Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Confessions of a Wannabe Super Mom

Yes, I want to be a super mom.  I want to be able to do it all.  Why not?  But, realistically, I can’t, and I don’t.  And that’s okay.  But, I try!  I think to strive for excellence.  Excellence should be within the Christian perspective.  It is our aim.  Do I do it all perfectly?  No.  Do I do it all, at all?  No.  But it is my desire to and I strive to that end.  I shall, that in all I do, I do it for the glory of God (Colossians 3:23).   Whatever we seek to do with our hands, we should put effort to do it well (Ecclesiastes 9:10).  Do I always do it well?  No.  But that was and is always my aim.  Am I going to complain and pout to the world that I can’t do something?  Well, maybe.  I need to stop that.  I shouldn’t whine in self-pity for attention.  I need to keep on.  I’m going to keep on going, keep on trying.  Am I perfect?  No.  Are my kids perfect?  No.  Is my house picture perfect.  No.  But, OH, there is Pinterest!!

I’ve always wanted to have a family with lots of kids.  Ten would have been really cool!  My husband differs on that idea.  Well, we just had our (technically) 5th.  Our last baby did not survive the first trimester but we are thankful for our heavenly Father’s grace.

I’ve only come from a family of 4 children.  Not too big, not too small.  We were far from perfect.  We were very dysfunctional, actually.  So, my desire has nothing to do with my upbringing.  If that were the sole example, I should be running from anything “family”.

I’ve always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and I’m so thankful that I am blessed to do so and that it’s also my husband’s desire.  Although I never thought I’d be a homeschooling mom, here I am.  I am thankful for being able to be at home with my kids and see their progress at each stage of their lives.  Surely, if they were in public school, I’d be the involved mom who’s always at the school bugging the teachers and being a nuisance asking tons of questions.  That’s how I was with my oldest who attended public school off and on.  But even better, I get to supervise and see each stage of their learning first hand.

Since I was a young girl playing house,  I used to pretend to do all the things the modern woman might make you feel is ancient, traditional and belittling of a woman’s full potential.  Well, that’s what I wanted to grow up and do- have a family and take care of them doing all those “boring” things- cook, clean, love on my family…  There are so many things as a mom that I “get” to do and it blesses me to do them, right down to changing those sometimes nasty diapers.

So, what does it mean to be a super mom?  I’m sure that can be left up to interpretation.  For me, do what you do and try your best to do it well.  Don’t know how?  Learn.  In the age of google, not much can’t be learned.  Know your limitations and be okay with it.  But don’t go around throwing pity speeches about “poor you” and what you can’t do.  There’s also always the old fashion way, seek someone older, wiser, knowledgeable and ask.  Experiment (not on your kids – well, that depends on what it is!).  So, go… and be excellent.  May the Lord bless you in your pursuit.


Serve Your Home First

Do you ever find yourself having more fun helping other people do things in their home rather than yours?  I have, and I’ve thought that there may be a sign of the sin of covetousness.  Of all the opportunities that arise to “help” or serve others, our hearts should first yearn for the love of and in our own homes- our family.   Opportunites to serve in our home are endless, as a wife, mother, woman, man, brother, sister, son, daughter…  Your first order of business is to your home.  Cultivate your home and those who live with you with love, grace, order, compassion, truth, honor, joy … the list goes on.  Our service to the outside world should spill out of our service inside our homes.  When we have our priorities straight, we teach our family the same.  Live what you believe and preach.  I preach this to my kids and I pray that I might be a living example of what I preach.  Caring for my home and all that is within is not a burden, but a blessing.   I have much to care for and I shall be thankful that I have anything at all to care for.  Sure, everyone gets tired and needs a break.  Afterall, God did create a day of sabbath rest.

Every time I wash dishes, I have to remind myself how blessed I am that I had dishes to dirty.  Those dishes were full of food, of which filled my belly that I do not hunger.  Every time I wash clothes, I must realize I’m blessed that I have covering to keep me warm and the machinery and all the necessary supplies to clean clothes so easily; not to mention the accessibility to water and electricity that flows through to make it all possible.  Even if I may not get the sleep I need or want, when I’m awakened by my kids, I need to be thankful that I have the great responsibility and honor of caring for their precious lives and the joys they bring.  As much as I have to do in a day, my motivation and thoughts have to be upward, focusing on the rewards of being diligent in my responsibilities, the rich rewards of working unto the Lord.

We are complainers, sinners by nature.  But scripture tells us not to complain.  It’s a tough line for sure.  Where is the line between complaining and just plain sharing your burdens with one another so that we ought to be able to care for each other?  May the Spirit give us all wisdom in that.  But let us be all the more diligent in guarding our hearts and minds so that we might offer ourselves as a holy, living sacrifice, worthy of the calling to which we’ve been called.  It’s an all-encompassing task and no doubt, takes great strength and perseverance that only the good LOrd can provide.  Fight the fight.  Run the race well, good and faithful servant.  In all things, glorify your father in heaven.

Parenting Tidbit #7; Excuses, Excuses

Don’t Set a Precedent or Bad Example of Excuses

Parenting Tidbits #6; Building Character in Conflicts

This article is a good snippet in helping your children deal with conflicts.



Parenting Tidbit #4; Preventative vs. Reactive

I believe that just as it is a good idea to be prepared for anything, preparing children by preventative parenting is just all around good.  When I hear “preventative,”  I usually associate it with health and fitness.  There is a lot of buzz in the world of news about health and health care.  Preventative care speaks to taking care of yourself to “prevent” you as best as possible before you get sick, not after the fact.  Too often we wait until something goes wrong and then try to fix it after the fact when it may have been prevented if we had taken certain precautions or measure in preparing ourselves, right?  Well, I believe good parenting is similar in that way.  When you see your child acting in a way that may be harmful to himself, you should take some measures to ensure his safety.  This may mean stopping him from what he’s doing and talking to him about the dangers in it.

Parenting is a constant motion.  When your kids are awake, care for them doesn’t know bounds, does it?  Surely kids have down time when they play amongst themselves in another room.  Aside from the infant and toddler years, I don’t expect that you should be your child’s shadow.  As they grow, hopefully you would have trained them enough year by year to know right from wrong, what’s good/bad, etc.  Of course there will still be accidents, even under your very nose, that’s just a part of a child growing up and learning life.  But I dare say some accidents are due to parental neglect and I am not immuned.  But there are many ways in which we as parents can be proactive and preventative in some areas.

Manners.  This is becoming a lost art and it’s so encompassing of many things.  By God’s grace, I have grown in my conditioning of manners but I’m not perfect.  I do give some slack when we are home but I do teach my kids the difference between what’s allowed within the context of our own family and in the company of friends.  This is not being hypocritical.  Decipher the difference.  It’s using discretion about what’s appropriate and what’s not.  Many things we do in the home would not be appropriate for public viewing.  Privacy is included.  Conduct within company should be prepared for.  This takes conscious effort on the parents.  This isn’t something we should begrudge.    For example, on the way to church I might remind my kids of examples of respectful behavior in the Lord’s house.  It does matter how we behave, whether as children or adults.  For the sake of the whole, in love and honor, we strive to live with each other harmoniously as we can.  This not for show, not for praises, but because it’s right and to honor the Lord.  Parenting is an honor, a high calling.  Why shouldn’t we better prepare ourselves?

Kids should be allowed to be kids and we all have different perspectives on what that looks like.  They should be able to experience outdoor play, build things, learn to ride things, climb, sports, etc.  Not allowing kids to be wild is not being a brute or restrictive.  It generally depends on the environment.  If we’re out in the open, in the wild, sure, let them run free.  But within a building, restaurant, etc, they should be taught to contain themselves as to respect others within close proximity.  This is kind of consideration should be taught before the situation occurs.  But if it does happen before you were able to address, then address it promptly when it does happen.  And then repeat these guidelines often in training.  If could be a conversation when you’re eating or after you’ve read a book on a related topic.  Being considerate should even be taught around the home.  If someone is eating, children shouldn’t be running around with weapons play fighting near them, right?  I just figure that’s a given.  Not so.  Reacting to their misbehavior can also be in frustration and anger and lead to ugly situations.  Being one step ahead, as a parent, can be rewarding in that you may be able to enjoy yourself around them and others without feeling overwhelmed questioning whether they will do something irrational.  Be on alert, thinking and preparing for your child’s good and good of others.  Just as we are to be alert and prepared for Christ’s coming doing good works unto him, parenting should be pretty high on the “priority” list.

This is not a beating over the parental head for not being perfect, but I hope you can take this is as an encouragement to take on the role of parenting with more zeal and care than to  just go through life with an “oh, well” attitude.   It should be more than that.  But if you make a mistake, which we all do; learn from it.  Stand up and move on to being more prepared next time.  What can you do about the past then to live, learn from it, forgive and go on.

“Appropriate” Use and Modesty

From this is when I decided I would introduce the word “appropriate” to my kids’ every day vocabulary. My first daughter was probably 2 years old (that was 6 years ago!) when I started using “appropriate” with her and all my kids have learned this word well. It’s never too early to introduce words and concepts that we might otherwise think our children wouldn’t understand. Of course, there are exceptions to this. But in general, my only point is, kids are capable of understanding more than we think. We tend to try to dumb things down; ideas, concepts and info, and I think many times that is unfortunate. Children may not understand it right away but with consistency, they will catch on.
Anyway, this is a great albeit brief talk about Christian modesty and appropriateness.


Second Hands

So, for my girls’ birthday this year I let them have a (semi) shopping spree at one of our local “second-hand/thrift store”.   I say ‘semi’ because 1) I had to approve and 2) it had to be within a certain “frugal” price range of which I will keep a mystery.  I love the fact that my kids don’t care that it’s been “passed down” or previously used and they know this.  I have told them so.  They will never (at least until they’re older teenage or adults) know the overrated name brands of clothing. I think it’s sad and somewhat pathetic when kids and their parents complain that they won’t wear anything but certain brands.  I am thankful that I was never that child or teen.  Marketing has done its job, and well.  Sure, there are brands that are great quality but I won’t live and die by them like some people.  For too many, it’s part of their identity.

We shopped before their actual birthdays.  They both got an armful of stuff.  I had them hold some of it to feel the weight of what they were getting.  I was tickled when one of my youngest daughter’s pick was this shirt…

and she really wanted to wear it on her birth date.  When she found it, she was ecstatic.  I mean, it was too so cute.   I just had to get it for her.  It helped that it was only $1.50.  Not as cheap as I could get such a shirt like that, like at a yard sale but all relative.

Now I’m not a zealous tree hugger but I do [recycle] to [reduce] waste if I can and [reuse] & repurpose what I can to [restore] things to the best of my imagination.  I wish the city would [respect] my best efforts and not charge me for doing a good civic duty.  Yes!- they charge to recycle whether you do or not.  I should just quit this business but I can’t because my conscience won’t let me.  And of all things, they won’t recycle glass because of some nonsense about “hazardous”.  Whatever.

I think it’s important to teach children to be thankful and to make the most of their situation.  It’s so much about perspective.  Of course it’s easier said when you have but that’s why God calls us to be content in whatever situation.  It’s His strength in which we rely.  Have faith if ye of little.  We have never been rich according to the world’s standard but God has been so faithful and has provided us abundantly with the things we’ve needed.  We’ve eaten well; have been sheltered under pretty solid, clean & great living spaces; clothed; loved by family and friends.  That’s more than basic necessity to me.  That’s being rich in God’s goodness, even beside giving the life of His only Son so that we may live.   We are rich indeed.