Thursday, April 28, 2011

Childhood Sighs

You know how when you make your bed with fresh linens (maybe you even hung them outside to dry!) and you take your shower (or bath!) before you go to bed in your clean sheets...and you just feel so cozy and clean?  I love that feeling!  Another feeling I love is when I am talking to my husband and he is listening to me closely.  I know he's listening because he makes a comment that sums up my story perfectly.  He's great like that.

On the other hand when I was growing up, I often felt like I was not heard.  I don't know if some of that is because I am a twin or because my mom was not good at multitasking, or whatever, I just know that's how I felt.  As I'm going through the world, I'm thinking about the way I remember being as a child and I want to address and conquer, if I can, the problems I faced as a child.

One way for me to do that is to have ONE child.  I know many people might believe the old stigma (that was disproven scientifically) that only children are spoiled.  Well, if a child whose needs are met is spoiled, I am IN!  I want my little girl to be heard.  I don't want to split my focus.  I don't want her to feel like an afterthought.  I don't want her to have the theme in her life am I enough? I do.

Parenting is not a perfect art - neither is being a wife and friend.  But, I want to do the best job I know how with the tools I have.  And that means I'm having one child.  As a choice.

Copyright 2011 Heather Corwin

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Finding Time to Do What You Love

So often the end of the day is here and I think to myself, "Where did the day go?"  Well, that's not ideal for me.  I like to feel I've accomplished something, if even a small goal for the day.  But is the problem a matter of time, priorities, or support from others to meet my needs?

You know I'm a new mom, so having time for me just became more precious than ever.  As an introvert, I recharge by spending time alone.  Granted, that time will look different now, but it's still time I need to feel good.  So I started to think about the time I am actually alone in the day.  These times tend to be in the bathroom.

What I'm finding myself doing in my daily morning shower is a ritual.  I look out my window at my garden, take restful and cleansing breaths, and list the things I'm thankful for in my life.  After those brief moments, I think of a goal I want to set for my day.  It might even be as simple as to make a chai tea and sit for 5 minutes alone.  I might add something like I want to make my husband and little girl smile at least 5 times today.  This is a great beginning to reclaiming time for me.  As time goes on and I get better at being a mom, I feel confident more time will come for me.

No matter how full my life is, I need to find the time and energy to rejuvenate.  As I recreate my life as the mother in a family AND being the me prior to being a mom, I need to bring with me the elements of my life that are most important. 

Copyright 2011 Heather Corwin

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Great Baby Shower Gift Ideas

  1.  Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine - it even has an iPod jack!  CeCee loves the heartbeat option.
  2.  Bright Starts Kashmir Ingenuity Full Size Swing
  3. Zonk Designs Snoozerpedic SPMD2000 Big Curve Ergonomic Full Body Pillow for feeding baby 
  4. bumGenius 4.0 One Size Pocket Cloth Diapers Pack of 12 if you are going to do cloth diapers
  5.  Heel - Calendula Ointment
  6. Any Pack and Play you like!
  7. Snap N Go stroller (you have to buy a car seat - but baby stays in seat and goes from car to stroller in a click!)
  8. The book Parenting From The Inside Out by Dan Siegel and Mary Hartzell
  9. Anything you know the parent loves for the PARENT.  Moms and Dads tend to be sleep deprived the first few months and anything that can help center or ground the parent is GOOD.
  10. FOOD coupons.  What is better is you make up a bunch of food, freeze it, and bring it over for the couple so they don't have to make food.  Making food seems like a feat after surviving a night of feedings - often an insurmountable feat.  You will be SO appreciated for this!!!!
Copyright 2011 Heather Corwin

Friday, April 22, 2011

Letter to My Daughter about Dating

Dear Sweet Girl,

Here are some things to consider when you start dating.
  • When you decide to commit yourself to a man (if men are your preference), make sure he makes you laugh.  If he doesn't, kick him to the curb.
  • When you decide to date, make sure you get butterflies inside.  If you still have the butterflies on the third date, keep dating him.
  • If he does not kiss well, and you really like him, teach him how to kiss you. 
  • If he doesn't make you feel special, dump him.
  • Know that there are several ways to say "I Love You."  You might like flowers, he might like to fix your car.  Both can mean "I Love You."  Make sure you find the guy who speaks your love language!
  • When you enter the room, if his eyes don't look for you, you may have reason to wonder about staying in the relationship.
  • If he doesn't make you feel beautiful, dump him.
  • If he looks at other women with lust in your presence, dump him.  (This may have to wait until you're in your thirties...)
  • If your pulse rate doesn't speed up when he's around, question why you're in the relationship.
  • If you feel defensive around him more than 5% of the time, dump him.
  • If you don't like his family and you are considering being with him for the long haul, know that you're choosing a long hard battle that you won't win.
  • If you're thinking of cheating on him - dump him.  I don't care how long you've been together - end the first relationship before you start another.  Even if it's hard, DO IT.  Not ending the first relationship will make the second never work - and all will feel terrible.
And finally,
Know that you are the most precious person in the world.  If the person you love does not awaken in you and recognize the best parts of you, walk away.  You deserve someone who celebrates you for the amazing person you are.


Copyright 2011 Heather Corwin

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Holy Crap, I'm a PARENT

So I'm now recovering from sleep deprivation that clouded my life the first three months of my being a parent.  My little girl is here, sharing my home, now her home, and at last I can almost function normally (whatever that means).  And now that I'm a parent, I can't help but think of my own parents and how they raised me.  Plus, I'm a twin and was unexpectedly so, and I can't imagine having two little ones at the same time.

So what does it take to be a good parent?  According to Bowlby, the pioneer of parenting Attachment theory, parents only have to be great 30% of the time.  What that means is I have to try to understand her needs and meet them.  I'm certainly going to get that wrong.  When I do get it wrong, I need to repair the damage I do by adjusting my behavior to meet her needs at least 30% of the time.  This will be enough for my baby girl to feel like she is loved, taken care of, and will give her the courage to successfully find her way into the world as she needs it to be.  That's freaking cool.

No matter if I liked my parents most of the time or not, they created me, took care of me to the best of their ability, and loved me...still do!  What I do know about parenting is
  • it's not for everyone
  • it's harder than I could have imagined because I want to get it right
  • my parents had it tougher than I did because I'm a twin and was born the "middle" child
  • I'm going to screw my kid up - but I'll be there for her when I do!
My mom is no longer living so I can't ask her for advice even if I wanted to.  I feel blessed to have a wonderful family and in-laws who are loving and generous - thank God!!!  I couldn't make it through this time without them.  I have a day coming up to acknowledge their love and support.

Mother's day is May 8.  Whether or not you see eye to eye with your mom, she surely made it possible for you to be living.  You may want to send her some love this Mother's day! 

Copyright 2011 Heather Corwin