Q: What is your “go to” snack/toy/show/trick when your kids start to fuss?
A: My son, Orey doesn’t fuss. It’s more like an escalated tantrum that we coined the “O-Rage.” He knows exactly how to push Mommy’s buttons and to get heads turning. An O-Rage usually includes collapsing to the floor (no matter how dirty), the removal of clothing all the way down to the diaper, and a signature voice-inflecting yodel that can reach an impressive volume level. So, before an O-Rage escalates to Stage 4, I whip out some of my preventative items in my purse.
Q: What is your favorite piece of advice to new Moms?
A: Trust your instincts and intuition – only you know what’s best for your little one. Parents (and even non-parents) have really strong opinions about how to raise children based on their own set of experiences. Take their advice with a grain of salt and learn from your own experiences along the way. Enjoy the journey!
Q: How would you describe your parenting style?
A: I’d say I have a Bi-Polar parenting style – in the healthiest way of course. I love to coddle my son, kiss his cheeks, smell his hair and his squeeze his chubby baby feet. My oxytocin levels must reach euphoric record levels when I’m with my son and I’m pretty much addicted. So much so that if there were a way to snort my son up, then I’d be all over it. It might seem like I went pretty far with that description but I’m pretty such mothers out there can relate to the overwhelming sensation of love that they feel for their own child.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I can and I will parent like a drill sergeant. My son is well aware that his cuteness has allowed him the ability to get away with certain actions from time to time. But no longer! After experiencing too many O-Rages and after one particularly humiliating cross-country flight, I realized that I can’t be the coddling mom all of the time, I have to be the enforcer. My son needs me to be clearer and consistent about what is not acceptable and what Mommy will not tolerate. After 6 months of practicing, I’ve finally managed to perfect the “time-out.” My son gets a cut-off of attention and solitary confinement until he can learn to cry it out, breathe, and calm down by himself. While at first, I thought I was being too harsh on him for these time-outs, I’m amazed at the difference in behavior I’ve experienced. At the end of time-out, I get a “promise” of better behavior, an “I’m so sorry,” and a big hug and kiss. Sometimes it takes 3 or 4 time-out sessions in a row to correct the behavior. But that’s still progress, and I’ll take it.
Q: As a Mommy what is it that you feel you do “right”?
A: I can’t pinpoint exactly what I do right when it comes to motherhood. But there are moments when I see the brightness and pure happiness in my son’s eyes. I recognize my son has developed a strong sense of humor and comic energy that most people say he’s inherited from me, undeniably. So I guess what I’ve done that’s “right” is to give him my undivided attention and let myself be completely silly around him. I’m delighted to hear him kid squeal with laughter and I’m thrilled that he makes the effort to mirror my goofy faces and find new ways to make me laugh. It’s like he’s experimenting with his comedic timing and working on his punchlines even before being able to put full sentences together. I’m hoping that he grows up to be an emotionally intelligent and well-adjusted person with the social skills to draw good people into his circle and build a supportive community throughout his lifetime.