Monday, October 3, 2016

Decision, Decisions

Tonight I got to thinking about the decision that has made the most impact in my life.  I asked my husband what his was and he ever so sweetly replied marrying me. Do I know how to pick em or what? Granted he may have felt I was fishing for that answer. I promise I had no agenda! Anyway, I digress.

I am 31, almost 32, and have made a LOT of decisions over the years. Plenty of bad ones no doubt, but plenty of good ones too. There were a lot of choices I have made that took me to places I never thought I would go! Leaving the LDS church was one, marrying my husband another good one, having my kids at home or really having kids at ALL! All of these decisions impacted me in amazing ways, but the one that has had the most profound impact, that I can trace back to most of the amazing things I know today would have to be the decision to never hit my children.

I was spanked as a child, and yes, I turned out just fine, but that certainly wasn't because I was spanked. No, I don't blame my parents or hate them in anyway (at least not my mom), and no, I'm not going to judge you as a parent if you do. I understand why some parents make this decision, or just reactive in this way. For me, because it impacted me so negatively as a child, I just knew I never wanted my children to fear me the way I feared my parents.

Now, I could go on and on about spanking, the studies about how harmful it is, how it doesn't work for teaching children long term good habits, etc, etc. It is pretty common knowledge these days so I won't go into that. What I really wanted to talk about is how much this one decision had a snow ball effect on the rest of my life.

So anyone who has children can probably attest that just because you have children does not mean you know what you are doing. I am no different. Just because I knew I didn't want to hit my children didn't mean I knew what TO do. For the first year of my daughter's life this didn't really matter. She was just adorable and helpless for the most part and there was no real need for discipline at all. It was once she became mobile and more independent, wanting to test her world and how it worked that it was hard. So I took my parameters of not hitting my children and wanting to understand and guide my children  and started looking for anything and everything I could find on parenting.

I stumbled across LOTS of gold this way. I found Alfie Kohn and Unconditional Parenting, which led me to Punished By Rewards which led me to Homeschooling books, which led me to Unschooling books, which led me to Peaceful Parenting and Dayna Martin, which led me to Pam Leo and Connection Parenting (still one of my all time favorites) and L.R. Knost, which led me to How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, which led me to Non-Violent Communication, which led me to the Four Agreements which led me to Nathaniel Branden, John Gottman, Brene Brown, and the list goes on and on.

I became passionate about relationships. I wanted to know all I could about communication and how to foster healthy communication and healthy boundaries. I wanted to see my children for the little people they were and help them through their lives. This was hugely beneficial in my relationships with my children, but I had no idea that it would also hugely benefit the relationship between me and my husband! I learned how to see that everyone has a story behind their actions and just wants to be understood.

This one decision opened me up to everything I know now about relationships, communication, empathy, compassion, respect, love, boundaries, and so much more. I love my little munchkins and can honestly say this one decision has impacted me in the most profound ways.

What was the decision that impacted you and your life the most?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Back to the Blogging World!

Well, I havent written on this blog in years!! I think my last post was 4 years ago. I did do Liberated Parenting in 2013-14, then sadly let that go too. But I do love writing and expressing my opinions and thoughts in word. For some reason I can really organize my thoughts much better with the written word than in a spoken conversation. This is why my husband always wins arguments...kidding, kidding...kind of...

I guess I also keep thinking my kids are getting older and I have documented almost zero of that time of my thoughts and experiences of it all. Sure, there are a crap ton of pictures and plenty of videos, but when I look back, I want to remember what it all felt like, the joys, the sorrows, the funnies, and the frustrations. Sure, I blogged about parenting, and there were a few personal posts, but most of them were more advice posts. I have spent the better part of the last 2 years wishing I had saved those posts though. The stuff I wrote about was the stuff I was learning at the time, and some of it was gold! Not to brag, but I would even go back and read them (you know, to more practice what I preach) and it was always super helpful. I miss them, so the lesson of the day is, always back up your blog posts somewhere other than your blog people!!

So today I though I would give you all a glimpse into a day in the life of me and my brood. Here we are, 10 years later, still doing the unschooling thing and loving it! Vaeh is 10, Joby is 7, and little Sage is not so little anymore at 5. Aaron is almost (and by almost I mean a year left) done with finishing his bachelor's degree in Software Engineering and we are counting down the days until he is done! I am (and have been) bringing home the bacon while Aaron is in school since he quit his job. Its a job, but I do love that I can stay home and the kids are always either with Aaron or with me.

Our current interests:
Lyndsey-I've been making Kombucha and loving it! It has loads of great health benefits and is super easy to make. Even me who can barely keep plants alive (and by barely I mean I can't, they are all dead) has been able to make several batches and keep my scoby alive. It has helped us so far with mood (lots of b vitamins), has loads of probiotics, enzymes, and antioxidants. The kids all love it and really I just can't make enough. I've also consistently been lifting weights and loving how it has helped me feel. When I don't work out for a while I start to get grumpy and sad, and sad grumpy Lyndsey is not fun to be around.

Vaeh-She just bought her first phone and is having all sorts of fun on Musicaly. Its an app where she can make videos of herself and easily edit them. She has loads. She is also doing mytech high and having mixed results with how much she likes it. It has allowed us the opportunity to get lots of school supplies and sign her up for choir, as well as motivate her to read. It has its pros and cons.

Joby-Joby is currently working on growing out a beautiful head of hair. Every time we ask him how long he wants to grow it he says he likes it how it is but doesn't want a hair cut. He is also my gamer and is currently loving playing Terraria, Roblux, Minecraft and watching Dantdm, Pokemon and is always up for playing with buddies.

Sage-Sage is currently in love with a little game called Best Fiends and plays it any time he gets the chance. He adores Joby and wants to go everywhere with him and do everything with him. He loves dressing up in his super hero costumes and running around the neighborhood.

All in all life is wonderful here at Casa de Merrill/Wilcken!