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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
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About this blog
By Valerie Brandt
I was born and raised a farm girl in rural Minnesota where I met and married the adoration of my lifetime! Our family currently lives in a rural community in Iowa where we frequently trade stories with the family \x34back home\x34 of the likeness ...
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A Healthy Dose of Spice
I was born and raised a farm girl in rural Minnesota where I met and married the adoration of my lifetime! Our family currently lives in a rural community in Iowa where we frequently trade stories with the family \x34back home\x34 of the likeness and differences of the slower life from one state to the next. My husband and I own our own business where we provide for our three growing daughters who are the light of our world. Writing has always been an outlet for me, starting a diary as young as 4th grade and continuing for each of my daughters currently. Writing clears my mind and my heart of things that I would rather say but don't (due to my impeccable manners) or did say and wished I hadn't (sometimes those manners fail). I am clearly outspoken and am working on being filled with grace and compassion. In my spare time my family and I enjoy reading, biking and cooking. We do NOT enjoy cold snowy weather.
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Aug. 29, 2013 1:47 p.m.



This month I enjoyed a very rare visit from my sister-in-law from England and her two adorable children.  It helped me to pause and consider some of the things that are my hang-ups when it comes to parenting.  I am, what some would call, "high strung".  If something bad could happen to you, it will, therefore I will be stressed and not enjoy the moments in life that are good.  I try to plan for everything, ridiculously so.  As the visit started out, I recognized immediately how frenzied I was over my children.  

I clucked over them.

My girls are lovely and sweet and well-mannered (as well as kids can be) and they are fun girls.  But they are none of those things when I cluck, and I realized how much I clucked when I watched my SIL enjoy moments.  I would lie in bed at the end of the day and realize I could recall fun things we did during the day, but in the moment I wasn't enjoying them.  WHAT A WASTE!  

So, I internalized why I do this?  What causes me to be this way?  I went searching for answers but it came to me quietly and simply and out of my own mouth when talking to my girls.  

"Who are you in control of?" I said one day to an out-of-control child.

"Myself" they answered.

"If you are grumpy or fearful, whose choice is that?"

"Mine..."

OH.MY.WORD.  I am fearful because I CHOOSE TO BE FEARFUL.  I don't enjoy moments because I CHOOSE TO BE FEARFUL.  My choice determines my attitude, which in turn determines if we are enjoying ourselves.

I love my line of work.  I love being home with my kids.  I do not love being fearful and from this day one will choose not to fear, but to just enjoy the moments.  They are fleeting.  My chicks are growing up.

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