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Silent Treatment by J.G. McGlothern May 28, 2009

Filed under: motherhood,writer mom — heartwriter @ 4:28 am
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Why is it that we run away from what we need the most?

Even though I crave silence and need it sometimes more than sleep, I don’t always know how to achieve it, let alone know what to do with it when I get it. So then I fill up the silent moment with busyness, random senseless movement. I know for a fact, I need part of my day to include solitude, aloneness, a period of stillness. Quiet.

Does this happen consistently? Not exactly. Do I continue to strive toward this reality? You bet.

Today for example, I had the not so common occurrence of NO CHILDREN at home for more than six hours. You should have seen my list. Oh, the things I was going to accomplish. I started the morning with the kids sleeping in longer than usual. I seized the moment and meditated. I got in ten minutes of stillness, before the dog whined to be let in and the children woke up. 10 MINUTES IS HUGE. Ask any parent, right? That minuscule amount of time felt like manna from heaven. I was able to attend to the dog without bitterness and the children without bitchiness. Probably heaven for them as well.

Then later in the morning, with no one home but me, I had this gigantean amount of time. One would call it FREEDOM. I started to freak a bit. Do I start at the top of the list? In the middle? Close my eyes and point? Know what I did? I listened to the still small, oh so DIVINE voice within me and went outside to our deck. I faced the chair toward the sunshine and sat. Oh, the birds. Oh, the silence. Totally golden. Delicious. I still accomplished plenty on the list to be satisfied but I realized that the most important thing wasn’t even on the list.

Why did I surrender today? Perhaps my soul was tired of all the false starts and was finally ready to be still. All the attempts, all the fantasies about having more silence in my day came to fruition. As a result I was more present to everyone I encountered the rest of the day. I didn’t hit a down, depressed feeling. I didn’t feel guilty, confused, bitter. I felt like I hit that point I am always striving for, the point of balance.


Holding Hands by J.G. McGlothern May 25, 2009

Filed under: mom writer,motherhood — heartwriter @ 8:11 pm

I’ve been warned by friends with sons that I have a 50-50 chance, so to speak, of my son remaining a hand holder.  At the age of 4, rapidly approaching 5, my son is the best hand holder.  Firm grip.  Never gets sweaty palms.  Doesn’t squeeze too tight.  Committing to the hand embrace with gentle love.  A solid, unyielding intertwining of our fingers.   He never drops my hand when other kids approach.  Unashamed to be caught holding hands with his mom.  At this same age, my daughter rarely would walk more than a block holding hands with me before releasing her grip from mine.  My son doesn’t let go for an itch or scratch.  But he will let go for a feather or rock in our path.  After gifting me with his found treasure he finds my hand again. 

Other moms have shared that their sons stopped showing public affection around the 4th grade.  And other moms have shared how their 7th grade sons still show public affection to their mamas.  Just depends on the boy.

Nearly two years ago, just days before my daughter started kindergarten, I wrote the following poem:

Big Girl

Standing in line to buy

Her first lunch box, pink of course

Tears well up

It hits me there at Safeway

Our little girl is starting


Confident with her new haircut

Proud with her new purchase

We walk out of the store

Hand in hand

Soon she will only walk

By my side reluctant to

Hold hands

So tonight I grip tightly.


With another year before my son starts kindergarten, I will take his hand in my left and my daughter’s in my right and give thanks for every little touch, not hoping for more moments like this, but living in the one I am in. Even if it only lasts  ½ a block.


The Other Man by J.G. McGlothern May 23, 2009

Filed under: mom writer — heartwriter @ 2:39 am
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Don’t tell my husband

 I’m in love with another man.

Last night he climbed all over me

Touching me with the softest caress

Lips landing on my neck then

Taking me in with those eyes

Those big brown eyes.

When he smiles at me I melt

Like a stick of butter in a frying pan.

He can talk me in to anything.

I would go anywhere for him.

In my eyes he can do no wrong.

For those brown eyes of his are my eyes too.

But that smile of his, just like his daddy’s.


Mad Woman by J.G. McGlothern May 22, 2009

Filed under: mom writer,motherhood — heartwriter @ 4:53 pm
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A wise associate once told me that it’s okay to be angry – it’s what you do with that anger that counts.  As I unravel my frustrations with motherhood and examine my thoughts and feelings I am aware that I am not an angry person, I just get angry often.

My brief moments of madness are quick flare ups expressed through being short tempered with my husband, yelling at my kids, losing focus and getting sad.  These moments are triggered by not taking care of my needs, by not being attentive to my little inner voice.  This voice is always nudging me, urging me to STOP and smell the roses, but I ignore it because I think that it would be too self indulgent. HA. Get a clue woman, I must tell myself.  Being a mother doesn’t mean being a martyr.  We give up so much that we forget it’s okay to take and receive.

But if anger motivates me to see a spiritual healer, get a massage, make an appointment with a counselor, take a long walk with a friend, then everyone benefits. The husband, the kids and even the dog, but most of all ME.  And for that I say AMEN.

We are the only ones holding us back from moving forward.  Growing from the struggle.  Listening to that little voice.


Loving Silently by J.G. McGlothern May 20, 2009

Filed under: mom writer,motherhood,writer mom — heartwriter @ 12:24 am

I’ve learned a great parenting trick. It’s just as good as the great party trick of how to not get a hangover…actually better.

When my son is in the middle of one of his hellacious tantrums and I want to hop on the next bus out of town, I change my inner dialogue.  You know that little voice? The one that says, “Parenting sucks, I want out NOW.”  I change the running dialogue to, “I love you. I love you. I love you.”  I think the words as I say nothing, grit my teeth and smile softly.

My other mode of operation is to yell back and start climbing the walls with him.  This only amplifies the situation.  Yes, this other calm way of dealing with his madness takes great patience, but the result is worth it.

I send my son love when he is coming unglued.  I remain calm as he climbs the walls higher and higher.  It works!  He shifts gears, catches his breath and falls into my arms.  “Sorry, mama,” he whispers.

I wonder if it would work on a hangover.  “I love you. I love you. I love you,” whispered softly into the mirror as you gaze into it all bleary eyed.


Downright Pissy by J.G. McGlothern May 18, 2009

Filed under: mom writer,motherhood,writer mom — heartwriter @ 9:28 pm
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Sunday nights can be a downer. My husband starts to lose his upbeat, cheeriness thinking about the demands of his upcoming week. Our children don’t want to go to bed. I’m worn out from the weekend, all pissy about not getting enough time for me. As a child myself I would get very down in the dumps on Sunday evenings, even though I loved school. As a career woman I was downright depressed over the weekends not being long enough. They still aren’t.

Last night, Sunday, I was in the laundry room starting one wash load, sorting all the piles getting quite annoyed, noticing the time on my watch. Nearly 8:30 and I had lots to “get done” before I could think about reading my book. My husband came down to the laundry room and said, “Babe, stop. I’ll sort this – you go write or read or something.” Aware that he still had to pack for his business trip I hesitated about taking up his offer. “Go, you haven’t had time for you all day.” I dropped the dirty sweat pants onto the floor and marched up the stairs. I grabbed my journal and vented, filling the blank pages with my frustrations. After ten minutes I started to fill the pages with all that I was grateful for, starting with the husband who made me get out of the laundry room. The husband who made me go write.

It was amazing how my mood changed. The anger was replaced with love and gratitude.

On Sunday nights, before the whole routine stats all over again I need to do something for myself instead of going to my own little pity party place. The laundry room is not the place to replenish my soul, fill my empty cup. I know this, yet I continually need to be reminded of what happens when I don’t do something for myself. I turn angry. Bitter. Downright pissy. As in the case of last night, if I’m too stubborn to listen to myself thank goodness I listened to my husband. He doesn’t want to live with a pissy, hostile woman – secretly he knows he does laundry better than I do.


Movie Magic by J.G. McGlothern May 15, 2009

Filed under: mom writer,motherhood,writer mom — heartwriter @ 2:24 pm
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When one has children the wonderful world of Disney is at your disposal. Curling up on the couch with a child and a good movie is one of my favorite times being a mom. I did this before motherhood too. I was an aunt, babysitter, god-mother, nanny all long before I was a mother. I loved it when they wanted to watch a movie. I watched movies with children for my enjoyment as much as for theirs. I could escape and find inspiration from the animated screen.

Mary Poppins reminds us of the importance of playing. She’s is all about using the imagination. Something so important in this media frenzy society. When was the last time you drew on the sidewalk with chalk? Ate a spoonful of sugar?

The Incredibles stress the importance of family, Toy Story the importance of friendship, Over The Hedge the importance of taking care of our planet. This movie time gives me escape, provides inspiration, nuggets of wisdom that carry me through another day of parenting.

The 2008 release of Jack Black as Po the overweight Dragon Warrior in Kung Fu Panda had me from the very start. You have his dad, the town’s noodle restaurant owner, determined his son would follow in his footsteps. When he believes his son is ready for the “secret ingredient” in his noodle soup, the audience learns the truth. There is no secret ingredient. A truth we can apply to our own lives. There is no secret. This is it. This is our lives. There is no secret ingredient to parenting. We all have what we need inside of us to be the best parent we can be. We hold the knowledge deep down inside of us. We let the stress cloud our wisdom. The sought after Dragon Scroll reveals the same truth, no magic tool necessary. We have what we need already.

Which movies have revealed a new truth for you? I mean let’s face it most kid movies today are really for adults. I am pretty sure a lot of the deep meanings are lost on my four year old. Which movies have provided you escape through humor, wisdom or inspiration? What lessons have these films taught you? Please share your movie experience with me by adding your comments below. Let’s spread the magic.