“AM I DOING THIS RIGHT?” MODERN PARENT CONTEST

Dejar de gritar! Stop shouting!

Photo by Frank Busch on Unsplash

This post is an entry in Modern Parent’s “Am I Doing This Right?” writing contest.

Ya basta! Enough!

This image of my 3-year-old standing between my husband and me with her long slender arms stretched out as if to separate us, and yelling ‘Ya Basta’ (‘Enough’ in Spanish) is etched in my mind as an epic parenting fail. One I always imagined I would avoid.

I always thought you don’t fight in front of your kids. If you have to discuss an issue, you agree to do it later when no kids are around, you ‘park’ the issue and get…


The first place I submitted for publishing was Curious and I was delighted to get a little feedback and an offer to review the revised piece. That's more than I expected and made all the difference, it got published and the response set the tone for my experience on Medium. I think outright rejection will be now be easier to handle.


That sucks. You'll really notice that. Is it imperative you move back? My husband is Afro-Cuban and is adamant he would never move to the US even if we had the chance. That makes me sad as I love the US, or I enjoyed living there 20 years ago, but I totally get his point.


My mouth is watering as I read your post, and I'm IN Cuba as I write. It's easier to find that food in Florida right now than in Cuba, with the shortages we have. Roast pork followed by flan....mmmmm


That's a beautiful story. And I am sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing.


Wonderful that you got to enioy breastfeeding from the start :-)

I have bittersweet memories with mine as it wasn't an easy option for me at the start and I nearly gave up many times. Finally, it was my daughter that 9 months later seemed to lose interest, by which time I enjoyed it and was keen to carry on! It is such an intense time In some ways, and beautiful. Still, life with a toddler doesn't give you much time to sit around and miss it :-)

Thanks for the kind tag.


I totally get it. I didn't understand before either, but I couldn't enjoy myself if my toddler was off, without a nap, and grumpy and tired, so why bother going out? Or I tried and get her to nap so I could enjoy time with my happy girl, and she was happier too.

She began dropping her nap during quarantine, which I saw as disastrous as it was the 2 hours I looked forward to in the day where I could get stuff done. And I couldn't take her out in the stroller as here in Cuba, kids were not allowed out at all. Without a nap, she'd go to bed earlier, but by that point I was zonked and not fit for anything!


SELF IMPROVEMENT

The most powerful experience I ever had

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Over 20 years ago now, I took an intensive self-development course with the Landmark Forum. The event forever changed my thinking on many issues and many of the learnings I detail below came to me in a kind of ‘lightbulb’ moment. I was a 20-something, happy with life and no major issues (I thought) and then I stuck myself in a room for a long weekend with 200 others to take myself apart.

What I learnt that weekend that I NEVER forgot

1. Take responsibility for how you feel.

Don’t make it someone else’s fault. Telling someone ‘you made me unhappy, you made me angry’ puts the responsibility of…


This fits with what I have seen with my American clients when they come to visit Cuba. Until recently, technology was a lot less prevalent in Cuban lives than in the US or Europe and Cubans are a lot less reliant on its benefits. There is more real connection, not virtual, more patience as things work slower, more fulfilment in a way as there isn't the idea of always trying to have and be more. Cuba now sounds more like 70s America that your father describes.


I enjoyed reading this. I lost my father to dementia a few years ago, he had suffered for over 20 years. Back then, there was less understanding and less discussion of it. I wish I had asked him to write a letter before his dementia got underway but hindsight is a wonderful thing. I wish you the best. Thanks for writing, you've inspired me to put pen to paper on this issue.

Julie van Maanen

Lifelong multi-lingual traveller, writer, learner, teacher. Raising my little girl in Cuba and Europe and cannot wait to show her the world.

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