Saturday, September 13, 2008

Women's Forum and What I Learned

Today has been a Great Day! The town of Kanab had their annual Women's Forum today. I have always wanted to go to something like this where women come together and are edified by different people sharing thoughts on different subjects according to their expertise. I finally took the opportunity thanks to Leif who graciously care for the kids the whole time. He even brought Caleb to me twice for feedings. (Thanks My Love!)

The keynote speaker of the forum was actually a woman who has impacted my life for the good. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit with her for a moment as well as hear her address the women on a couple of occasions. Her name is Anita Stansfield. You may be familiar with her work. She is the author of 39 published books. The majority of her books are romance novels written for Latter Day Saint and other Christian readers.

I was introduced to Anita's books a little over two years ago when I was pregnant with my twin daughters. I love her books because every single book focuses on change and healing. Two subjects that I am poignantly familiar with. I love being able to read a book and feel like I am a much better person because of reading it. That is how I feel every time I finish a novel written by Anita Stansfield.

I received some valuable information for me personally at the forum today. The first was an answer to my question: "How can I help my children respect my work rather then resenting it when they get older?" The answer that was given by Anita (who has juggled writing and motherhood to five children) was this: Allow the child to come to you as you work as often as it is possible. Address the child's need. Ask them if whatever they need you to do is something that has to be addressed immediately or is it something you can set a time to come back together to and address later. Then, Follow Through with the appointment!"
I know that this simple technique will be very helpful for me in the long run of my life.

I believe that by establishing guidelines of communication between parent ans child and respect for each other's time and circumstances we can help our children recognize that they are valued. And in turn, they will learn to value their parents and the parents personal life. In my opinion, when we constantly drop everything we are doing so that we can help our child with things that they can do for themselves, we are crippling them. I hope that one day I will be able to look at my teenager and see some initiative and independence. Not too much:) Yet, enough to make them a healthy confident adult.

Today was an eye opener for me. I realized that I was on a dangerous path. As a nanny, for many of the jobs it was part of my job description to "wait" on the children and also the parents at times. I did this for over 10 years. It was not uncommon to make 3 different meals for one meal setting. As a mother, that has trickled into my mothering job description. Granted there are some things I WILL NOT do, separate meals is one of them as well as Sippy Cups constantly full of chocolate milk. But up to this point, Jakob has had A Lot of help.

But this afternoon, I took my first conscious step in a healthier direction. I was standing at the sink up to my elbows in suds and dishes. Leif was downstairs working on homework. And Jakob asked for some ketchup to eat with his snack. My first instinct was to drop the dish I was washing, wipe my wet hands on my shirt (for the tenth time) and grab him the ketchup. But I stopped, smiled, and I said "ya think you can get that all by yourself:)" He of course thought that was so cool and jumped down and got it out of the fridge, poured it, and put it back in the fridge without me asking him.:) Mission Accomplished! Only 20 more years to go!:)


Sandra said...

I'm sure he thought he was such a big boy for getting his own ketchup. I don't let my kids do as much as I should. I have a hard time when it comes to pouring juice. I just can see it spilling and so I don't even let them try. I'm glad you had a good time at the Forum.

Nicole said...

I get mad at Alekisio alot because he's always going in the fridge for things when he knows to ask. We have a history of broken eggs on the floor because he thought they were boiled and tried to crack them. My doctor suggested putting cups full of milk, water, juice, in there for him to get himself so he can feel self sufficient. Sound familiar? I cringed but realized that it would make him happy and regulate how much of each fluid he got a day, but I still haven't done it.

Lena Baron said...

Uggg! Can we say a wall full of milk bottles and cups.... Yuck! Yes, I remember!;)

Heidi Hamilton said...

Thanks for the comments. I do need to post more videos of Ireland!
Sounds like a great womens conference - it would be neat from Anita Stanisfield. I've read several of her books as well.
Love to hear your thoughts and insights Lena - thanks for sharing!

michelle said...

You will really learn to love them bieng able to do stuff for themselves. I love Anita Stansfield!!! Her books are awsome!!!!!!!!!!!

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