Mediation Advantage Services December 2018

DEC 2018

(508) 795-1557 | LIFE IN BALANCE

favorites. Those aren’t what I would normally do on a Saturday; I’d usually spend my time with other adults, my family, and my friends. But right now, my normal is making sure the kids are happy and have smiles on their faces. Their laughter and joy brings me back to what’s important. Jasmine and I take the kids to preschool, and I usually pick them up. We play games and look out at the scenery during these drives. The other day on our drive home, they pointed out the leaves, the pumpkins, a lake, and anything else in nature they saw as we passed. I usually participate in this game of I Spy, but at that moment, I was in my own universe, thinking about a project and what I needed to get done before the end of the day. I guess I was a little quiet on the drive, because the 3-year-old was concerned by my lack of participation. “Aunt Polly, are you mad at me?” he said. I was surprised. I’d been in my own head and wasn’t paying attention to the emotions I was emitting. I came back to the present. “No, are you mad at me?” I asked. He laughed before shouting, “No!” It was an important lesson. Kids pick up on our moods, and even when we think they’re not paying attention, they are. Parenting is a constant act of role modeling, and your actions speak volumes to young minds. That little one was reminding me that I wasn’t in the present, and it was my little wakeup call to come back. In addition to some good life lessons, this experience helps me understand your parenting challenges even better! I’ve been overwhelmed by the support that you all have given me in this adventure. Thank you for your words of wisdom, tips on potty training and kids books, and suggestions for kid-friendly activities. It’s been enlightening and enjoyable to share this connection with you. Co-parenting is a constant journey of evolving “new normals.” Some days you’re doing it on your own, some days you have a partner, and some days you have a community of friends and family who are there to support you. Families come in all shapes and sizes. As Jasmine and I experience this together, we’re taking it one day at a time and trying not sweat the small stuff. Most days, we just hope to let the other person take a shower without kids knocking on the door. It’s important to recognize what needs to happen for the kids as opposed to being in conflict with each other; it’s about being in tune with your partner. You need the support that only a partner in parenting can give, and you don’t have to be a married couple to provide that. –Polly Tatum

It’s been over a month since the boys came to our home, and life is full of adventure. The mornings look a little like this: The youngest comes in for snuggles first thing, letting me sneak in a few more moments of rest at the same time. It sets a nice tone to the day. Then we do a 12-minute meditation, often while I’m changing his Pampers and trying to distract him. Those are just a few little snippets of our new normal. I’m not naturally a morning person, but life with three little boys requires me to adapt. What’s been reaffirming for me and even more so for Jasmine, who doesn’t have kids, is the sage advice not to sweat the small stuff. Parenting is incorporating flexibility into your life. My mornings are sloppy, imperfect, and often funny. You have to laugh at yourself sometimes, and truly, I’m grateful for these moments. I’m especially grateful for the kids for keeping things in perspective. That’s what life is about — picking up the kids and watching how excited they are to see you when all they want to do is play. They’re always so full of joy and playfulness, and it makes life richer. On weekends when the weather is nice, we’ve been finding free and moderate-cost activities that allow the boys to play and have fun. Trips to the park, basketball court, and kid-friendly festivals are a few of our REMEMBERING NOT TO SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF Adventures in Our New Normal

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