Why I will never yell at my daughter again

“Children grow, and we grow with them. Childhood is fleeting. May our obsession to correct it don’t stop us of enjoying it. ” (Carlos Gonzalez – Paediatrician)

I was sharing the other day on a different post that I came to the determination that I would never yell at my daughter again. Now, I need to rectify here, cause I’m in the process of it and not achieving it 100%. It’s hard to acknowledge our weaknesses but it’s good to recognise them so that we can change. And rather of this post being some sort of “confession” is just a conversation, between you and me, where I’d like to explain why I have decided this and maybe you can come to the same conclusion, just like me.

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A few weeks ago, probably over a month I was going through much stress, but not on a daily basis, I would just have some peaks every once in a while, it might have been because of feeling too tired, or because I was losing hair due to breastfeeding, or feeling weight guilty…any how, if I continue with the list this post is going to sound depressing and I’m going to depress myself just by writing it! LOL …

The thing is that my patience with J was decreasing in inverse proportion. She was just HER, as usual, the cheerful cheeky monkey that likes to play around and many times wants things on her own way. But I, I was yelling more than usual, anything would drive me round the bend. It was so unfair for her and then I remembered some wise words I read a long time ago. It was actually when I was pregnant with her and I used to read all these books about parenting, childhood, or even watching “supper-nanny”! I remembered the words from Carlos Gonzalez, a renowned Spanish paediatrician, on his book “Besame mucho” (Kiss Me) where he explained that us, as parents have the ability to control our behaviour, that when we discipline our children there is no need to raise your voice or instil fear in them. It is wrong to say “You drive me crazy” or “You’re making me mad” The blunt truth is that we are the only agents who have made the decision to get angry because of an specific situation. If you think that’s impossible, try to remember that time when you were with your boss, or some friend or a stranger, and they did something to you that you didn’t like, did you raise your voice to them or could you control yourself because otherwise you would get fired or lose a friendship or feel ashamed? See, we CAN do it! we can control ourselves, there is no excuse, and specially there is no excuse for the person you love the most.

So now, I think before I speak, I breathe before I yell and I remember that my daughter is a child, that is growing, just as I am growing,..I remember that childhood is fleeting, and that I should enjoy it along with her, because I don’t want to get fired by her! 😉

You can read more about Carlos Gonzalez on this interview. (most of the content you can find about him is in Spanish but you will probably see some works written in English as well) He is an advocate of natural upbringing and I share his views in many of these matters.

Share your thoughts with me on this! Leave a comment. 🙂

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You know you’re an introvert blogger when…

You get nervous AND excited with your first comment from a completely stranger.

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You join a LINKY and feel like you’ve just crashed a party and everyone is looking at you thinking “who is this newbie?!

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You have a DRAFT post saved for ages cause you’re just not too sure of showing it to the WORLD!

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You comment on someone else’s post and feel like “Hi, I was just stopping by and..”

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And last but not least, you get a FOLLOWER and think “YEAH!” and then “Wait?! I don’t know that person AT ALL, is he/she stalking me??!”

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OK, you got me there, am I an introvert blogger? Maybe! Sometimes! and it might be because I’m just starting in this blogging world and all these freaking outs just vanish away in the future, but who knows! have you ever felt like that? or am I alone here?! haha

ethannevelyn

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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The lessons I learnt from my father

This last weekend we had the great blessing of having “yayu” (J and E’s grandpa) with us and I couldn’t let pass the chance to share with all of you some of the lessons that I have learnt from my dad and that I have felt so vividly these days. I know he will read this post “in secret” cause he is not too keen on all the “social media madness” but I hope he won’t mind I write about it.

Laughing out Loud

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Anyone who’s ever had a chat with my family knows that we like to have a good laugh of almost everything! specially my dad and I have a bit of a dark sense of humour that usually would be my mum who would be suffering the consequences, but in general, laughing at ourselves, laughing of our mistakes, laughing out loud has definitely helped us go through life situations with a much better attitude. Now it’s something that I try to apply within my own family, and J’s sense of humour is much of a reflection of that.

Search for the good in life

My dad has the gift of seeing good in other people and good in things. Everything that falls to his hands he will have the vision of what he can do to make it look better, nicer or more productive. He won’t need that many tools or much investment but he will definitely work wonders with almost anything you ask him for. To be honest, I think in a much deeper sense, that is how he raised my brothers and I, with the eyes put on what we could become regardless of what we were then. And that, has made all the difference.

Be teachable 

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Don’t ever think you know everything! Once your bag is full there’s nothing else you can add to it so that will stop you from growing. My dad is always open to learn from his children, even the youngest one who is 11 y.old, or from his children-in-law, or even from his grandchildren. Anyone can teach us meaningful lessons if we are open enough to receive them.

Never stop creating 

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Building dreams, trying to make them real, it is never too late. And if age becomes an obstacle try to adapt and think outside the box. His spirit of entrepreneurship will always be an inspiration to me and my family. Stepping out of our comfort zone and trying new things is hard but it will be worthy at the end and along the way.

Believe in yourself

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Love yourself, like yourself, believe you can do things. Self-confidence is probably one of the most attractive attributes and my mum would agree to that. Not a fool of themselves, not thinking of themselves better than others, just recognising your virtues and accepting your weaknesses. But if you cannot love yourself you won’t be able to love others.

With an eye single to the glory of God

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He is always taught us never to be afraid of dying. He sees death as a part of life, and thus you do your best while you’re here, preparing to meet with your Creator, and then enjoy the other side of the journey, while you wait for your loved ones to join you. He is an imperfect person who loves to live the gospel on his daily life and not just on a Sunday. And that’s how we try to be as well.

I’m pretty sure my dad has and will face challenges on parenting, loving others, ageing, and many other things, as we all do, but when you put life in the right perspective, and you see the example he is leaving with us, you see a man who tries, and because of that, you want to try as well.

<We love you yayu!! Thanks for these days with us!>

What have your father taught you? Don’t need to wait for Father’s Day or any other special occasion to share those lessons 🙂

 

Cuddle Fairy

10 absolute truths you will only experience with a 4 year-old

Having a 4 year-old can be quite an interesting adventure. They’re not in the stage of completely dependency as a new born baby but they’re not miss/mr independence either, even though they believe they are. So after a week where I have committed myself to not raise my voice to J again (I will have to tell you why in a different post) here comes, the 10″absolute” truths you will only experience if you have a 4 year-old.

Truth #1: I don’t like this food! I wanna eat out. 

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It doesn’t matter if they’ve helped you in the kitchen, or if you have tried to hide all the “good-green stuff” so it looks more appetizing, as soon as they sit on the table, they switch their auto-mechanism of “I’m going to give a hard time to mummy” and start whining about it.

Truth #2: (maybe only applicable to girls?.. I don’t know!) I don’t like these clothes!

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J at 18 months…a very early fashionista

After taking off the closet 4 dresses, trying out 2 trousers, leaving them on the floor, trying to put a long t-shirt as a dress, and who knows what else! our little fashionista cannot decide what to wear! I can’t wait for school to start so the only options she will have will be blue and grey!

Truth #3: Power Rangers is serious stuff…

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Really, how many versions of The Power Rangers are currently out there?! Dino Charge, Mystic something.., and how creepy can be that all the cast look alike from one version to the other! BUT she loves them! She’s into the pink one now by the way, she used to be the red one. Apparently pink is cool now. I still can remember the time when I was telling her off because of something she did and she started pointing at me with both arms extended and making a noise like “ssshhhh”..and I was like, “WTH?! what are you doing J?” -“Trying to destroy you! like the Power Rangers, mummy!”… 😀 such a cutie, right?!

Truth #4: Bedtime to infinity and beyond!

So now, all the characters from her favourite book stories have suddenly acquired new names… we will have “Snow white – Rainbow dash” and her “Prince- Apple Jack” and of course, the prince’s horse named “Beautiful Twilight-J.C.T” we can never forget to say the “beautiful” first please. That means that a story that would take less than 5 minutes to read is told in like forever! By the way, you can tell the influence of My Little Pony there…

Truth #5: I will always leave the park crying.

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It doesn’t matter how long you stayed, how involved you were in their games, they will never accept the words  “It’s time to go” For them “Home” means depriving them of their freedom and wildest dreams. And it gets even worse if you were on a play date with another friend. Then it’s a whole good bye drama “I’ll miss you J! – I’ll miss you too S! Come play to my house soon!”

Bless our little J though, she is indeed such a character, and this probably sounded as if we were complaining about her but let me tell you the other 5 truths:

Truth #6: She always accepts my apologies.

And this probably applies to your little one. It doesn’t matter your mistake, as soon as you say you’re sorry, they will be there kissing you and hugging you again, like nothing happened. No hurt feelings.

Truth #7: Any day is a good day to wear a princess dress!

Isn’t it right? Life is not to be wasted waiting for the perfect moment! just like a 4 year-old does it, you fancy wearing a santa dress in the middle of april? Go for it! they know it well, live life to the fullest.

Truth #8: If you say you’re going to do something, do it. 

They might not have consistency but they do have commitment. Specially if you’re the one who promised to do something. They will make you keep your word, every bit of what you said. They do it as well. They’re quite serious for that, specially if it involves playing. 😉

Truth #9: You will always be their hero.

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Embrace this stage, I heard it gets quite difficult in a few years! so this is a time to enjoy because no matter how tired you are and look and feel you will always be beautiful to them, daddy will always be the strongest and mummy…mummy will always be “mummy” (I think that implies a lot!)

Truth #10: they will always appreciate your time.

No matter how expensive the toy or if it didn’t cost you anything at all, if they don’t have anyone to play it with, it will be pointless. They will always appreciate the time you spend with them. The memories you are building will be the ones that will stay with them. They are your perfect boss, the one that really acknowledges that you are needed and loved, and abundantly rewarded for spending time with them.

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These are not “absolute truths” at all! every child is unique, but these are our truths, the ones we embrace and we learn every day from our little J. What have you learnt from your little one so far?

 

Cuddle Fairy

My mum is the worst mum in the world

My mum is the worst mum in the world. Let me go back in time, since we’re celebrating Mother’s Day in Spain and other countries, and tell you the “horrible” things my mum did to me:

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Being an unbearable fussy eater, stage that lasted up to 4-5 years of age, my mum was so “mean” that she used to blend all these natural juices, almost daily, and frequently with some “delicious” beetroot and other vegetables added to them. Luckily for me, she would put some oranges in them to hide the taste of iron from the beetroot! Without those smoothies I would have probably been a very malnourished child, because, couldn’t I be more difficult, could I?! Sometimes keeping the food in my mouth for over an hour…but you know what? My mum knew better.

IMG_1919IMG_1920With every changing season and specially in winter, she would wrapped me around and around with the scarf and zipped up my coat up to my nose or even putting me a pair of warm tights under my trousers if needed, because “darling, if the air is rushing through your mouth you’re going to get sick!” I would look like a giant marshmallow walking down the street, but how many colds or pneumonias did she save me from?

Because, definitely, my mum knew better.

We can’t forget the countless times that she stay in my bed with me, listening to my stories, life-changing experiences for me, dreams of a little girl to her probably, but she never showed a sign of exhaustion. She might have even been thinking to herself “Oh gosh, when is this little one going to fall asleep so I can go back to bed?” However, my mum knew better.

ENG: “Today an angel came to our house, just when I needed it, you’ve got the best mum in the world!!!!”

Let me tell you, my mum was so “cruel” that in my teens she would make me go with her to these care homes for the elderly where we would stay there for quite a while, me watching how she would talk to them, hug them, and moreover, listen to them. Couldn’t it exist anything more exciting for a fifteen-year-old than doing that! But she liked “torturing” me teaching me values like loving thy neighbour and service must overcome our convenience and selfish desires. Because, again, my mum knew better.

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There’s not enough space in this post for me to really tell you how wonderful my mother is. It is my earnest hope that some day E and J can say that “I am the worst mother in the world” A secret-keeper, a pillow for their tears, a shopping companion, a therapist for their fears…on this Mother Day, I wish that all of you can have a mum as mean as mine, because only then, you will know what it really feels to love and be loved.

*Love you mummy! I know you will be the first one reading this post! :)*

(because, oh yeah! she is also our number one follower!)

And to you all, what lessons did your mothers teach you? Leave a comment and let’s spread the good values we learnt from them on this #mothersday.

Why I love being a mummy blogger

It’s been almost a month since I started blogging again on the Family Treasure. It was back on 2013 when we moved to UK from Barcelona that I decided to share our family experiences on a blog. In the beginning it was hard to decide which language I would use, since, as you can probably tell, English is not my mother tongue, and most of all I wanted to involve both of our families, my husband’s, who are Portuguese speaking and my side, who are Spanish speaking. That is why you see on the menu the Spanish Version of my blog, which is basically a replica of the English one.

Almost a month ago, after experiencing the water birth of our second child and enjoying maternity leave I decided it was the perfect time to go back to writing and creating entertaining, and if possible, useful and uplifting content.  This time, I wanted to be more consistent, more committed and more open to other networks as well. I don’t know how many followers you’re supposed to have or how many views or posts you need to reach in order to call yourself a “mummy blogger“, but I like to think I am one because I am a MUMMY and I blog about it! 🙂

So here just 5 of the main reasons why I’m loving it so much so far:

1 Our families love it!

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Yes, they are our most faithful and encouraging followers. For them, all the posts we write are perfect and wonderful, so well written, so inspiring! haha and with such a Fan Club, you cannot stop doing it. Being away from them is difficult enough so if there is something that can bring us all together and get them involved with our ups and downs of living abroad we will take advantage of that.

2 Makes me have some “me time”

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This is a bit of a selfish reason, but the truth is that since I have started blogging more frequently I can enjoy some time to reflect on our family, on our adventures and experiences. I’ve always liked writing, it was a main tool on my career and now I can create my own content without the pressure of a client pushing you to a deadline or the challenges of running your own business. I have to admit though, that since being so involved in other social networks, I’m learning how to find the right balance as well, because it would be quite ironic to invest so much time in front of the computer or the mobile phone telling you how wonderful my family is while my children and husband are begging me to actually spend some time with them, don’t you think? 😉

3 It’s becoming a learning path

Little by little I’m starting to realise that blogging is not a piece of cake. It’s time consuming and you’ve got to learn how to create and edit good images, footage if you do videos as well, how to organise your editorial calendar, how many times you will post, what you will talk about, which other social networks you will use, what their analytics reports mean…but you know what, I’m loving it! It can be frustrating some times, but it’s pushing me to the limits. For me, it is rewarding when I put into practise things that I learn and I see the positive outcome of them. It has become the perfect hobby for this break and I wish I can continue doing it when I go back to work. And who knows, maybe one day I could even collaborate with brands and other bloggers getting our stories out there!

4 Connecting with minds-alike

It is nice to read and see other mummy or daddy bloggers, and how they love the same thing that I treasure the most, the family. It is comforting to read some posts about motherhood challenges and how they deal with them or feel that you’re not alone on a rough day after looking after your little ones. When I receive a comment, a follow, a like, from them or any other of our friends just makes me realise that no matter how far we are from home or how often we see each other you are not alone on this journey towards happiness.

5 Sharing the gospel, and if necessary, using words.

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As a Latter-Day Saints family we strive our best to emulate Jesus Christ and follow his teachings. Thus said, we don’t like to be “preachy”, we’d rather let you have a look into our lives and see how we cope with challenges or how we have a blast, how we fail and fall and how we stand up again, cause for us that is what the gospel is all about. It shows you the why, when, what and how to achieve happiness regardless of the circumstances. It works for us! and if any time you get curious about our beliefs you’re more than welcome to ask. We love sharing our ideas from a respectful and heartfelt point of view, and vice versa, learning from yours would be a pleasure.

Not that the main reasons why I love being a mummy blogger narrow down to just 5 but join us in our adventures and together we can discover many more.

I would love to learn what other hobbies help you in your parenting daily lives, so please, don’t be shy and leave a comment. 🙂

 

The Princess with Super-Hero’s cape

 

“The urge to create is equally strong in all children. Boys and girls. It’s imagination that counts. Not skill. (…)”

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A while ago I read about this letter that Lego posted back in the 70’s and it made me think of our little J. I used to think that there were toys meant for boys and other ones meant for girls. I should say it right, more than “meant” I would say “like”, boys like cars, girls like dolls. That was my thinking before having our first child. She has taught me better though. She has shown to Sam and I that there is no gender in “having fun”. She likes the tenderness and love for animals of Snow-white but also wants to be as strong as Hulk and as brave as Spiderman.

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However, society seems to work  from a different angle. If the girl is found running around in the store looking for a football or a truck she’s called a tomboy, if on the other side, she’s only into prams and dolls and loves wearing pink she is classified as a girly girl. I hate stereotypes, they will close all the doors of creativity and imagination. It’s sad to see sometimes when we go clothes shopping that most of the time, super hero themes and other animated characters, like the Minions, for example, are only on the boys section. When I was a child I liked pink, I didn’t like trucks or cars, and I loved drawing, dolls and make-up, and there’s northing wrong with that. We absolutely love J’s personality. She loves having fun racing cars, dressing up like a princess, like a witch, like a mermaid, or sometimes she will be a monster, superman or a ninja. For her, there’s no difference in playing, it’s the fun itself that counts. I’m pretty sure every stage will be unique but so far we’re so excited and grateful for every moment with her that cannot wait to see what’s ahead of us! The main thing is to remember not to fall into labels and get the most out of every memory you build with them.

Check what we mean with this little clip! J training to be some sort of Ninja (this was after watching “The Karate Kid” with Sam) haha

What are your children into? We’d love to read your stories as well! 🙂

Life with 2 under 5’s!

This is the Step 2 and the last one on our series of Maternity Leave Posts. We’ve decided we’ll talk about how we are adapting ourselves to living with two children, which can be an incredible exhausting but rewarding experience! By the way, if you have more than two you are probably thinking “Oh yeah, wait until you get another one!” haha

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Sam and I have been talking about the main differences compared to when it was just the three of us, and maybe what advice we could give to those wanting to grow the family but in all honesty, we haven’t mastered it ourselves too much yet, so before giving any advice we’d rather stick to the facts, and when I say facts, I mean, OUR facts, not that everything of these applies to you..but, who knows! So here they are:

Number 1. Loving the sibling to death!

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This is when the Parent needs to keep watching ALL the time, cause it might be that Big Sister is “killing” the baby softly to kisses and hugs… and sooo much love can be dangerous.

Number 2. The Present competition

Why is life so unfair that baby E got a gift but J didn’t? What did she do to deserve such injustice! Luckily for us many friends and family thought of J when giving something to E, but when it didn’t happen like that..oh yeah, the DRAMA was on!

Number 3. Bath time or the time when mummy gets all wet and I get half cleaned

J will try to help with baby E before her bath is ready because obviously she is highly experienced on giving baths to dolls, little people and plastic ducks. So, what we usually do is let her rub some soap on him and wrap him in the towel at the end. She’s actually quite good on this.

Number 4. Priceless siblings conversations

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Apparently E tells J when they need to have some sweet or when they’re not sleepy and don’t need to go to bed, or when he’s scared of the dark, and many other things that just by “coincidence” will affect J in some way. By the way, the last conversation I heard was very cute actually: E was crying, I was in the bathroom so I couldn’t go there to comfort him, but there it was, his big sister giving him all the support he needed, telling him           -“E! Don’t worry, don’t need to cry! You’re not alone E! I’m here with you! don’t cry, everything will be ok!”- hahaha…you can tell she is quite dramatic.

Number 5. Multi-tasking x 2

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When it was just one, you learnt how to do 2-3 tasks at the same time. Now, you’ve got two, but you still have only 2 hands so this is how it works: if dad is home, he will be in charge of one of them and I will look after the other one, and then we’ll switch. If only one of us is home with the two of them…oh well.. “Let the Hunger Games begin!” haha, no, basically one of them will need to put up with the other one, and this is when your skills for learning to prioritize will increase immensely.

Number 6. House chores? What house chores?

I don’t know how other parents do it but while typing this post we have a huge pile of clothes waiting to be fold and put back in their places. Could I be doing that instead of writing this? Yes, Do I want to do it? No, I need a life as well! 😉

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We just try to keep doing all we can without getting too stressed. I like a lot being organised and I think it’s one of my assets but I have learnt that sometimes you gotta feel good with yourself even if you just did only one tiny task of all the other ones you had pending on your list, because again,… PRIORITIZE… Is E sleeping and J wants you to play with her? Clothes, bathroom, hoovering can wait!

Number 7. Blind Date

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That is what our marital relationship has become, into a blind date! not because we don’t know who we are meeting with, just because, in all sense of the word, we don’t see each other on a date at all! Time for just the two of us is hidden somewhere and it might give us a surprise in a near future but not for now. What we do instead? Every once in a while, we pause, look into each other eyes for a few seconds, smile, thank God for the person that we are sharing our lives with and keep going, one in charge of E, the other one of J, and life continues.

There are many more differences that we could list here, but we would get to the exact same conclusion, we wouldn’t change a bit. Life with two under 5’s can be demanding, exhausting and stressful but it is also a rewarding, learning, and memorable experience that you treasure every time you see them smile, grow and become the great people you know they are.

 

Hey! What’s your life like with two or more children? We’d love to hear and learn from your stories as well. 🙂

 

Mumzilla