Monday, June 30, 2014

Gentle discipline when you're at the end of your rope: You tell me

Do you have those days when everything's a trigger — and yet you're really, really calm and patient? Maybe you're not feeling well, or you're stressed, but you keep your cool under pressure and remain gentle and mindful with your children and the others in your path.

But … but … then the day just keeps going. Sometimes angry reactions are instant and volatile, but often they're the result of hours or even days of build-up. You can hold it in, and hold it in … but then, suddenly, you can't.

Hobo Mama is asking you: How do you practice gentle discipline when you're at the end of your rope?
What do you do in these situations? What do you do when you're at the end of your patience rope but you still have dinnertime and bedtime to get through? Some of us might be fortunate enough to duck out and call on a partner or friend to take over so we can escape before we explode — but what do we do when we don't have that option, or when it's not enough?

Here's where you think I have some thoughtful answer. Surprise! I'm honestly asking you.

Write me back with your best ideas (mail@hobomama.com) or comment on this post, and I'll feature your responses (with first names & last initials or pseudonyms — let me know if you prefer privacy) in an upcoming post.

So tell us:

How do you remain a gentle parent when it's been a long, long day of choosing gentleness over and over and you're nearing your peacefulness limit?


Then be sure to subscribe to my blog or newsletter or follow along on Facebook or Google+ to see when I post your helpful answers!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Family on the beach

My sister-in-law came down to take our annual sunset family photos — now with bump — a June tradition going on seven years, since Mikko turned 1.

Hobo Mama == Family on the beach

You can see our previous silhouette photos here and watch the family grow little by little each year!

Hobo Mama == Family on the beach

Hobo Mama == Family on the beach

Hobo Mama == Family on the beach

Hobo Mama == Family on the beach Hobo Mama == Family on the beach

Compared with ages 2 and 4.

Hobo Mama == Family on the beach

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Calling for submissions for the July 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Vacation

We continue to be delighted with the inspiration and wisdom our Carnival of Natural Parenting participants share, and we hope you'll join us for the next carnival in July 2014! (Check out June, May, April, March, February, January, December 2013, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, January, and a summary of all our 2012 posts and 2011 posts if you missed any.)

Your co-hosts are Lauren at Hobo Mama and Dionna at Code Name: Mama.

Here are the submission details for July 2014:

Calling for submissions for the July 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Vacation
Theme: Family Vacation: Let's talk travel. What sorts of trips does your family take? What are your travel dreams or goals? Give your readers tips for road trips and plane rides, suggested itineraries, or even staycation ideas for frugal fun.

Deadline: Tuesday, July 1. Fill out the webform (at the link or at the bottom) and email your submission to us by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time: CarNatPar {at} NaturalParentsNetwork.com

Carnival date: Tuesday, July 8. Before you post, we will send you an email with a little blurb in html to paste into your submission that will introduce the carnival. You will publish your post on July 8 and email us the link if you haven't done so already. Once everyone's posts are published by noon Eastern time, we will send out a finalized list of all the participants' links to generate lots of link love for your site! We'll include full instructions in the email we send before the posting date.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Mushrooms, hide-a-kitty, & a true green thumb

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

So, don't mind me, but I'm going to share the most random pictures
of the past weeks that I can locate.

You're welcome.

I'm trying to get together some photos from our London trip
and the recent birthday-palooza,
but the baby and I need some more sleep
before diving back into photo sorting & editing.

So, here you are for this week. Again, you're welcome.

Mushrooms, hide-a-kitty, & a true green thumb == Hobo Mama
Did you know we have a Ninja Turtle living with us?

Mushrooms, hide-a-kitty, & a true green thumb == Hobo Mama
True story.

Mushrooms, hide-a-kitty, & a true green thumb == Hobo Mama
I went to The Container Store to figure out
how to store this kitty. This'll do.

Mushrooms, hide-a-kitty, & a true green thumb == Hobo Mama
Mikko at the last minute decided Sam needed these fabulous gifts for Father's Day:
mushrooms, English cheese, straws to make shapes with (more a gift for Mikko),
and Thank You stickers.
Take that, ties.

Mushrooms, hide-a-kitty, & a true green thumb == Hobo Mama
Stripy dudes.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Unconditional donuts

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

Alrik turned three when we were on our trip to London. It was as if a switch was flipped. Gone is our easygoing toddler and in his place is a kid who wholeheartedly digs in and melts down multiple times a day.

At first we wrote it off as jet lag and disrupted sleep, then a possible cold, then adjustments to our sleep schedule on our return. Finally, we just had to admit it: This is how he is right now.

This is a boy screaming that anyone else got food except for him. How dare we!
Clearly he deserves ALL THE PLATES.

I'd say it's our comeuppance that he was such an easy baby and toddler, except that we had plenty of the drama with Mikko's baby and toddler days to last us, but maybe that's just how it is: You can choose one phase to be easy, and the rest are going to push you.

I'm not talking whining and whimpering, either. Oh, no. These are full-out, bloodcurdling screams, or his entire face crumpling as he opens his mouth wide in a whole-throated, whole-lunged wail — that then lasts fifteen minutes or more. These are obviously big emotions — over what, to us, seem like little things.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Belly bump — halfway through!

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

Who loves pregnancy belly photos? {Raises hand!}

I know I pore over them every pregnancy (or possible pregnancy, ha ha!)
— do I look like this person?
Am I bigger or smaller than this person
for the same weeks and same type of pregnancy?

Here are a collection from this pregnancy —
for those who are keeping track, this is for my third child,
and I'm currently over halfway through. I can hardly believe it!

Belly bump — halfway through! == Hobo Mama
Nautical sweater: H&M
This was at, I kid you not, 9 weeks pregnant.
With the second, I showed earlier.
With the third, I showed pretty much as soon as I peed on a stick.
And didn't fit into my clothes already, either!

Belly bump — halfway through! == Hobo Mama
Tunic (non-maternity): ModCloth
11 weeks, and announcing

Belly bump — halfway through! == Hobo Mama
Shirt: Target
12 weeks

Belly bump — halfway through! == Hobo Mama
Already in love

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pets & kids: The realities



Welcome to the June 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids and Animals

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about kids and pets.





Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

Pets & kids: The realities == Hobo Mama

When I was growing up, we always had pets: always at least one cat, for a long while a dog, and a pair of gerbils or a goldfish here and there. I knew when we had kids, I wanted to give them that same experience of growing up with animals to love, care for, and form attachments with.

But I also had commonsense. Here are some of the basic facts I've learned — as a child and now as a parent — about how kids and pets interact and what to expect if you're adding a fur friend to a baby family, or a baby to a fur-friendly family.

Kids and certain pets aren't always best friends.

Pets & kids: The realities == Hobo MamaWe had an older cat when I was very young who did not want to play with me. Most of my interactions concerning her were asking my mother for another bandage to cover the latest scratch. I've had smaller pets such as gerbils and fish who didn't relish any human companionship. So when Mikko was born when Sam's and my first cat, Mrs. Pim, was already firmly an adult, I didn't expect love at first sight — and I was right. She let Mikko adore her from afar, and that was good enough for both of them. As she became used to him, she let him brush her, and as a toddler and preschooler, he helped me feed and water her, scoop her litter box, and play with pole toys. Forcing ornery pets and babies or toddlers together before the animals are ready is just asking for trouble — and a dwindling supply of Band-Aids.

Pets & kids: The realities == Hobo Mama