{reallife} snot head

I've been at some level of being sick for the past ten days now, yesterday being the worst with my sinuses miserably stuffed up and achy. I've been trying to meet all my obligations in the midst of it all, but it's about time for a nothing day.

Nothing meaning I'll still need to cook some rice and bake a yam and juice a carrot or two. And read Snowmen at Night again. And remote his lego helicopter. And pick up his brother and friends this afternoon. And probably monitor playtime with neighbor friend. And play hide and seek and put them both to bed since daddy will be home late. 

Yeah, who am I kidding? But I'm going to try try try to rest my weary bones and kick this annoying, lingering congestion that makes me sleep with my mouth open at night {worst ever}. 

I should probably have stayed home this weekend, but wanting to enjoy some family time and see the sunshine, I accompanied the boys up to the snow for some shoeing and sledding. 
My husband and I were due for a nice little chat about things we disagree about, so the drive up to the mountain {and back} was fraught with emotion and conflict. And the pain of increasing and decreasing in elevation with a head full of snot.

That evening I took time to think about all of it and to realize that my husband doesn't mean to hurt my feelings. He may not realize that an affirmation-starved person like me takes even the smallest criticism very hard. Without a couple of thick slices of praise on either side of the concern, I feel like my entire life is in question. You think I'm a failure of a mother? Our kids are going to be ruined? I'm a waste of a person?

I might take it too far.

My realization is that I can't expect to be heaped with praise all day long. That's not even healthy. Somewhere in childhood I developed an addiction to praise and the absence of such leaves me feeling like I must be doing it all wrong. Silence = the other person is disappointed in me. But they're too nice to say so.

Maybe this too-niceness comes from my Canadian roots. I'm realizing the benefits of honesty -- that it might actually bring more strength to a relationship than the glossy complements and avoidance of all conflict.

In fact, I've decided that "HONESTY" is my word for the year, my focus. To be more honest with myself {less martyring} and more honest with others {boundaries!}. I'm not going to say what I think they want to hear. I'm not going to put my needs at the bottom of the list in attempts to please others. I'm going to try to be honest, even when it's hard.  
Praise is complicated. We need it. But really, we need to find our value in God and not be so dependent on human affirmation. I'm still learning how to go about this.

I wrote about growth-based praise last October. I plan to put some more time into studying it out -- I really believe it's crucial to healthy social and emotional development. So watch for more about this in the future.

Now to drink some warm lemon water and blow my nose again. 

Yummy coconut-based soup recipe coming to the blog soon! :)