ear and a warm hug. The result is instant and they are renewed and happy to go off and play once again.

In this day of phones, I often catch myself with my head in my phone when my daughter’s having an “I need you” moment and I’m like, hold on…almost finished answering this (unimportant-can-wait-until-later) text. I look up and she’s moved passed the needy moment but I feel I’ve missed that important moment of connection that you get to have less and less as they get older and older.

You can’t do these moments at your convenience. Kids move on easily and lose interest in your advice or kind words quickly when they are 12, 13 and more. You have to be in the moment with them when it comes around. Phones kinda’ suck the life-moments out of us, but also out of our kids.

What color eyes does my mom have? I don’t know…she’s always looking down in her phone. Maybe if I call her I can ask her.

When someone says “he just wants attention,” about a child, they are right. So we should give it to him. His way of acting out or acting up is saying, “help me….I can’t settle myself on my own right now.”

Kids don’t know our stresses, nor should they, but they still have their own that will stress them out in the same way. We are their stress-reducers. Teaching them that a calm adult is always close by will give them more reasons to be calm when they aren’t close.

So what do we need in order to nurture ourselves? Slow down. Quiet the noise. Go where there’s no distractions (we all need a break even from our kids sometimes). Every time I get myself to the beach, no matter how often I go, I ask myself while I’m there why I don’t go more often. It is always so calming and rejuvenating. Making sure that we have that place to go, wherever it is, is a priority. It’s an escape. You know how men have “mancaves?” My sister recently came up with a "womancave" of her own, the first I'd ever heard of. Make sure you have a “womancave” somewhere, and use it often.

Reading over this post, it's kind of gloomy. I think it’s because I had one of those moments yesterday with my daughter at breakfast, and I can’t take it back. Hopefully writing about it will bring me out of my phone-fog quicker the next time it happens. 🙂

So how are you going to nurture yourself starting today, during today? What's going to make you feel good? Do that. I'm going to go take my shower finally, and then spend the afternoon with my girlie. <3

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for making memories last
Read the highlights of Blogs "A" thru "M"

Get my Newsletter here to keep up with my news and weekly blogs. Share this with friends that could do 2016 with us.

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

A Glimpse of Grandma – Hood

A glimpse of grandma - hood

I’ve spent a lot of my summer cleaning out cupboards, closets, drawers, boxes and bins. I’m in my use it or lose it frame of mind, which doesn’t last long so I’m taking advantage of it. I want to simplify my home and make it more comfortable and less cluttered. Over the years, I’ve always given my unwanted stuff to charities. I trade it all in for a blue slip of paper that I give to my accountant with my taxes every year. This year my sister and I decided to do a garage sale at her house and it puts a new slant on cleaning out. It makes it easier to get rid of things when you might be getting green paper instead of blue. It’s also a great incentive to a 12-year-old girl to clean out her stash, too. Imagine, someone might pay for something that uselessly takes up valuable space.

I hang on to things that are sentimental, and I can make ANYthing sentimental. I can even go through my daughter’s stuffed animals she’s had for years and tell you who got it for her and whether it was for her birthday or Christmas or her actual BIRTH day. I even remember a lot of the names she gave them over the years, even though I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast today.

I semi-admire the women I know that can put anything and everything in the trash. How simple and clean their life must be. But I’m patting myself on the back because I am getting rid of so much stuff. I was parking it all behind my couch as I sorted through it all one weekend at a time but now with summer here, it made the pile rise up over the back of the couch forcing me to move it to a storage space. How good it feels to get a pile of unwanted stuff out of my home!

Going through everything means that I have to be very careful with my #BSOS (Bright Shiny Object Syndrome). When I come across the things that I know I’ll be keeping, I start going through them anyway. I don’t need to go through them but the sentimental magnet is strong.

I’ve saved some clothing from when my son, now 22-years-old, was young. Cowboy boots, a mini-Miami Dolphins jersey, shirts that he wore often and his outfit for his first professional photo shoot at JC Penney’s. As I was reliving some sweet memories, I came upon a lightweight jacket he wore often. Living in Florida, you don’t need jackets very often so one jacket can last through two winters. Between pee-wee sports and the playground and parks and walks and the backyard and the beach, he wore the jacket all winter long.

I came upon the red and white pullover a few days ago and it was almost as if I was lifting my sweet four-year-old son out of the bin. He was standing next to me, voice and all. I could hear him call my name while he was holding a plastic bat, I could hear him yelling after the dog as they ran around pretend baseball bases in the backyard. I could see him coming down the slide only to run back around and climb the ladder again. And I could see him running to me with his arms wide open happy to see me come outside to play.

If I would have given that jacket away years ago when he grew out of it, I never would have been flooded with those sweet memories, even though they made me miss that tiny, big-hearted boy. Tears of joy and memories gushed out my eyes.

I hugged the jacket to my chest until the urge to cry left me. Now I was going to have to find the strength to tuck it away once more with the sweet memories, and of course I’m keeping it.

PosterKids

I have sisters and friends all around me becoming grandmothers. They love being grandmothers and they tell me there’s nothing like it. No one tries to explain what it’s like, nor can they find the words to. They only say, just you wait and see.

After discovering that jacket, I don’t think I have to wait anymore.

Grandma’s…is it the fact that you almost feel like you’re holding your own children again? The ones that you lived a lifetime with when they were young and innocent and created so many memories with? Is it because you forgot what it feels like to hold your child in your arms, the only human being that you can feel that heart string being pulled with? Does it remind you that the time flew by too quickly and that you would love to have those days back, even if only for a short time? Does it remind you of the countless books you read to them and the million Crayola moments and the painting and the puddles and the cozy weekends in bed together and teeny-tiny ticklish toes?

My son is still the same boy to me. Bright and confident and giving with a huge heart. He’s not worried much about what people think but is always concerned with how they feel. He’s always been that same person. I’ve always liked him as much as I love him.

But there’s times when I reminisce and realize that there’s a little person that I raised and spilled my love and heart into that eventually just disappeared from my life.

Not when he grew up and learned to drive off with his friends. Not when he moved away to college. Not even when he gets a place of his own. Just by growing up and turning into an adult. It’s magic - he grew up overnight. I enjoyed every phase of his life as he grew. I always felt like I smuggled as much as I could from each age to take with me into my later years. We had so many good times together. But looking back, you are losing a child. Not in the disastrous, gut-wrenching way that some mom’s lose their little ones. But in a quiet, slow-moving, sneak-up-on-you kind of way. My daughter is only 12 and we laugh and love and have fun together, but I watch out of the corners of my eyes as she grows towards that sneak-up-on-you direction, too.

One day you look up from the couch when your son walks in the house from his trip home from college for the summer, and you see a man standing in front of you. (OhmyGodI’veMadeAMan)

His little laughs and giggles that came so easily, his excitement at Christmas time, his sleepy little face that found me for a snuggle in the mornings as I lay quietly in bed, are all only memories now.

That little boy is gone. But maybe, when my kids have kids, he’ll be back. And I can hug him until the urge to cry dissipates. And then I’ll pull out the crayons and stories and raincoats and I'll love my grandchildren as much as I love my own and enjoy them while they are close.

Katherine A. Rayne misses those two tiny kids from years ago, but is creating new memories and experiences with her 12-year old and 22-year old hearts.
“Once you have a child, your heart is forever outside your body.” unknown (YES, way!)

Home-Feat-Home

PosterUnconditional

It’s true what they say; if your child behaves perfectly with others (teachers, babysitters, friends), and then acts out with you, it means that you are doing something right.

Your young one is smart enough to know what is expected of them in life when they are out in the world (way to go, mom and dad!), and they are smart enough to know that when they are home, they are in a safety zone with their parents. Enough so that they can act out without embarrassment or shame.

It’s called unconditional love. We will love our children no matter what they do, and they know this because we have made it clear to them.

They know that they are loved, even when they don’t behave, even when they temper tantrum. We continue to want more of their sweet hugs and wet kisses. Because we love them.

We are “home” to them. We are Safety. Even if there is judgment at home, it is not detrimental to their survival or to their safe haven. We are going to be there for them. They are smart enough to know this, too. They can be who they are at their worst.

After they give away every ounce of their best behavior to the world, and the world in turn makes them feel insignificant, less than worthy and incompetent, they know that when they get back home, they can release all of the negative feelings that they have experienced into the safe hidden crevices of home and of hugs and of unconditional acceptance. So they do.

That temper tantrum last night? That was from the previous days’ experience of not getting a fair turn on the playground. And that break down last night right before bed? That was because they were ostracized by a group of close friends for a simple embarrassing mistake.

But we don’t get to hear about the experiences. We only get to feel them. Their frustrations come barreling at us like a James-and-the-Giant-Peach-rhino-nightmare. They don’t hold anything back. They let it all go until the steam and the pressure have been released into the air around us.

We need to be ready to stand to the side so that the heat doesn't scald us, but we need to keep our hand on their shoulder to steady them. To remind them that we’ll hold them up if they need us to while they spew the bitterness of the world onto our lap.

We don’t even need to know what problems they had. We just need to recognize that they had a problem that needs to be released, and allow them the space and the time to do so.

When I get asked for advice about a child’s behavior, I'll often say that everything is just a phase and it will pass. And that is often true.

But this behavior children have of acting out at home never goes away. We hold onto it throughout adulthood. We let loose on our loved ones.

We come home and guess who gets our bad mood? Our frustrations are served up on a platter to those who are home when we arrive. We get anxious and angry with the ones who are in front of us when we are running late. They feel our frustrations of life. Meanwhile, the people that we work with and play with and visit with see our softer, better behaved side. We are polite and politically correct. We don’t trust them completely. Not like our home bodies.

Our home bodies will hopefully love us and our faults and mood distortions and anxieties and short tempers unconditionally. When our angst settles, they will know it and they will come up and give us that hug that the world never can.

We can melt and falter and tear up, and they will glue us back together with only a few words that will comfort us and put us back on track to the person that we were minutes before. We need our 90 seconds of suffering released and we need to be accepted while we do it.

The next time that you feel the anxiety from your little or big loved one, whether they are two or seventy-two, comfort them through it. Be strong for them when they can’t be.

If temper tantrums happens at your house, you are safety. You are trusted. And you are unconditional.

Live unconditionally~   Love, Katherine    PosterLoveStories

Unguard

Unguard             September 15, 2014

There’s only one other person in your world that loves your children as much as you do. In the heat of divorcing them, it’s hard for us to remember that one simple thought.

My ex picked my daughter up for breakfast one recent Sunday morning and I asked him if I could come along. I was hungry and dressed.

There’s a restaurant that we both frequent with her, individually. Never together. It seems to be our favorite place to have a weekend breakfast, although between the three of us we've never discussed it. The servers all know my daughters’ order by heart; Toast on the light side, crispy bacon, fruit and a side of cream cheese, with water.

We slid into a booth, me facing them, an image I don’t see very often. Her eyes on her iphone and her ears in our conversation. We had one light-hearted conversation after another with each other, and

yes, your main conversation topic is and always will be about your kids, whether it’s date night as husband and wife, or breakfast as exes.

A discussion about our absent 21 year-old son came up. My ex was already smiling huge about a seven year-old boy inside of a fourteen-year-old memory as he brought it back to life. It was one that I’d never heard. As he told it, his eyes filled with memory and liquid joy. It made his tight lips turn upward and his soft heart sit on his sleeve all wet and soggy. I took in the image innocently, happy to be on the receiving end. I tried to imagine what other memories might be ready to surface if I asked.

A drawback to divorce is that you don’t have that person in your life anymore to reminisce about your shared treasures.

It doesn't matter who comes into either of your lives. They won’t feel the exact same way towards your children as you or your ex do.

In the beginning, divorce brings on foreign emotions;

You've felt sadness before, but not quite like in your divorce. You've felt anger before, but never how it feels through your divorce. You've felt frustration before, but never like in a divorce.

We had our ups and downs, but I still think we had a peaceful divorce compared to most. I attribute it to how we handled ourselves, not how we handled the divorce. It’s easy to become defensive. SO easy. But we stayed on tract with who we were most days, and worried less about what the other was doing. We both had our son and daughters’ best interest at heart, and that goes a bountiful long way in order to be able to deal and then to heal. My kids and I also stayed at our local beach house for the duration of the divorce.

I HIGHLY recommend a beach house (and wine and sunsets and walks on the beach and a lanai that is screened-in because mosquitoes suck, literally) for your divorce. It enabled me to have peaceful memories from some unpeaceful times. I was on “vacation.”

I don’t know if he ever hated me, but I never had a moment where I hated him (that I can remember). And that helped when it was time to become friends again. Not the easy innocent friendship that we had when we first met and began dating. Not the committed friendship that we had while we were married.

But a new friendship that makes everything bearable when you see each other all the time for the rest of your lives because you have children together.

It’s so much easier if you stay true to you, while going through the throes of divorce because

at some point, you want to be able to look them in the eye again and feel okay about the past.

And it’s okay to still be a support to your ex if the opportunity arises. You've shared a life together and cared about one another to great lengths in the past. What's one more time. And don’t stand guard thinking your children need protection from their fathers’ love. Allowing his love to flow to your children freely without standing in the way of it will only benefit your children. Step to the side and let them love them in the way that only they can. Your children deserve it. And you won’t have to do it alone.

 

Katherine A. Rayne is on your side! She is an author, freelance writer for local and online magazines, blogger, preschool teacher of nine genuine hearts and a mom to two delights. Her book, Back To Being A Woman (Without Changing The Man) on Amazon.com, is her first published non-fiction. It's a secret weapon to help women fix relationships, including the relationship we have with ourselves. She has been blogging since January, 2014, but has been writing since childhood after discovering the magical rhythms of Dr. Seuss. She founded the Facebook Community www.Facebook.com/BackToBeingAWoman and posts #DailyChallenges for women on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/BeingAWoman. Her blog resides on her website geared towards empowering women to be their best selves: www.BackToBeingAWoman.com. She began an "I Did It" campaign on her personal website at www.KatherineARayne.com to help women take on and take over their dreams and goals. She utilizes her years and experiences to inspire and encourage women to move forward in their beautiful life, and to leave worry behind them in the dust! You can contact her at Katherine@KatherineARayne.com and sign-up here for her Sunday Newsletter!

 

The More Grounding Activities We Give Our Children, The Less We Will Need To Ground Them

 Ten (10) Grounding Activities to Do This Summer to Save Us From Summer Boredom and to Help Prevent Bad Behavior

 Summer has begun and my eyes are showing some signs of sleeping in. Waking up to crevices of the suns’ light seeping in through the blinds is a peaceful way to wake up.

It’s exactly how nature intended it to be!

Waking in the dark has never made sense to my physical being. And the absence of the vibrating sound of my phone alarm in the darkness improves the start to my day ten-fold.

I love how the lighted summer mornings also allow me to see the wispy eyelash shadows on my daughters’ cheeks as she sleeps in a quiet slumber that would normally be hidden in the dark on school mornings.

PosterTreeLight

I love having peace in my life. It seems you need it even more when things aren't so peaceful.

My to-do list will keep me from solitude for a portion of the summer. It weaves itself slowly throughout the house from my bathroom to lanai, and my name is written all over it since I am the only adult that lives here.  Let it be known that I will have a pretty little 11-year old helper.

I have two kids, but one is an adult. He is 21 and is still socially busy since before his pre-puberty days. I see him but never long enough to put him to work. He would if I asked but instead I cherish our rare visits together as talks and relaxing times. With only one child at home now, I don’t have the sibling rivalry, but I have friends that are ready for summer to end and could easily send their kids back to school as we speak.

From past summers, I always found that “grounding” activities kept us more in sync and with more hair left on my head by summers end. There are spiritual definitions of “grounding” but it also occurs easily with basic activities.

Touching nature is one large accessible open- doorway to “grounding.” 

In my classroom as a preschool teacher, I keep play bins for my students on a counter for easy access. Sand is messy in a classroom, so instead I keep one bin filled with small gravel and another one filled with dried black-eyed peas, both with either scooping toys or small tractors.  So very often a child will wander over to them and play quietly for long periods of time. You can witness the calm come over them as they play and interact with their classmates.

“Our hands touching nature is more magical than fun. It is peace inducing.”    

With the beginning of summer here, putting these ten (10) activities down on your to-do list will help keep you sane and keep your kids grounded. They are even better when the whole family does them together. Making memories while grounding doubles the benefits!

 PosterTrunk PosterPopsiclesticks  PetRocks    PosterBrandon (19) PosterLeaf PosterSandCastles

1)       Find a local farm and pick fruit. Touching nature at its best!

2)       Make sand castles in the yard or at the beach or park!

3)       Build with Popsicle sticks (wood)! Let imagination lead the way. 

 4)       Gather leaves from outside of all colors and create a collage by gluing onto paper.

5)       Make snow cones! (ice = water)

 6)       Make mud pies. Water and dirt equals major grounding!

 7)       Find smooth stones in the yard or garden and make Pet Rocks.

 8)       Build a campfire. Don’t worry that you might not be able to light it. Pretend to make                      S’mores by using graham crackers, Marshmallow Fluff and Nutella spread to make                       Indoor S’mores!

 9)       Build a Domino maze (wood)! Make it travel through the house even longer than my to-               do list!

 10)    Have everyone sketch (charcoal or lead) a picture of their own version of nature.

Gardening is also a great activity with the earth, seeds and water combination. Have a picnic on the lawn or even in the rain! Go swimming. And don’t forget that most sports balls are made of leather. When our children play ball of any kind, they are being grounded even then.

  Posterbasketball

If you have an indoor day because you are tending to your to-do list and you have broken up the tenth argument of the day, drop everything and take them outside, including you. I remember many late nights when one of my babies wouldn't stop fussing and nothing would soothe them. When the stroller, the car ride or dancing to music didn't work, I’d finally come to my senses and just take them outside, even if it was 3:00 am. They’d calm the instant the fresh air hit their tiny lungs. Never forget the resources that we have.

The outdoors is available in unlimited amounts!

Most of these activities won’t cost a cent and have many benefits of fun, grounding and surely lots of laughter by the time the fun is done. Your children will be calmer and more relaxed if you do it often.

Remember that when school is around the corner again, it comes with new teachers, new classes and possibly a new school which will create a new stress for them. Continue with the grounding activities to help them come back to a peaceful state of mind. And make sure you’re close by to catch the conversations that will happen when they are happy and peaceful and inside their young minds. The best conversations happen then, not when we are trying to pull information out of them on the ride home after a long day at school.

If time-outs and grounding for bad behavior happen at your house, the ”grounding” activities are a good replacement to help children “pull themselves back together again.” You won’t have to discipline as often. Do them the favor, as well as yourself. Happy Grounding! Get dirty and enjoy!

Katherine A. Rayne is a preschool teacher, writer, blogger and author of Back To Being A Woman (Without Changing The Man), a book to inspire and build strong relationships with everyone in our lives, including with ourselves. You can find puzzle-pieces of inspiration on her blog when visiting her website: www.BackToBeingAWoman.com.  Like and join her Facebook Community: www.facebook.com/BackToBeingAWoman .  Follow her Daily Challenge Tweets at https://twitter.com/BeingAWoman . Her book is for sale on Amazon.com in paperback or ebook form. Besides her son and daughter, Katherine also has a seven year old Papillion named Muffin who is the warm and fuzzy of their home!

photo (2)                                                                                                             PosterMuffin

 

Don’t Pass on Passion. Pass it on.

Friday, May 9, 2014

 

Don't Pass on Passion. Pass it on.

Mother’s Day is Sunday and I really wanted to write about my mom. But I’m finding I’m still selfish about the memory of her. (Almost ten years have passed since she has. I’m pretty stingy.) So I will write about passions. My mom had hers and in later years she was too busy with either work or her ten grandchildren (also passions of hers) to fully enjoy them, not that she ever voiced regret. Her greatest passion was, after family and friends, art. She painted, pasteled, sketched and drew. I knew her passion at a very young age. I remember when I was four or five years old watching my dad add his touches to one of her oil paintings that she had left out to dry. I was shocked that he’d paint on her work, something so personal. I don’t know what happened when she found out, but the memory stayed with me that her art was sacred to her. We should all know that about mom at a young age.

During the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, as a preschool teacher there are motherly projects that we work on each year. One is a questionnaire for our students asking them about their mom.

How old is your mom?

How much does she weigh?

What’s her favorite color?

A lot of the answers are fun and they tend to reflect their feelings instead of their mom’s. More questions:

What makes your mom laugh?

What would your mom do if she had more time?

What does your mom love to do to relax?

I love it when they have an immediate answer without having to think about it, no matter what their answer is.

It means that they have seen the happiness on her face when she does those things that she loves. Even if it’s sitting down to watch a favorite TV show or sleeping in.

I recently asked my daughter what she felt my passions were. She knew them.

"Writing, drawing, Haagen-Dazs Chocolate ice-cream and butterflies!"

I WAS surprised that she left out a few. I LOVE putting on my pajamas, and I LOVE getting into bed. She knows this for sure. Those aren't all of my passions, but I’d passed this mommy test.

Sometimes I have students who can’t think of anything that makes their mom happy. Her passions are theirs. This is true for me as well. To see my daughter or my son have fun and smile and laugh is a passion beyond words. Even more so if they do it together. So yes, I love to see her ride her bike or dance in her recital. But it’s just as important for her to see MY passions.

 PosterKendra

Instill passion in your children.

Not by telling them to be passionate about their hobby, but by letting them see YOUR passion. When you want to put on your pajamas, don’t say, “I’m going to put on my pajamas, I’m exhausted.” Instead say, “I’m going to put on my pajamas. Who’s with me!?”

And argue a little bit harder when they want to eat your last bite of that chocolate ice-cream cone. “You can have a couple of bites, but save the last one for me!” Pass on the passion. Let them know that life is to be enjoyed, even the small things. Especially the small things.           ~Katherine A. Rayne~

Katherine A. Rayne is the author of Back To Being A Woman (Without Changing The Man), a book to help us in our relationships. Even with our children and friends, but most importantly with ourselves. Find her book on Amazon.com in paperback or ebook form.

Enjoy the little things! They are the big things!

 

21 Years as a Guide is Plenty

Saturday, April 26, 2014

 

21 Years as a Guide is Plenty

“I have a son that is twenty-one.”

Eight words that I have never said in one sentence until recently. It didn’t sting. (Most likely because he is awesome...smiling BIG.) Kids are a Work-In-Progress…from the time that we find out that we are pregnant and begin eating healthier to prepare them for a sustainable life, we concentrate on keeping them well until the day that we die.

PosterBubby

My sister once told me that children are like precious stones. At first they have lots of rough edges but with beauty...lots of beauty hidden within. With lots and lots of our polishing and elbow grease, they will eventually shine and glisten and be beautiful inside and out, especially when put into the light. It’s the same sister that became very frustrated and sad when her daughter didn't want to see her dating after her divorce. She was an adolescent and wanted/needed to have her mom available to her. Not off gallivanting with another person foreign to her. So then it was my turn to give her the advice.

“You know how you have to remind your daughter to brush her teeth Every. Single. Morning. And Every. Single. Night? Even though she knows she’s supposed to and she can’t leave the house without doing it?" (Think about it. How many times do you think you’ve said, “Go brush your teeth,” as a parent?)

Now, rinse and repeat this a hundred times, too, if you have to: “Gina. (Not her real name…she’ll be reading this post. Teehee.) I'm a mother first. And I'm a woman. And a woman deserves a companion in her life. It will be a slow process but eventually we will have another person in our life. Because I want that.”

It’s a lot more serious than brushing teeth, but the message has to be relayed a few hundred times in order to move forward. For everyone. For all lessons.

The good news? We have 21 years to keep rinsing and repeating. On any lesson. There is no need to rush lessons. Besides, they won’t learn in a rush. They will learn like the tortoise. Slow and steady.

What is important is that we as parents keep planting the seeds. The seeds that they spit back out at us. The seeds that they don’t want to swallow. The ones that have too hard of a shell for them to digest just yet. The seeds that sit there dormant. Until they remember them again. Until they NEED them.

And if we have forgotten to plant them, they won’t ever have them to dig up and fertilize and grow all on their own. We can’t rush a rose or a gemstone. And we can’t try to rush them into adulthood.

Another idea to not rush them into. So many of us think of 21 (or 18) as the "drinking age." And if we think of it as the “drinking age,” guess what? So do our kids. There are religions that have rites of passage to adulthood.

Religion seems to have become unpopular but we still need to keep an adult rite of passage alive.

When there is a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah (a Jewish boy or girl, respectively, turning 13 and 12), one of the reasons for celebrating is their coming-of-age. They are now responsible for their own actions. They should now think, act and practice responsibly. This is something that they work towards their whole life. It’s not just a party! It’s what children need in order to become productive human beings and positive contributors to our society. We can’t make the age of 18 about, “THEN and only then can you get a tattoo!” or “Then you can do whatever you want. Right now you’re under MY roof!”

We need to build them towards 18 (or 13 or 16 or 21) as a responsibility. “You will join the world in helping it become a better place!” “You will be ready to join the work force and find your passions!” “You one day will find the love of your life and have beautiful children and make me a grandmother!

The United States borders Mexico. Mexico’s drinking age is 18. We have many teenagers who cross over the border just so that they can drink freely and without worry. I remember a story years back where the U.S. was very upset with the effects of a lower drinking age and we felt that Mexican authorities should raise theirs in order to prevent the drinking, driving and accidents occurring when these children would drive back home across the border. Mexico’s response?

Our children don’t go out and party and drink until they are drunk the day that they become of drinking age. You need to talk to your kids about the responsibilities of drinking. Our drinking age isn't the problem!

 We can’t make drinking a “rite of passage” to adulthood. Because then our children will. It shouldn't even be a part of the equation. I’m not even close to saying they shouldn't be drinking. I like my wine! And my son knows it. (smile) But he also knows that his mom has so many other priorities. And that’s how he knows me and how he’s come to know himself. He follows his heart, by God. And I LOVE that. 21 years in the making, but I’ll be honest, he was super special at any age. And THAT’S what our kids need to know the most.

PosterBrandon (19)

~Katherine A. Rayne~  Live your life and love it.

Join us at our Facebook Community Page. Live a Better Life!

pro-choice but anti-abortion

Monday, March 24, 2014

 

pro-choice but anti-abortion

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that was supportive of anti-abortion. I always find these stickers bordering on the quite-offensive. To anybody. Too many graphic images and successful efforts of inducing disturbing thoughts. I know this is on purpose. We want to save another sweet life. (There is no question as to WHEN it becomes a child. That happens at conception…we shouldn’t try to fool ourselves into thinking otherwise.)

But. If we are sending messages out to the world for good, shouldn’t we be making sure that it’s conducive to spreading Knowledge, Truth AND Peace? I know the authors of these stickers are diligently trying to make a difference in our world by saving one more baby. I give thanks for that. But no one says that they have to be mean about it.

The bumper sticker I saw the other day was KindThoughtful. And Decent. And of course I can’t remember it, but it said something to the effect of,

"Don't let me go. Hold my hand instead,"

with an image of a tiny newborn. These are words a sweet soul might whisper into her mother’s ear during that difficult time of decision making. That made sense. I didn’t take offense.

I could not choose abortion, but I've never been in a position to have to choose. I also feel very strongly that the government has no business deciding a woman’s extremely personal decision for her.

If abortion was illegal, we know that women all over the world would still find a way to abort it if she really wanted to. It wouldn't stop it from happening.

I don’t think it’s up to us to make her feel bad about her decision, either. I’m pretty sure she feels bad already. Remember the “no judging” clause? So I refuse to judge a woman on her decisions. (I would definitely feel like judging whoever invented the idea of abortion. I can only imagine the public outcry when it first emerged.)

An unwanted pregnancy can definitely be a negative, for many. But adoption would make so much more sense out of it, for everyone. It could be turned into a positive. First by not aborting and second by giving a family a child they’ve been waiting on for more than the brief nine months that it takes to carry one. Either way, this decision is going to be so hard for any woman, but something very good can come out of it if the baby is saved.

1)   Someone will gain a cute little family member.

2)  The biological mom will have the opportunity in about 18 years, to meet their kindred little one, all grown up and wondering about her, too.

3)  You get to keep your Choice; yours. Will I one day see my child, or won’t I?

When a baby is adopted out, the birth mother has more and more say-so over how they want to hand over their child.

"I want contact. I don’t want contact. I want to know their name. I want to know where they live.  I don’t. I want to be able to get in touch with them when they are of age. I don’t."

Don’t sever choices. If a child is aborted, all of those future choices will disappear with the baby.

Yes, we want fewer abortions in the world. But keep the government and the cruel thoughts out of it. Keep the Kindness in all of our decisions. Kindness towards girls and woman with difficult decisions that lay ahead. Kindness towards a child that was meant to be. Kindness to spread the word. And the Love. Share the LOVE.

~~~Katherine A. Rayne~~~

Find Us On Facebook at Back To Being A Woman

It Takes One To Grow One

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It Takes One to Grow One

In one of my latest blogs, (Today Do This...) I discuss a favorite piece of advice quoted from a celebrity; “always be kind.” I noted that being kind was easy to do. Another topic I touch on in my blogs is worry. Something else that is also easy to do. And also very relatable. Everyone does it, but how good are we at keeping it in the background versus the foreground? Especially once we have children. The first child born commences more than enough worry from both parents, but you come to find as time passes that all of your worrying wasn't necessary. Those horrible worries never transpired for many of us. You worry most about accidents and injury and health problems.

In your past life, a friend’s child with a cold was just a child with a runny nose. Once you have your own child, a cold will surely turn into pneumonia or bronchitis. You’ll check on them to make sure they are able to breathe through the night. You’ll feel their chest to ensure it rises and falls with each breath. You’ll feel their tiny head to make sure they are warm with life.

If they live through the first part of their life, you will then worry about what friends they will choose, what activities they will become involved in, how they behave in school, will they lie, steal, do drugs?

 When my son was 14, he had asked me if he could see a movie that I felt he was too young for. He really wanted this but my answer was always no. In one of his last attempts at trying to convince me that I should trust him, he explained that it wasn't as if he was a drug-addicted teenager or binge drinker. And how I should be thankful for who he was. (And I was.) But I told him that he also had to think about who his parents were, and it contributed greatly to who he was. And that my decisions were always based on my concern and care for him. He lost the argument and didn't get to see the movie. But one year later, he had been talking with his friends about planning a trip to Busch Gardens that summer without parents. He asked me if I would allow him to go if they all decided to do it. It took me only a few seconds.

I knew a normal response would be,”no, you’re too young.” But that was a normal response, and it would be cheating him of my genuine thoughts. I searched in my mind for reasons as to why he couldn’t go and I couldn’t find any. So I simply said, “yes.” It didn't take him any time at all to ask, “Why!?” Surely because he expected a “no.” “Because you've never given me any reason to say no.”

He and his friends didn't end up doing the trip that summer, but we both discovered in a simple moment that he was trusted in a very big way, making him and me very proud of him.

 So look at yourself. Look at your spouse. Chances are good that your child will be just like you. Your habits. Your morals. Your personalities. So if you find yourself worrying that your child might one day become a convict, look at yourself first. Then realize that if you're not one, it’s very unlikely that they will become one.

They truly don’t fall far from the apple tree. If you are proud of the family that you are, it’s safe to say that you will be proud of them. If you allow your husband to insult you and talk down to you, don’t be surprised when your son will one day begin doing it.

They are learning as they are growing, including the age where they think that they know everything. If you always support them and never give up on them, they will know that they are worthier than what your worries amounted them to.

Worry is wasteful. Contemplation is good. It helps you to consider problems that MAY arise and how you would handle them if they did. But worry is just stress dressed in a different dress. 

It gives you no enjoyment and no steps forward.

So let your child make those steps forward. Don’t worry about the falls and the hurts and the hurdles, because they are all supposed to happen. It will make them stronger. 

~~Katherine A. Rayne~~  

Follow us on Twitter for a #DailyChallenge, Facebook for living a better life inspirations. Back To Being A Woman (Without Changing The Man) is for sale on Amazon.com.