I am so appreciative to have this opportunity to gain a better understanding about your book and put many of theses ideas into practice.
I am struggling with expressing my needs then asking a do-able request to my child, then if that request isn't accepted moving beyond that while still having an unmet need.
Let me see if I can write this clearly.
Being a mother I am constantly trying to have balance in my life. Like most mothers here, at the end of some days I am lucky to have brushed my teeth or take a shower. I know when I am burnt-out I am not making the best parenting choices and I am certainly not showing my children how to respect their own needs and self-care. I am horrible at self-care and I do not want to pass that on to my children, I want more for them and I want them to be authentic to themselves and honor their feelings.
So while I would love even 15 minutes to take a walk outside, or 20 minutes to shower by myself, the needs of my 4 small children are intense enough that I can't step away. We don't have family nearby and most of my friends have 1 child and asking them to watch all 4 would not be fair. My husband works a lot and is home late so its often me and our 4 children- 1, 3, 6, 8. I can usually wake up in the morning with a fairly full cup and get everyone dressed, breakfast, lunches made, drive to school, etc. By the end of the day I have been meeting everyone elses needs I just wish for a bit of peace, serenity, cooperation, help. I wish for 5 minutes of silence.
For example, I am making dinner with my 1 year old in the back pack and my 3 year old is hollering at me to help him get his play-doh out of the cupboard. I realize I am feeling overwhelmed and at a point I cannot move away from dinner, so I say "I hear you would like your play-doh, let me ask sister if she can get it." So I express my need "AhLana I can't move away from the stove right now, I worry the chicken would burn and I want to have a good meal for the family, I realize your in the middle of homework, can you take a moment to get your brother his play doh?" She says "in a few minutes", which infuriates the 3 year old and he has a meltdown because he really wants that play-doh right now. I empathize with both my children; my oldest needs to finish her homework so she can relax and play outside, and my 3 year old really wants some fun at this moment. I empathize with him "are you feeling upset because you had hoped to play with your doh right now?" I try distraction, more empathy, etc. Then my oldest son comes in and repeats over and over again "I am hungry, when is dinner?" I respond with "your feeling hungry and wish dinner was on the table right now." He just keeps repeating that and I say "your not sure how long it is to dinner and your so hungry, would you like me to set the timer to help you keep track of how long, then when the timer goes off you can call everyone to the table?" He likes that idea, but now is asking me how much more time, etc......... Finally those few minutes later big sister finishes her homework, grabs the play-doh and all is well with my 3 year old. By this point I am frazzled and exhausted and feeling a bit resentful that I expressed my needs and they are unmet.
Help!! I think I am missing an important part of the process and I want so badly to connect whenever I am talking with my children, while at the same time meeting EVERYONES needs (including a few of mine)