Archive for April 2012

Over the past week, my youngest son has planted seeds with me.  He has carefully chosen seeds that he likes: watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, basil with the hopes of them growing into big and strong plants.  We have a plot at a community garden as well as a raised bed on our second floor balcony which my husband made.  He asked that his melon could be planted on the balcony because in the past year the animals have always gotten to the melons before we have.  He wants to protect them. He doesn’t want to have to pick them before they are ready, when they are too small and not ripe, simply to avoid having them bitten into.


And so with this in mind, knowing that his plants may not make it to full fruition, he planted the seeds anyway.  Knowing that there is only so much he can do to protect these plants, he patted the soil down anyway with hopes that in planting the seed and starting the growth, good things would happen.


And so it is with life.  We plant the seeds, knowing not all of them will make it, but hoping they will and doing what we can so that they do anyway.  We don’t give up at the start, not bothering to plant the seed.  We hold fast to our intentions, our hopes and our dreams, nurturing them with our belief in them, and in ourselves, our ability to bring them into fruition.


And so it is with parenting; we do what we can to bring our children up with a belief in themselves to reach their dreams, even against the odds.


We need to prepare the vessels that contain them.


Give them space.


Remember only what is important.

Allow them to grow.

That is how we parent



Today I’m pleased to have Shel of ElfWench Studio sharing her thoughts on parenting


Tell us a little about your family

I live with my husband Shawn and our two kids in Sitka Alaska.  Jason aka The Squirrelman is 9 and Angelina aka The Diva is 3.  Jason is all about building things, computers, and books.  Like a lot of kids with ADHD he is scary smart.  We’re fairly sure he is going to be an engineer someday.  Angie is our creative force of nature.  She loves to dance and draw.  She will probably grow up to be a cross between Fancy Nancy, Angelina Ballerina, and  Zena Warrior Princess.  We also share our home with a spunky black cat named Midnite.



Describe as best you can what kind of parenting style you use.

If I had to put a label on it, I would say intuitive.  We have no real set style and go with whatever seems to work.  I tend to evolve and adapt how I interact and react with my kids based on who they are at any given moment.  I had to laugh when one day my son’s OT asked me to come and talk to a group of parents whose kids had similar issues.  She said “whatever your secret is, I want you to share it with the other parents”.  She was astonished when I said I didn’t have a secret, I just do what feels like the right thing to do at that time.  Just as a I would with anyone else.  Why should my kids be any different?


What do you see your role is as a parent?

I see myself as a guide and I hope, a role model.  I very much believe in letting my children be who they are and not what I or anyone else thinks they should be.  We want them to figure out their hopes, their dreams, their own ambitions.  I see it as my job to encourage them in that while showing them how to honor other people for who they are as well, no matter how different.



What has been the most difficult part of parenting for you and what helped you through this?

I won’t lie, I am not a patient person.  I can’t tell you the number of times I catch myself getting overly impatient with my kids.  I find that making sure to get some quiet “me” time in every day helps a lot.  Even if I have to put on a movie for the kids and lock myself in the bathroom for 10 minutes.  Sometimes it means writing in a notebook, listening to music, reading the news, or even crying out my frustrations some days.  Stopping what I’m doing, closing my eyes, and counting to 10 is also a trick I use frequently.  Believe it or not, it helps.  A lot.


What has been the most rewarding part of parenting?

Hugs.  Definitely the hugs.  That and watching them grow, explore, and become kind, amazing little people.


Twenty years from now, looking back at yourself as a younger parent, what helpful message would you share with yourself?  What might you say to other parents?

Chill out and don’t be so hard on yourself.  Don’t worry about the dirt and let them run around naked to their hearts content. Kids aren’t and shouldn’t be “by the book” so don’t sweat what “The Book” says.  The book isn’t doesn’t know your kids and isn’t raising them, YOU are.  Trust YOU. 


And give yourself a hug.


About Shel

To sum me up nicely: Wife, mommy, gamer, goddess, meat/dairy free, wench, history nut, bibliophile, photographer, artist, maker of shiny the things, tattooed, pierced, small biz owner, crazy for yoga & the sea breeze.

Where to Stalk:



ElfWench Studio





If you like this post and think other parents would benefit from hearing different parenting voices please use the share buttons below!  Be sure to join  us next Thursday for another inspiring glimpse into parenting on the Listen to the Beat Within Guest Parenting Series!

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