Mindfull Parenting. Really?!?

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Oh boy, another guilt-free way to parent my kids that makes me feel guilty for not doing it like I’m apparently supposed to be doing it.

There’s a new parenting “buzz-word” (buzz-phrase?) circulating on the internet called “Mindful Parenting” that makes me just want to gauge my eyes out with the toddler-goo/dust-bunny encrusted spoon I just fished out from under the couch. I mean really, just the phrase makes me think “you’ve gotta be kidding me!”.

That’s not to say that it’s not a nice thought, being a mindful parent, but really, do we need yet another “parenting trend”? Can’t we just be parents?

I get that multi-tasking isn’t always the best way to get eleventy-billion things done, and done well, but really, what choice do I have? Stuff’s gotta get done, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all.

My motto these past 2.8 years since the peanut came on board is that if I’m not doing at least two things at a time, I’m not doing enough. I’m in survival mode here people. The ratio of 2 kids to 2 parents has us outnumbered. Seriously. It’s math people. If you have more than one kid you know what I’m talking about.

Mindful parenting is where you, as a parent, take the time to keep your attention focused on what you’re doing with your kid at any given time. But already you’re screwed if you have more than one kid. I know neither of my kids will let me focus my attention on the other without busting in on whatever it is we’re doing. The preshus sees me having a moment with the peanut, he wants in, and who can blame him? His brother would (and does) do the exact same thing! We like spending time together as pairs, and as a group, that’s how families operate. At least, that’s how mine does.

All this isn’t to say that I don’t focus on my kids individually, of course I do. But do we have to put a name on everything and make anyone who isn’t doing it right feel bad? I don’t think so.

Mindful parenting says put time aside to “meditate” with your kids to calm and focus them and yourselves. It’s a nice thought, but thanks for making me feel bad about the fact that the two hours I have between getting home at the end of the day and bedtime, doesn’t allow for calming meditative exercises.

This article suggests that while you’re in the shower, don’t make your to-do list (come on! I get some of my best blog post ideas in the shower!!) but experience the shower. “…think, I’m in the shower. The water is hot. The room is steamy, etc. Don’t judge whether the shower is awesome or annoying; just slow down and experience it.” Um, yeah. This article clearly doesn’t take into account that there are kids on the other side of my bathroom door crying (the 2yo) or banging (the 4yo) because the door is closed and how dare I be in a room by myself. I get about two minutes of peace in any given shower before the littles are yelling, shattering any calm I might have gained.

This article suggests that we take time during meals together to “slow down at dinner and ask your children to really notice their food”. Nope, sorry, can’t do that. The goal at our house it to get the kids to eat the food, not look really hard at it. If they slow down to “notice” what I’ve put in it, then they certainly aren’t going to eat it because there’s too many “beggagables” in it. Move along kids, nothing to see here. Dinner is yummy, that’s all you need to know. Eat it.

I do my best to make sure that I give my kids all of my attention when the moments present themselves. Considering that I’ve got two kids, a husband and a full-time job, I think I’m knocking it out of the park! Or, at the very least, it’s a double-play turned triple-play on an error (can you tell baseball season is coming up? GO JAYS GO!) See, I can’t even throw out a metaphor without getting distracted.

A few minutes for a hug and a cuddle here, a couple of minutes playing on the floor with cars or drawing a picture there, my kids are happy and I don’t need another parenting label article to tell me that I’m doing a good job, or criticize me for not doing a good enough job.

Maybe I’m overreacting, or maybe I’m just mad at myself because I succumbed to the “click-bait” article title, and that’s my bad. Normally I know better.

So thank you “guilt-free parenting article”. I now feel totally guilty about not parenting in this new and fantastic way. Kudos.

Why the Olympics are Important

I know they’re not important to everyone. But they’re important to me. And I think they’re important to my country, the world and mankind in general. That’s a pretty big statement coming from someone who, admittedly, has no stake in the Olympics beyond that of an avid fan of the Games, nonetheless, I feel it’s important that we remember why holding the Olympics every 2 (4) years is a good thing.

  • They bring the world together – even warring nations will send Olympic athletes to compete at the games. Granted, at times there has been controversy, boycotts and even deaths because of athletes from unfriendly countries getting together in such a confined environment, but the fact that countries keep sending their best of the best says something about the core of what it is to be a part of the human race, doesn’t it?
  • They advance the abilities of mankind – And not just the obvious abilities like strength, speed and endurance. Man has increased its ability to push the human form to its limits, breaking Olympic and World Records year after year. We also strive to improve the science of the human body and our understanding of what it can do. We increase our knowledge and abilities with regards to the art and design of the way bodies move, not to mention the science of athletic equipment, clothing, shoes and even sporting facilities. All in order to better ourselves on the world stage of the Olympics.
  • The Olympics gives people a chance to lift themselves up through sheer force of will, skill and talent. Not every country gives bucket loads of cash to their Olympians to help them train, but if even the smallest country can send an athlete… it warms my heart.
  • This year (2012) was the first year that every country playing in the games had a woman athlete competing. Let me say that again. Every country competing in the games, had a female athlete on their team. For the first time. EVER. How amazing is it that the summer Olympics has taken place every 4 years for the past 120 or so years and this is the first time the summer games has included a woman from each competing country? Welcome to 2012 Olympics. Even countries who have traditionally banned their women from competing because of gender rules, and sports that have banned athletes because of differences of opinions regarding religious dress vs. athletic clothing, agreed that letting women compete this year was a good idea. Good job everyone. Yes women are, in fact, equal. No matter what.
  • This was also the first time that every event allowed women to compete. Again, amazing it has taken this long, but the day has finally come. In fact, I think rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming are the only two events that are women-only. In my opinion I think men should be able to do these as well. It would certainly be… interesting!
  • The Games brings a country together. Each hosting city, in spite of all the hard work and tons of money it takes to put on a Games, rallies together to say to the world, “Here we are! These are our games! Come celebrate with us!” I find this amazing. Countries all over the world put their blood, sweat and tears into their Olympic bids, year after year. I know my city bids for the games on a regular basis. We’ve never won, but I know that one year we will, and I just can’t wait.

And yes I know there are many downsides to hosting the Olympics, but with all the upsides, aren’t the Games worth it?