Well, this year I’m asking that question all over again. We’ve come through some rough and joyful transition this past year and, now that we’re emerging from the chaos, I feel like I have some room to really think about who I want to be in the coming year. I really do want to lose weight. I really do want to get back to triathlon training. But, the thing I want most is connection – with friends, with my husband, and with my children. I want to be a person in meaningful relationships with others.
As I contemplated that, I came across an amazing challenge from a good friend and incredible adoptive parent named Lisa who blogs at A Bushel and a Peck (I guest-posted for her today – you can read my post entitled “Honoring Grief” here.) She has eleven children. Yes, you read that correctly. Eleven. Seven biological and four adopted from Ethiopia.
Here’s the “Rockin’ Mama Challenge” from Lisa:
“Many of us are mothering children who came to us with broken hearts; it stretches us and sometimes we doubt our ability to help them become whole. In the nearly four years since our adopted children joined our family, we have sought many avenues of healing for them. One of the simplest and most profound means of encouraging attachment we’ve found is rocking our children in our big “Ugly Chair.”
On December 20th I began a personal challenge to rock Honeybee 15 minutes each day. It has not been easy, in fact, some days it is quite difficult — but I am hopeful.
Join me in the Rockin’ Mama Challenge! (Rockin’ daddies also welcome)
• Rock your child for 15 minutes each day for 28 days. If possible, these should be consecutive days, but don’t let that stop you! Since starting the challenge, I have already missed two days. The perfectionist in me is tempted to give up, but the benefits of rocking cannot be denied, even when days are missed. Some children cannot tolerate being touched and held for 15 minutes. You may want to try five minutes at a time with a goal of fifteen total minutes per day.
• Rock your child alone. Honeybee says, “no other kids allowed!” No phone, no books, no computer, no distractions.
• Keep a daily journal of rocking. All you need is one line to say how many minutes, what time of day, what you did – did you sit silently, sing, eat a cookie together, chew gum? Record any impact or change you see in your child’s behavior — and in your own, even if it is negative.
• Email me once each week or so to share what you are learning; email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can send a copy of your rocking journal, excerpts, a summary, or a one sentence observation.
• Start today, start New Year’s Day, start whenever you can. It is never too late to join the challenge. I will officially close the challenge on February 14th (time to start holding your hubby), so that I can collect the lessons you shared with me.
Please share this link ( http://bit.ly/hWiC2O ) on your blog, twitter, facebook, etc. Encourage others to join us.
I’m committing to this! Starting today, I’m going to rock Duzi for fifteen minutes for 28 days. I’m also committing to “rocking” my two big kids – by snuggling them at bedtime, curling up to read together, or rocking them, if they’ll let me.