Friday, July 27, 2012

10 Reason to be a Foster


Welcome to the July edition of Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Pets and children.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting. This month our participants are sharing their thoughts and experiences with pets and children! Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


***



"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."- Immanuel Kant


Still kind of off the bloggy bandwagon these days but when I saw what the topic was for this months Carnival of Authentic Parenting I was inspired to join in.  You see, recently we became foster parents to the most adorable group of doggies ever (and I am not at all biased!).  It's not something we set out to do, we sort of stumbled into it but it has been an amazing experience.  It's something I would encourage everyone out there to give a shot, at least once.  Rescue groups are always in need of amazing foster homes for unwanted pets to live in until their forever homes can be found. 

I know it sounds hard.  You are worried you will get attached and yes we are attached and will be sad to see them go BUT, had we not stepped up they would not be here at all.  They were literally less than an hour away from being put to sleep, mama and baby's, when I said we could take them.  Now they have been here a week and they have already made out lives so much fuller.

So here is my top 10 reasons why you should consider being a foster home for a pet in need:

1. How can you say no to those faces:




2. It's a great lesson in compassion and empathy for your children.  The older they are the more they will understand the gift you are giving.  Our kids get that we saved them but only Teddy understands what we saved them from and even then he does not fully understand what "put to sleep" means.

3. If your on the fence about if you want to take the plunge into pet ownership becoming a Foster first is a great way to test it out without making that life long commitment.

4. You may just become a "Foster Failure" but those are the best foster homes possible, that means you fall so totally head over heels in love you adopt the pet yourself. Rescue groups love Foster Failures.

5. They will improve your health.  People who own pets are happier and live longer, it's a scientific fact.  So even if you feel like you do not have 100% to give to a pet full time, opening your home (and heart) to a pet in need temporarily is the next best thing.

6.  You will get to post adorable pics like this on you FB wall:





7.  Rescue groups are always in need, they can only save so many dogs and once they are full there is nothing they can do.  Opening a spot in your home for a pet or 2 (you don't have to be crazy like me and take on a mom with a liter haha) means that's 1 more that can be saved.

8.  You get to see your kids doing cute things like this:


and this:

and this:



9.  Because once you foster, you will want to do it again and again and again.

10. You will save a life, and that's the greatest reason of all!

Even if fostering is not for you Rescue groups are always in need of people willing to help with time or money to drive pets to the vet, help cover costs, donate food/toys/blankets/towels, and even just the simple act of cross posting pets available for adoption in your area on social media.

Sadly there is a major pet over population problem and they cannot all be saved, but that doesn't mean it's not worth trying.  Consider adoption before buying, the puppy in the pet store window is "cute" but the odds are strong that it came from a puppy mill where its parents were mistreated and forced to breed over and over again. Besides, there are plenty of purebreds abandoned and looking for forever homes too.

Be forewarned, if you are crazy enough to take on a mama and pups be prepared to make the "hard choices" of who gets to stay permanently.  We went into this with the intention of adopting 1 of them, but only ONE!  We already have a dog and do not want more than 2 (especially so we can possibly foster again in the future).  I wanted to adopt Mama Dog, or Mama Daisy as we call her, because I know everyone wants a puppy so the puppies will have no problem finding homes.
my girl Mama Daisy- so good with her baby's and mine!  I have
seen my kids try to ride her, literally take food out of her mouth,
poke her, pull her tail, sit on her, etc and she doesn't even flinch. 
She just takes it with a lick and a tail wag.


Ted fell in love with 1 puppy who is in love with him as well, we have nicknamed her "Daddy's Girl" and she follows him everywhere.
Ted with "Daddy's Girl"


Teddy is head over heels in love with the runt, Bitty Bit as we call him:
Teddy with Bitty Bit,  our newest family member


Since it was supposed to be a dog for Teddy he pretty much wins, but its still hard.  Its comforting to know we can be as involved in the adoption process as we want so that we know they are going to good homes.

If you are still not sure, I will leave you with this for a little inspiration:












Do I Go Home Today?


My family brought me home cradled in their arms. They cuddled me and smiled at me, and said I was full of charm.

They played with me and laughed with me, they showered me with toys. I sure do love my family especially the girls and boys.

The children loved to feed me, they gave me special treats. They even let me sleep with them all snuggled in the sheets.

I used to go for walks, often several times a day. They even fought to hold my leash, I'm very proud to say.

These are things I'll never forget a cherished memory. I now live in a shelter without my family.

They used to laugh and praise me when I played with that old shoe. But I didn't know the difference between the old ones and the new.

The kids and I would grab a rag for hours we would tug. So I thought I did the right thing when I chewed the bathroom rug.

They said that I was out of control, and would have to live outside. This I did not understand although I tried and tried.

The walks stopped, one by one; they said they hadn't time. I wish that I could change things, I wish I knew my crime.

My life became so lonely, in the back yard on a chain. I barked and barked all day long to keep from going insane.  

So they brought me to the shelter but were embarrassed to say why. They said I caused an allergy, and then, kissed me goodbye.

If I'd only had some classes, as a little pup I wouldn't have been so hard to handle when I was all grown up.

"You only have one day left," I heard the worker say. Does this mean a second chance? Do I go home today?






Love,
this doggy foster mama,
Christy


P.S. If you live in the KC Metro area and are interested in adopting one of these cuties contact Reno Ranch.

 ***
APBC - Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic ParentingVisit The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in the next Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
  • A Pet's Role in the Home School — If a house isn't a home without a pet, how can you imagine homeschooling without one? Erica at ChildOrganics discusses the many benefits of home schooling with pets. .
  • Toddlers and Whiskers, Co-existing as One — Mama Duck at Quacks and Waddles explains how to introduce new pets to toddlers and babies
  • Children and the Death of a Pet — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama offers suggestions on how to help children work through the loss of a pet. She includes a variety of books to support both parents and children during this tender time.
  • 10 Reasons to Be a Foster Family for a Pet in Need — Christy from Adventures in Mommyhood: Mommy Outnumbered gives her top 10 reasons to consider fostering a pet until a forever home can be found.
  • Preparing Dogs for New Baby — Jennifer from Mother of the Pack gives advice to new parents for preparing their dog(s) for a baby
  • Children, Pets and Death — Lauren at Hobo Mama has walked with her son through the untimely death of their cat, a fascinating and troubling journey.
  • The Health Benefits of Having Pets — Laura from Authentic Parenting tells us exactly why having pets is beneficial to your child's health. 
  • Romeo, My Healing Dog —  Bianca at the Pierogie Mama writes about her loveable old dog, Romeo, who at one point she had to give away but a few years later he was placed back in her life when she least expected it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Living in Our "Own Little World" no more

WARNING: I actually curse in this blog, yep I was THAT upset!  If you know me you know that means its serious haha.




We have all probably seen a few of the "First World Problems" meme's posted on FB but in case you haven't there are tons of them at this link

I am sure we are all guilty of complaining about things people in other countries can not even fathom having the luxury to complain about, myself included.  It's just the world we live in but now when I do it I stop and chuckle to myself and say "First World Problems".  it really helps to put it all in perspective for me.

I was inspired to write this blog after viewing a few rather rude and first world entitled things on FB this morning but I had to make myself do the dishes first before I could sit down and write (or they never would get done).  Here is where I would insert some woe is me comment about how I still do not have a dishwasher.  Instead I sat there washing dishes, stewing on my annoyance at the things I saw that inspired this post and I thought to myself "hey at least I have clean water to wash these in right" and 'dirty dishes mean my kids had food to eat last night".  Does this mean I will magically stop complaining, no, but at least now I can check myself when I start.

So you are probably wondering what I am babbling on and on about.  As I sat outside with my kids and our gang of foster pups this morning allowing them all to run off some energy I was lazily scrolling through my FB newsfeed not really paying all that much attention when the following 2 items jumped out at me.

The first was the following article, Why Is the US So Insulted By ‘Welfare Queens’?.  I clicked on it because I was not really sure what a "Welfare Queen" was.  The article is about another article that was written in a New Orleans newspaper.  The article was about a hotel that was demolished and how people within a certain radius were evacuated while this took place due to health safety concerns.  Yet people who lived in a nearby public housing development were not evacuated.  The article was meant to focus on this and question why, instead everyone focused on a photo that was included of some of the residents that depicted a young boy using some sort of tablet, that most identify as an iPad.  The entire real focus of the article was lost and instead people were posting rude comments about why a "poor" child would have an iPad in the first place.  So you can imagine where it went from there.  Lots of "lazy drug addict alcoholics living off of my hard earned tax dollars" I am sure.  I didn't actually go to the real article to see because I try to avoid reading comments I know will just upset me.
The photo in question can be seen here

I think I was most upset because I lived through my own iPad experience, I "loving" nicknamed it "The XBOX incident."  Anyone who knows me needs no more explanation than that but I will try to sum it up as briefly as my detail oriented rambling butt can.  Basically it was at a time where I was really upset because we made $32 a month over the limit to get any sort of Medicaid for our kids.  Kimmy had just been born and we had to pay all of the expenses out of pocket because we had no insurance.  Even if we could have afforded  insurance after I found out I was pregnant it would have been considered a "preexisting" condition and not covered.  On top of that Teddy had cavities and we were having trouble finding a dentist we could afford to help him.  So I had posted many statuses, links and rants about how unfair it is that health care is seen as a luxury in our country and how my kids are just as worthy as anyone elses and deserve to have health care too.  No health care was offered at the time through Teds job.  So one day, in a lighthearted manor I posted a status that read something like "I am now an XBOX widow" because Ted had just purchased an XBOX 360.  My mistake apparently was not being my typical detail oriented rambling butt and that's all I put in the status.  I didn't think I needed to go into details about how he purchased said XBOX on Craigslist used for less than half price and did so with money made form selling other items we no longer needed on Craiglist.  What followed was "The XBOX incident" where many of my "friends' proceeded to leave rude and hateful comments about how I cry about being "so poor" and then turn around and "allow" my hubby to purchase a gaming console (which was for his Birthday too, another detail I apparently should have included in my status). 

It turned really ugly really fast but I will spare you any more details.  The whole point of me sharing that is because no one knows the reasoning's behind WHY or HOW the boy got said iPad.  Perhaps he has learning disabilities or mental delays that qualified him for it.  Many insurance companies will pay part or all of the costs towards buying an iPad because they can be great learning tools for those who have disabilities/delays including Autism and SPD.  Perhaps he has a close relative that's a little more well off that purchased it as a gift. It could be that the iPad is "left overs" from a life that once was, when times were good and bills were easily paid. Or maybe, just maybe his parents worked OT, double shifts or 2 jobs to be able to buy it for him. 

People seem to think everyone who receives any help from the government is just lazy and using the handouts to pay for their drug habits.  This stereotype has to end!  Sure this is true for s small percentage, BUT by far post people on assistance are working poor.  They have a job, sometimes they have more than 1 job but wages are so low and cost of living is so high that they still need help.  They pay taxes just like everyone else.  People who have nice things and are on assistance of any kind are not abusing the system.  That woman in line with an iPhone using WIC to pay for her milk may be a foster or adoptive parent for all we know.  Because we adopted Karma from the foster care system she will automatically qualify for WIC until age 5 and Medicaid until 18 no matter what our income is.  That man in the nice suit using food stamps could have had a really good job that he lost through no fault of his own.  We can't judge a book by its cover.  In  "The XBOX Incident" people judged us and our ability to be financially responsible (those exact words were used) but you know what, we live within our means, we don't have credit cards, car payments, cable, etc.  I wonder how many people who look down on working poor can say that too?

The second item I saw, the one that just broke my heart was the following image posted by The Mom: Informed. 

not sure who to give image credit to as this was reposted
several times on FB, I saw it on The Mom: Informed


It's not the image that upset me so much as the rude and hateful comments that were posted under it (see this is why I avoid comments when at all possible!).  Hateful comments like "that woman has no business having kids if she can't provide for them" because you know contraception and education are just freely handed out and easily accessible in 3rd world countries.

I seriously just wanted to reach through my computer and smack someone.  That's all they got when they looked at this image.  Their hearts did not break for the child and mother?  They are such selfish entitled asshats that they could not even muster any sort of compassion or empathy and think its some how the mothers fault for "choosing" to have this child.  Give me a damn break!

Going back to "The XBOX Incident" for a minute I have had people say similar things to me.  As in I chose to have kids when I knew we couldn't provide for them.  We can provide just fine for our kids thank you very much, health care in this country is just ridiculous!  The job Ted is at now offers insurance but for our family it would cost $211 a pay period and he gets paid weekly.  Without going into too much detail about how much he makes (because he would be so angry with me) I will just say that's almost 50% of what he brings home each week (lets hope he never reads this haha).  Health care should be a basic right and not something reserved for those who can afford it or are lucky enough to work for an employer that can provide it at a reasonable rate.  We can pay all of our other bills just fine but yes, our kids get health care through the state because my children deserves to have the ability to see a doctor just as much as yours do.  If that makes us "lazy free loaders" then so be it.  Let me tell you, there is NOTHING lazy about my husband's job.  Most would not be able to do it, especially in the 100+ temps we have been having for weeks now.

But go ahead, feel free to judge and say things like maybe we shouldn't have had these kids if we can't "provide" for them.  Should I give them away now?  Will you give your kids away if you find yourself in a similar position?  Because, no matter how well prepared we think we are unless you are rich we are all just 1 lay off, 1 natural disaster or 1 serious illness/injury away from being the nicely dressed lady with an iPhone in line at the grocery store using food stamps. 

Unless you have experienced this do not judge.  The woman and child pictured above never committed any sort of crime, they did not "ask for this".  They were just born in an area of the world where having the luxury to complain about not having dishwashers or judging people for buying XBOX/s or iPads does not exist.  For them simple things like where their next meal will come from trump all of that.  They have no clue what a dishwasher, XBOX or iPad is even.

Seeing that picture and the comments that followed left me heartbroken and disgusted.  I went to the dishes with that empty helpless feeling in the pit of my stomach.  The feeling of "our world is so screwed up why even bother to try.". I was listening to Pandora (yes I have the luxury of having a device I can listen to Pandora on, its ok, judge me, you know you want to) when the following song came on and lifted my spirits. 





It was odd only because I was listening to a station that doesn't play anything even remotely close to this type of music.  It inspired me to remember I may be small and insignificant, I don't have the means to rush out and save the world but I can do it 1 person, 1 random act at a time.  We are currently fostering a death row mama dog and her 6 pups.  We saved them minutes from being put to sleep.  That is my small win that I will focus on for this week instead.

Yes the world is big and scary.  It's hard to know where to start, but just start 1 thing at a time.  A great start would be to stop judging things we do not know or understand.  We need to stop living in our own little worlds and reach out to others. Its all about perspective, first world problems!  We all struggle but if we look hard enough and are willing, we all have something we can give/do to help others.  We teach our kids to share but grow up to become rather selfish adults.  10% of the population controls over 90% of the wealth not just in the US but the world.  I once saw another meme on FB that said something to the effect of "when someone collects cats, newspapers or trash we call them a hoarder and say they are sick but when someone collects money we call them successful and put them on covers of magazines for it" ok, so I know I am in no way quoting that correctly but you get the gist of it. 


Change starts 1 person, 1 small act at a time.

.
What is or will be your small win for this week?

Love,
Christy

FYI: I feel I must clarify that I in no way think my family is poor!  We have food to eat, never go hungry, we have a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and the bills are paid.  Occasionally we even get treats and have a few luxury's including Internet (obviously) and Netflix (instead of cable because $8 is way better than $60+ per month and local channels are free with an antenna).  At no point before, during or after "The XBOX Incident" did I ever say I thought our family was poor.  I was at that time (and still am) upset that Health Care in the US is treated as a luxury and a class identifier.  There are the haves and the have nots and when it comes to my kids health, that is not acceptable to me.  I stand by that to this day!  So yes, now that we qualify I do use that state funded insurance for them.  If health care was made affordable I would HAPPILY pay out of pocket for coverage instead.  We are NOT poor, we are very blessed in our home and I get that.

And in case you can't or don't want to click on and listen to the song, here are the lyrics to hopefully inspire you to stop living in your own little world:


In my own little world it hardly ever rains
I've never gone hungry, always felt safe
I got some money in my pocket, shoes on my feet
In my own little world, population: me

I try to stay awake during Sunday morning church
I throw a twenty in the plate but I never give 'til it hurts
And I turn off the news when I don't like what I see
Yeah, it's easy to do when it's population: me

What if there's a bigger picture?
What if I'm missing out?
What if there's a greater purpose?
I could be living right now
Outside my own little world

Stopped at a red light looked out my window
I saw a cardboard sign said, "help this homeless widow"
And just above that sign was the face of a human
I thought to myself, God, what have I been doing?
So I rolled down the window and I looked her in the eye
Oh, how many times have I just passed her by?
I gave her some money than I drove on through
And my own little world reached population: two

What if there's a bigger picture?
What if I'm missing out?
What if there's a greater purpose?
I could be living right now
Outside my own little world
My own little world

Father, break my heart for what breaks Yours
Give me open hands and open doors
Put Your light in my eyes and let me see
That my own little world is not about me

What if there's a bigger picture?
What if I'm missing out?
What if there's a greater purpose?
That I could be living right now
I don't want to miss what matters
I wanna be reaching out
Show me the greater purpose
So I can start living right now

Outside my own little world
My own little world
My own little world


Additional Notes:
I learned today from Crazy dumbsaint of the mind , who blogs about what its REALLY like to live on Food Stamps (love her honesty and courage!!) that:

 "A person making $50,000 a year pays roughly a dime per day for food stamps. It works out to be about $36.82/ year."

Gio check out her post [Food Stamp Food] Steak & Shrimp! for more info and her blog for a great perspective on the realities of what it's like to eat on SNAP. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Kimmy, Updates and a New Approach

Errrr, wow it's been awhile since I blogged, you may or may not have noticed that.  So long that Blogger is all new and confusing to me again.

First I feel like I should explain WHY I went so long with out blogging but before I do that I just have to say....

HAPPY 4TH BIRTHDAY TO MY LITTLE FIRECRACKER!!

my baby, 4 yrs old today  ♥


Happy birthday Kimmy, mommy loves you and every year the irony of your choice of birth days is never lost upon me.  I guess you wanted to give me a reason to look forward to the most terrifying day of the year for me (I am terrified of fireworks!).

Now, moving on, there were several different things that contributed to my absence.  When I began this blog I intended it to merely be a documentation of our life that I could one day share with my children when they were older (and share with family and friends in the meantime.).  For reasons unknown to me (I don't consider myself very interesting), others began to follow as well.  As the numbers grew I began to feel this imaginary pressure to post as often as possible. I began to try and mimic other bloggers, thinking that's what people wanted, when it was just not my style.  I tried to do "informational" researched posts but honestly I am just a fly by the seat type it all up in the moment and hit post sort of gal.  I write whats in my heart or head at the time and do very little proof reading before I hit post, if you have followed me long enough I am sure you are aware of that by my many humorous typos.  I just do not have the time to devote, not with 4 kids, not with out being absent in their lives.

Which brings me to another reason I went on hiatus, my kids.  I felt like I was being selfish and not present in their lives.  We have had a lot of fun in the last few months and even joined in on the The Great 2011 Summer Bucket List Challenge hosted by The Happy Family Movement, something I may blog more about soon.  We have had a blast coming up with and then crossing off activities so far this summer.

To go along with the pressure that came with the increasing numbers the crazies began to show up as well.  Where there is a forum to express oneself  the crazies who enjoy tearing others down for no particular reason at all are sure to follow.  Along with the "meanys" came the out right stalkery types and in the last few months there were even a few threats of DFS notification left on my blog.  In my head I know I have ever done anything to warrant DFS intervention but the threats still freaked me out, mostly because I know we still want to adopt in the future and any sort of DFS case valid or otherwise could hinder or possibly even completely block that.  Crazies don't realize its a real person on the other end with real feelings and a real life that could be dramatically hurt by their actions.

The final, and main reason for my absence, I began to feel like a fraud.  I was trying so hard to fit into this perfect mold I had in my head of the ideal peaceful parent.  The problem was, my actual life was falling way short of that.  I also had a lot of confusion surrounding the ideals of peaceful parenting and every time I thought I had it someone would come along and tell me I was doing it all wrong (and by "tell me I was doing it all wrong" I mean they would post a blog/article on the subject and I would be like "CRAP, I'm doing it all wrong!").

So I am abandoning all labels.  I will write about how I parent and leave it at that.  I will stop trying to fit into someone else's mold.  I love my kids and I am the best mother I can possibly be for them.  If that means I loose my cool and yell on occasion I am no longer going to beat myself up over it (not that yelling is ever really ok just that, in reality, unless you are a saint or have angels for kids it happens.  Sucks, but it happens).  I will enforce consequences and boundaries that I think are appropriate for our home and my kids age level.  In my journey to try and be this perfectly peaceful mama I realized my kids had no structure or boundaries at all and were not really learning anything and this was hindering them out in the "real world"-as shown in all the troubles and struggles Teddy had in Kindergarten the last year.  Not saying others who parent peacefully do not give their kids boundaries or structure, just saying I could not figure out a way to balance the two.  I was basically just letting my kids walk all over me and run the show, then wondering why they were so difficult and stubborn when I needed them to do something they did not want to do.

So I will be scrapping a lot of posts I no longer feel represent who I am.  I will continue to blog but no longer feel pressured to "keep up with the Jones's" of the bloggy world.  I may post every day for a month and then I may take 3 months off. 

Life is supposed to be a journey, we are supposed to constantly be on the look our for how to evolve and better ourselves so the things I write about this year may not be an accurate representation for who I become next year.  I hope you will stick around to see how the journey grows.

For now, Happy 4th of July to all of my American followers, be safe and have fun.

and once again...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIMMY!!!




^that's my anthem for my firecracker baby  ♥ ♥ ♥


Love,
this ever changing mama,
Christy

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Guest Post: When Other People’s Reactions to SPD Are Worse Than the SPD Itself

I have been slacking in the bloggy department lately so I am really excited to be able to host this amazing guest post from Hybrid Rasta Mama!!   I know I have received some pretty rude (both intentional and unintentional) comments from people in the past when I talk about Karma's SPD, the rudest by far being those who hide behind anonymous online.

Jennifer does a much more beautiful and eloquent job of addressing these sort of attitudes and reactions.  Just because we have a children with SPD does not mean we are stupid or lazy parents looking for a diagnosis to hide behind. 
♥♥♥

ENJOY!



Photo Credit: AIT Institute
Christy has bravely and honestly discussed her experiences mothering a child with a sensory processing disorder (SPD) on her blog.  I admire this because it is not something that I am comfortable discussing on my own blog.  Why?  Simple.  Because other people’s reactions to the term SPD are always harder to deal with than having a child with SPD.


SPD is not a new diagnosis although the term itself and the parameters have changed over the last decade or so.  Everyone on earth has some sort of sensory issue but are able to manage it and work with it.  People with SPD cannot.


My daughter, now three years old, was diagnosed with SPD when she was around 18 months.  This diagnosis was very difficult for a lot of my friends and family to wrap their brains around.  They all pretty much had the same response.  “SPD?  Whatever.  She’ll grow out of her issues.”  Only she didn’t and she hasn’t and still, many people close to me refuse to accept SPD as a legitimate medical diagnosis.


My husband and his family pretty much dismiss the suggestion that my daughter has SPD.  They refuse to modify their behavior towards her to accommodate her needs.  They see her challenges as personality quirks that she will outgrow.  They ignore the fact that she has strong reactions when they act a certain way towards her.  They do not try to understand her and her needs.  This is very tough on me as a mother.  I am constantly compensating for their behavior.


My daughter is very tactile with an olfactory focus.  She touches everything and sniffs everything.  This is how she develops a comfort level with new things, new places, and new situations.  I’m sure you can imagine the stares I get at the grocery store as my daughter sniffs just about everything.  Most people just look confused.  Some ask why she is doing it.  When I say that she has some sensory issues I usually get either a neutral or a negative response.  I hate that.  My daughter does not need to hear negativity from strangers about WHO she is.  Just because they don’t understand it doesn’t mean they have to have a negative attitude about it.  Equally as irritating is when someone says “oh, another kid with another label.” 


I don’t try to protect my daughter from her SPD.  I work with who she is, her boundaries, her needs, and her comfort level.  She is who she is and while SPD can be taxing on a parent (you have to be sharp and attentive at all times with very little wiggle room to let your child out of your sight) my daughter is simply my daughter.  I love her and her SPD.  I wouldn’t trade her or the SPD for anything.  I actually think it makes life rather exciting.


What I would trade is negative reactions, avoidance, dismissal, labeling, and unsolicited advice or comments about my perceived inability to parent properly.  My daughter’s SPD manifests itself in her inability to fall asleep and stay asleep.  At three years old she has never been able to sleep for more than a 2 hour stretch without waking.  Sleep is the time when she processes her day and being the over sensitive and very attune child that she is, she has a tough time letting things go and working through her emotions. 


The comments and advice I get on this typically end in an evaluation of what I am doing wrong as a parent.  I certainly do not need any more mama guilt piled on.  I pretty much have stopped talking about my daughter’s sleep woes because I have a hard time hearing the comments and judgments.  Doesn’t anyone think it hurts me deeply that my child does not get the proper rest no matter what we do to aid her? 


People forget that parenting brings about a lot of guilt on its own.  Throw a child with SPD into the mix and parenting becomes a heavy load physically and emotionally.  Negativity and outright attacks against us as parents and our children only do more harm.  As much as I try to shelter my daughter from the ugly or unkind reactions to who she is, some of that still seeps in.  That breaks my heart.  She does not deserve that.


My motto is “don’t judge until you have walked 10 miles in another parent or child’s shoes.”  Until you have a child with SPD or are a person with SPD, please refrain from dismissive comments, labeling, negativity, and abrasive assessments of who a child is and why he or she is acting a certain way.  Until you at least try to understand SPD (and more specifically the parameters of a particular child’s SPD), refrain from judgment and unsolicited advice.  Instead, ask questions to help you better grasp what SPD is, what that means for the child, and how that challenges a parent.  Offer encouragement and support if you feel like doing so.  Otherwise, no comment is necessary.


We are all in this thing called life together.  Let’s play nice shall we?
About Hybrid Rasta Mama
Jennifer, author of Hybrid Rasta Mama, is a former government recruiter turned stay-at-home mama to a precious daughter (“Tiny”) brought earthside in early 2009. She is passionate about conscious parenting, natural living, holistic health/wellness, real foods, and a Waldorf inspired approach to education. Jennifer is committed to breastfeeding (especially extended breastfeeding), bed-sharing, cloth diapering, green living, babywearing, peaceful parenting, playful parenting, and getting children outside. She is a hybrid parent, taking a little of this, throwing in a little of that, and blending it all together to create a parenting style that is centered on what her daughter needs in order to flourish as a human being. Jennifer also lives and breathes reggae music, the Rastafarian culture and way of life. Reggae music and its message touches her soul.
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Mamatography March 16-31

I'm really getting the hang of this Mamatography thing, check out all the great pictures I have for this installment.  I think the 2 times a month timeline works best for me too.


Mamatography March 16-31

March 16

I never tire of seeing this-hope the neighbors think it's beautiful too!


March 17

Spring came really early this year!


March 18



March 19

Hair cut ♥


March 20

At the store to get cookies for Teddy to hand out
to his class for his BDay


March 21

Happy 6th BDay to the most handsome little boy
EVER!- In my opinion and I am not a bit biased lol. ♥
Light Saber = Best Birthday Gift EVER!
Make a wish!


March 22

enjoying the beautiful spring weather


BDay money from grandma.  First time he ever got money
for his BDay, he was ecstatic and declared he was "RICH!"
Jousting with light sabers, now that's something I want to see!


March 23

Such a goofball!
She asked me to take a picture of her and when
I raised the camera she posed like this and said
"say cheese!"


March 24

What Teddy spent his BDay money on.
Originally he wanted to buy a "double sided
light saber" but came home with this instead.
Playdough! aka The answer to this mama's prayers!
Karma actually sits still and focuses, FOREVER.
It takes her an hour or more to loose interest in it!
LOVE IT!!
everyone loves playdough in this house!
even daddy likes playdough-shhhh, don't tell
him I told you that!


March 25

I was trying to sneak this pic without Ted noticing I was taking
it.  Ummm, ye-ah, he caught me.  He was "thrilled" about it too
can you tell?
I always thought dandelions were pretty,
Kimmy shares my opinion and loves to pick them.


March 26

Just starting to bloom
so strange- 1 tree has leaves, the other nada


March 27

we donated our van to our local
Cars 4 Heroes/Cars 4 Christmas Program
Bye bye van!
We will be getting a new van soon, hopefully in the next 1-2 weeks!


March 28

Sunrise at the bus stop-because my Mamatography posts
are just not complete with out a sky picture.
beautiful blue eyes!


March 29

yeah, pretty sure she was eating dirt!
"Boinging"-that's what Sariah calls riding the bouncy horse.


March 30

Carnival at Teddy's school



March 31

"Are they twins?"
I hear that all the time out in public now!
When I look at them I can see an age difference that, to me,
makes it obvious they are not twins but I guess to the outside
world those differences are not as noticeable.
a few days later and it's in full bloom.
what in the world did you just put on my head mom?
Pouty girl!
She was crying and I was trying to get her
to cheer up by asking her to smile for a picture.
Didn't work!
Our dog..... eating a stick?
She's an odd one but we love her!

Love,

this picturaholic mama,
Christy
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