Parenting – Buncha Mom Sense http://bunchamomsense.com Thoughts on parenting, life, and surviving enthusiastic children Mon, 29 May 2017 03:59:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 A Response to a “One Kid Parent” http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/05/thoughts-parenting-one-kid/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/05/thoughts-parenting-one-kid/#comments Thu, 25 May 2017 03:35:09 +0000 http://bunchamomsense.com/?p=2387 I was shopping at my favorite, all-be-it insane, grocery story with a few of my kids.  I don't remember exactly how many of my kids were on this trip, but I was out numbered.  As I shopped, I was passed by another mother.  A mother of one kid. She said to me, "Wow.  You

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I was shopping at my favorite, all-be-it insane, grocery story with a few of my kids.  I don’t remember exactly how many of my kids were on this trip, but I was out numbered.  As I shopped, I was passed by another mother.  A mother of one kid.

She said to me, “Wow.  You are brave shopping here with all those kids.  I can barely handle it with my one kid.”

I said to her, “Thanks!  You’re brave too! Shopping with one kid is wild, right?  You’re killing it!”

At the grocery store, kids in tow, we are here to score some serious food.  We have a system made for success and a pretty hardcore grocery list.  We add shopping baskets to the bottom of the cart, that’s where fruits and veggies go.   The cart had a cup holder for my coffee. We get bars in row 22 that we start eating immediately and throw the rappers in the cart to pay for later.

If we are honest, I probably got chocolate from the row thats across from Aisle 5 and am sharing it with my kids. (Only because my attempt to smuggle it into the cart and start eating it secretly did not work.  I must work on my ninja skills, if only for having the chocolate all to myself.) And, in keeping with honesty, baby quite likely stole a few drinks of my coffee while I was comparing cans in the tuna aisle.  Good thing it’s probably decaf.

Having a four kid family means I’m way out numbered.  Which means I’m in it to win it.  I have a plan.   I’m there to succeed. I’m aware that success may include having to be flexible. I know what things my kids can help with. I know when it’s time to pop the four year old into the cart.  It’s an odd kind of dance.

I’ve got a metaphorical game face on, yeah. But that in no way means I’m looking at the “one kid moms” or “one kid dads” and thinking, “You aren’t nearly as cool as me.”  What I’m really thinking is, “You are killing it at parenting.  You are successfully grocery shopping with a small human being.  Good job. Fist bump.  Do your thing, yo.”

Dear friends, let’s encourage people and look to see their success. Let’s not be comparing ourselves with others to prove that we are better than them.  That’s a slippery slope of nastiness. Let’s see the best in people.  Even in strangers who take their kids with them to the grocery store.

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Kindness, together http://bunchamomsense.com/2016/06/kindness-together/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2016/06/kindness-together/#respond Fri, 03 Jun 2016 04:36:15 +0000 http://bunchamomsense.com/?p=1444 Kindness, together As simple as it sounds, I love kindness. Kindness in the words chosen, kindness in the tone of voice. Even in adults. Especially in adults.  The adults, as far as I can see, are supposed to be the ones setting the example of "communicational kindness." So As you can imagine, I don't feel great

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Kindness, together

As simple as it sounds, I love kindness. Kindness in the words chosen, kindness in the tone of voice. Even in adults. Especially in adults.  The adults, as far as I can see, are supposed to be the ones setting the example of “communicational kindness.” So As you can imagine, I don’t feel great about rudeness.  Kid to adult rudeness, not ok.  And then there’s also adult to kid rudeness.  This also annoys me, makes me feel a bit… uncomfortable.  Its because I’m a sensitive soul, I suppose. I prefer kindness.

 

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At any rate, we have been attempting to break a bad habit developed by  little miss “Jaguar.”  (Her code name was set to be butterfly, but she kindly asked if we would change it to Jaguar instead. ) Miss Jaguar, when called, has developed the habit of always answering with an annoyed sounding, “WHAT?”  What is going on? My first grader acting like a moody tween.  Not good.

 

We started working overtime trying to get this girl to quit yelling “WHAAAAT?”  but despite our best efforts and our constant calling for her just so she’ll get good practice answering with a nice little, “Yes?” or “Coming!” we are seeing minimal results.

 

Then about a week ago my Hubs says to me, “Soooo,… This morning… When Miss Jaguar called you as you guys where rushing off to school, you answered with a big annoyed, “What?”  I think maybe that’s where she learned this from.

 

Oh.

My.

Word.

MAAAAAN!

 

I was so happy he said something, because I DON’T want to ever be rude, even to my kids.  Especially to my kids.  It happens.  For sure. But I don’t want it to be a normal pattern.  Something that I am used to and ok with.  I want to have the habit of kind speech. It’s funny; I was totally unaware.  I’ve been working really hard at thanking my kids when they do as I’ve asked them.  Working really hard to say “Por Favor” at the end of the directions I give them.  “Put your shoes on.  Por Favor.”  Trying to round out the rough edges that could become habits of treating them like dumb kids instead of like little humans.  I’m convinced that kids deserve basic respect, even if they also have to be told a hundred time to not hit/scream/eat their boogers… Eww.

 

And yet.  Here I am yelling, “WHAT?!?!” to answer my kid, and chewing her out for yelling, “What?” to answer me.  Hello, blind spot.

 

I’m convinced that kids learn from us.  You know?  “Caught not taught.”  So I guess  Miss Jaguar and I both have some learning to do in the responding kindly area.  People say that if you’re going to start working out,  eating healthy or speaking another language, you should do it with a friend, so that you can maximize your learning potential.  Learn it stronger for longer. So I’m hoping that if we learn to respond with kindness as a group project…

Maybe it’ll work better and last longer.

 

We’re learning this together.

 

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Gracious words are a honeycomb,
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Let’s be parents who speak words that are sweet and healing.

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Terrible twos got nothin on three. http://bunchamomsense.com/2016/02/terrible-twos-got-nothin-on-three/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2016/02/terrible-twos-got-nothin-on-three/#respond Thu, 11 Feb 2016 19:14:00 +0000 Terrible 2s. People always say that. As if they've never met a three year old in their life. Walker #3, aka Boo, will be three in less than a week, and it's already started. I've done three's twice before, but I'm not ready for this. Screaming, crying, throwing himself on the floor. Because I

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Terrible 2s. People always say that. As if they’ve never met a three year old in their life.

Walker #3, aka Boo, will be three in less than a week, and it’s already started. I’ve done three’s twice before, but I’m not ready for this. Screaming, crying, throwing himself on the floor. Because I won’t let him have milk right now. I carry Boo out to the couch and gently drop him there. I continue cooking, knowing this will happen four more times at least. “Terrible twos” hath no furry like a three year old who can’t have a glass of milk. Right. Now.  If I’ve learned anything from my former three year olds, it’s this: don’t encourage it. (My favorite LOTR quote, “don’t encourage it, Merry.”)  Boy needs sleep. Rest. And consistency. He needs to know he can have an opinion, but not a sassy attitude. He needs to know I’ll always love him, but that whining won’t get him any where fast. Except the couch to calm down, maybe.

If you have a three year old, or for that matter, a thirteen year old, love them. Love them endlessly. And tell them “no,” calmly, when you need to. Which may also seem to be endlessly. You’re not crazy. You’re supposed to sound like an eight track. Repeat. Repeat. Calmly, repeatedly, teach them. One doesn’t learn to be kind, patient, or polite in one day. Yeah. So good luck with that. No, seriously. Good luck. keep saying no

Because, three year olds are like drunk, bipolar, irrational babies who can run faster than a cheetas, who might possibly be stronger than mom, despite being 1/3 your size. So good luck. Keep loving.

In case you wondered how the milk delema ended, Boo has fallen asleep on the couch. Maybe he’ll have some milk when he wakes up. But if he *can have* milk, best bet is, he’ll want water. Here’s to three year olds.
Milk but now three wants water

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No Pintrest http://bunchamomsense.com/2012/10/no-pintrest/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2012/10/no-pintrest/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2012 17:32:00 +0000 I just want to take a moment to acknowledge that the so called "Proverbial Woman" did not have Pintrest. She did not have Dana-made-it, she did not have I am Baker.  But I would like to point out here that she had MAIDS.  Well played, Mrs. Proverbs, well played.

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I just want to take a moment to acknowledge that the so called “Proverbial Woman” did not have Pintrest. She did not have Dana-made-it, she did not have I am Baker.  But I would like to point out here that she had MAIDS.  Well played, Mrs. Proverbs, well played.

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~What we didn’t expect~ http://bunchamomsense.com/2012/07/what-we-didnt-expect/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2012/07/what-we-didnt-expect/#respond Tue, 03 Jul 2012 12:55:00 +0000 We have a little one on the way!  He/She may be a Valentine's baby.  At any rate, we are very excited.  I guess it would be sufficient to say that if we ever PLANNED getting pregnant, that would be the real surprise.  Surprises? Yeah, not that surprising anymore.  And as far as making an announcement

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We have a little one on the way!  He/She may be a Valentine’s baby.  At any rate, we are very excited.  I guess it would be sufficient to say that if we ever PLANNED getting pregnant, that would be the real surprise.  Surprises? Yeah, not that surprising anymore.  

And as far as making an announcement goes, we found that being original and making something that is tailored to our family worked much better than trying to find something to copy… And it was a lot of fun!

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What to do if you ever get put in jail~ http://bunchamomsense.com/2012/05/what-to-do-if-you-ever-get-put-in-jail/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2012/05/what-to-do-if-you-ever-get-put-in-jail/#respond Thu, 10 May 2012 00:27:00 +0000 I don't know how it happened, but tonight we got started talking about jail, me and the kids.  A great topic for brushing teeth and getting 'jamies on, right?  Sister said she would like jail so I told her that in jail, you don't ever get to do what you want.  OR go shopping.  At

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I don’t know how it happened, but tonight we got started talking about jail, me and the kids.  A great topic for brushing teeth and getting ‘jamies on, right?  Sister said she would like jail so I told her that in jail, you don’t ever get to do what you want.  OR go shopping.  At this point she decided she didn’t ever want to go to jail.

I love the ebb and flow of  being a mom.   All the silly things that you get to talk about with your kids.   All the hundreds of ways that you can impact their lives.

We ended up talking about what to do if we ever “accidentally get put in jail.” Ask God for patience, kindness, and ask God to please let you get out!  I told them the story from Acts about how God sent an Angel to get the disciples out of jail.    Sister liked this idea.  Then she showed me her imaginary unlocking jail door skills.

It was a funny conversation for sure.  But I love how all of life comes around to trusting God.  And that is what you should do if you ever get put in jail.  Trust God.  Not that you plan on getting put in jail.  Just sayin’.

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~Dear Mommy~ http://bunchamomsense.com/2012/02/dear-mommy/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2012/02/dear-mommy/#comments Fri, 10 Feb 2012 19:28:00 +0000 http://bunchamomsense.com/dear-mommy/ Instead of sticking to the original plan for today's blog, I want to write a letter to all you mamas out there.  More talk on food will come later.  Believe me, I'm too ADD to talk about food right now...Dear Mommy,       Recognize and "appreciate" this season.  I don't mean love every nano-second of

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Instead of sticking to the original plan for today’s blog, I want to write a letter to all you mamas out there.  More talk on food will come later.  Believe me, I’m too ADD to talk about food right now…


Dear Mommy,
       Recognize and “appreciate” this season.  I don’t mean love every nano-second of it.  I mean realize that this season doesn’t look like the last season did.  Nor will it last forever. Realize that you must have extra grace for yourself right now.  Don’t expect yourself to be perfect. Don’t think that the times when you screw up change who you are as a parent.  Whether you hope to be like your own mother or hope to be completely different from your mom, you have to remember that making mistakes doesn’t define who you are.   Everyone makes mistakes, and some weeks are just going to be more “mistakey” than others.  But who you are shines out above and beyond mistakes.  


       Don’t waste time beating yourself up, instead take that time and breath deeply cry out to God, and maybe eat some chocolate.  In desperation, we find ourselves to be a person who is much more real and deep than before.  We learn to reach out for help, something that most of us wouldn’t naturally do.  


       We all have different tendencies.  Different temperaments, different problems.  Friends help us steer clear of our blind spots. They help remind us that beyond what seems like insanity to us, we are actually doing a good job.  You need to know that you are doing a way better job than you probably think you are.  You might have a few friends who need to hear that too. So even though its hard to keep friendships going sometimes, amidst the baby schedule and the dishes and the laundry, be aware of the people who love you.  Even just “touching bases” can keep a girl sane sometimes.  And this world could use a few more sane mommies.  Sometimes people just need a call, or a text.  Or Chocolate.  But let’s be mommies who love our friends even when it just means a quick hug.  Because mommies need love! 


       Many mistakes can be avoided through humility.  Humility to listen to someone older and wiser as they share their own struggles and strategies in motherhood.  Humility to take to heart the things that will help you, and to admit that some of those strategies just aren’t a good fit for you.  Humility to say sorry when you yelled at your kid.  Humility to hug and to cry with your kid when you realize you angrily put them in trouble for something their sibling did.  I believe that humility can totally change what our kids remember from our mistakes.  When we mess up, as we are bound to do sometimes, we can learn to forgive ourselves. There will be times when we need to admit our fault to our children.  By doing this our children learn how to deal with conflict and problems.  I do really think this can produce something great in their hearts as they see that Mommy messes up too, she apologizes and she moves on.  They learn an outlook of grace and hope.  It keeps resentment at bay.


       Many mistakes can also be avoided by breathing.  When you get angry, maybe you should breath before you say anything. (It works like a charm!)  Breath before you make some absurd promise that you would never keep.  Like, “I’m going to throw ALL your toys away if you don’t clean them up this second.”  (Personally, I threaten to banish all toys that remain on the floor to the basement for a week.  It’s a great threat because I can easily follow through with.)  Breath before you accidentally give a smart-alick answer your husband when he asks you why the kids drew on the wall with markers.  Five seconds of silence before an answer can often completely change the conversation, the mood, and keep a lot of not-so-great things from coming out of your mouth.  Take it from someone who talks too much.


       The kids are learning to walk and to talk.  They are falling over, and pronouncing words wrong.  There is so much grace for their mistakes.  Just don’t forget that you are learning too.  You haven’t got this whole thing figured out.  You just keep getting up. Keep trying.  Because you are a star to your children. They are so blessed to have you as their mommy.  All your hard work is giving them a great beginning, and you are building a foundation for them to be sane, wonderful grown ups someday.  So take a deep breath.  Because you’re doing just fine.  


Love,
      M.E.










  

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Becoming Mom~ Birthing http://bunchamomsense.com/2012/02/becoming-mom-birthing/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2012/02/becoming-mom-birthing/#comments Tue, 07 Feb 2012 19:24:00 +0000 http://bunchamomsense.com/becoming-mom-birthing/ Last night Brother woke up about two hours after we put him to bed.  He just wanted to snuggle.  I was more than happy to oblige.  I sat on the couch, snuggled with my blonde guy and my blonde little guy, thinking how precious times like this are.  Ah, beautiful motherhood.So, today I promised to

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Last night Brother woke up about two hours after we put him to bed.  He just wanted to snuggle.  I was more than happy to oblige.  I sat on the couch, snuggled with my blonde guy and my blonde little guy, thinking how precious times like this are.  Ah, beautiful motherhood.

So, today I promised to talk about controversial things.  But my desire isn’t to be controversial, but to start you thinking.  So here goes.  My soap box.  Natural birthing.

I never understand why people don’t choose natural birthing.  I mean, I understand that in some rare cases things like drugs or c-sections save lives.  I have a few friends whose lives were literally saved by a C-sections.  But not very many.  For the most part, the American model of modern birth isn’t a very great model.  In developed countries, America pays second highest for maternity care, and has the second to worst birthing statics.  I’ve believe that Cuba is the only country with worse birthing statics in the developed world. Hmmm.

I’m not hatin’ on hospitals here, I just think there are some mentalities that need a lot of change.   I have done the whole “try for a home birth” thing, had a c-section, had a VBAC, had Gestational Diabetes, gone weeks past my due date, and seen a lot of different things, even though I have only had two kids.   My first labor was a really long, hard, painful labor, ended with a C-section.  The C-section, though it was the quickest easiest part of labor, was a heck of a thing to recover from.  I don’t EVER want to have one again.  Ever!  So although I was for natural birth before, now that I had a really hard experience going through natural labor, followed by a C-section, I am a bigger believer in natural birth than ever before.  Here’s why…

You get an epidural, then you end up getting pitocin, so that labor will keep going.  The pit generally makes you hurt more, so the epidural gets upped.  Then the pit has to get upped.  The baby starts freaking out, because even though you can’t feel how strong the pitocin induced contractions are, the baby can feel them.  The truth is, whether it’s because they had bad home lives as children, or because they feel under appreciated, most DRUGS are CO-Dependant! Which is too bad. Because they seem so nice and friendly.

I’m just like everybody else.  A “pain free” labor sounds fantastic.  But I know that an epidural doesn’t always mean a pain free labor, and no meds doesn’t necessarily mean a painful labor.  For example, my mom had an induced labor, VBA2C (vaginal delivery after 2 c-sections), a 9 lb, 10 oz baby and says, “It was a lot of hard work, but it didn’t hurt.” She hasn’t just forgotten, she still remembers the pain and craziness from the first labor she had (which like my first labor, ended in a c-section).  But she says that her last baby, which was her first vaginal delivery, didn’t hurt.  We are talking about my MOM here people.  The lady who gets a buzz from ONE Twinkie.  One.  If she could have a pain free labor, especially under all those odds, I suppose it could be possible for almost anyone.  I’ve heard other stories too, but her’s is my favorite, because she is such a lightweight…  And caz she’s my mom.

An epidural may or may not mean a painless labor, but it does dramatically increase your risk of having a c-section.  Most interventions increase your risk of a c-section. Most interventions also increase your risk of more interventions.

One thing that most people don’t know is that when it gets really intense, when you are SCREAMING for drugs, when you feel like you might never stop being in labor, it probably means you are almost ready to start pushing.   It’s almost OVER.  Your baby is coming really soon.

I often say that not getting an epidural is like not having sex until you’re married.  Either you are passionately NOT going to do it, or it will happen.  You don’t “wait and see how I feel.”  Because that means you will have sex, or will get the epidural, depending on which situation you are in.    In the birth situation this is why you have a doula.  They dramatically decrease your chances of having major surgery.  Here is what happened in my labor.

Me, “I want a walking epidural.”  
Doula, “No, you don’t.”  
Me, “YES, i DOO.”
Doula, “You’re almost done.”
Me, “Who DOES this?” (unmedicated birth)
Doula, “Lindsey, Nikki, Chrystal, Me…”
Me, “Alright. Stop.  I need to breath.”

If you survive transition, which is EXTREMELY likely, your body will kick into gear and you will meet the inner lioness.  Really.  You will make sounds you didn’t even know you could make.   You don’t need to be told to push, and you certainly don’t need to lay down on your back.

Then, baby comes out!  Your body is swept up with love drugs!  You encounter one of the most profound victories of your life, while being with the new love of your life. (Hopefully you’re also surrounded by a few other people who you love.)

It’s a heck of a job.  Yeah, you’ll be sore for a few days.  But you probably won’t feel like you’re splitting open every time you move for the next six months. Yeah, it might seem mildly insane.  But since when were you trying to be sane?  People don’t talk about the rush that having your baby naturally is.  How there is no feeling quite like it.  There is something so amazing about being convinced to the deepest part of your core that you could do ANYTHING.  It’s something I would never want to rob a woman of.  No, there is no trophy.  It’s way more valuable than a trophy.  Plus, the rush of hormones, undisturbed by chemicals, is the best high ever.

I love both my kids the same.  Both births were learning experiences.  But I would say STRONGLY that natural birth is so worth the struggle and any pain that you might experience.

In conclusion I would say two things.
~Ask GOD to give you the things that are really important to you.  Really.  He cares for you.

~Do your homework.
Take a Bradley Birthing class, or something similar.
Watch The Business of Being Born, and maybe even Pregnant in America.
(Both are currently on Nextflix.  I cried through both. The B-of-BB I probably watched 4 times in two weeks.)
Read up on risks, birth stories, and interventions.
Research hospitals, don’t stop till you are happy with your birth team and birth place.
(I’m guessing that this will require asking lots of questions.)

And for crying out loud…  GET A DOULA.

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Becoming Mom~ That Must Be Really Hard http://bunchamomsense.com/2012/01/becoming-mom-that-must-be-really-hard/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2012/01/becoming-mom-that-must-be-really-hard/#comments Wed, 25 Jan 2012 04:48:00 +0000 http://bunchamomsense.com/becoming-mom-that-must-be-really-hard/ I was talking about motherhood with a single friend this week.  Generally speaking, any time I have a conversation with a non-parent about parenthood they end up saying, "Wow, that must be really hard." I want to tell them the truth, but find it hard to explain.  Since I have been doing a series on

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I was talking about motherhood with a single friend this week.  Generally speaking, any time I have a conversation with a non-parent about parenthood they end up saying, “Wow, that must be really hard.” I want to tell them the truth, but find it hard to explain.  Since I have been doing a series on Becoming Mom, and since I have been thinking about it all week,  I decided I would go ahead and give it a shot.  Here is my response to “That must be really hard.”

Parenting is hard.  It is a constant opportunity to fully embrace the fruit of the Spirit.  That is the best way I can describe it to you.  You realize how UN- patient, joyful, loving, peaceful, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self controlled you can be.  Every… Single… Day.   You realize that you, on your own, have a very high likelihood of accidentally preventing your kid from becoming the perfectly kind, balanced citizen that you were hoping to raise.  Thankfully, you can ask the Holy Spirit, your mom, and the people around you for wisdom.  Because it quickly becomes apparent that you’re going to need a lot of it.  You know, it is easy to know about and talk about things like Joy, Peace, Goodness.  But this just takes it to a whole different level.  In my experience, parenting will either make you desperate, or make you desperate for Jesus.

This hangs on the inside of my kitchen cupboard.  I got it at a mom’s group meeting.
Thanks R. Goodwill, this is convicting! 

Parenting is hard.  It takes you to an entirely different place.  You go from being someone who can take a shower whenever you want, stay up late, and sleep in on your day off.  You can do crazy things like go to concerts without getting a baby-sitter, or dance during worship time without stepping on Cheerios, teddy bears, little people.   You all of a sudden learn that life really doesn’t revolve around you.  It’s a great and sober place to be.  It’s new, challenging, and totally hard but its also deliciously good.  You have a little cookie baby, and you get to eat up those little cheeks, that little nose, and those little ears, every single day.

Parenting is hard.  It makes you have to learn to communicate with your spouse.  More than you ever have before. You have to start making all sorts of decisions together. Vaccinate?  Baby lead solids? Cloth diapers? That’s just the beginning.  The more they grow, the more you have to make decisions.  Part of the beauty of this is that it doesn’t happen over night.  You have time to learn and grow.  You have time to practice being on the same team.  Something we always say in our house is: “Mama and Papa are on the same team.”  Even though we don’t agree on every single point, we want our kids to know that we make decisions together.  It’s a good verbal reminder for us too, because we need to always remember that we are on the same team.  I suppose I could coin some cheesy quote like, “When Mom and Dad are on the same team the whole family wins!” True, but cheesy.

Being a mom is hard.  Sometimes you are shut out from the world and have no grown up interaction.  Sometimes you are up all night and then you have to be up all day. Sometimes you wish the world would stop so that you could just stare into your baby’s eyes forever.  Five minutes later you find yourself wishing they would grow up already because you are bored out of your (nursing) mind.  This time-warp bipolar-ness is normal. You have to learn to joyfully give of yourself, and to joyfully give to yourself.  You have to learn to sacrifice like you have never done before.  But you also have to learn to prioritize yourself.   You’ll learn when to do the dishes during nap time and when to just take a nap!  Give yourself time to learn.  Slow down.  Don’t expect to do and be everything that the non-mom version of you did.  You are a new person in a different season of life.  It doesn’t mean your whole life stops, it just means you need to have more grace for yourself.

Embrace sacrifice.  Embrace patience.  Parenting will shape you, grow you, make you wiser.  You won’t love every minute of it, but it will shape you into who you need to be.  Unlike some difficult tasks, there is a prize.  You get a wonderful little (occasionally screaming) bundle of love in return for all this work.  You will understand love in a new and beautiful way.  Sure, it’ll be hard, but its not like anything you have ever done.  It is an entirely different world.  Sometimes it’ll kill ya.  Sometimes it will bring out your worst, but sometimes it’ll bring out a new and improved you.  I think that once you come into this “other world”  you won’t want to trade it.  I know I wouldn’t.  Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Here are two great articles I have read on parenting in the last week.

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Becoming Mom~ Fear http://bunchamomsense.com/2012/01/becoming-mom-fear/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2012/01/becoming-mom-fear/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2012 22:54:00 +0000 http://bunchamomsense.com/becoming-mom-fear/ A lot about parenting has to do with choices.  Many of these choices can be made due to fear...  Fear of problems if you do vaccinate.  Fear of problems if you don't vaccinate.  Fear of public school ruining your kids.  Fear of ruining your kids by homeschooling them.  Fear, fear, fear. I believe that fear

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A lot about parenting has to do with choices.  Many of these choices can be made due to fear…  Fear of problems if you do vaccinate.  Fear of problems if you don’t vaccinate.  Fear of public school ruining your kids.  Fear of ruining your kids by homeschooling them.  Fear, fear, fear.

I believe that fear can be one of the most crippling things in parenthood.  Fear often seems to keep parents shortsighted, stealing their focus from the goal and drawing it toward a present unreality.  My goal is to raise children that love Jesus, are genuinely kind, communicate well with all kinds of people, and love to learn.  I also want to raise them in a way that allows them to be themselves, but still expects them to be good listeners who are full of respect.  Do you think about your goals? (Obviously, more specific goals like, “become a doctor” are left up the your children to decide.  You deciding these types of goals for your children could possibly result in much frustration for both parties.)  Fear, in all its vengeance, seems to prey on young parents.  All of a sudden life stops being about teaching your child to love learning, and becomes, “Learn what all the rest of the kids are learning.  Keep up with everyone else.”  If you are steering your child toward loving learning, I am sure that you will be trying to keep them caught up with what they are supposed to be learning.  Do you see the difference in focus though?  One focuses on the goal, one is driven by fear.  They may look similar, but the produce much different results.  Your focus may be I want my kids to grow up loving Jesus.  When fear comes in, you can begin to worry that they aren’t ______ enough, or that they aren’t as “involved” as so-and-so’s kids.  So instead of pushing your kids to love Jesus, you can start pushing them toward being “good.”  Not only is this a bad plan, it also generally back-fires.  Believe me.  

In fear you may find yourself repeating your own parents mistakes, or by fear you may overcompensate for them.

As you come into parenthood, work toward embracing faith and joy.  Practice telling yourself the truth, filled with grace.  Practice looking toward the goal, and not toward the fear.  Think on the things that are lovely and good and true.

I love to think of how God made my body perfectly for giving birth. (I also think it is ironic, because even people who think we evolved should think that our bodies are fully capable for performing things like labor!)  If you do your research on labor, you will find that one of the biggest factors in labor is fear. (*Fear Factor*…No pun originally intended.) Fear stiffens your body, making contractions hurt more and be less affective. It can wear out your mind.  Fear can also keep your cervix from opening or keep your contractions from becoming regular.  Labor can physically show you what fear does to the body.  Imagine what it could do to your parenting skills.  What I am wanting to say is this:  Don’t wait to start recognizing and dealing with that nasty fear ’til you are well into parenthood.  Every step of your journey right now is preparation. You are able choose to make the most of it. You get to learn from your mistakes to, so don’t be afraid of messing up.

I heard a teaching on fear when I was seven months pregnant with my second, going for a VBAC, with Gestational Diabetes.  It kicked my butt, in the best of ways. Then I listened to it about 8 more times: it was revolutionary to my world.  Both parts are good, but I seriously ate up the first one.  Here it is: Scott Goodwill~ Fear Part One and Scott Goodwill~ Fear Part Two.

I was also so challenged by the birthing books I read.  The statistics on what fear, or a lack thereof, can do to your body amazes me.  The stories inspire me. I have given you the names of three great books below.  The first two books I read over, and over, and over.  Be forewarned: I think a few of the ideas in some of the books are a bit strange or off balance, but so much of what is said is extremely helpful.  So take all the helpful stuff, and apply it with your pure, beautiful heart.  “To the pure, all things are pure.” P.S.  For the sensitive soul, please be aware there are plenty of quite naked pictures in the second and third books.  It comes with the territory.

Mind Over Labor, by Carl Jones
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, By Susan McCutcheon

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