How I accepted my mother and became happy

 

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It’s funny and amazing that I got to write about my mother. As an individual, who doesn’t believe in accidents, I have a feeling this has been long overdue. I need to acknowledge my mother and reconnect with her heritage.

 

In retrospect, I have always been daddy’s girl and then, step daddy’s girl, who was even more of a dad to me for as long as he lived until he passed away. My step dad (my mother’s second husband) died seventeen years ago. He was in our lives for ten years.

 

During those years, I barely spoke to my real dad. I felt neither need nor mutual desire. That changed, when my step dad died, and I needed to fill in my heart with new father figure. I craved father figure. For some reason, my whole life has been about fathers, brothers, boyfriends and then, a spouse. Everything about men and difficult relationships with them.

 

I slowly started talking again to my dad; it became easier, since I was transferred to school, where he was teaching physics and astronomy. To me, a fourteen year old traumatized and confused teenager he was a mesmerizing image of god, a source of truth, which was unquestionable, just like his authority. Due to my thirst of connection, I listened and believed everything he said; I was like a sponge, trying to soak every bit of information and attention, even like a puppy, craving love.

 

My father is bright, enlightened and passionate individual, a visionary. He influenced me profoundly. When he became successful in his business, which he was doing on a side from school, I was very proud. My mom was still working in some retail store, she was an owner, but eventually had to give it up, simply because it wasn’t producing enough money. To be honest, after spending all our savings, trying to save her second husband and the greatest love of her life, and after losing this battle with death, things went down spiral.

 

She found a third husband, but I felt she stayed with him, because she couldn’t stand the loneliness.

Her third husband was a complete opposite of her second husband. To make it more complicated he inherited two troubled kids (me and my sister), and a woman, who he loved with all his heart, yet he was doomed to be compared to the one she had truly loved and lost. It wasn’t easy. They were fighting constantly. He even left a few times, but always came back.

 

My mother is a very strong, powerful, insightful, deep and intense individual. For this very reason they couldn’t make it with my father. They were two leaders, who couldn’t give up their authorities.

 

By the age of nineteen, I was quiet and shy individual, with vivid imagination and dreams to be some kind of artist. I had a music band, where I was a singer, and I was constantly writing poems. What I didn’t have was guts to pursue artistic career. My mother was pressuring me to get a “real” education. I left music, went to study Tourism and Hospitality, and when I was twenty one, I came to the United States as an exchange student. I never came back home.

 

My father was trying to recruit me to expand his business overseas, but I just wasn’t wired the same way, and felt really guilty about it. His success and my inability to follow made me feel mediocre.

 

I was looking down at my mother, who was now working as a retail assistant at somebody else’s store. It was definitely under her intellectual capacity, but she couldn’t manage to get out to the next level. I was mad at her, yet I couldn’t find myself either.

 

Next year I’m turning thirty. I am just now realizing that I need to go into artistic field and not feel ashamed about it. I have been drilling everything my dad said out of my head, because I have realized that this man is not always right, and the wall between us can’t be broken even if I fulfill all of his expectations.

 

I’m learning to set boundaries and protect what’s important to me. I’m re-examining my relationship with my mother. My dad got this vibe going, as if she had nothing accomplished in her life, and he’s so successful, yet to me, she was lucky to experience the greatest love I have ever witnessed, and the most beautiful love story with the most amazing man, who had died for us. I envy her now.

 

I love talking to her; she’s my best life coach. I think part of the reason I couldn’t accept and find myself was because I didn’t accept my mom for who she was and her life experience as being worthy.

 

I sense that now things are changing. I’m blessed to have such a great, loving and wise mother. She is forty eight years old, she gave birth to her third daughter at the age of forty, and that little girl made her third husband and their marriage so much happier.

 

She went back to teach history at school, and loves it. Now she feels like she’s contributing to society. I am proud of her, and I want to take everything from her life experience, so I can apply it on my own life and be the best person and daughter.

Free Places to Take Kids

Recently, one of our members asked a very good question, “Where can I take my child that’s free, besides playgrounds?”  If your toddler or child is anything like mine, they get bored easily and don’t want to stay inside the house all day. Sometimes we get bored of the same playground or the weather doesn’t allow. We got so many great suggestions from our members and readers I decided to make this list.

Free Places to Take Kids:

English: Children's area, Sutton branch

English: Children’s area, Sutton branch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1)Libraries & Bookstores:
most have story times and other events for kids where its perfectly ok for them to be a little loud and have fun with books or toys. Presentations are common and offer opportunities to learn about different professions like firemen, police officers. These are ideal places to network with other parents too.

2) Nature Walks: hiking, nature trails or walks as they may be known offer great opportunities for little ones to stretch their legs, explore and learn.  Many places will also have playgrounds or other amenities.  Check your local state/national parks for more information or botanical gardens.

Splash Pad #1

Splash Pad #1 (Photo credit: chooyutshing)

3) Splashpads: a favorite during hot months! Many towns have splashpads that are either free or $3 or less. Great for little tots and bigger kids alike. Make sure to go prepared to get wet!

 

 

4) Central Florida parents: We love Downtown Disney! This is another great spot to let kids roam relatively free. The shops, splashpad, live entertainment and plenty of space to walk makes it very kid friendly. If you’re feeling bold, or are a DVC member, you can also visit one of the Disney resorts. I recommend Boardwalk Resort because you can walk on the boardwalk or Animal Kingdom Lodge which allows you to walk and see animals.

Lobby of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Orland...

Lobby of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Orlando, Florida, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5) U-Pick Farms: in Clermont, FL we like to go to Showcase of Citrus and Marks Blueberries. Showcase of Citrus has a playground, sandbox, kittens, farm animals and you can pick from many varieties of citrus fruits. You can also purchase them from the shop along with other local delicacies.  Marks Blueberries has 20 varieties of blueberries and is lots of fun to eat while you pick. The pine trees also offer a nice area for them to walk and get pinecones for crafts.

6) Large stores: This is more of a desperate measures sort of thing, but some how I end up doing it quite a bit. Like with any place, you do have to watch the kids but at stores you have to be extra vigilant. Still, they’re good choices for rainy days, if you don’t want to drive far and are willing to shop very slowly. My boy loves to walk around in Lowes, Target, TJ Maxx, etc. He’s not yet 2, so its all one big playground to him. Malls also offer plenty of space to explore, and if you’re lucky, might even have an indoor play area.

What other places do you take your kids to?

Creative Pregnancy, Birth Announcement, Maternity Photos

Browsing Pinterest can give you so much inspiration for great, creative pregnancy, birth announcement, maternity and gender announcement photos. We found this blog to have some really beautiful ideas and had to share!

Creative Pregnancy and Newborn Photos

I took some photos during my pregnancy, but I admit they weren’t planned or made into something creative or cute. I wish I had! At least I did put more thought into taking photos of my son each month. Every time he turned a month older, we took pictures of him with an owl sticker. I know that for baby number 2 I’ll make sure to plan carefully so we can make really cute memories! Here are a few examples of my baby boy’s monthly photos:

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Did you take creative photos to announce your pregnancy or the gender? How about monthly photographs of baby?

When you know it’s time to go…

Have you met people in your life, whose presence brought you peace and harmony? Rarely I meet people, who have soothing effect on me, and my moods; somewhat elevating effect, that makes you want to be better and think that you can accomplish great things… Have you ever met people that when you start talking to them, you almost immediately feel that you are on the same page, and they waft pleasant thoughts and kind emotions. Such simple words, like kind thoughts and warm emotions.  I wish we didn’t forget these in a string of days.

I and Sophia were staying home for several days, and when we finally got out of the house today to visit my friends, I felt like a caveman, who saw the sunshine for the first time in many months. I have been very irritated due to a lot of factors: staying home too much, and not being able to leave Sophia with anyone, which I have finally understood that I have to in order to keep my sanity. I have to figure out the way to trust others to watch her and put up with the fact that it’s going to be English speaking person most likely. I know that leaving the house and leaving my daughter for periods of time were long overdue.

Ideally, I was supposed to do it 9 months ago, when she just turned nine months. It is very useful for her and formation of her independence. It is even more useful for me – an emotional and complex person, who just needs an outlet to express her creativity… But because of traumatic birth experience, and a feeling of guilt, also having paranoia that my child won’t speak Russian, because everyone around me is an English speaking “enemy”; and because of an absence of my mother and trust issues with my MIL, I just could not leave her. So I held on, and held on, and held on, until recently I have come to notice that it’s unbearable for me and for her.

Children genetically expect their mother to leave, and when it doesn’t happen, some issues start to arise. For instance, they may start nursing more often, almost at the same pace as newborns, up to twenty times a day… The logic here is “I might as well suck on breasts as much as I can, before she finally leaves…” Or they will throw tantrums in their attempts to usurp the mother… NOT GOOD. Not good for my sanity whatsoever.

I am always preaching how important it is to keep them in your arms 24/7 during in-arms phase, which is until they start creeping and crawling. It usually happens at around eight months of age. Until then it is extremely important to be in close contact, and not leave them with strangers and especially for long periods of time. I myself got so attached to my child and so carried away by this concept that I failed to notice that she is one and a half years old, and running around!!! WOW, and they are telling me that it’s other people’s children that grow up fast?! She grew up in a blink of an eye! And it’s time to leave, mommy, for your own sake and for the sake of your child’s well-being. Yet it is heart breaking, I realize that I need to step aside a bit and take my shield off of her… Otherwise, the result will be deplorable.

She has thrown quite a few tantrums recently, screaming and even growling and roaring at times; she would also throw herself on the floor and sometimes even hit her face(!), which I can’t imagine where she got it from??? It is driving me nuts, and I sure do not want to be a walking example of the joke: “Some people belong on a tree, because they are nuts!”

Anyhow, I took myself by the scruff, and drove to visit my friends. As always happens when I go to these precious people’s house, the time Sophia and I spent there was delightful. I always feel almost from the first moment I walk in, that I am understood. It right away makes me turn off my defense mode and just be myself, even though I remain having doubts whether I talk too much or not. Just can’t relax and be myself, shoot…What’s up with that. Sophia was acting fine, almost perfect, she was busy exploring the house, playing with Dante and finding new toys to play with. We were eating healthy snacks, light and tasty, and it made me feel good about myself. I almost believed I can follow a healthy diet and finally start a juice fest I was talking about for so long. I remembered that Mirta gave me “Juicing Bible” – a book about juicing, obviously. All I need to start is… to buy a juicer! Healthy body-healthy spirit, and vice versa.

Beautiful ideas, enlightened mood and spirit, that’s exactly what I needed! And very productive, too – we have come up with ideas for our AP and BF Support Group logo and finally watched “The business of being born”. It was hard for me to watch. I felt so guilty once again for my ignorance, and for what my daughter was put through because I didn’t do my research. Couple times during the movie I cried, but in the end it was liberating and empowering in a sense of gripping my passion and my mission in helping mothers to make informed decisions!

Coming home downgraded my optimism and light mood a little bit, and I questioned myself “why?” I think “light” comes from within, and I have to take responsibility for keeping it live. As everything in life, it is a matter of habit, sustained effort and discipline. And in some cases, mental health. Not my case, hopefully 😉

In the end we always turn to someone who can listen and is compassionate, who respects and accepts others and himself. All these latest, trends about steep personalities, and inflexible minds, don’t work. Einstein said that any kind of addiction is bad, no matter if the drug be alcohol, cigarettes or Idealism.  Outside toughness and agression are just decoys  that intend to cover up one’s incompetency to communicate with others, build lasting relationships, respect other people’s views, feelings, and ways etc, etc, etc.

Does it really matter in the end? I wasn’t talking to a girl, because she thought breastfeeding was pain in the butt. But it’s my problem! Who cares??? Welcome to natural selection, you just entered a ruffle! Some will make it, some won’t, it’s the law of evolution. Will I lower myself to arrogance and deceit? No. I learn to respect others and their choices. I learn to take responsibility for my own actions, moods and feelings, that’s a part of this deal, called adulthood.

Wow, where have I started and where have I ended?? Funny, this post came together to be about responsibility, light people, hope and time to get out of the house!

Hope I didn’t bore you, and Happy Motherhood!

Sincerely, Valeriya Isernia AP trainer

Accepting Yourself

“Accept yourself as you are. Otherwise, you will never see opportunity. You will not feel free to move toward it – you will feel you are not deserving.” Maxwell Maltz

I feel a bit philosophical today. Maybe it is due to food poisoning: I feel weak and dizzy lying on the couch, and not capable of any physical activity. Today, I can relate to all pregnant women with morning sickness, and it’s not fun…  Thank god, I didn’t have one when I was pregnant with Sophia! Anyhow, I’m shifting towards psychology in my attempts to help Mothers. When I attended an online seminar conducted by Founder and CEO of Motherhood and Breastfeeding Support Center in Russia, it was revealed to me that technologies don’t work. We can teach mothers the same breastfeeding techniques, but results will be different. Some women just can’t do it, while others succeed, following the same advice. It proves that there is more to it. There are issues that are sitting way deeper than actions that we take on surface.

I have a lot of great teachers, and I learn a great deal from people around me, as well as I learn from reading and simply observing life. The truth is that we ALL have the resources and answers within us. Everything we need is within our reach, but there are obstacles that we must overcome in order to get access to our limitless potential and knowledge. There are numerous subtle moments to discuss, but I want to start with the most important idea that usually interferes with the woman’s ability to be happy and fully realize her Motherhood potential. This is the ability to accept yourself.

This is a genuine ability to love yourself and be free from guilt, shame, anger and other unpleasant emotions. Making peace with yourself comes with conscious admittance of problems and complexes. For example, people who show aggression and hate to others, in fact, hate themselves. Our feelings are being converted outwards to protect ourselves. If you hear someone saying that they want to kill everyone, or they hate everyone, they are really saying that they hate themselves and want to kill themselves. When you accept yourself, you accept others. You develop tolerance to others when you are in peace with yourself. Tolerance is when someone tells you to go to hell, and you come back tanned and rested J That’s tolerance.

Accepting yourself, frees energy to flow in a more constructive way. Instead of wasting it on beating yourself and others, we can direct this energy towards positive changes. If we are stuck on negativity, it leads to stagnation. Life becomes a swamp, sucking us into more and more negativity and darkness. Eventually it brings disappointment and even disease.

Accepting yourself gives hope for a better future. People, who read Bible, for example, are more accepting, thus have more hope. Hope defines quality of life. How would you live if you didn’t have hope for the future? People who despise it and try to understand Bible with logic are usually cynical and bitter. Reality doesn’t have right or wrong, it just exists. It is much easier to be critical, to be cynical, to be hateful, but in the end the person hurts himself. Hope and tolerance are healing. It takes effort, though, to be open, and accepting. And we all should start from accepting ourselves and loving unconditionally. When you love yourself unconditionally, you become selfless, and want to serve others.

Accepting yourself also means reserving a right for mistakes. Many people are afraid to make mistakes. But making mistakes is a very quintessence of a learning process. Zig Ziglar said “failure is an event, and tomorrow really is a new day!” So don’t try to be perfect, as it is the most common complex for a woman….;) I am very familiar with this oneJ

Roots of all complexes, self-limiting beliefs and problems usually come from early life experiences and certain events in life of an individual.  You can’t change the past, but you can control what’s happening to you today. There is no need to fight with it, or get rid of it. The philosophical position is to gain, not to lose or “get rid of” something… Watch yourself from aside and notice when anger, shame, fear, or hurt enter your consciousness. Then you can use your will and stop it, and try to understand why this feeling occurred. For example, today, I got mad at S, I was extremely irritated and wanted to yell so much. I stopped by asking myself – what is really going on? I realized that I’m really mad at myself for not keeping up the order in the house. But why should I? Again, a striving to perfection, gone too far, was causing neurosis and everyone to suffer…

Another dangerous one is to think that you’re a bad mother. This doesn’t bring anything but trouble. By just acknowledging that we are not perfect, and still learning to be wise mothers, will relieve hard feelings and sense of failure. Then we can focus on changing things…

So, accept yourself, it will do good for you and everyone around you!

Happy Motherhood!

Sinserely yours,

Valeriya Isernia

 

The Main task of the Mother

Nurturing Mothers Network is a Natural Parenting and Breastfeeding Support Group and Educational Center.

As you all know we are a community of like-minded women who share their passion for breastfeeding. Our mission is to support and educate mothers about breastfeeding.

Today, I want to talk about the main task of the mother, or Mother’s Mission. If you ask any mother what does she want for her child, she will say: I want my kid to be happy, healthy, socially adapted, morally sound; I want him to live in harmony with himself and those around him, and I want him to be capable of building and nurturing long-lasting relationships with other people. Generally, any mother would want her child to be the best he can be and release his life potential to the fullest extent.

The important moment is to realize that we can only convey qualities to our children that we possess ourselves. We can’t give them something we don’t have, right?

So, the real question is – are you happy? Are you socially adapted? Are you living in harmony with yourself and others? Are you morally sound individual? These are the real questions to ask!

We, as Nurturing Mothers, believe that the main task of the mother is to never stop growing as a person, as a Woman, as an interesting individual, so you can become the best you can be, and your child will become the best he can be by looking at you.

Jim Rohn said – “the book you missed won’t help!” This is true! That’s why I encourage you to read a lot, to keep developing yourself, to live your life to the fullest. Great news is that it’s never too late to start, and anybody can do it. None of us is perfect. We can all strive to perfection, but we can never reach the perfection, and that’s ok!

You can turn yourself into anything you want to be, and you can become the best Mother you can be, every woman has a huge motherhood potential that needs and can be awakened and refined. Nurturing Mothers Network is here  to help you achieve that goal! Sincerely yours, Valeriya Isernia, Team Leader of Nurturing Mothers Network