Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Queen Big Mama in Charge of the Universe
Almost 10 years of life as a stay-at-home-mom and homeschooler with a working-from-home husband, I'm accustomed to the luxury of waking up more or less when my body fills most of it's sleep debt. Travel turns out to be the only time I set an alarm as those picky people at the airport don't hold planes for my personal sleep needs.
Why do this to myself now? Especially now that my kids can wake up and pour themselves cereal or yogurt and play for hours?
So I can be the Big Mama In Charge.
Since January quite a bit of my learning time has gone to an intensive study of Gordon Neufeld's material. His basic theory covers attachment - postulating that our primary human need is for connection with others. One of the main realizations I've taken from the 22 hours of video lessons and 10 weeks of discussion group is that my kids need to be able to feel totally safe in my care. They need to believe being their mama isn't too much work for me, that nothing will jeopardize our relationship, and be sure that I have a plan for their well being.
When my kiddos wake up first, scrounge for food and create their own structure for how to spend their time, it becomes almost impossible for me to wrest the direction of the rest of the day away from them. Our day becomes a long series of bickering and power struggles with both parents and siblings. I think starting their own day out communicates, however subtly, that taking care of them is too hard, and they must work to meet their own needs.
When I get up, get dressed, take a few minutes to myself and start breakfast before they come down, they treat me as Queen of the Universe*. They listen, they help, they do! My educated guess is that the kids see their needs being met, they know there is an adult in charge with a plan, and they relax into that care. The tone of these first moments of the day sets their little systems to either feeling nurtured for and compliant* or anxious and demanding.
Clever being that I am, I've managed to circumvent the getting up part by asking my morning lark of a husband to be the Man of the Morning. Thus reaping the benefits of Queen of the Universe without the ugly early morning issue. Sadly the Man left for NYC yesterday, leaving me - and the alarm clock - to rise to the challenge of starting the morning off in charge and in peace.**
But I can handle it. I'm the Queen Big Mama in Charge of the Universe!
Wish me luck and send coffee.
*For everyone's sanity and good perspective, please keep in mind that this Queen of the Universe can still be an idiot poopy-head and my compliant children may still scream in agony when asked to get out their handwriting. But these are mere hiccups on our day rather than the defining tone.
**Anyone else notice that accidental, yet clever, play on words? Hee hee hee!