Tag Archives: parenting

Feeling ignored by my kid

Feeling ignored
Have you ever felt ignored by your kid?
Yeah. Me, too.

Players began to cluster like grapes around blue resin tables in the cafeteria of the indoor multi-sport arena.

The air was thick with the smell of rubber and rotten corn chips beneath the blaring institutional lights on a cold winter afternoon.

My son leaned into his soccer teammates, talking texting, scrolling, and tapping like they do when they get into their little sewing circle. I hesitated, then stood up from my seat and took a step towards him. James sensed my movement and looked at me with horror. He shook his head no and waved his hand.

Clearly, I would not be welcomed with open arms to his tribe.

I averted my eyes and sank into the stiff chair, feeling ignored, lonely, and sad. I saw other parents sitting with their teenagers. Why can’t I sit with my kid? Was he embarrassed by me? I didn’t have to come and watch, you know.

I wanted to scream at the injustice, and then thought better of it. I came with a sore throat, body aches and throbbing head. And now my ego was bruised.

I know I shouldn’t take it personally and make crazy assumptions, but all I wanted was to go home, curl up on the couch and cry.

I could leave James behind because he drove himself to the tournament, having passed his driver’s test only days earlier. With each passing moment, his independence and confidence grows, while I mourn the loss of his childhood.

This progression towards adulthood is supposed to happen, I tell myself. It will be okay. He is self-reliant, but still needs my love, guidance and support. He just doesn’t need it all at once, right this minute.

And so I take a deep breath, exhale, brush away a tear and wait until the next game begins.

What do you think? This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. Follow me on: Facebook, Instagram (@kristinebruneau), or Pinterest.

The art of not taking it personally

Don’t take it personally?” We have all been in a situation when someone says an unkind word or acts unpleasant towards you. It’s an opinion or judgement so how can we not take it personally? This is something I’ve struggled with all my life, especially when I’ve heard: “Four eyes.” “Goodie-two-shoes.” “Nerd. “Ugly.” “You can’t write.” “You’re wasting my time.” “Shut up.” “I hate you.” 

These words and phrases linger in my head. Although I don’t believe they define me, it still stings.

As children, we believe the world revolves around us. Only later do we develop the knack to walk a mile in someone’s shoes. I have come to realize that when people say something harsh, or behave poorly, it is more a reflection on them and not me. It is also about what’s going on in their life at the time. Perhaps they are going through a divorce, or there is a financial strain, or someone they love is ill.  I remind myself that one  person’s subjective view, doesn’t necessarily make the word or deed right or fair. However, it is difficult to think this way because my first reaction is to lash out at the person who is making me feel less than what I know is true. I must continue to believe in myself and gather up my super powers to send positive energy to the person who is trying to create negativity. 

Not taking it personally is much more difficult when your child is the object of someone’s hurtful words or acts. 

As a parent, how do you respond? How do you help your child respond and not take it personally.

My immediate reaction is to protect, intervene, and fix the situation. I don’t want to see my child uncomfortable, angry, or sad. As parents, we walk a fine line of being over involved or not involved enough to know what’s really going on in our child’s life.

I like to think I approach parenting in a mindful way, encouraging my son to speak up for himself and ask questions of the adults in his life who are giving him their feedback or opinions. Asserting oneself is very difficult for a teenager to do. It takes some creative coaching (not preaching) on my part, confidence and resilience on my son’s part. 

Understanding how not to take things personally is something that must be experienced. There will be many many setbacks or difficult situations in my son’s life. As a parent, I can’t protect him from everything nor should I try because overcoming challenges is part of growing up.

If I were to write a letter to my younger self at age 16, I would write: “Don’t take things that other people say to you personally because their opinions are reflections of themselves. You are good, strong, smart, courageous, beautiful, loving, caring, and kind. Don’t stoop so low as to cut someone else down. Sometimes the best way to respond is to lift up your head, smile and say to him: “That is your opinion. It is not mine.” 

This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. Find me on: FacebookInstagram (@kristinebruneau), or Pinterest

Just hit publish

I just hit publish. Actually, I hit publish on November 1. And have been getting ready to tell you since then.

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you probably know that I wrote a book:  MOMMY MUSINGS: Lessons on Motherhood, Love, and Life is the story of finding wisdom in motherhood and among the presenting conundrums that occurred during my son’s first ten years. It’s an inspirational book to live by because the moment we become parents is when our ordinary lives become extraordinary.

I finished it in late 2014 and since then, I have been researching the publishing industry and submitting my book to publishers. No one has picked it up – yet.  So, I decided to publish it myself. My book is available in paperback on Amazon.com

Update: Now available digitally on Kindle, iBooks,  Scribd, and Issuu.

10 Things to Help an Author

You, dear friends, family and colleagues are the best gateway for finding an audience for my writing. There are a bazillion things to do, but I can’t do it all. So, I’m asking for your help. Here are 10 things you can do to help share the book and celebrate motherhood.

  1. Buy the book. Here’s the link to my book on Amazon.com.
  2. Gift the book. It makes a great gift for any mom (or dad!).
  3. Review the book. If you buy the book on Amazon, please post a review. Posting reviews gets books and authors noticed. The only thing that sells books is word of mouth. If my book sits on Amazon with no reviews, then it is unlikely to get seen by anyone and sell.
  4. Read the book in public. Reading the book while waiting at Urgent Care, or the nail salon, or before picking up your kid from practice, or wherever people can see it and ask about it helps it get noticed and spark a conversation. 
  5. Follow me on social media.  You can find me on: InstagramFacebook, or Twitter.
  6. Share news of the book on social media. Example: “This new book by my friend is a great gift for busy moms. Touching and funny stories for all parents to enjoy.” Tweet or post a picture of the book. If you see me post something on social media, feel free to like, love, comment, re-share, retweet, pin, flip, plus, etc. 
  7. Invite me to read at your next event. Whether you are hosting book club or throwing a Tupperware party, I’m happy to read from my book, or answer questions about writing or the publishing process. Send me an email.
  8. Arrange a connection or introduction. Do you know a publisher, blogger, or reporter who covers parenting, relationships, books, or a similar topic? Do you know the owner of a retail gift shop who would be interested in carrying  the book? Let me know!
  9. Request a book in local stores and ask them to stock it. You can walk into Barnes & Noble or other bookstores and ask them to order it. All they need is this: ISBN #1542863315. If it’s on the shelf, you can turn the cover face out on the shelf so it’s easier to see. 
  10. Send me your ideas. Can you think of any other helpful ideas to add to help share the book or celebrate motherhood? Post a comment below and I’ll enter you in a drawing for a free signed book.

P.S. If you want several copies, or signed copies, send me an email. I can place a bulk order and personalize them for you to pick up the week after Thanksgiving.

What do you think?

This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. Follow me on: Facebook, Instagram (@kristinebruneau),  Twitter (@kristinebruneau), or Pinterest.