FRANCE: Acceptance & Freedom

Source: http://www.mariefrance.fr/psycho/coaching/famille-nos-enfants-sont-nos-miroirs-32628.html

Source: http://www.mariefrance.fr/psycho/coaching/famille-nos-enfants-sont-nos-miroirs-32628.html

Accepting children the way they are. It sounds normal. It’s what love is all about: accepting others. We are all different and we recognize that our differences are a real chance.

But when it comes to our kids, we tend to have dreams for them; we tend to wish them to be more extrovert than we were, more independent, to be less frightened, less worried than us. We are trying our best to tell them all about confidence and how important it is to share, care, how nice it is to have friends or not to be afraid of others, strangers.

When they fit our expectations, it feels so good. We are the first ones to congratulate ourselves on how good we are at educating them. When they don’t, we start asking ourselves, “what’s wrong?” We start feeling that we are not good enough and put a lot of pressure on us and on them. We want them to fit in, to be like others. It’s so easy.

We do forget easily that kids are independent beings. Just like us. They are who they are, not to make us happy or make us sad. They are unique. Just like us.

I came up with these thoughts around the summer. I got to spend some time with my son. And I used this time wisely, looking at him and understanding many things. He is the kind of child who studies his surroundings a lot. He needs time to let go of my hand when we are with other people. He’d rather like watching a game than being part of it. We can spend hours together at the bus stop, looking at the buses coming and going.

When I was a little girl, I lived in a bubble, one I had created to protect myself from the rest of the world. I was a silent kid, happy, but yet, I felt awkward most of the time. I suffered from it. And obviously, I’d never want my son to deal with the same issues I had. Like other parents, I want to protect him and give him the best to face life in a positive way.

I pushed him and put a lot of pressure on him over the past couple of months to get him to be the way I wanted him to be, thinking that it was the only way for him to find his place in the world. I compared him a lot with other “3 years old” kids. We fought a lot, over things that don’t matter that much.

I feel now more ready to just let him be. And accept that in some situations he may not act the way I’d expect him to.

How is it for you? How do you manage your kids differences?

This is an original post for World Moms Blog written by Marie in France.

Marie Kléber

After 6 years in Ireland, a failed marriage, I started over again, back to France with my baby boy. I love to say that I am a work in progress. Life is a process and I am slowly reconnecting with who I am, learning to love and take care of myself, rewriting my dreams and making new projects, adjusting to single motherhood, trying to find my balance, and enjoying the little things. I am a life lover and I believe in the goodness of humanity, in peace, empathy, tolerance, gratitude. I try to teach my little one about these values as well as helping him connect with others without being too judgmental. “Sharing is caring” is our motto! I started a blog to connect with women engaged in a bicultural marriage. I was at a crossroad in my life and I needed some guidance. I met wonderful people and some ladies became very good friends. I felt part of a community and everybody was there when I decided to leave my abusive marriage and my country of adoption. My blog evolved with me. I do now share poetry, posts about my life and about domestic violence.

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USA: Infants, Toddlers, and Getting Sick While Overseas

USA: Infants, Toddlers, and Getting Sick While Overseas

sophia sick while travellingIn the beginning of June my husband, our two youngest children and I traveled to the United Republic of Tanzania. Aka: my birth home. As expected before international travel, we each took appropriate vaccines and malaria tablets.

We were in Tanzania for five weeks, and within that time both children got sick. It began with the 3 year old getting a viral and bacterial infection. One night we noticed that her temples were a bit hot, and then the heat transferred to her palms and soles and they were hot! I had personally never experienced this nor had I ever come across any such symptoms while doing other research online. So needless to say, it was a bit scary.

When we took her to the doctor, lab results showed that she had a viral infection resulting in a rash all over her body, and a bacterial infection which was likely caused by fecal-oral transmitted bacteria.

Nasty. I know. We are parents, however, and if we aren’t writing posts about fecal-oral bacteria, then why are we really here? (smile)

She was prescribed antibiotics, calamine lotion, an antihistamine cream, and antihistamine syrup. After a week, she was all done with her antibotics, which she finished entirely, even after she felt better (I mention this in jest, but I also want to reinforce the importance of ensuring that our kids finish the antibiotics they are on). Her rash went away after a couple more days and that was that (or maybe not).

As soon as she was fine again, her 1.5 year old brother became ill. Coughing, sneezing, hot temples then hot palms and soles including a 102 degree fever in the middle of the night.

The following day we took him to a doctor and his lab results thankfully showed he had not viral infection, but did have a bacterial infection, also brought on by…. You guessed it: a fecal-oral transmitted bacteria.

You’re welcome.

He was also prescribed antibiotics and probiotics, and began healing quickly.

Fast forward two weeks, to our second last night in Tanzania. My son had a restless night. I thought it was because he wanted his daddy. He was calling ‘Daddy! Daddy!” in the middle of the night and showed no other signs of illness. The next day we walked to pick up my emergency passport (that’s a story for another day) and it was the dustiest 15-minute walk on which he has ever been. Think country road meets busy city road.

I walked as fast as I could, even jogged a bit, but alas, the damage was done. That night he had a runny nose that went from clear to yellow overnight. He has been sick ever since.

When we returned to the States I took him to his pediatrician’s office and explained what had happened. The pediatrician on call prescribed an anti-allergy medication. Five days later he was no better. We went back and his usual pediatrician said to increase the dosage of that medicine and alternate it with another antihistamine.

We added the use of a humidifier, eucalyptus oil, and baby Vicks on the back, chest and feet. We also got a really cool contraption that allows parents to suck the snot out of the baby’s nose through a filtered hose that keeps parents mouths clean. Yay!

Nothing was better. He had that same palm and soles fever for two nights. We took him to the doctor for the third time and I explained our travel and illnesses to a third pediatrician. I explained how both kids were still feeling sick, one with crazy congestion, the other with a persistent upset tummy – something she never used to have.

I am not in the medical field and words in my vocabulary like to take abrupt leave of absence (my husband says it’s because I speak multiple languages. I go with that reasoning!). So sometimes it feels that what I have gathered about my children’s health and what I think should be checked based on how they are feeling, is something that their pediatrician doesn’t quite get. Sometimes it feels as if they dismiss the possibility of something worse until it becomes that very thing; only then is it treated. Again, I am not in the medical field, so maybe there is nothing they can do until the reddened ears become infected ears, and the heavy congestion becomes wheezing… I don’t know.

This third visit proved more fruitful. This pediatrician seemed to actually listen and I also knew to be firm in what I wanted done for my children. He acknowledged the possibility of them being exposed to something overseas that requires special attention; something no one else acknowledged until then.

We are going for a follow up visit tomorrow, but it will also be a second visit for our 3 year old, as she is now showing many of the same symptoms as her brother , plus a couple of her own.

If there was a point (or two) to this post, it would be to please follow your instincts when it comes to your children, if in no other area.

Doctors are now considered to be in position of prestige, but that shouldn’t deter you from doing your research and stating exactly what you would like to see happen with your children. Don’t be afraid to be mom.

When traveling try your best to keep your children’s hands clean, and the dishes they use clean and dry.

What tips do you have when it comes to traveling with small children? Have your children gotten sick while overseas?

Do you feel that your pediatrician is interested in what you have to say? Do you feel that he or she is really listening to you?

This is an original post to World Moms Network by Sophia of ThinkSayBe. Photo credit to the author.

 

 

ThinkSayBe

I am a mom amongst some other titles life has fortunately given me. I love photography & the reward of someone being really happy about a photo I took of her/him. I work, I study, I try to pay attention to life. I like writing. I don't understand many things...especially why humans treat each other & other living & inanimate things so vilely sometimes. I like to be an idealist, but when most fails, I do my best to not be a pessimist: Life itself is entirely too beautiful, amazing & inspiring to forget that it is!

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BRAZIL: Dialogues Between a Working Mom and a Homemaker

BRAZIL: Dialogues Between a Working Mom and a Homemaker

andrea_dialoguesMany women nowadays have to split their time between a full time job and their kids (and their husband, and taking care of their home, and and and…). Another group of women is able to work from home, at least part of the time, or to work some at home and some in the office. If you, like me, are in this second group, some days it might seem like there are two women chatting in your head, the Professional working mom and the Homemaker. For me, a typical work day outside of the home goes more or less like this…

Professional – Oh my gosh it is so great to be able to get some work done in peace! I love to work!
Homemaker – The kids are growing up so fast… soon they will be teens and won’t even want to look at you!
Professional – The kids need to see their mother working and doing something she likes.
Homemaker – Come on, don’t be cynical, you don’t even like your job that much! It’s just a way to escape the kids a bit!
Professional (ignoring the Homemaker) – If only I could work outside of home for more days I could get sooooo much done!! My career would skyrocket! Maybe I should put the three-year old in play school next semester.  Imagine, working in peace five mornings a week!?
Homemaker – Oh yeah? And where would you find the extra money? What about the car pool? You can barely find rides for two to come home from school, three would be worse! And he is so little…
Professional – Oh no! I can’t believe it’s time to go home already!! I didn’t do ten percent of what I needed to!! Ahhhhh! Another sleepless night awaits me!! I am so tired! I need chocolate… Sob…

On other days, a typical day at home goes like this…

Homemaker (at the park) – Oh, look at them. They are so cute and cuddly. I love being a mom. I can’t believe the youngest is already three. I will miss having little kids around. Should I have another baby?
Professional – Are you out of your mind?????
Homemaker (ignoring the Professional working mom) – If only I could afford to stay at home all the time…  And then, when they started to grow older, I could work in what I really like. I would also have time to take better care of the house and to exercise and get in shape again.
Professional – My job is stable. I can’t earn enough money to raise kids doing only what you like. That’s so naïve.
Homemaker – It’s so peaceful here with them. If only I could stay at home in peace and not need to hear you worry about work and deadlines and…
Professional – Oh no! That deadline! You need to drop them off at grandma’s now!!
Homemaker – You know they only stay at grandma’s once a week max. Otherwise they get stressed out. You can work tonight.
Professional – I need to sleep!! I already worked last night! You know I can’t work all night two days in a row! I am not twenty anymore!
Homemaker – On that we agree! We get so crabby when we don’t sleep enough. It’s not good for the kids. Maybe you should stop working nights and work only during the weekend when they can stay with their father.
Professional – No!!!!! I have so much to do!!!!! Weekends are not enough.

And so it goes….

And you… Do you work from home, from an office or both? How do you find balance? Please share your story below.

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Ecoziva in Brazil. Photo credit to the author.

Ecoziva (Brazil)

Eco, from the greek oikos means home; Ziva has many meanings and roots, including Hebrew (brilliance, light), Slovenian (goddess of life) and Sanskrit (blessing). In Brazil, where EcoZiva has lived for most of her life, giving birth is often termed “giving the light”; thus, she thought, a mother is “home to light” during the nine months of pregnancy, and so the penname EcoZiva came to be for World Moms Blog. Born in the USA in a multi-ethnic extended family, EcoZiva is married and the mother of two boys (aged 12 and three) and a five-year-old girl and a three yearboy. She is trained as a biologist and presently an university researcher/professor, but also a volunteer at the local environmental movement.

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USA: Global Village Membership

USA: Global Village Membership

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If you’re a parent, or a child, or anyone, you may have heard the phrase. “It takes a village” (to raise a child). After reading a post written by a fellow contributor, KC, I remained in thought about this village that’s needed to raise our children.

KC is currently a stay-home-mum to a precious toddler, so you know she has one of the most rewarding and challenging positions in the universe; one weighted with a lot of responsibility, as well. Thankfully she takes the time to write about some of what’s going on in her world as a mum, a woman, and as a person, because out of her writing I found something I want to discuss, too. Check her out at http://www.mummyintransit.com.  She is a really good writer, and she’s funny too.

In reading KC’s post I thought about my own experience as a child in Italy, a teenager in Tanzania, and an adult and parent in the United States. What was my village like? Who did my mum include in forming my personality and my worldview?

(more…)

ThinkSayBe

I am a mom amongst some other titles life has fortunately given me. I love photography & the reward of someone being really happy about a photo I took of her/him. I work, I study, I try to pay attention to life. I like writing. I don't understand many things...especially why humans treat each other & other living & inanimate things so vilely sometimes. I like to be an idealist, but when most fails, I do my best to not be a pessimist: Life itself is entirely too beautiful, amazing & inspiring to forget that it is!

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USA: Cooking with Kids

USA: Cooking with Kids

cooking with kidsCooking with kids is one of my favorite activities. I have to admit, I don’t do it often enough. Mostly because of the limited space in our kitchen where two is a crowd.

My parents would let us kids into the kitchen as often as they could. We were cooking family dinners at very young ages. I remember having to do all the peeling while my older siblings were taking care of the more complex things around the kitchen. My sister was the baker. As a young girl she was baking elaborate cakes, and to these days, she impresses people with her kitchen skills.

Due to both of my kids being burned in the past (just a little, but enough for them to remember), they are pretty standoffish to the idea of being too close to a hot stove. In this situation, making them help me while I bake is more enjoyable.

Also, our older daughter is very picky and I’m hoping that letting her be involved in the kitchen will help her become more open to foods. She loves sweets, of course, so I love baking with her. By doing it, I hope, being in the kitchen will be associated with something positive for her.

Both of the kids love our family cooking project: “quest for the best cinnamon rolls“. I feel like this project has made them, especially the picky one, very excited about being in the kitchen.

We started it 3 months ago, and so far we’ve tried 3 recipes. In the meantime we have also baked our regular cinnamon rolls several times.

Cooking with kids is fun and messy, and it’s a great opportunity to spend quality time with them.   I’m always trying to sneak a little more of the good stuff into our recipes, and  with baking, it seems like hiding the nutrients into the food is less of a hassle then fighting over eating a piece of a carrot. So, why not?

cooking with kids family project_ewa samples photography-4

Our last recipe wasn’t really a cinnamon rolls recipe, but it was close enough for me to add it to our project. I got it from one of my clients, who saw me doing this project and she shared the link to this “Whole grain cinnamon swirl bread“.

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I wanted to try it because of the of possibility of sneaking quinoa into the recipe as well as all kinds of different goodies.

Creating the whole-grain mix was a great thing to learn about, and I actually started using it in all kinds of recipes. My kids don’t even know they eat quinoa anymore. I’m loving it.

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If you struggle with a picky eater, finding things in the kitchen that make them excited about food is really a great way to get around it. It makes them focus on the positive things in food, not the bad things.

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With this project we are doing, I still let them be picky, and I find it interesting to see that our older daughter is less picky with eating what we bake than the younger one, who normally is very open to trying new things, and eating in general. Every time we bake new thing, the kids can express their thoughts about the dish. We talk about what they don’t like in it. And after that we get excited about the next recipe we will try.

cooking with kids family project_ewa samples photography-1

How about you? Do you have any picky eaters in your home? Any interesting family projects going on? Please comment below to share!

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Ewa Samples (Mom Photographer).  Ewa can be found sharing her pictures over at Ewa Samples Photography. She is also on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo credits to the author.

Ewa Samples

Ewa was born, and raised in Poland. She graduated University with a master's degree in Mass-Media Education. This daring mom hitchhiked from Berlin, Germany through Switzerland and France to Barcelona, Spain and back again! She left Poland to become an Au Pair in California and looked after twins of gay parents for almost 2 years. There, she met her future husband through Couch Surfing, an international non-profit network that connects travelers with locals. Today she enjoys her life one picture at a time. She runs a photography business in sunny California and document her daughters life one picture at a time. You can find this artistic mom on her blog, Ewa Samples Photography, on Twitter @EwaSamples or on Facebook!

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USA: Meditating With My Terrible Two

USA: Meditating With My Terrible Two

 

unnamedWhen meditation became the big thing last year, just like yoga in the 1970s, my editor at Taiwan’s Commonwealth Parenting Magazine wanted me to write a piece about meditating with children. So I interviewed Jeff Zlotnik of Meditation Initiative for this assignment. He told me that kids can begin to practice meditation at the age of five, starting with a two minute session.

“Seriously? Does that really work?”

“Yes.” He then explained to me, while scientific evidence shows that human brains benefit from meditation sessions longer than 40 minutes, it is almost impossible to ask a 5-year-old to sit and meditate for that long. A two minute session is appropriate for a 5-year-old, and “even a short session like that helps relief stress and calm kids down.” (more…)

To-Wen Tseng

Former TV reporter turned freelance journalist, children's book writer in wee hours, nursing mom by passion. To-wen blogs at I'd rather be breastfeeding. She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

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