Apr 25, 2010

Leading by Example

Musings of A Beautiful Mess
Things are changing rapidly around here. Not only because there is a big move in our future, but also because that's what life does, it changes.

Nae will be 13 Monday (tomorrow) and we are all very excited about this. Her more than us, but lots of excitement nonetheless. We already got her an early birthday present, but tomorrow will be a "Nae day". We will be having breakfast for dinner, as per her request and I'm going to attempt to make a rainbow cake. Hopefully the cake looks and tastes fantastic. If not, I know it'll at least taste fine. Lots of fun self gratifying for a 13 year old, for sure.

As she gets older, I'm finding that me telling her what to do, how to act, etc isn't enough, I must show her by my actions as well. This was proved by our conversation about her eating habits the other day. I've told her many times about my history with poor eating habits and how it isn't safe, but clearly that wasn't enough. I'm not TOO worried about her eating as I've seen her eat many times since our conversation, but I am still concerned with her way of thinking. I decided that I am going to make some changes in the hopes that she will see and follow suit or at the very least change the way she is or was thinking. I don't want her to ever think she is less than beautiful. Obviously there will be days when she won't feel beautiful, but I want to give her a good solid foundation. I also want her to know how important it is to get an education. She is a great student and has never gotten anything lower than a B and has always made the honor roll, but I still want her to realize it is very important.

Me going to school and getting great grades is a huge factor in showing her how important school is. Yes, I went back to school late, but I am going and she sees that. She also sees me doing my homework, as well as Dirty and I switching rolls in our home. She knows a woman can stay at home if she chooses to and she knows that a man can do the same. Zilla sees this too, but ummm he isn't quite getting it just yet.

I also want to her to know that the way she carries herself and the way she speaks is important. I have always loved words. I love to listen to my dad and his side of the family speak Dutch and Indonesian because it's just so beautiful to me. I also love that my dad made a point to teach my sister and myself how to speak properly even though English wasn't his first, or even third language. Speaking properly and with respect was always a must when we were growing up. I always felt that my vocabulary wasn't all that vast nor great. I feel that me saying certain words, no matter how much I love them, sound so phony coming out of my mouth. That is no longer the case. I have found myself using words I normally wouldn't use and the kids are picking up on this. Today I used "proper" and "improper" and both the kids used them correctly a few times! I was so proud of them and myself. Obviously those aren't big words, but they aren't words I've heard 13 or 6 year old use. Proof that showing by example is working better than just talking to her, or them. I always knew that I needed to lead by example, but now it is VERY important.

I need to show Nae that I am happy with my body, but if there are improvements to be made, I will do them in a healthy way. Since I hurt my hand in January, I have gained probably about 10 pounds and I am unhappy with my body. I don't mind the weight so much, I do mind the lack of tone I have. I know it's from months of sitting on the couch and not being able to do much. Added in the fact that it rains here like non stop and school, I just didn't have time. Now that i see how my behavior has effect Nae, I have decided to do something about it. I have deiced I am going to track my caloric intake, but in a healthy way. I am not limiting myself to low calorie foods only, but I will be accountable for what I put in my body. I have control of what foods I put into my body and what foods are better for me than others. I am also becoming more active. last weekend Nae and I went on a walk to get our hair done and today the kids and I went on a LONG walk to get some ice cream. We walked probably about 4 miles total, and we had a blast. Neither of them whined about the distance, either!

I'm hopeful that these changes I'm making will impact her life, as well as mine in a positive way. I hope that I'm not sending her the wrong message, but showing her how to take your health into your own hands. I also intend to make them and her, more accountable for things around the house. No more leaving backpacks and shoe lying around the house for me to pick up. It is time for them to be responsible for their belongings and their surroundings. I know these changes won't be easy, but when is change EVER easy?

7 friends have commented:

My name is Andy. on April 26, 2010 at 3:46 AM said...

Happy Birthday Nae!!! I hope 13 is a fun and fabulous year for you. You've got some great parents and great role models to help guide you along!

Enjoy!

WiseGuy on April 26, 2010 at 6:39 AM said...

Wishing Nae a very very very happy birthday...and many blessings on her!

I loved your post. I have no great comebacks, but you spoke your heart on what you see Nae imbibing in the days ahead. It's just beautiful.

Kristin on April 26, 2010 at 10:17 AM said...

Happy 13th Nae!

And, sweetie, I think you are doing a fabulous job modeling behavior for your kids. Way to go D!

Danielle on April 26, 2010 at 11:01 AM said...

Happy Birthday Nae!!!

Just a quick note about the healthy eating and stuff. I am trying to do the same for my family. We are both overweight and need to change our habits to make ourselves healthy for not only ourselves but Chayce as well. I found sparkpeople.com and there's an app for blackberries that you can keep track of your food intake, exercise, and how much water you drink. I think it'll help me, and thought maybe you'd find it helpful!!

XOXO!!!:-)

Quiet Dreams on April 27, 2010 at 8:36 AM said...

Happy Birthday to Nae, and happy "birthing" day to you. :)

Jamie on April 28, 2010 at 10:42 AM said...

Give Nae happy, happy birthday wishes from me!

You are such a good Mom. I learn so much from you. :-)

Aunt Becky on May 1, 2010 at 3:17 PM said...

Happy Belated Birthday to Nae from her Auntie Becky!

PS Send me some rainbow cake, yo.

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