As a creative and a writer, I recognize the immense importance that creativity plays in our early years and throughout our life.
But, if we stop to really ask ourselves how comfortable we are with creativity, most of us would agree that creativity is an uncomfortable process.
We think that in order to engage in creative tasks, we must prune our insecurities and deliver just the fruit.
But, it’s an oxymoron to think like that because:
“Creativity and insecurity go hand in hand.”
Don’t believe me?
Just think about it for just a second.
If I were to wave my magic wand (or A magic wand… I don’t have one, but it would be nice)… and grant you the ability to do the creative task that appeals to you THE MOST.
What creative task would you want to do?
Writing a book?
Writing a blog?
Oh I know… singing?
All of the above?
It really doesn’t matter if the creative task that you’d like to do is in the list or if I failed to include it.
The following question is much more important:
WHAT is keeping you from engaging in this art?
Think about it for a moment. Listen to your internal dialogue and then tell me what your “inner you” told your “outer you.”
What did you say:
That you don’t know if you can do that activity? That you don’t think you would be good enough?
Mmmmmm. That’s sad isn’t it?
That a teeny-tiny insidious, persistent, and annoying little thought… which is that you “don’t THINK” you can be great at something is keeping you from merely trying?
And before you start yelling at me indicating that you Have TRIED that skill, but that you suck at it… let me ask you: don’t you think it’s also sad that you let a less-than-stellar couple of outcomes keep you from trying to practice this skill to become better and better at it?
You’ve heard that “practice making perfect,” right?
And I get it… maybe no amount of practice will make every single creative project turn out perfectly.
But I’m sure that simply trying something creative, will give you some sense of:
relief from the day to day
a sense of gratification that you’re doing something other than “work, work, work” that is engaging your creative muscles
and FUN! (That awesome, little thing that we leave as the 143rd item on our to-do list that keeps being bumped down and down by waaaaay more boring tasks)
Therefore, an even more important question is:
WHO is keeping you from doing this art?
I’m sure that it’s pretty clear by now that the one preventing you from enjoying art and all the magic that it can have on your mind, body and soul is YOU.
So may I take your hand and encourage you to embrace art a little more and show you one way to do it?
Okay. Sounds good. Here we go! =)
I Totally Understand That Being A Creative Is Scary
… but trust me when I say that it’s much easier than going to a soul-sucking job, hand-washing stuck-on food or cleaning a toilet.
You wanna know a little secret to how to embrace your artistic side a little more?
Make art with your kids…. the younger they are, the better.
There are many benefits to this, but for now, suffice it to say that I recommend doing art with them becauuuuuuse… your art skills are more than likely better than theirs.
OMG! 😮 Yes, I said that! And you probably can’t believe that I did. I know it sounds rude.
BUT, if you need a little bit of confidence… well, there it is.
Hahaha. You’re probably thinking… that this art thing is gonna be a wild ride just because I shared this video, which in my opinion, has one of the most catchy songs of all time. And well, yeah, maybe art is gonna be a wild ride, but why not incorporate some music and dancing ASAP? 😉
That’s art, after all.
But Don’t Worry, You’re Not A Narcissist, Making Art Is Not All About You
A few years ago, having realized how much I wanted to create art and how hesitant I was about creating it, I asked an Australian artist who has earned millions after following a simple yet powerful impulse to create art this question:
“What is the best way to foster creativity in our children?”
“Provide them with opportunities to create art and with opportunities for them to see YOU create art.”
To be honest with you, I was expecting her to give me tactics, tips, strategies, the goods (all in plural) to boosting my child’s art ability, not mine.
But as soon as I heard her answer… it totally resonated with me.
It was SUCH a simple answer that makes so much sense.
As parents we know that the best way to influence our children is to set an example for them. This is no different.
“We resist making art, because it brings our “not-good-enoughness” out of us.” -Haydee Montemayor
And it’s sooo silly that we resist making it…because despite the fact that we avoid it because we don’t wan’t to feel insecure or inadequate about the quality of our art, if we’re honest with ourselves, we all have an innate yearning to create art.
You feel it.
I feel it.
We all do.
Want a bit of proof of that?
When you hear that we should all focus on trying to make a career doing something that we enjoy…. you’re in either one of two camps.
The one who is doing it, and living proof of this…. because you have a career that you totally enjoy.
OR, the type of person who resists this advice because you think that life is SUPPOSED to be hard…and non-creative. And that the creative things that we do in our life are just hobbies.
“Life is not supposed to be hard, it’s supposed to be heart.” -Haydee Montemayor
Yes, heart. The heart should lead. Life is supposed to be love. Love is supposed to be passion.
I get it that not 100% of the time… but if we want to feel as alive as possible… we have to be less in our heads, and more in our hearts.
“Art removes the shackles of the constraints that we place on ourselves.” -Haydee Montemayor
I loved the artist’s answer and it’s one that I will never forget because it gets rid of the excuses of fostering creativity through art. And since implementing it, it has made SUCH a huge difference in my family’s life.
Next week, I will share more about how to foster art into your family’s life using the Mother Goose Curriculum that I was given for sharing my experience using it.
Now Is Your Turn
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten when it comes to art?
In a world filled with too much information and too many products, it’s difficult to choose. So, what do we do? We read reviews, such as those on Amazon and we ask for recommendations from people who are in a similar situation as us. So if you’re wondering what preschool curriculum you should choose, here are 10 reasons why you’ll love Mother Goose Time.
12 Reasons Why You’ll Love Mother Goose Time
Reason #1: You Get To Make Your Child A Priority
We have way too many things to fill our day with.
It doesn’t matter if you stretch your days horizontally and wake up earlier and go to bed later… you’ll always have more to do.
It also doesn’t matter if you stretch your days vertically and work every weekend and weekday, you still probably won’t have enough time to do all that you want to do.
So, I have a tip for you that I often have to remind myself of:
“Instead of thinking of the million different reasons why you can’t spend more time with your child, make it your #1 daily goal to actually spend time with your child.” – Haydee Montemayor
And while playing board games, watching movies and taking leisurely strolls in the park is perhaps difficult for our adult brains to think of as “constructive use” of our time and our child’s time… (because we may think that those activities are waayyyy too relaxing and waaaaayyyy too much fun), it is easier to “brainwash” yourself into doing an educational activity, because you think you’re still being productive.
But newsflash, your kids don’t care about being productive. they care about spending more time with you.
So whether you decide to play, relax or teach them something… they’ll appreciate it, deep down.
Reason #2: You Get To Be In The Front Row Seat
Pretend, that your child is the driver of their life… and you’re they’re co-pilot.
When you take the time to teach them, you get to see the emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical direction your kid is taking.
You get to see projects that your kids work on, not based on what someone else taught them, but rather, you see the whole procedure of how that project came to life…. thanks to your guidance.
“Who do you want to be in your child’s life? Someone who sees snapshots of your child’s educational travel album? Or someone who takes the journey with them?” – Haydee Montemayor
By teaching them, you get to see not just what your kids make, but also how they make it.
And their thought behind that creation.
What they struggle with.
What they enjoy, the connections that they make.
And you get to see the creator himself/herself.
In sum, you get to see the brainstorming session, the rough draft, the finished product, the bloopers, and perhaps most importantly, the way in which these little weekly and daily lessons transform your child right before your eyes.
“When you’re involved in your child’s life, you get to see the brainstorm, the rough draft, the bloopers and the finished yet evolutionary masterpiece.” -Haydee Montemayor
Reason #3: You’ll Expose Your Kids To Lessons That You Wouldn’t Have Otherwise
For example, if you were teaching your children about ponds, would you ever talk about…algae?
Yeah, you might mention it… but would you ACTUALLY have the materials and the resources to spend a half-day or a full day talking about algae?
Would you talk about submerged pond plants? For half a day or a full day?
How about bog plants? (Do you even know what those are?)
Emergent pond plants?
Floating pond plants?
A water strider?
A backswimmer? (And nope, I’m not talking about a person who swims on their back).
Reason #4: This Curriculum Is Pretty Much “Open And Use”
Why do I say open?
Because when you OPEN the box, you literally have about 23 or 24 bags.
Each of the 20 weekday daily lesson that you’ll use for a given month comes in its own separate bag, in 20 Day Bags.
If it’s your first kit, you’ll get a Welcome Kit.
The Teacher Tool Kit which comes in its own bag will contain the resources.
The Circle Time Resources come in their own bag
If there are any holidays in that month, the Celebration Kit / Holiday Resources will come in their own bag, as well.
Reason #5: You’ll Have Researched-based And Multi-disciplinary Lessons That Correspond To One Theme For One Full Month
While many of us “super moms” want to think that we’re super savvy and that we could potennntially pull these types of lessons from the internet, the truth is, it’s actually much more complicated than it looks to put together a comprehensive curriculum.
It would probably take you at least one month to simply to put the resources together in this fluid, interconnected and meaningful way. I’m not kidding.
Even if it took you half that time, that would mean you would be preparing the materials for half a month…each month.
Think about it, even if you wanted to put this curriculum together, you would need to get multiple things:
The daily activities for talking about the calendar, weather and schedule in Circle Time… that related to the monthly theme
2 songs (one for the beginning of the day, the other for the end of the day) and their adapted words so that the songs that correspond to both the daily lesson AND that also tied into the monthly theme
the opening activity discussion topics
the lessons (about 3 a day, with multiple mini-lessons in each)
the learning manipulatives
the craft materials, cutouts, art inspiration pieces
The daily recommended books
the included book
the investigation lessons
The planning guide
The closing activity discussion topics
In your busy life, that’s probably already topped to the brim, do you honestly think that you could devote this amount of time to compiling all these resources and ALSO have the time to teach your kids? Nope, I didn’t think so… because I don’t have that kind of time either.
Even if you could pull that off.. would you be able to teach your kids lovingly and patiently? I’ll let you answer your own question.
Reason #6: It’s High Quality
Mother Goose Time lessons are high quality not only in terms of the quality of the materials themselves, but most importantly, they’re high-quality academically -speaking.
Simply, said, the lessons themselves are high quality.
You see, learning is simply connections.
Think of them as links.
Or links that relate to one another.
When you start digging into knowledge… you would tend to think that knowledge is like columns.
You would think that all the concepts that we know are one initial link (the first link). Then, when we come across something new in our life that’s related to that initial link, we link the new link (the second link) to that initial link (the first link) to make a connection between the two concepts.
Scientifically speaking, each concept is called, schema or schemata (plural). All the concepts that we know are schema… and when we add more pieces of information to that original schema, our understanding of the subject becomes deeper.
But, as you can imagine, well know, and have experienced… knowledge isn’t always linear.
As a matter of fact, it rarely ever is.
There aren’t perfect “rows of knowledge” or “rows of concepts” that go on forever.
“Knowledge is like a web, in which the rows of concepts connect between themselves and everything ultimately ends up being interconnected.” – Haydee Montemayor
With Mother Goose Time, you will be able to help your child make even more connections and see more patterns than they normally would in order to help them understand the world because you would have taught them the majority of the lessons yourself, so that would give you the leverage or knowledge to help them link concept links.
You could bring up one memory after the other to make this sort of connection.
For example… you could say:
Remember when you helped me cook…?
Remember when we went…?
Remember when grandma told you about…?
Remember the book we read that talked about…?
Remember the game we played that… ?
These types of questions are endless.
And the beauty about a program like Mother Goose Time, is that often, you don’t have to be the one to bring up these connections because it will be your child saying things like:
This is like…
Like Thomas the Train…
Like The Hungry Caterpillar…
Like the birds that we talked about…
Remember when you read me the book… ?
In other words, they will link lessons to lessons, lessons to the natural world, lessons to stories and lessons to their toys. It’s all good. It’s learning.
Reason #7 You’ll Better Understand The Types Of Activities That Are Adequate For Your Kids At This Age
As parents, we think we know what activities are best for our kids, but… new toys come out. New educational research is done. There are safety recalls that are done. School standards change. Development research continues to develop.
In other words, we can’t just rely on toys to educate our children. But knowing the right educational activities is hard.
You know why? Because educational activities aren’t necessarily “good” or “bad” (unless the content that you’re teaching in these educational activities is good or bad)… but I’ve found that the best activities for preschoolers are those that are well-designed… but open ended.
In other words, what we’re gauging, is at the pre-school level is each child’s abilities, as well as their potential.
So their abilities and potential aren’t necessarily “good” or “bad.”
“Kids are like seeds. You have to nurture them, but you gotta give them space to grow.” – Haydee Montemayor
They are unique and will blossom in their own time.
Reason #8: You’ll See Your Kids Enjoy Mother Goose Time Like Crazy!
And it’s one thing to read about your kids potentially enjoying Mother Goose Time,.. and it’s a whole other thing to see them really experience and enjoy those activities.
You know that as parents we’re totally susceptible to the joy of our children.
And just to give you a little bit of perspective… imagine how you would have felt as a kid learning about the world in a fun, crafty and super-engaging way. That’s how Mother Goose Time is.
Reason #9: You Can Get In Touch With Your Own Creativity
So now that you have started to imagine how fun it would have been to learn in this way form potentially the comfort of your own home, and from your parents who would have made the time for you, let me just let you know that even if you’re saying internally…
“Yeah, right, my parents wouldn’t have done this for me/ been able to do this for me/ or made the time to teach me this way.” … forget your parents.
Now, that YOU’RE a parent, you can not only parent your child like this….
BUT… there is a big BUT right here…. you can also participate in these activities.
It will not only be beneficial for you, but it will be beneficial for your child (I’ll talk more about this in my next post).
But suffice it to say, you’ll have fun by getting in touch with your creativity.
Reason #10 You Can Learn A Thing Or Two
If you’re a TRUE, sincere learner, you KNOW that this is just a given.
You don’t know it all. You weren’t taught it all. You weren’t exposed to it all.
So learning about bog plants or emergent pond plants… along with your child is perfectly acceptable.
There’s no shame whatsoever. Remember, stay humble. Most importantly, express true wonder and curiosity about the things that you and your child are learning, and you’ll turboboost your child’s capacity to wonder about the world… for life.
Reason #11 You’ll Have The Satisfaction Of Teaching Your Children
This is one of those reasons that can’t be said enough.
YOU, mom, YOU dad, are MORE capable than teaching your child their shapes, the colors, the numbers and their ABC’s.
Is that clear?
And while the amount of items you get with the Mother Goose Time curriculum is A LOT. And maybe a little bit overwhelming if you’ve never taught before, please know that the lessons are explained SO well..and the curriculum is so user friendly that you really can’t mess it up.
And just so you know, the Family Newsletter will provide you with parent-friendly ideas to start making connections between the concepts that you’ll teach your child and their day-to-day life.
“Any lesson, big or small… delivered as often as possible, to your children, will boost their joy for learning and your joy for teaching. ” – Haydee Montemayor
YOU ARE your child’s 1st teacher.
And while it might be tempting to wait for some distant future to get here for someone else to teach your children all they need to know (a.k.a. a school teacher)… let me tell you this, in the most loving way possible… NO TEACHER… like NONE, will ever be with your child for most of their life…. to teach them everything that they “have to” know. Zero.
YOU were chosen to be with your child from day 1.
And while there is a special place in the world for teachers, who by the way deserve WAYYYYY much more praise than they get, remember that your child is YOUR diamond.
You don’t ask a person to take care of your diamonds for you for most of the year, for most years and years, do you?
(Unless maybe you have one of those safe boxes at a bank).
My point is, your child, your diamond, is YOUR treasure. Love and Treasure them.
(That’s the whole point about this blog… to remind you and to remind me, those and that which is truly worthy of us loving and treasuring them).
Reason #12 You’ll Make Memories With Your Children
Again, I can just sigh thinking about this reason.
“Memories are the imaginary, yet very real photos in our hearts, minds and souls in which we are accompanied and we accompany the people who we love and the people who love us.” – Haydee Montemayor
And speaking of, crafts, these lessons, aside from having an educational value, have a memory-keeping value.
These lessons provide:
great photo-taking opportunities
and even creating a portfolio, scrapbook or file of what their best, most meaningful activities are at this point in their lives.
You will one day be able to look back and see how your children wrote their name, their last name, colored, did art, cut paper and drew.
These precious moments of learning are happening in front of our eyes, and if we don’t stop to pay attention and record them, they will slip us by and we won’t remember them.
It really doesn’t matter how good of a memory you have or how much you love your children… you will forget things, so be able to preserve the things along these learning journey that you think you and your child will cherish in a few years.
To Wrap Up
Hopefully, you feel encouraged by these 12 reasons to engage in your child’s learning.
Find high quality lessons, a homeschool curriculum of your choice or use Mother Goose Time to teach your kids.
The most important resources are you and your child.
If you’re worried about teaching your child educational lessons the wrong way, don’t be.
In the case of Mother Goose Time, there is greater flexibility in these lessons than you would initially think because the curriculum isn’t mandated by a school institution or school district.
You are simply teaching your child based on the materials provided and your knowledge of the child themselves, which is a great plus.
To give you some encouragement and to let you know that “You’ve Got This” perhaps the one thing that you should keep in mind with the Mother Goose Time Curriculum (or any other pre-school curriculum) is that its slogan, which you’ll be reminded of every time you open the box says it all…. “Helping You Grow Lifelong Learners.”
And isn’t that what life is really about? Helping, growing and learning for a lifetime?
And I even would dare to say that the best way that we can show our children how to be lifelong learners is by being lifelong learners ourselves… and for them being able to be on that learning journey with us. After all, it’s a two-way street. 😃 We benefit from their company and they benefit from ours.
Now It’s Your Turn
Have you used Mother Goose Time? If so, as a grown-up, what is it that you love most about it?
If you haven’t yet tried it, which of the reasons mentioned above makes you the most excited in trying it? Or better yet, to simply using whatever resources you can to teach your child?
Before I attempt to say anything…. I just want to hold your hand through time and space, squeeze it and tell you that I know how you’re feeling.
If you’re part of my community, it is highly likely that you were hoping that the outcome of this week’s election was one of peace, hope….and love.
Turns out, it was one of shock, desolation and hate for MORE THAN HALF the country.
For the past couple of days, I have been hibernating emotionally.
Hopefully, you have also been doing what you have to do to find your footing once again. To feel more grounded with each passing day. But If you’re on the floor still and need a bit more time to process this all, go ahead. Take your time.
How I’ve Been Coping, Which Is a Actually NOT The Best Way To Do So
Even though words are my thing, I have said little to very few people. I Whatsapped a friend. Talked to my mom over the phone . FB messages two other friends and my brother. Instagrammed an acquaintance. But I haven’t talked to anyone face to face about it. And it’s felt lonely.
And I think that’s how we feel with our emotions.
Like we put all our hope, all our will and all our might for this result to be a positive one and we were cheated of the win. To say that we were blind-sighted is an understatement.
So now, what we’re really left with is suspicion.
Of who we can trust.
Of who’s on “our side.”
Of who’s open to love.
Of what’s gonna happen.
Of whether we should have faith.
Of whether we even have any faith left to cling on to.
What I Learned Really Matters From This Election
Even though words are my thing, it’s almost like there are no words to process this all. And it’s only through really digging deep within ourselves that we can find some answers and make a teeny-tiny little bit of sense of this situation.
I get that there are changes that the political establishment needs. I really do.
But what’s surprising is that it seems like America snapped and demanded change instead of politely asking for it. And yes, I also understand that maybe politeness in a tense time like these is the last thing you think of. But man! We don’t have to be savages when wanting our voices to be heard, right?
“Our desire to be heard shouldn’t have to inflict hurt on others.” – Haydee Montemayor
Ironically, I think that the best thing we got out of this election is actually several things:
The notion that we have to be more strategic about how we communicate not only as citizens, but in our own relationships.
Waiting until we snap….is not the best way to communicate.
Insulting isn’t either.
Nor is marginalizing.
Nor is it minimizing.
Nor is it making fun of one another.
Nor is not taking people who pose a potential danger seriously.
Because when we ignore these things. we run the risk of letting hate win instead of tolerance, unity, acceptable and love.
So What Did You Learn?
As you can see, processing this ordeal takes courage.
We need to come to terms with our hurt, how we communicate it and our hope.
“Before we can state our hopes, we need to process our hurts.” -Haydee Montemayor
In large part, we will have less hurts if we learn how to communicate better.
So let’s explore what’s going on inside of you.
Before we blame others (which is VERY tempting, especially if you’re in the losing side of this election) ask yourself:
What didn’t YOU do?
In what way did your communication fail?
The 11 Biggest Lessons From The Election Results That I Learned Regarding Communication
1) For me, I wish this blog, Love and Treasure, could have reached more people than it has and be more than it is. Since I created Love and Treasure, I knew that love was a topic that deserved and needed the spotlight. And yet, sometimes, I admit that I was worried that everything I wanted to say about this topic would feel cheesy. So I held back a little. Actually, a lot.
2) Several months ago, I had the “grandiose” idea of wanting to ask more famous people and famous entrepreneurs to voice their political preference as a way of convincing more people to vote for love, not hate. But I didn’t ask them. Why? Because I thought that I would be an inconvenience and I assumed people were smart, and could see through the candidate that was trying to con them.
3) I created a meme about this election that I didn’t promote enough because I didn’t want to be “in your face” about this issue and because at that time, I was a little afraid to speak up more than I did and more than I could have.
4) As Oprah says, what we focus on expands.
I always had a feeling that we were focusing way too much on the guy that we didn’t want instead of the Madame we did.
I was guilty of this too.
It was fascinated and even mesmerized to see the ineptitude of the guy we didn’t want … and to see how popular he was.
It was, and unfortunately is, a very bizarre phenomenon of luring a moth to a flame that I still can’t quite get my head around.
For more information on how it literally all went down, I suggest that you reconsider what media you watch. I loved watching an independent news show called The Young Turks because these guys really DO bravely (not cowardly) tell it like it is… about all of the candidates, and about the issues that most deserve our attention. You should check them out!
But I’ve learned that next time, I should focus mostly on what I DO want and be more proactive about sharing my reasoning for moving TOWARD something instead of against it.
5) Almost after every election someone comments that there should be an amendment to the electoral college.
That’s an understatement, to say the least.
Too late now, right?
Well, yes. At least for this time around.
6) “Just like being a witness to generosity, brings joy to the heart, being a witness to insults should make you more empathetic.” -Haydee Montemayor
We don’t have to be a woman, a Jew, Muslim, a Mexican, disabled, gay or ugly to know that an insult to one of us impacts the rest of us.
7) Words written in The Constitution matter.
8) What we say we endorse or disavow reflects on us.
9) Education matters
“Ignorance is the root of many things, especially the disassociation of that which is really sacred, such as our essence and our heart.” -Haydee Montemayor
Said another way,
“Ignorance is the antithesis of the ever-increasing potential of the wisdom of the heart.” -Haydee Montemayor
10) “The labels we so cowardly put on others are often what we are ourselves. ” -Haydee Montemayor
For example, if we call somebody “crooked, ” we are projecting that we ourselves are crooked.
The same goes for “dishonest.”
The same for “liar.”
You can truthfully describe someone. But if you repeat the descriptive word again and again and again, without concrete evidence that you can use as unbiased examples for why you’re calling someone that name….then guess what? You’re not telling the truth about other people, you’re simply projecting what you think they are.
It’s like we’re taking our dirty little secret, the characteristic we hard the most about ourselves and momentarily saying to the world, “I’m not ____, THEY are.”
And in the end, when we do this, we do one of two things.
1) We only fool ourselves OR
2) we attract other fools who have this same issue with themselves to make our projection a little bigger and to think that our way of seeing the world is our absolute truth.
But in the end, repeating our projection more and more doesn’t make it a truth, it’s just makes it a more annoying projection.
11) And perhaps my favorite lesson is that words of gratitude matter. It is beautiful to watch Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Barrack Obama do so much for the people. To truly become invested in their well-being. And we owe so much to them. And a thank you may not seem enough for everything they’ve done, but it’s much better than nothing.
So as you live through the many stages of grief, which if you’re like me… Aren’t sequential but all over the place…. Ask yourself: What did you learn about your communication and communication in general?
If You’re Scared To Look Within, Listen From An Answer From Within
If you’re in a state of shock so big that you haven’t really been able to process what the beep just happened… try this:
What Does My Soul Want To Say?
In my case, it pisses me off when the bad guy wins.
Like what the hell?!
I’m all for the underdog winning, not the dog.
So What Does Your Soul Want To Say?
Listen to your soul.
Resist the temptation to sensor it.
Simply listen to what is wanting to come through you.
And once you’re ready, talk to whomever has earned the right to hear your story.
“Communicate because words are the way we make sense of the world.” – Haydee Montemayor
Communication is your way out of the fog you may feel. Even if you’re only communicating with yourself.
Rip The Bandage Off, If You Need To And When You’re Ready
If your soul is still resistant to speak up. Ask yourself:
What Hurts The Most About What Just Happened?
In my case, the result is pretty bad in and of itself. Having to explain it to my son… is just too much! I haven’t had the heart to do it. Just the notion that he lives in a world where this could be happening made it very difficult for me to want to get up on November 9th.
Trying to make sense of all of this as an adult… is super hard. Trying to explain it to a little one… seems almost impossible. This is really messed up.
Another thing that hurts me quite a bit is this:
I’m sure that people on both the winning side and the losing side have lost in the past.
“Losing sucks. Losing unfairly sucks big time.” -Haydee Montemayor
You know what I mean?
If the electoral college really gave the ultimate victory (which it hasn’t voted on and will do so until December 19, 2016), to whoever got the greatest number of votes, then justice would be made.
But instead, we’ve decided to play Bingo and grant the victory not to the person that actually filled most squares of the card, but to the person who filled in the least number of fields. Like helloooooo?!
Who DOES that?!
Apparently, we do.
And unfortunately, we do this more times than they’re acceptable.
Or fair. Or just.
Let me explain. Since the beginning of this century… This “phenomenon” of putting the losing candidate into the White House has happened twice in 5 elections.
So Let’s Do Some Math, Shall We?
2 divided into 5….is 40%
That means, that the people of the U.S. get a leader that we DON’T vote for 40% of the time!
That’s outrageous! Insane! Shitty! Totally, Absolutely and Painfully Unfair!
Yes, of course there are way more years to the century (if we all survive that long, know what I mean? Wink, wink) … But STILL!! Being stuck with someone who you didn’t choose for the second time in just a little over a decade and a half is unimaginable… Preposterous.
So it’s no wonder that we’re hurting!
How this can happen in a “so-called” democracy beats me! Yes, I know that the electoral votes are the cause behind this, but as it’s REALLY clear, that electoral college system is archaic. It was used as a safeguard that no longer applies. And that quite honestly, reduces the value of the vote.
For example… why should someone’s vote in New York be less important than someone’s vote in Oregon? People who live in large cities or crowded states already compete for and literally pay the price for living there. They shouldn’t be cheated out of having their vote be worth less. They shouldn’t have to compete for the value of their vote.
So yep, the electoral college should be removed. And when it is, the value of someone filling out the space on a BINGO card, will be exactly the same value as someone else filling in another BINGO card.
That, is called fairness.
We all need an even playing field . Whether were women, men, someone voting for the 8th time or the 1st time regardless of where we live, what our race is or what our socio-economic status is.
So, on the brink of doubting what freedoms you have still and what you can control, take advantage of the fact that you still have the chance to feel and the chance to express your emotions. You still have the chance to connect with yourself. And to extend your hand to someone else who might be needing you to reach out, squeeze their hand and help them heal.
Now It’s Your Turn
In the comments below, share with us what your biggest takeaways were from this election. In times like these, like in every “so-called” failure, we can make the “failure” a little less of a “failure” by asking ourselves what we learned and applying those lessons in the future.
Are you wanting to breastfeed but are telling yourself what is probably the number one excuse we ALL use, (that I really shouldn’t have to tell you because you know it already) which is, “I don’t have time” to breastfeed.
When it comes to breastfeeding, “I don’t have time,” can mean three things.
It can mean that:
1) There so many doubts and hangups that you have about breastfeeding that you FEEL like you don’t have the time to figure out how to breastfeed, why to breastfeed, when to breastfeed, how often to breastfeed and everything else that breastfeeding entails. And don’t worry, I totally get it that that’s a lot of information.
2) You are a busy person and literally don’t know when you’ll be able to squeeze in the time to breastfeed.
3) You’re just using the phrase as an excuse.
So Now That You Know What’s Holding You Back In Your Breastfeeding, What Are You Gonna Do About It?
The good news is that when you use the “I don’t have time” excuse for any of the reasons mentioned above, you can actually test these the reasons/excuses by asking yourself a simple question that author of The Work, Byron Katie asks and that is “Is it true?” If you say yes, then you ask yourself her second question, which is, “Can you be absolutely know that it’s true?” Or you can take my shortcut and just ask yourself.. “Is that really true?”
Women, in general, seem to like comparing themselves to other women. I don’t know if we do it because we really CARE if we’re ahead of the rest of the women or not OR because we have SO many insecurities about ourselves that we just want to confirm that we’re not the worst player on the team.
But the fact that we want to run, run , run as fast as we can, turn back and say, “you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread gal” is a huge indication that we shouldn’t be wishing to get ahead just for the sake of getting ahead. That wishing to get ahead without a real focus on what TRULY matters is all mental games. And that instead of focusing our attention sideways to see if anybody is “caught up to us” or behind us or in front of us, when it comes to breastfeeding, we should pause, look down at our baby and re-engage with WHY we’re breastfeeding in the first place. We’re breastfeeding not to compare to other women. We’re breastfeeding to offer the best of ourselves to our baby.
What’s The Main Hesitation About Breastfeeding That You Need To Get Over?
I know that it SEEMS that some women have it “easy” when it comes to breastfeeding.
And you may THINK that you don’t have it easy or won’t have it easy.
Let me just pull back the curtain for you and reveal an important truth that I would REALLY like for you to TRULY process:
Out of ALL the breastfeeding women I know, NOBODY has had a 100% perfect breastfeeding experience.
Like NO-BO-DY .
Yet, many women have gone on to breastfeed for yeeeeears.
What Do You Need To Shift In Order To Get Over The Fact That Breastfeed Isn’t Easy?
Do you know what the difference between the women who breastfeed for years and those who don’t even breastfeed for 6 months is?
Breastfeeding is one of those topics where introducing it to someone won’t be enough or as “satisfactory” as it would be if you were getting an introductory overview of another topic.
You see, in order to understand breastfeeding, you have to actually DO IT.
What Is Required For You To Really Say You Know What Breastfeeding Is Like?
Before you even start breastfeeding, you need to really have a clear motivation for DOING IT and for CONTINUING TO DO IT. In other words, you need to commit to breastfeeding by remember who you’re breastfeeding for.
Obviously, you’re committing to breastfeeding for your baby’s wellbeing.
“Breastfeeding is no walk in the park. But you know what? It’s the best red carpet you can roll out for your baby.” – Haydee Montemayor
You need to learn aboutthe breastfeeding process and apply it. Breastfeeding isn’t about theory. It’s about practice.
You need to feel what it feels like to breastfeed.
The phrase, “you are what you eat (which by the way should really be, you are what you absorb) starts on the day that you’re born.
Your baby’s quality of life starts to be defined the minute you decide to give him/her breastmilk or formula.
Breastfeeding has nutritional, intellectual, immunological, emotional and psychological benefits.
Formula has nutritional benefits.
It’s important that when talking about any food item that you keep in mind that nutritional benefits are comprised of two things:
The actual nutrients found in that food item
And how those nutrients impact your direct and overall health
Today we will focus on the nutritional benefits of breastmilk and formula by doing a side-by-side comparison. And will discuss how these nutritional benefits impact your baby’s health now and for his/her lifetime.
My Story in Deciding How To Nourish My Baby
As I shared in the last post, when I became pregnant with my firstborn, I KNEW I wanted to breastfeed.
So when I was hours away from holding my baby in my arms, I was SUPER happy to see the best educational visual EVER hanging on the hospital wall (where I had my baby naturally with no medications) that showed how long the list of positive ingredients in breastmilk was in comparison to the list of ingredients in formula.
I didn’t need the extra push or validation to breastfeed, but if I did, seeing that poster would have made me sing “Whoomp there it is! Whoomp there it is! Shaka laka shaka laka shaka laka shaka whoomp!”
Breastfeeding is one of those topics that fuels mommy wars.
Mothers who decide to breastfeed can’t comprehend why there are mothers who decide not to breastfeed.
Mothers who don’t breastfeed don’t understand what the big fuss about breastfeeding your baby is all about.
And while it’s up to you to decide on which side of this elephant in the room you stand on, I’m here to share what I know about breastfeeding from the research and from my experience.
I wish I could be impartial and provide you with research studies that presented the downside of breastfeeding. But I haven’t found any. (Not that I think any exist).
On the contrary, the value and benefits of breastfeeding are such, that usually, pediatricians, the American Academy of Pediatrics Association (AAP,) breastfeeding consultants and the World Health Organization (WHO) are in agreement that babies should be breastfed for 1 year to 3 years or more. Many people are under the impression that 6 months is what you should aim to breastfeed for, but if you read the fine print carefully, you’ll at least 6 months of EXCLUSIVE breastfeed is suggested, but that it is also recommended that you continue to breastfeed even after you start introducing solids.
My decision to breastfeed was a very natural and easy one. In my mind, mothers breastfed. That’s what they do.
Even though I myself wasn’t breastfed and I don’t remember seeing my mother breastfeed my younger sister and my younger brother because she would do it behind closed doors in her bedroom… I decided to breastfeed. I knew it was important to my baby and I.
Since I had no role models to look up to, I started to do my own research and get comfortable with the idea I would be breastfeeding. And I was pretty excited.
When I was pregnant, I went to my first breastfeeding support group.
It was funny being there without a baby. And it was funnier that I was there before anybody could tell that I was pregnant. And you know what my recurring though was for most of that session? “I don’t want to see any boobs.” Although truth be told, I did see some breastfeeding mom’s boobs there and at other mothering courses I attended.
None of us want to wait around for what seems to be “forever” to get our wants met.
So, here are my best tips for how to increase the chances of getting what you want.
The only prerequisite is that you are open to changing the way that you think.
Can you do that? Good. Let’s Get Started!
Hey, Guess What? You DO Have a Genie!
This genie, however, has ONE rule: Be specific in how you feel, be specific in what you want, and be specific in how you ask for it without treating the other person poorly.
Pretend that the person you want to get something from is your genie.
But remember, as you know, with genies, you have to be careful how you phrase something because making a vague request gets a vague response. (And it ruins a wish) People don’t usually limit you to 3 wishes, but you can’t keep asking them for tons of stuff forever, you know?
For example, instead of saying:
“You should be able to know what I want when I get all emotional like this!” say,
“I just want you to give me a bear hug and tell me that everything will be okay.”
Express gratitude for getting what you want. When you get the goods, don’t forget to say “thank you.”
Feel how wonderful and EASSSSY it is to get what you want when you’re clear.
In the example above, can you notice the difference?
You get what you want ASAP (the bear hug and reassurance) and the other person doesn’t have to think about what you want, they just bibidi-bobidi-boom give it to you. It’s definitely a win-win-for you both.
You can’t control their mind, you can’t control their heart and you can’t control their beliefs. So instead of waiting for them to have compassion, to offer to help you or to think the same way that you do, ask clearly for what you want. They’re a genie, not a mind reader. You still gotta do the ask.
This genie “of yours” is genie to a lot of people as well, so your wishes will not always immediately be their command. Be patient. Wait your turn.
Even genies have wishes. And they have a heart, needs, and dreams and they need a hand from time to time. So help them out. If you treat a genie kindly, they will be kind to you.
Be Okay With “No”
In life, you win some and you lose some, but in order to be in the game, you’ve gotta realize that sometimes, when you ask for things you want and you need the answer will be, “No.”
And that’s okay. Beautiful even, because that means that when someone asks YOU something, that YOU have the same right to play by the same rules and say “No,” to them, not out of spite, but because you want to honor what you desire and WHAT YOU DON’T desire… what you want and WHAT YOU DON’T want.
There’s nothing worse that agreeing to say something that you DON’T want to do and want to kick yourself in the butt for it.
Notice What Actually Makes You Feel More Comfortable and More In Control
“When you’re waiting for people to “figure you out” and give you what you want without you asking for it…. instead of feeling like you’re in control, you’re actually feeling out of control. Every second that goes by and they don’t read your mind makes you feel less important and less loved.” – Haydee Montemayor
But what if you told the person what you wanted?
A) You would stop waiting
B) You would be doing something about it
C) They could say “yes”
D) They could give you what you wanted
E) They could say “no” and you could then move on to Plan B
Doesn’t that feel like being more in control than expecting to be surrounded by mindreaders?
Yep, I thought so.
And, the more you get into the habit of asking people for what you want, the more comfortable you’ll feel. Even if they say “no,”…. because at least you’ll get that “no” out of the way.
Plus, even if they say “no” for one thing it doesn’t mean that they’ll always say “no” for everything and forever. So, it boils down to trying.
And trying. And trying, and hopefully getting more self-sufficient in the process.
What To Do When People “Fail You” (AKA Don’t Give You What You Want and Need)
(Mmmmmhhhha) This is literally, vital… but hard… especially when you’re upset that the answer the someone gave you was not the answer you were expecting. In that case, breathe deeper and really let it all out. (Mmmmmmm Ahhhhhhhh)
Rephrase your emotions into language that they can understand and NOT get all defensive about. In order for them not to get defensive, you need to use language that doesn’t attack or that doesn’t convey that you’re pointing fingers. The rule of thumb is to stick to how you’re feeling instead of trying to imply that what the other person “did” to you made you feel a certain way.
As much as possible, stick with the facts. Men react more positively to facts than they do to emotions. Instead of putting on a pouty face and saying “You were late to my sister’s wedding because you don’t care about my family or me.” (Does that remind you of Married At First Sight, by chance? 😉 It was actually one of my favorites for April)… say… “You got to the wedding premises at 6:45 P.M., when the wedding actually starts at 7:00 P.M. and you’re gonna officiate the wedding.”
State what you expect for next time. Listen up ladies: guys don’t tend to like this tip because it makes it harder for them to get off the hook when something similar happens in the future, but stick to this anyway. 😉 Whenever you have an argument or a misunderstanding, say something to the effect of, “Okay, don’t worry about it. Let’s drop it. But can you promise me that next time that ____ happens, that you’ll ____?” They’ll usually say “yes.” However, the question is whether they’ll actually carry through the next time when it happens. From experience, they’re bound to “forget.” But don’t lose your cool (although I know you’ll want to), simply say, “Remember when something like this happened about one ______ minute, day, week, month or year ago? And yep, ladies can remember things that happened YEARS in the past, #amiright? If the guy says that they do remember, “Oh my! You’re in luck!” But if they say that they don’t remember, briefly remind them. If they’re still claiming amnesia, just continue with your original plan. State what you would expect for next time. And if they claim amnesia for the 2nd time for the same thing… I would start recording conversations (arguments, specifically). Us ladies don’t have time for this mental runaround. You may think that recording arguments is creepy. I call it smart. Not only will you really e able to review what they said, but hearing yourself argue can allow you to see in what way your communication can improve. And if the same situations pops up again, no worries, the proof will be in the pudding, my friend. Ta-da!
Call your emotions by their name. If you feel insecure, scared, etc. say so. For ideas of what words to use look into a prior post, How Good Of A Communicator Are You, Really?You gotta name it to claim it, get the reassurance/clarity you need and then release it. IFFF someone asks you, “What’s wrong?” don’t resort to the totally-lying-between-your-teeth-and-you-know-it, “Noooothing.”
Recognize when you’re trying to “take it out” emotionally on someone. Notice when you’re prone to letting off steam. Notice when you’re directing your frustration at someone. Most importantly figure out WHY you’re doing this and what advantage that’s giving you. In other words, what are you getting out of not getting your needs met? Realize that it’s not fair to be unfair and to blame others for issues that are going on inside of you and emotions that you’re supposed to be able to process without necessarily putting the blame on other people, especially those that have nothing to do with what you’re experiencing. Oh, and by the way, when you catch yourself doing this, this is the BIGGEST clue that you have to speak up, acknowledge the truth and get rid of the shitty feeling. Throw the poo down the drain, not at someone else. P.S. Stuffing yourself with a pint of Talenti gelato isn’t the answer either.
Notice if the reason you’re getting upset at someone failing to please you is because you feel nervous, scared or out of control. Have compassion for yourself and for the other person. Empathy. Heart. “Don’t let the conditions of the difficult moment you’re living become a difficult moment between you.”
Get to the root of the issue. If you’re upset that your husband wasn’t gonna get to your sister’s wedding on time, really dig deep and identify what it is about this situation that is making you feel out of balance. If, for example, you felt nervous thinking that your husband wasn’t going to make it to your sister’s wedding, that the wedding would start late because of your husband or that perhaps something had happened to him on the way there, tell him that instead of going on and on and give him the “How could he?” speech for days.
What Not To Do When People “Fail You”
Don’t name call. Don’t call someone inconsiderate, lazy, unloving or worse. Got it? Good?
Don’t project what they did wrong this time into the future. Don’t say, “Based on how you reacted with this request, I wouldn’t doubt that you won’t be able to do ____, when the day comes / when I need you/ during Christmastime.”
Leave the “I can’t believe” comments for another time. Hopefully for a good surprise. So instead of saying, “I can’t believe you did _____” or “I can’t believe you were ___” or “I can’t believe you didn’t ____” or “I can’t believe you weren’t _____,” (you get the point), get into the habit of using that phrase for positive things, “I can’t believe you took the time to make me my favorite cookies even though you got home tired from work. How thoughtful! Thank you!” You see what that does? If you do that often enough, you’ll be encouraging positive behavior with that phrase instead of adding salt to a wound or unwanted honey to an already sticky situation. When you use this phrase negatively you usually do three things:
make the other person feel worse,
make yourself feel worse,
and make the situation worse because you’re essentially adding shame to a wrongdoing… so you create an additional problem to resolve.
Don’t blame people for things that they couldn’t resolve even if they wanted to. Don’t say “I felt neglected by you.” What if they weren’t by you because they needed to run to the restroom? Were they supposed to not go to the restroom so that you didn’t feel unwanted? How could they have predicted that whatever the action was that they were going to take was going to make you feel unwanted? Most likely, they couldn’t right? Plus, what do you say to someone who felt neglected? What do you do? You can’t turn back the time.
Don’t generalize. Don’t say things like “You never help me.” “You’re always gone.” “You’re never here when I need you.” “You always do that.” “You never do that.”
Why shouldn’t you say that? For three reasons: a) Saying that, no matter how true it feels, is most likely a lie (Why? Cuz there are hardly any absolutes in life. Absolutes are true when you say you’ve never done something in the past. For example, you can say, I’ve never been to Montana, and that would be true). 2) You will make the other person feel worse than they do… and they can become sadder, more ashamed or angrier 3) Saying an absolute that’s not true will become like a self-fulfilling prophecy that you’ll attract. And since the other person doesn’t believe in them anyway, they’ll be less worried about disappointing you. They’ll do what you hate almost on purpose (although subconsciously) so that in the future you can say, YOU SEE?! You’re never here when I need you.”
Don’t assume that people know what you want and don’t expect them to. Even genies need to know what you want to fulfill your wishes, remember?
Don’t try to take them down emotionally. Don’t say things like “If you were a good husband, you would ______.” #badidea
Don’t put the entire responsibility of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs on one person. (In other words, remember that there are no Prince Charmings For example, don’t say, “I need you to make me feel safe.” “I need you to make me feel loved.” “I need you to give me support so that I can become self-actualized.” These requests are SOOOO BIIIGGIG that the other person will be left wondering where to start, so much that they’re very likely to not start at all. Plus, even if someone is amazing with you, they will not last forever. None of us will.
In Sum, What Should You Do?
Express your needs honestly and politely in a clear way and invite other people in your life to do the same. That will increase the odds of you getting what you want and will allow you to give others what they want.
As others communicate their needs with you, you get to practice recognizing what clear requests sound like so that you can be clearer with them, too. In the end, everybody can win, as long as they continue to communicate.
When It Comes To Communication, Give It To Them Straight
To wrap up all of this communication series (you can find all of the links for it below), any time you feel that you’re upset because someone is not giving you what you want or need and instead is giving you what you don’t need, ask yourself these questions:
What is happening that is causing these emotions to surface?
What emotions are popping up?
What am I needing that I’m not getting?
What am I getting out of not having my needs fulfilled? What am I getting out of NOT getting what I want?
Only by thinking about these questions and coming up with honest answers and helpful solutions can you actually increase your odds of getting what you want and what you need.
Continue on and ask yourself:
What do I really, REALLY want?
Be okay with owning what you want and what you need and proclaiming it.
What am I truly asking for?
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Make sure that your actual desires are matching up to your nonverbal cues and body language.
Whatever You Do, Keep This In Mind
Life is much more fun when you have what you want and you have what you need.
Don’t pretend that you don’t want and need what you do.
Speak up for yourself.
Be your best advocate.
And PLLLLEASE, don’t get to the end of your life without fully embracing your desires.
Your desires are what make you feel alive.
Let me repeat that, it’s THAT important:
Your desires are what make you feel alive.
They’re what make this thing called life worth it.
As long as what you want, what you need, what you say you want, what you actually want, your tone, and your body language are all matching, and your intention in getting what you want is clear, but also generous with others… then you should be golden… and your life should be golden.
A Controversial Caveat
The older I grow, the more I believe that there are two main wills in life.
One is not better than the other.
“Life is a sensual dance between your will and life’s will.”-Haydee Montemayor
2) There’s a lesson, a blessing a gem in what you perceive to be the absence of what you want. It’s always there. Always. And it can be more than one.
3) What you want is on its way and just a little bit more patience will be key.
4) You have to work harder for what you want.
5) You have to change directions and go after a dream that will ultimately end up being much more satisfactory than the one that you want.
“What you have been able to attain and what has been denied to you PLUS what you’ve been able to choose and reject are all events that you’ll one day be able to connect the dots with and see how they formed the tapestry of your life.
“Focus on what you have because what you have is what you once wanted, and what many would give the world for.” -Haydee Montemayor
Now It’s Your Turn
Which of the “no-no’s” for communicating your needs are you guilty of?
Which of these tips has worked well for you?
Which of the ways of better communicating your needs will you be trying first? Why?
Do you have any tips that have worked wonders for you?
Share your experience with us. After all, you can be our knowledge genie. 😉
The Want/ Need Series
If you liked this post, feel free to visit the others in the series designed to teach you how to navigate the difficult waters of assuming responsibility for what you want, what you need and how to communicate those wants and needs.