All tagged Parenting

Motherhood is a Cursed Blessing

“What would your High School Self be surprised about you today?” my friend once asked.

I required no lengthy pondering: “My High School Self would be surprised by how hard it is to be a mom.”

I always knew I wanted a family, but I can’t say that beyond snuggles and smiles, I anticipated all the blood, sweat, and tears:

The way my body would be physically strained, stretched, and torn open wide, only to be left more saggy and floppy than before.

The way I would function in a foggy exhaustion, day after tedious day – while years passed by in a blink.

The way my spirit would at times feel crushed by the weight of caring for tiny humans relying on me for their wellbeing.

The way my toddler would refuse to wear clothes but then demand to wear a pink stocking cap.

The way I’d doubt if I’m doing a good job or just racking up reasons for them to see a therapist some day.

How Do I Teach Thankfulness?

"How do you teach your kids to be thankful?" my friend asked me four years ago.

 

And after four years of motherhood I still think: Great question.

It's hard enough to teach the politeness of consistently saying "please" and "thank you."

I know, because I remember taking our daughter to the movie theater for a special day out when she was three. After a fantastic time watching Beauty and the Beast, I thought I would feel the gratitude spilling over in the car through giggly conversation about how much we enjoyed the film and the sour candy.

But our daughter had a meltdown in the backseat instead. I had told her no when she told me she wanted more candy. There was kicking and screaming and gnashing of teeth. Part of me was slightly impressed at how much ruckus the small body of a child could make when she didn’t get her way. The other, much larger part of me was boiling at her ingratitude.

An Introvert's Survival Guide to Motherhood

Someone once asked me when I realized I was an introvert. I told her I didn’t fully acknowledge that part of my personality until I became a mom.

Pre-parenthood, my cup of energy depleted at the rate of someone drinking through a coffee straw. Social interaction was draining, but it was easier to prioritize time for myself. 

When our daughter was born, it felt like someone picked up my glass of energy, looked me square in the eyes, and dumped it out all over the toy-littered floor. The intense attention that tiny people need, combined with little time to recharge, made motherhood's first season feel like it was sucking the life right out of me. 

I’ll Never Send My Kid to Preschool. And Other Ways I’ve Changed My Mind.

As we perused the racks of school uniforms, I held back tears.

Wasn’t I just holding our first baby tightly against my chest, breathing in her precious newborn scent? Since when did years pass by in only seconds? And since when did little navy polos and black Mary Jane’s and Back to School Shopping become an integral part of my life?  

I knew these days would come eventually. Babies barely leave the birth canal before society wants to know how, when, and where their parents plan to educate them.

But as I held up different sizes of pants and shirts to my daughter’s four-year-old frame, I knew that while a large part of me felt sensitive to motherhood’s changing seasons, the other part of me was struggling to let myself change my mind.

I’ll never send her to school before Kindergarten, I used to think and say out loud.

Why I’ll Never Write About Safe Parenting

Our daughter spent the first ten months of her life in Guatemala where car seats simply were not a thing.

She sat on my lap in crowed vans and refurbished school buses, speeding through our city's cobbled streets and careening around winding mountain roads.

Our move back to the States and her transition to the laws of car seats was, shall I say, rough. There were times it took both my husband and I to wrangle her into her seat and buckle her in. There were times she would push the chest clip far below the recommended armpit height, and wriggled her arms above the straps. And there were times, during the long battle it took to get her to accept her car seat, we gave up and let her ride with her pits out. We chose our sanity over her safety.

Grace for Those a Step Ahead or a Step Behind

The other day I had a great conversation with my sister-in-law, the moral of our discussion being this: People often have a hard time giving grace to the people one step behind them.

And I am so, so, so guilty of this too:

You think you’re “tired” because you had to wake up at 6 am this morning? Try having kids.

You think life is “hard” because you had to study for an exam? Try having kids.

You think you’re “busy” because you have basketball practice and homework tonight? Try having kids.

It's All Motherhood

Appreciating the opportunity or understanding the sacrifice,

Counting each blessing or crying out for help,

Teaching them all you can or learning everything in return,

It’s all Motherhood.

10 Commands for Mommies

Here’s the beef: I want you to be a good kid.

But even more than being what other people might define as “good kid,” I want you to be obedient to God.

The Bible gives us really good directions for how to do that. But as your Mommy, I know that one of the best ways to teach you to follow God’s directions is for you to see me following them myself.

Some Moms Cry

Moms cry. We have a whole host of reasons why, but we just do. 

Maybe lots of your tears like to hover around that cyclical spell essential oils so nicely calls, “Dragon Time.” #ThereIsAnEssentialOilForThat

Or maybe when you’re not jacked up on hormones, you find yourself wrapped up in those moments of really big Mom Feelings. 

Or maybe you are grieving.

Whatever the reason for your Mom Tears today, I hope you feel bonded to the rest of us moms grabbing tissues right along side of you.

I Can’t Give My Child “The World”

And then suddenly it hit me: I was falling for it.

I was falling for the lie that as a parent, I am supposed to give my child everything. That I am supposed to give her all the things.

I was falling for the lie that I have to give my child “the world” in order for her to be well adjusted and happy. That "enough" isn't actually "enough."

I was falling for the lie that I am supposed to make parenting harder than it already is. That I’m supposed to be some sort of parent that I am not.

I Wasn’t Ready For You

And one thing you might learn when you get older, is that sometimes "The Plan" doesn't always work out like you hoped. It's a hard lesson to learn, but an important lesson to help people like Mommy realize that they aren't actually in charge.

But sometimes in life, the things God hands you when you think you aren't ready for them, the things that weren't part of "The Plan," end up being some of life's greatest delights. 

Happy Father's Day! Love, Toddler

I tried to write something all sappy and cute for Father's Day.

I wanted to express all of my love and gratitude to Husband {and all the other husbands/dads out there} who are present in their wife and children's lives. Who engage in their role as head of the household, and demonstrate the unconditional love of the Heavenly Father.

But I just didn't have it in me this week. 

This post is what I did have in me. I apologize.

Teach Them How to Deal

And please, let's all continue to teach our children how to deal. Let's whisper into their tiny little ears how much we love them, and how much we wish we could protect them from all the bad things in this world. And most importantly, let's introduce them to the One who will carry them through when life is just too hard to handle.