Monthly Archives: July 2015

5 Parenting Faux Pas I do Anyway

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1) I play chase with Q before bed

People say if you want your child to go to sleep easily, you should not encourage hyperactivity in the hours pending bedtime. In my world, Q falls asleep around 8pm each evening. On a good day, I am home from work around 6pm, which means I have 1.5 hours before his bedtime routine begins. Q smiles and laughs when he sees me and after five minutes of being home he starts running around (usually at me or away from me, beginning the game of cat and mouse).

If he wants me to run around the living room with him, then that’s exactly what I am going to do. That’s our quality time. All electronics are off. We are laughing together. To me, this is exactly what I should be doing before bedtime.

2) I laugh when Q breaks the rules

No, I don’t want to encourage bad behavior. But I’m only human…and my son is funny! For the most part, it’s Q trying to play his dad’s guitar. He makes eye contact, a smile grows across his sweet face and he touches the strings gently. I attempt to hide my laugh, and Q giggles at himself as runs away. Smart boy.

3) I’m the picky one when it comes to food

I don’t believe there is anything wrong with deciding what a child will eat (Q is currently being raised pescatarian), but I may take it to an extreme. I hand-make his food, organize it into little containers daily, and write instructions for the loving people who take care of Q while my husband and I work. So far, so good. But I am well aware that I may panic if he gets off schedule. BREATHE, I tell myself.

4) He’s better dressed

My husband told me last weekend that it’s like Q is my own baby doll that I enjoy dressing. Umm, have you SEEN baby outfits lately? They’re adorable! The problem with this is that I spend significantly less time planning my outfit for the day than I do Q’s.

5) I Google things.

Google is a wonderful, but dangerous thing. I don’t Google all the time, and I discourage my clients from doing it at all. I need to know all about vaccines? Google. Is he sleeping enough? Google. Is this postpartum or my new normal? Google. Am I doing this right? Is there a better way? Google. I can’t believe I am admitting this, but I have even Googled images of diaper rash (I am a therapist with a focus on childhood trauma. I was terrified it was something else!)

I have a love/hate relationship with Google. I put enough pressure on myself to do it all and do it well, and Google does not help that. But I do it anyway.

And it’s okay if you do it, too.

Inside Out Printables!!

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I loved the movie Inside Out from the perspective of a mom as well as that of a therapist. I made these fun little printables from the movie as a way to encourage clients to share their feelings in session but my kiddo loved them too.

Each page has a different feeling and character as well as 5 colored orbs where kids (or grown-ups) can write or draw memories that go with each emotion. I made the cover page so you can staple them together if you want. Newt cut her orbs and characters out- which was cool too….but it does mean even more little scraps of paper that I keep finding around the house (annoying). But on the plus side, I guess she was practicing her fine motor skills!

Have fun! And please share any fun ideas or memories you make with these in the comments section.

Click on the link below to download the PDF.

-Kat

Inside Out printables

You’re a child therapist? You got this mom thing covered, right?

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Some light reading while hanging out with mom at work.

Some light reading while hanging out with mom at work.

There I was, screaming at her. Screaming at my beautiful, sweet (then) 4 year old daughter. About a dress. She wanted to wear a super fancy dress and I wanted her to wear a regular every day dress, and we drew our lines in the sand. I was tired, stressed and overwhelmed. Not about a dress I’m sure, just about getting through the day to day. I had to get her dressed and fed, the dogs fed and let out and myself dressed and off to work. I did not have time for an argument about a dress, especially when it was *clearly* an inappropriate dress to wear on a regular day. She was screaming back at me, tears rolling down her red face. Both of us making our arguments and neither of us listening to each other.

After several minutes, I just grabbed her. Grabbed her and hugged her because at that moment I wanted to do everything but. She quickly calmed down and so did I. The rest of the morning went off without a hitch.

I can’t remember what dress she ended up wearing that day. THAT is how unimportant the subject of our disagreement was. I do remember how I felt. I felt sad and angry. I felt ashamed at myself for losing it. But most of all I felt like a failure, not just in my “mom” moment, but also in my career.

 I have been a mental health therapist for almost 16 years and much of my work has been with children and their families. People come to me to help them figure out how to make their day to day routines smoother. How to deal with children with significant emotional and behavioral problems. I know all about child development. I know about behavior management. I know some pretty creative ways to reach kids and I know the importance of communication and self-regulation and assertiveness and nurturing and structure and limits and patience. Especially patience.

So, of course I felt like a failure when despite all of my knowledge about children and managing behaviors and letting things that don’t matter go, I resorted to screaming and ineffective parenting. I felt like a fraud.

Sometimes I forget a very simple fact.

I am not perfect. I am human.

I am not always the best mom, or the best therapist, or the best wife or the best friend. Sometimes I am not even particularly good at those things. But I always keep trying and keep learning.

I am learning to be patient with myself. I am learning to be kinder to myself. I am learning to allow myself to be human.

-Kat

Blogging? Sure. Why not?

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Hi! It’s Mere and Kat, writing our first blog post. (The blank one Kat accidentally published doesn’t count, but Kat will leave it unedited to honor the process). So this is our actual first post.

Mere is a mom to a sweet, high-energy boy nicknamed “Q.” Q is one year old and may be training for an upcoming Olympics (2032?) the way he runs around and moves furniture. Thankfully for Mere, her husband provides the necessary “calm” in their house. Mere frequently finds herself thinking about the balance between her work and home life.  Often searching for a better harmony, she chats with Kat about the challenges. Mere and Kat toss around the idea of starting a blog.

Kat has been married to Matt for 9 years and they have a 5 year old daughter who we will call, “Newt”.

Newt just whispered to her father, “Mommy’s blogging.” He asked her if she knows what that means. Her reply, “It means when people blog.” And so it is established: Newt and Kat know approximately the same amount about blogging.

We want to create a positive, non-judgmental space to share some common, and maybe some uncommon, mommy experiences.

We have worked together for several years and have a great rapport, but, you will soon see that we are different in many ways. Hopefully in exploring our own thoughts on things such as parenting, marriage, free time, life, etc., there will be plenty of things that resonate with our readers.

Mere and Kat