Tag Archives: parenting

Why every parent should watch Inside Out. Alone.

inside-out-personality-islands

Ok, so yes a lot has already been said about Pixar’s new film, Inside Out, regarding how it helps kids recognize their emotions, and how in turn helps parents when certain emotions arise. I am going to talk about what struck me the most as I watched this wonderful film, and I believe that it helped to watch the film alone.

Pixar has the magic touch when it comes to painting that fine line between kid and adult content. UP, for example, has left grown men and women in a puddle of their own tears only 5 minutes into the film. Finding Nemo never stops pulling at a parent’s heart-strings because we, too, would never stop searching for our kid. Inside Out was no exception. I think I cried about 5 times.

I watched it alone, so I didn’t have any distractions (bathroom trips, crying, shushing, you get the picture…). I was completely engrossed, and able to let myself take in the emotional life of an 11-year-old girl named Riley. So this is what struck me, and the reason why I wish I wore waterproof mascara (I looked like Alice Cooper by the time it was over):

All I can do as a parent is to be there for my kid, and to respect his feelings.

That’s it. I want him to be happy, but I cannot force happiness. I can only hope that happiness will appear between the hurt, anger, fear, and sadness that comes with growing up. It is so difficult to watch our kids in pain, and struggle with their feelings, but trying to change those feelings without letting them occur is unfair. All of this may seem very obvious, but I have found that this can get lost in the day-to-day. It is tough to just let emotions pour out of a kid like a fire hose, but breakdowns need to happen to build the strength to deal with whatever will come in the future.

The film showed all of this to me in a simple, tangible way, which made it relatable and brought on the waterworks. I related to watching the happy memories of Riley from when she was a baby and a toddler, and then cried when those memories were disappearing. I cried with Joy when she literally held forgotten memories and said, “I just want her to be happy”. The family hugs, the shared goofy times, the want to change Riley’s bad memories to good ones….all made my parental self…sad. I know my son will not remember every happy moment the way I will. I know that he will not always be happy. I know that I have no control over what he will think and feel. All I can do is be there for him, and help his emotions mature as he matures. I just hope my emotions are mature enough to handle it.

Advertisements

“We can talk it so good. We can make it so divine”

Mile 5

20140323-150520.jpg

Why hello there Mr. Treadmill. It’s been a long time. How about you and me, right now, 30 minutes. Maybe 45. (hey, if I don’t think of it as sexy then I am never staying motivated.)

I really do enjoy running. Right now I just love running to Lorde. My favorite song to end with is “Ribs”. It is a great interval song. I keep it steady and then crank up the speed whenever the songs picks-up. This may sound strange, but one of my favorite albums to run to is Siamese Dream. I am a big Smashing Pumpkins fan anyway, but this album is perfect for interval training. Many of the songs gradually go from slow and steady to rockin out, and I just love it.

So yes, I’ve been working out! Yay! I have been dancing to burn calories as well, and trying to tone as much as I can. I have even been trying to do my best not to eat crap, and I haven’t been drinking as much coffee. For me that is huge. I probably had caffeinated blood.

It is funny how things begin to fall into place. After almost three years of not sleeping well, my son is finally (mostly) sleeping through the night. This makes for a happier and well-rested set of parents, which of course equals energy to do more than drag my feet and pour more coffee. I have found that with a rested mind also comes the motivation to make changes. So thank you, my son, for making this possible.

One day I will tell him of the days when Mommy was always grumpy, because I hope I will never return to those days ever again!


Self care = actually caring

994RBS_Ethan_Hawke_027

Mile 2

When you are a parent, it is always important to try to remember to take care of yourself. Of course this means physically, emotionally, and the big one – hygienically. Yep, I said it. After giving birth and in the beginnings of taking care of a child, you forget when you took a shower, washed your hair, put on deodorant, wore a bra, and how many times you’ve worn the same shirt since washing it. Throw some postpartum depression and a child who doesn’t sleep for months into the mix, and you are seriously forgetting how to take care of your basic needs because another person’s needs have taken over.

Even though my son is almost three, I still find myself in my pajamas half the day, and actually feeling that I look good hasn’t happened in, well, almost three years. The realization that I need to be taking care of myself is there, but I have come to realize that I am missing something – actually caring! I don’t seem to care about how I look anymore, but I get bummed out when I feel gross and ugly. Make sense? Nooooooooo…

So how did this happen? See the first paragraph. Like all things, it has become a habit. To get out of a bad habit you just need to force yourself out of that habit, and to give yourself TIME to do so. Something else I have trouble with, but trying to change.

I don’t know about you, but I always try to do everything all at once and then crash and burn. So today I took a shower, put on deodorant, and then put lotion on my crazy, wintered Godzilla skin. That’s it. That’s all I did, and it felt good. Baby crawls! All I needed today was to stop looking like a scaly Ethan Hawke.

Goal accomplished!