the nest

the nest

Friday, May 31, 2013

afraid to lead

How do I expect my children to take on the world when I'm afraid to do the same?  Maybe they'll teach me.  I'm ready to really dig in and grow my business, but I'm dragging my feet.  I know what I need to do, I'm just AFRAID to do it.  Why?  not sure...

My middle child is 17 today.  Her cousin is 16 today.  These two young women are AMAZING!  They have the potential to truly change the world.  They are smart, passionate, COMpassionate, talented, beautiful WOMEN.

I want them to see me and the other women around them as powerful agents of change whether we are in the boardroom or the kitchen.  I want them to see and know women who OWN their role as leaders. I am thankful that they are both surrounded by just such women.  I'm grateful that they each have a community surrounding them with love and encouragement.

I want to be one of those women too.  I know that I actually am in my daughter's eyes.  I wish I was as confident about my role as a powerful woman as she is.  I want to be as amazing as she thinks I am.  I want to learn from her fearlessness and own my role as a leader in the world.

I want to stop talking about the things I want to do and just DO THEM.

Happy Birthday Katy and Anna~ I wish you life, love, happiness and confidence.  You WILL change the world for the better.  In fact, you already have.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Birthday musings

Yesterday I turned 45.  I was overwhelmed with birthday wishes, celebrated with good friends on Saturday night, knew that it was a busy weekend with people every which way, didn't anticipate being weepy.

45 is closer to 50 than 40.
My middle child went to her Junior Prom.
This weekend, I missed a nephew's graduation from my Alma Mater AND a niece's baptism.
After a very fast week at home, I took my oldest to New Hampshire where he will spend the summer.

During church Sunday am, several of the Pentecost readings brought up musical memories of my time at Luther College singing in Nordic Choir.  Reinforced what I was missing, but made me grateful for what I've had.  "I will sing to the Lord as long as I live."

The launching of my children comes faster and faster.  Good thing my sweet puppy Thor will be with us through the many transitions the 4 or 5 years will bring.

I'm so blessed in so many ways and have had an amazing life so far with so much to come.  At 45 though, there are things I wish I did differently.  I told my son that I know there are many mistakes he just has to make on his own as he grows, but there are a few I wish he would learn from us so he doesn't have to revisit some of them.  Here are a few...

1) When you are 18 or 20 or 25 or 30, and people tell you to save 10% of any income, DO IT.  At 45, with a successful almost 22 year marriage, 3 amazing kids, my own business etc... One of the few things that can send me to the pits is our complete and utter lack of savings.  One miscalculation of funds and I'm in a panic until the next paycheck.  10% of everything goes a long way to feeling secure.

2)  Make sure to write thank you notes.  I believe in them, I can explain why they are important, and why I appreciate them, but I'm terrible at writing them.  Just do it.

3)  Before you settle down think about who you want to be near as you have children and as your parents get older.  We have loved CT in so many ways and at this point it is our home.  I miss being close to our family for special events and even just meeting for lunch.  I wish that we were closer to grandparents and cousins.  I miss my Mom and Dad.  I never thought I would end up halfway across the country.  Maybe this would have been our path, but I wish we had thought forward more than we did.

I'll get over my weepiness.  When you have a puppy and when you sing and dance with families and children for a living it's hard to stay blue.  Happy Birthday to me.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mama love

This is going to be a challenging post for me, but I'm going to dive right in.  The attached blog post
reasons to calm down about babies crying was so thought provoking for me.  When my babies were small, I absolutely hated to hear them cry.  I thought my job was to meet all their needs until they were big enough, or old enough to meet them.  I was an Attachment Parent all the way!  Especially with my second child.
She was my "high-need" baby.  For the first 6 months of her life she was either in the sling or sleeping next to me ~ she nursed all night long sometimes and was happy as long as she was in physical contact with her mama.  I was SO THANKFUL for attachment parenting as I was certain that if I didn't wear her and co-sleep with her she would be so unhappy and I wouldn't survive her infancy!
Once she was mobile, the constant physical contact decreased, but she continued to be intense.  She could go from 0-60 in no time flat and I was there to soothe her and meet her needs.  While I was exhausted, I was a little smug as well.  Not many other mother's could handle such an intense child!
In many ways Attachment Parenting served me and my children well.  Especially when they were infants.
I had studied Developmental Psychologist Erik Erikson's work in college and was sure that as my children resolved their "developmental issues" like trust vs. mistrust, they would move on and I would have done my job to give them an excellent foundation.  I still believe that in many ways this is what happened.
The above post however, made me think that perhaps my focus on resolving all of my sweet girl's unhappiness was not so useful to her.  Maybe it in fact, took away some of her own power and self-determination.
At 16 we have a lovely, smart, caring, powerful girl who is terrified of her own grief and sadness.  The intensity of her feelings has resulted in interventions I never imagined facing.  In some ways we are doing remedial emotional managment education.  I didn't want to see that by meeting her every emotional need as an infant and young child I wasn't allowing her to learn how to process them herself.
Don't get me wrong~ this isn't a "I'm a bad Mom post and it's all my fault that I have a teenager who has had struggles."  We do the best we can with the knowledge and support we have at the time.

I do wonder though, that if I had had the perspective offered by Magda Gerber and her approach to child-rearing, or if I'd simply listened to my own mother and accepted that "sometimes babies cry and that's ok" maybe my sweet girl would know that her feelings, while intense, will not hurt her.  She can get through them.  She would know that her mama believes in her strength and power to get through the most difficult situations and while she will always be there if needed, she won't get in the way.

We begin launching our young the moment they burst from our bodies ~ acknowledging and respecting their ability to make their way from their earliest days just makes the journey more exciting.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pure Joy

I am so blessed.  I am overwhelmed with love.  I need to make a list.

~ I have a family I love, who loves me back

~I have dear friends in town and around the world who I love, who love me back

~I do work I love, in a community I love, knowing that others around the world are doing the same work and loving it as I do

~It's May 1st, the sun is shining, Spring is here (unless you live in Minnesota)

The last 5 months have been rough.  I have been exhausted, blue, uninspired, feeling old.
DONE WITH THAT!  I have so much to write about my time at the Music Together Annual Conference last weekend.  So much that I just can't process it yet.  It will be a journey.  Feeling energized, colorful, inspired and YOUNG!

love, love, love SPRING