After a particularly difficult weekend of parenting, I confided in my friend Joy that I felt like my child’s irrational behavior seemed to be a reflection of a parenting fail on my part.
My child could not accept that they had to stick to their commitments. (Never mind the fact that they had cried, begged, swore on their grave that this was the ONE thing they were born to do and HAD to do it or their pitiful life was over.)
Now there was a new, “I’m gonna die if I don’t do this” thing and I was officially the “meanest, most unfair mom ever.” (Exact words of my child.)
The words didn’t bother me. The anger behind them did.
I wasn’t as worried about the fact that they thought I was being mean; it was the fact that my child was so quick to change passions in the blink of an eye.
Joy pointed out that maybe there was some regret there. My child now saw a new opportunity and regretted making the previous choice. My friend shared that her kids had demonstrated similar behavior and accused her of “forcing” them to do the very things she knew they loved. In her kind and wise way, Joy said, “I think sometimes they (the kids) have regrets and they use it as anger towards us, but it’s not okay for them to be angry with us for what they regret.”
WOW! Continue reading “Regret as Anger ?!?!”
“You approached it like it was heavy, so it was.”
In the past I have written about my struggles with laundry. Laundry and I have a tumultuous relationship. The laundry tumults and I trip over it and fuss about having to fold it. My kids’ relationship with those baskets of socks, shorts, and shirts is way more tragic than mine.
Each day my children are given chores. Nothing too crazy. They are to do things like empty the dishwasher, take out the trash, and clean off the table, but this past weekend my boys were to fold the socks. As far as sock piles go, this one was definitely more of a mole hill than a mountain.
It took my 8 year-old and 6 year-old almost two hours to fold approximately 20 pairs of socks.
It was ugly.
Hubby had to threaten. I had to physically remove every electronic device, every pillow and blanket, and some small furniture from the living room so they could do their job.
When the 2nd hour loomed and I had better things to do than wait for socks to be folded, I set the kitchen timer for 5 minutes.
If the socks were not folded, sorted, and delivered to their respective rooms in those 5 minutes, there would be NO internet, TV, Legos, baseball, or fishing for a week. Continue reading “The Heavy Approach”
Dear Dr. Deeken,
I am so glad you accepted my invitation and am even happier that we made that lunch date happen!
I would like to apologize for taking so long to write this letter. Life just has a way of getting away from me. Before we met, I promised to limit my questions to 10. I hope I was able to keep that promise. There were just so many things I wanted to discuss.
When we sat down and I had a chance to tell you that my friends were all jealous of our lunch date, you said that you hoped, “We were not underwhelmed” by your responses. (Clearly you did not see how starstruck I was to be dining with THE Dr. Deeken.)
As always you listened, shared, taught, and inspired me.
One of the questions I asked was “What was your favorite advice for parents?”
Your sweet and smart responses of “Enjoy each and every stage of childhood, (speaking from personal experience),” “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, and “Don’t let kids dictate; You’re the parent. You’re not the friend” were true to the doctrines of appointments heard by thousands of parents and still need to be shared daily.
The fact that you have 10 children of your own is still one that awes me. The fact that you carried a panel of about 2000 patients floored me. When asked how you managed, you gave tremendous credit to your husband and said something that too many of us feel in the healthcare and educational professions, “I short-changed my family. You can’t get time back.” In learning that you often took your charts home to finish each night, after making your hospital rounds and full days of check-ups and medical emergencies, it’s no wonder you felt spread too thin. I think it’s fair to say that you did a marvelous job of tackling some tough stuff. Continue reading “Lunch was Lovely – Thank You Letter to Dr. Deeken”
Earlier this summer, my youngest son was helping me run errands. He had behaved well and been so patient all morning. When he asked to purchase a small cactus in at the hardware store, I said, “Yes.” The cactus was in a small plastic pot and didn’t seem too dangerous, so I didn’t think twice about taking it home.
My six-year-old son proudly watered the cactus every other week and talked to it almost daily. I didn’t give it much attention until he placed it on the kitchen counter next to my Christmas cactus. I noticed his cactus was a bit pale and still had a tag hanging off it.
Upon closer inspection I made a prickly discovery. My sweet son’s cactus was a fake. It was made in China.
Now you might ask, “How in the world did you not know the cactus was a fake?” Continue reading “Don’t Get “Stuck” on Your Mistakes – Wise Words Wednesday”
My 6 year old LOVES the color yellow. He has yellow headphones, a yellow tablet case, and even sports yellow Crocs.
As we did some room re-arranging at our home, he inherited his sister’s old room. When we built our home a number of years ago, my daughter selected pink and purple for the walls and those just weren’t going to suite the room’s newest inhabitant. His wall colors were to be yellow (of course), blue, and gray with outer space decorations. (It was going to be out-of-this-world.)
My son insisted that he wanted yellow sheets for his new bedding.
I searched for yellow sheets. It is not possible to find yellow sheets. (Most people associate yellowed sheets with bed wetting.) Amazon, Target, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, T.J.Maxx… no one could help me.
So I did what any loving mother would do. I dyed white sheets yellow.
My husband told me I was crazy. I told him to not mess with me or I would dye his sheets yellow too.
The end result was not perfectly, evenly yellow, but I had a little boy who was very happy.
So while his yellow sheets may have been a bold design choice, I hope he always remembers the brazen acceptance of his vision and how happy it made him to bring that vision to reality.
As you make your way through the day, I hope you too will find ways to make bold choices and accept the dynamic decisions of those you love. Let the colorful courage be something that not only brightens the situation but charges the positivity and purpose in your day.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. I did not encourage him to yellow the sheets by any other means. They are yellow enough.
When I had my babies, I didn’t really mind staying home all the time. My “free” time was spent caring for them. I loved watching them day in and day out, but as they grew to be toddlers and the newness of having an infant had worn off, I found that I really did want to do things outside of our home…………. without the babies.
At a family gathering my sister Olivia and I watched our kiddos play and lamented the need for a break. She explained our situation as being “The Black Hole of Parenthood.” We would not see the light of a social life until our kids were older and the pull of constantly supervising them grew weaker. Eventually, there would be time for having dinner with friends or dates with hubby, and we would break away from the forces of the black hole. My thoughts were that most black holes crush whatever enters them (I didn’t really want to be crushed) and (even though I wanted a break) I didn’t really want my kids to be big enough to not need me. Continue reading “The Black Hole of Parenthood”
Saturday as my kids and their cousins wrestled on my parents’ living room floor, my sister and I discussed which children we were leaving for Grandma and Grandpa to keep. (None of the children were in fact being left. They just wouldn’t stop wrestling.)
My sister’s car was full of hockey gear and fresh beef (picked up from the butcher shop that morning). My dad said he wasn’t sure how it was all going to fit. My sister assured him it would be okay. My nephew volunteered to leave his hockey gear, so he would not have to go to hockey at 6:30 the next morning.
My sister laughed and said, “I should just leave you and let Grandma take care of you.”
The Word Wizard Wyatt – credited with inventing the word “funishment”
My nephew’s response, “What kind of punishment is that? That’s more like a funishment!”
Continue reading “What’s Your “Funishment”?”
Hello Dr. Deeken,
Ten years ago you allowed a crazy, pregnant lady to meet with you prior to the birth of her first child. You were kind and patient and, as that same crazy mom continued to bring all three of her babies, you showed the same dedication and compassion. Thank you!
Clearly, I was that crazy lady and through all the chaos of childhood injuries, immunizations, and illnesses you cared for my kiddos and provided answers for any questions I may have had. As I move forward as a mom and a writer, I want to take to you to lunch and talk about the lessons you have learned as a mom, a wife, and a care provider.
I know you would not let a little thing like retirement keep you from keeping busy, so your schedule is probably just as booked as always, but it would mean the world to this crazy lady to have lunch with you.
How did you keep your cool when parents were so unreasonable with their requests or demands? How did you find such wonderful ways to calm those cranky babies? How in the world did you balance your career and home life with your own large and loving family? Where did you come up with the term “goofy poof”? These are things I am eager to discuss with you. Continue reading “Dr. Mary Deeken, will you please have lunch with me? – Sincerely, Intentergy”
As I enjoyed my recent hair appointment, my hairdresser Abby inspired me (per the usual) with what she had to say about how silly people are sometimes.
Abby is expecting her first child in March.
(She is going to be an amazing mom!)
Abby shared with me that many have expressed distress at her nonchalant manner for addressing when the baby comes and how she is going to handle the demands of her hair clients. She has already made plans to stop taking appointments around her due date and has set an ideal timeline for her return. She has not allowed herself to stress too much if the baby comes early or is a little late. Abby knows that babies come when they are ready and her hope is to be as ready as she can be without letting the trims, perms, and highlights of her customers put a damper on the delivery.
“God has a way of reminding us it’s not in our hands. It’s all in His timing,” Abby told me, “He has sent me that reminder many times.”
Her words rang true to me and reverberated with the wisdom of Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the human heart;
yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
These words are embossed on the cover of the journal I used to document my experiences as hubby and I embarked on our journey through fertility treatments, loss, and my unexpected and completely natural pregnancies that resulted in the three crazy kiddos we have today. God really does have beautiful timing. Continue reading “The Hands of Time are Not Ours”