Parenting kids, Seriously, Parenting Yourself, Seriously, Voice boxing it

Emotional Dysregulation And Invalidating Environments

Emotional vulnerability is emotional sensitivity, emotional reactivity, and a slow return to emotional baseline.
(Linehan 1993a)

An invalidating environment is when people/parents tell you you’re wrong for experiencing your emotions. They may even punish you or ignore you when you get emotional. In some cases, people may acknowledge your emotions, but in a case where they are the ones causing them, they will not stop and instead keep doing what they’re doing to hurt you.

Another example of an invalidating environment, is when you are punished for being defensive or reacting in a defensive or emotional way during a conversation or argument. For example, if someone does or says something and you tell them that’s not fair to you or that what they have done has hurt you and their response is ‘waah, it’s all about you isn’t’, then in turn you get defensive and upset because they didn’t care how you felt, and finally their response is ‘i’m not your emotional punching bag’.

This will make anyone go crazy.

Now put someone like a child a who naturally is emotionally dysregulated and its adults jobs to guide them into regulation.

Invalidating children and any adult plants a seed of mental distress and disorders; that over time, without help and WITH persistent unhelpful invalidating environments, blossom into a plethora of mental and emotional struggles.

Parenting kids, Seriously, Voice boxing it

The Signs Your Child Is Feeling Out Of Touch With You

There are 4 main signs your child can be expressing when they are feeling out of touch, and 4 main signs that you may be doing as a prarent that can be contributing to the way your child feels – it can be any one of these signs for child and parent; it doesn’t need to be all the signs.

• They’re more irritable
• They’re more aggressive/rough
• They’re listening less than usual
• They’re more clingy or doing things to get your attention
• You’ve noticed you’ve had to tell them ‘not right now’ more frequently
• You’ve been more focused on your own checklist lately i.e., cleaning, organizing, phone calls
• You’ve been on your phone multiple times when they are trying to get your attention
• You have had less one on one time with your child lately

The signs expressed by kids of any age when they’re feeling out of touch also copy the signs of many other things that can being on; such as

• Growth spurts
• Sleeping regressions
• Lack of sleep
• Hungry
• Teething
• Illness/injury

It is important when kids are expressing any behaviour out of norm that you reflect on what’s been going on in their life AS WELL AS yours.

If kids are feeling as if their emotional and attachment needs are not being met, less fullfilled than usual, or that their weekly schedule is going off track – most do not understand how to verbalize this, or feel comfortable doing so.

So what can we as parents do? Even though we may feel like we aren’t doing anything different, your child feels differently. It is important not to decline their feelings or their reality, and to make them feel heard.

• Help them name their emotions they are feeling – so that both your child and you understand
• Try to make room in your day for more one on one time
• Challenge yourself to an hour without your phone – put it down and out of sight. Interact and play with your child, be more hands on, and share some cuddles
• Get your child more involved with YOUR world. Have them help you in the kitchen i.e., measuring, mixing, getting ingredients, setting the table. Have them help you clean and organize, or help outside with gardening or yard clean up. The goal isn’t to get them doing CHORES, but for you to do these things TOGETHER. If you have an older child whom isn’t interested in a chore-related activity – offer to do a trade: you do an activity of ‘your world’ together, and then you do an activity of ‘their world’ together

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When You Get Shunned For Being A Child And Family Relations Advocate

When you’re hated for being an advocate for children.

For standing up for mental health. For standing up against poor parenting. For trying to educate parents and grown children the repercussions of certain parenting choices, past and present.

I can’t help you if you think I make you feel like a shitty parent;
But I can help you if you think you want to be a better parent, or if you think I make you feel like you can always strive to be better.

Wanting to strive to be better doesn’t make you a bad parent. Thinking there’s areas you could improve on does not make you a failure. Admitting you have made mistakes does not make you weak.

What concerns me is when parents think their actions or behaviour doesn’t matter. When parents live off the phrase “they’ll be fine” to excuse situations they could have handled better.

I will never stop striving to advocate for children and better family relationships. Everyone on this planet was once a child, and everyone who is parenting was once parented. It is a circle. In understanding children, you understand yourself as a child. In understanding parenting, you understand your child.

Whoever you are today, whatever your strengths, whatever your weaknesses, has been shaped by your childhood. Whatever events and situations you experienced, whatever hardships you endured, your perception and interpretation of them all – during and after – came from how you were shaped as a child. However you were shaped as child came from how your parents/caregivers interacted with you.

If you find yourself or someone you know taking offense to these things, to advocating and educating, maybe that’s a sign of unresolved issues needing to be handled instead of suppressed.

Knowledge is power folks.

Parenting kids, Seriously, Parenting Yourself, Seriously, Voice boxing it

It’s Not Hard To Better Yourself; It’s Hard To Watch Others Not

One of the hardest parts I found of becoming a mother, was bettering myself. Not the act of bettering myself, but watching others who are parents, not.

Becoming a parent, it was easy for me to reflect on my childhood and to know that some things when I grew up were very wrong, and that I wanted to do a lot better for my child. I know many parents feel and think they are doing their best, but I also feel that there is an immense amount of support for struggling parents freaking out during hard times and not enough support for the children also going through the hard times.

As a society, we continue to see more and more emerging education in cases of mental health struggles. Three-quarters of the population struggle with their mental health at one time or another. I truly believe it has to do with the way previous generations raised their children, and the emotional neglect begins to surface when those children have grown and became self-sufficient adults.

I am so thankful that the world is growing in terms of mental health education and help, otherwise I would be one of the many people struggling to get by everyday. But I see so many other parents that don’t reflect on their struggles as a child, and learn from them to better parent their own children, and honestly, that leaves me fairly judgemental. There’s so much ignorance.

The problem is that if we don’t face our childhood, we risk repeating the same mistakes generations before us made when parenting – the number one mistake being emotional neglect.

You see Facebook posts, Instagram posts, memes and jokes about “Mommy needs a glass of wine”, “my kid won’t leave me alone”, complaining about how difficult their children are being, or how annoying their kids can be. In parenting groups, parents post about stressful and nerve breaking moments with their children. How the mom or dad snapped, how they slipped up and hit their child out of frustration, and all the feedback is always in support of the parent. Always reminding them that they are human and make mistakes and that it’s okay that kids are resilient. There is never any guidance how to move forward in a positive way and explain what happened to the child, that it wasn’t okay for mom or dad to act that way, that they are sorry. I do agree that we need to recognize parents emotions and validate them, because I do agree that parenting can be really frustrating at times and definitely push you to the edge. That is not an excuse, however, for poor behavior nor should it condone it in hard times.

The fact that your child just acted like a complete and utter asshole to you is not a get-out-of-jail card to be a complete and utter asshole back.

They are a child, their brain is still developing, and regardless of how mature they may seem, they still need guidance and education about their bodies, feelings and emotions. Just because the way they feel about a situation doesn’t chock up to the way in adult would feel about it does not mean their feelings should be invalidated or belittled. Their world is much different than ours – as is their perception of it and parents need to stop expecting a child to perceive the world through an adults perception.

Another thing I see frequently, are children’s emotions being completely ignored; their bids for attention being completely ignored. Parents sometimes act like children are a burden to them. As if acting like that has no effect on the child whatsoever, or like it could make them stronger in some way, or more independent.

As frustrating as it is for me to see this, and not bark my opinion at them, what I actually see is a broken adult in denial of their own childhood. What also continues to frustrate me, is no matter how many resources are out there, no matter how many mutual friends post information for these parents to learn from, no matter how many times an article is shared that shows up on one of these parents news feeds – they won’t see it, read it, or take it seriously unless they know and are ready to change. So in reality, more than likely, most of the educational information, articles, videos, Etc., that I am dying for certain parents or family members or friends to see and learn from, won’t.

Dairy Free Recipes, Voice boxing it

When You Want To Keep Nursing So Badly

I had wrote this Feb 28th, 2019

This is what it looks like to so badly want to keep nursing my baby
Its almost my only option right now anyhow.

3 different milk production supplements plus a prescription to help increase supply.

That container of formula? Thats amino acid based formula, which only comes in half the size of normal formula – 400g – at double the price – $55 Canadian.

My son is so sensitive to milk protein, he can’t even have regular hypoallergenic formula because it contains hydrolyzed milk protein. Soy formula began to bother him as well which we were warned about by fellow moms.

Sad it took 10 MONTHS of his life for ME to figure his struggles out because his PEDIATRICIAN is useless and kept shrugging everything off or giving prescriptions for side effects.

DID YOU KNOW AMINO ACID FORMULA IS COVERED BY OHIP DUE TO THE COST OF IT? Nope, it wasnt his doctor that told me that or offered a prescription for it.

Did you know I wouldn’t even be having to supplement him with formula after nursing had his ‘pediatrician’ chose to recognize his oral ties? She knew they were there, just didn’t believe in fixing them so she never said anything!

Guess what? That pediatrician chose the wrong mom to snuff off. Because this mom happens to be the kind of mom that can and will make a formal complaint to the board of physicians and surgeons of Ontario; and I did.

Not just for my son, but for every other struggling parent and child that gets stuck seeing that doctor

My son was 10 months old when I had originally wrote this; he is almost 2 now. Thankfully for his sake he seems to be finally starting to grow out of this intolerance/sensitivity/allergy. So many things I wish I knew sooner.

May the next generation of Moms not have to deal with the ignorance of doctors and CMPA or any other infant digestive struggles.

If you are interested in learning more about CMPA and easy Dairy-Free recipes, head over here.

10 months old
Dairy Free Recipes, Voice boxing it

No Chef-At-Home Here

Know what I find most hard about trying to find dairy free recipes? They’re always complicated. Or complex. Or just don’t use ingredients that most already have in their homes. I like to cook when I’m in the mood for it, but I’m still a lazy cooker. I’m not a fan of having to get special ingredients for meal, or spend hours of prep and cook time.

That is my main inspiration for choosing to share what we make with you. I’m no chef-at-home and don’t claim to be. Just your average lazy mom that needs to feed herself and her family but still appreciates a meal that’s more than just *editable*.

Plus, editing food pictures is fun, isn’t? Makes you feel fancy even though you’re far from.

If you don’t believe just how simple these meals are, take a look. Try them out and see how yum they are too! Once you get the hanging of going dairy free, things get easier.

Recipes listed so far:

  • Oreo Cheesecake
  • Egg & Veggie Muffins
  • Breakfast Smoothie
  • Overnight French Toast
  • Pancakes
  • Banana Oat Cookies
  • Turkey & Avocado Rollup
  • Energy Balls
  • PB & Banana Rollup
  • Homemade Granola Bars
  • Sesame Chicken Sauce Toss
  • Modified Split Pea Dal (Indian dish)
  • Chilli Lime Pasta Salad
  • Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas
  • Classic Meatloaf
  • The Naanlette
  • Lemon And Herb Winter Veggies
  • Glazed Carrots
  • Popcorn Chicken with Spicy Mayo
  • Spicey Pasta with Popcorn Chicken
  • Roasted Chickpeas And Quinoa

Get the recipes at:

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The Emotional Wheel Chart For Adults And Kids

Emotions are diverse. Not only can we feel more than one thing at a time, emotions are not black and white. Sometime we struggle naming what we feel, because it’s more than just the primary emotions of “happy”, “sad”, “angry”, “tired”.

When trying to identify and name your emotions to help understand and tame them, here is a emotional wheel chart I found online that you could use to make things a little less complicated.

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When You Can Convince Any Man To Like You; Except For Your Own Father

Many know the saying ‘momma’s boy’ and ‘daddy’s girl’ – because it’s supposed to be a natural, special bond.

As I’ve mentioned in my blog before, I grew up in a broken home. Quite honestly, both my parents broke my heart as a child is many ways. And although that all has made me strive harder than anything to be the best person I can be, and resilient to many things – that’s not an ideal way to build resilience, nor should it and can it ever excuse what I went through. I became that way because I was running. I was determined to never have to depend on them ever again. I’ve shared many minor difficulties from growing up, but never the true devastating and traumatic events I went through.

However, one thing that I frequently think about, despite the mostly-healed wounds, is the father daughter relationship I longed for. Even the mother daughter relationship that I needed still partially hurts to this day, but I was at least more easily able to be my own mother. But it hurt. It hurt to be 14 with a broken heart whispering to yourself ‘its going to be okay baby, I got you, I got you.’ To have to visualize the older version of yourself coming to hold you, help you, save you.

That’s why I became who I am today, I was the only person I could rely on.
I got into fitness, the tougher I was, the tougher I felt. I would hit the gym pumping iron everyday. I needed to be an intimidation factor to every man I encountered. Not because I hate them in the slightest, but because I wanted to feel in control. I pursued wrestling in highschool to express some dominence and control and emotion. I worked in an autoshop on and off through highschool, and went to college later for a machinist.

Being the tomboy I was, I had a lot of guy friends. In my head I would combined their personalities to make each and every one of them some sort of role model in my life. At one point when during high school, I nominated one of my best guy friends the title of being like my brother. I made him in charge of deciding whether or not a guy was appropriate for me to date or sleep with. That’s how desperate I was to have a father figure, a real father, in my life. One that I had a bond with. So yes, I found some sort of family-relation-type resemblance in any male I became friends with.

Unfortunately, I still ended up looking for attention from anyone who would give it to me. I could convince myself that I like any guy that would give me the time of day. That if I was treated poorly in a relationship that that was just part of a relationship, because that was part of the relationship with my parents. It was normal for me. I didn’t have anyone to have any say in who I dated… if someone did have something to say, it was my mother. And I hated anything she ever had to say about anything. Her perspective on life was and is very upside down the majority of the time. Combine that with a complete and entire lack of a real bond with her and feeling of being cared about, and I wouldn’t even give what she had to say a time of day to think about

When I was 17 I had had enough of dealing with father – and mother – so I ended up moving in with one of my other best guy friends who was also like a brother to me. His family partially adopted me. Partially being that it wasn’t legal or anything of the sort, but that they took me in and treated me like I was one of their own. To this day considered them My adoptive family. And although my so-called adoptive father is a wonderful man that I can talk to anyting about, this void from my real father forever follows me around.

It all made me cold inside, and needy for attention. It was part of what started my anxiety, always feeling like a burden to people. Being trapped in a place of ‘I can do it myself’ and ‘I need you, don’t leave me’. It was part of what made me depressed.

I had even made one last attempt to reconnect with my biological father when I got engaged years ago. We met for lunch. I told him I wanted to wipe the Slate clean, forget about everything and move forward. For both of us. His response was ‘I don’t really like you right now’.
He wasn’t too keen on loving me the way a father should love his daughter. It wasn’t until he met my fiance at the time, now my husband, and learned that he was an electrician and had a good life and a good future, that my biological father expressed any concern for wanting to be part of my life again. So I closed that door and I never talked to him again. Although I didn’t have much hope going into that lunch, there was just enough hope that although it did not hit me immediately, it resonated with me overtime and festered.

Now that I am a grown adult, a liscenced trades woman, a homeowner, and a mother, there’s so many moments and things I wanted to share with my parents if I had had a loving, caring, understanding bond with them.

Instead, every shop I’ve worked and made friends at, I just end up giving them a family title in my head. For example, one guy is like my work father, another guy is like an uncle, another is like a brother. All of this was one-sided though, and temporary. It was to just make me feel like I was part of something. I always feel like the Lone Wolf. I just wanted a father-daughter relationship. One of the last jobs I worked at, my supervisor and I were very close in terms of friendship. He was just easy to talk to, joke around with, be honest with, express emotion with. Nothing remotely in the sexual nature. He had told me that he had never had kids but a part of him always wanted them. He had told me, he too had a very traumatic experience with his own father – his biological father, and that he no longer talks to him either. He understands the pain that that leaves in a child. Naturally he became another father figure to me, but not so temporary.

In fact, to this day I consider him like a father to me even though I don’t work at that shop anymore. He has helped me immensely through my struggles, as has My adoptive family. Both of them being there whenever I was in a hard place. My so-called work father and adoptive father both were upgraded to grandparent titles when I had a baby with my husband. Both of them I introduced to my child as his grandparents.

So needless to say I have found a concoction of made-up family members and many people and many men. My adoptive father was the one to walk me down the aisle when I got married. That was an amazing feeling, it was the closest thing I ever experienced to the bond I’ve saught for.

Despite all my random pieces of Father Like figures in my life I still am in progress of working on trying to close the void. Trying to convince myself that it is enough. Trying to convince myself to stop looking for father figures to make up for the one I don’t have

I mean, any man I work with or I’m around who gets to know me often takes a liking to me. How can I convince any man to treat me almost as if I am their stepdaughter, or to like me in any way, but I can’t even convince my own father to?

Do you see the damage not having a father does to a child?

Now don’t get me wrong, 7/8 of me is a big load of fuck you fuck him and a whole basket of fucks to go with it. But it’s like someone died for me. I’ll be fine most of the time but every now and then this minuscule thought will pop into my head and I won’t be able to stop circulating it. To actually drop it and move on because I despise the feeling. And again I’m a big load of fuck you.

Verdict of my story is, parents need to show up. They NEED to meet the emotional needs of their children. They NEED to be empathetic, understanding, and compassionate.
Otherwise they leave their children with a lifetime worth of struggles. We are not military robots; We are humans.

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Duplicating Your Emotions

We often unintentionally duplicate our emotions, unnecessarily making them overall harder on us.

For example, you’ve been going through a hard time, and then one day it gets a little easier and you feel content. But you don’t just feel content, you almost feel airy; almost like you’re excited. You don’t know why, but you do know that you feel content for once finally.

What you don’t know, and what takes a lot of time and practiced to realize, is that you also feel happy that you feel content. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – except that it stops you from living in the moment and feeling content. You end up focusing on the fact that you’re happy that you’re content, not that you’re content. Confusing I know, but follow me?

Likewise, the same thing happens when we experience negative emotions. Having a bad day, quite often we don’t just have a bad day. Often having a bad day results with us feeling frustrated. Which is normal.
But then we end up duplicating and intensifying this emotion by feeling frustrated that we feel frustrated.

Although it doesn’t apply to everyone, as some people have a much more balanced sense of emotions and self understanding, some of us find themselves struggling with emotions much more.

I encourage everyone to seek out counselling and therapy and self-help when they find themselves having a hard time. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with you, just that an alternative perspective is often very helpful when we become stuck in our mind and stuck in our ways.

Understanding cognitive behavioral therapy is a major component of self understanding and emotional regulation. Sometimes those who struggle with emotional regulation end up finding themselves on a rollercoaster of moods and sensations.

What I came to realize overtime and over many years of struggling with my mental health and emotional regulation, is that I find myself on a roller coaster quite often.

I believe everyone knows the saying, “I’m so sick and tired of feeling so sick and tired.” Again, it’s a totally reasonable feeling and thought.

The point of this right now is just to help you and everyone else reading this understand part of what’s going on inside your brain. There’s many components to learn and realize, this is just a slice of them.

An example of a roller coaster day for me, would be: Emotion one, feeling frustrated from an argument or situation that didn’t go over smoothly. Emotion two, I realize that this is not what I was hoping my day would be or how I was feeling, so I become more frustrated. Emotion three, In my frustration I begin to think of the negative aspects that happened in the situation, and naturally in consequence I think about other related negative aspects and start feeling depressed. I end up focusing on the re-occurrence in life of negative feelings feel depressed that I feel frustrated so often and about being frustrated from the situation.

I’m stuck in a paradox.

I later go home after work and things go well and we have fun and we laugh and our son goes to bed in a good mood, so the next day I feel content. I end up feeling happy that I feel content. And then I feel relieved that I’m feeling happy because I feel content.

And although positive feelings are often seen as, well, good things; there is such thing as too much of a good thing. The higher you feel – the farther you have to fall when you experience something of the opposite of emotion.

This is where balancing the brain left and right, upstairs and downstairs, understanding your amygdala, and the thoughts-feelings-actions triangle come into play. To understand that part, click here and check out my page explaining this.

What I’d like you to realize, takes time and self-reflection. Quite often we experience reactions to events considered that are like a knee-jerk reaction or an automatic thought.

We miss the few seconds between thought and emotion and are able to turn that thought around and influence a different emotion. Sometimes that’s not always possible, but we miss the moment of realization of the emotion blooming.

When we begin to express a thought that turns itself into an emotion, there is a sensation felt inside the body. Whether it be a tightness in your head, tightness in your chest, punching of the hand, an automatic response sensation so to speak.

It takes one recognizing that automatic response to interrupt the thought that wants to come with it.

So what I want you to try the next day following, is self-awareness. If you find yourself responding before you feel you should have this is for you. If you find yourself in arguments often, or internal tribulations, this is for you. Right before you say something or you think something – there’s a sensation felt inside the body, triggered by the perception in the brain. Try to change that trigger instead of making a thought, and inturn another action. Take a deep breath and hold it. Try to name whatever feeling that is inside your body before your thought is created.

Did you feel your head go tight? Was there a pressure in your chest? Or is there a surge of energy through your arm that made you want to clench your fist? Did you have a surge of sensation through your chest that made you want to quickly deeply inhale, say with excitement?

What this does is help bring the logical side of the brain back to the emotional side. Quite often we become infatuated with the effect emotion brings us. And it overwhelms our senses and focus.

**This does not indicate mental health issues or mental conditions, or medication side effects.
This is not meant to override any suggestions, instructions or medication given by that of a specialist. Please seek advise of a specialist if you feel you need to do so.**

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“No one cares that you think you can do it better”

You’re probably right, nobody does most of the time. That doesn’t mean you should stop doing the best you can, and being the best you can.

That doesn’t mean that you should stop trying to be better than you were. Understanding better than you did. Listening harder than you use to. That doesn’t mean that you shouldnt share with others your effort to constantly do better, with the hopes of inspiring others to also do better.

It’s sad that no one cares that doing the bare minimum is the norm now, not the exception based on circumstance.