Updated: Sep 2, 2020
I reluctantly bought three "manly" looking journals for my three boys last week.
Doing mindfulness or soul-feeding of any kind with my boys was so easy up until recently - my boys are ages 13, 12 and 10. In all of motherhood, I have never felt so challenged as I have the past year dealing with the transition of middle school and all that comes with it: the attitude, the eye rolling, the disrespect, the oversleeping, the stinky clothes, the long showers, etc.
Despite these "tough guy" acts, I have also seen tender sides to them. "She would never date a guy like me." "My coach hates me."
It bothers me how self conscience and insecure all of them can be at times. I know I'm their mom but how can they not see how valuable they are? How wonderful they are?
And of course it's hard not to blame myself for this: "It was probably the time I told them to get in the shower because they stunk so bad..." I blubbered to my husband, softly regretting how direct I can be.
So how am I going to help them with self care and self love at THIS age?? I can barely get them to do basic things like clean up their rooms or say "hello"!
I took advantage of the fact that my middle one, M, is always the first to get up of the three. When he woke up he actually said "good morning" to me, which was a great sign, and sluggishly made his way to the kitchen to eat breakfast.
I waited patiently trying to get my thoughts organized on how I was going to pitch journaling to him.
He finished eating and started walking out of the kitchen.
"Hey M, meet me in my room," I said from my chair in the living room.
As he headed down the hallway, I grabbed his journal and a pencil.
A few minutes later, when I walked into my room, he was curled in my bed like a kitten.
"M I bought this for you. I want you to write your name in it. It's a journal."
"A journal? Ok...thank you."
I know he's trying to figure out what's going on.
First, I asked him to repeat a prayer I wrote the day before meant to ground and center a person.
To my surprise he repeated every word.
I then asked him to write this down: "I love my body and trust its wisdom."
He giggled but wrote it down.
M wrote down his first affirmation.
"I want to you to write how you'd like your day to go with Q today. Best-case scenerio, what do you want to do today?"
"Q" is a nickname for a 13-year-old that we've known for a long time. He is friends with all three of my boys which is hard to find. He is coming over for the first time since our state ended the stay-at-home order for COVID-19.
M smirked and wrote a few things down.
I actually got M to set an intention for the day.
THIS IS HUGE!
I felt this was a very productive first day and I stopped before it could end abruptly or on a bad note.
I showed him how to save a page in his journal and we put it down.
We spent the next 20 minutes or so looking at old pictures I had in my phone and reminiscing. It was GREAT to have that calm moment with him so close to me. I did sneak in a few kisses on his head before he became restless.
The day is not over yet - I'm planning on tackling this with the other two tonight.
To be continued...