Amanda Star Kingsley is a woman of big dreams and a child of the universe. She delights in life's simple pleasures: making someone smile, learning about a new resource, making a new friend... she lives every day in the light of possibility.
Life has thrown her a few hurdles, but she refuses to let them define her, and now she’s teaching others to do the same!
Some mornings it's a big fat "NO" on the snuggling scale.
Parenting is a balance of self care, and nurturing others. Sometimes my own sanity and need for personal space, has to come first.
Here are the facts:
My 3.75 year old wanders in to sleep in our bed, almost every night.
He does most of this sleeping in my armpit (which explains the pheromones in his hair).
We love him and welcome him, but it's not always awesome, like two nights ago when he wandered in mid marital "snuggle" time.
We know that he'll outgrow it, and we don't complain much, because we know that sleeping side by side is silent bonding time. It's also why I believe it's perfectly ok to say "NO" to snuggling.
This morning as I was pouring coffee and picking up a few kitchen dishes, he's yelling at me, "snuggle time", and with puppy dog eyes, he's staring up at me with a longing to be held. As much as I LOVE him, every cell in my body is screaming, "NO, it's not snuggle time. It's 'mommy needs personal physical space' time".
I'm not sure I believe balance exists, but I do believe that balancing is our daily work and it keeps us sane. This morning balance was firmly and lovingly saying "NO" to snuggle time.
Here's what it looked like in "The Model":
"The Model"- a Brooke Castillo process, with an Amanda Kingsley twist...
SITUATION - Child wants to snuggle
MY THOUGHT ABOUT THE SITUATION - “Leave me alone, I need coffee.”
THE FEELING THIS THOUGHT TRIGGERS - FRUSTRATION
THE ACTION I TAKE FROM THIS FEELING - Ignoring him while I get coffee and clean up
THE RESULT OF THIS ACTION -Resenting parenting and my kid, and a sad kid
MY NEW THOUGHT ABOUT THE SAME SITUATION - “We snuggled all night. Taking care of me right now is teaching him to take care him.”
THE NEW FEELING THIS THOUGHT TRIGGERS - Compassion (for myself and for him)
THE NEW ACTION I TAKE FROM THIS FEELING - Explaining that mommy needs some personal space and that there are other options for him to feel cozy this morning. Also explaining that when he's ready to sleep through the night, morning snuggle time will be really special, but when he sleeps on me all night, I need a little space at the start of my morning.