Browsing Category: Parenting

The Importance of Taking a Time-Out

The Importance of Taking a Time Out
Sometimes, even adults need a time-out.

Last week, my hubby and I took a trip to Mackinac Island in celebration of our 5th anniversary. The entire trip (including our fun detours, outlet mall shopping, and visiting my brother-in-law and his family) was less than a week long, but it was so relaxing!

Time-Out trip to Mackinac Island
Re-Enacting a scene from “Somewhere in Time”

Our time alone gave us the opportunity to re-connect without the 3 year old saying, “Excuse me, EXCUSE ME! I SAID, ‘EXCUSE ME!!'”(Bless her heart, she’s trying to be polite.), or hearing the 1.5 year old cry.

Absolutely priceless.

My mental health was beginning to show signs of wear and tear, judging by my irritability and lack of patience. Yes, I admit it. I was mean, and nasty, and at the end of my rope. Now that I’m back and fully refreshed, I just hope my loving patience lasts…my children are much more entertaining and adorable when I am not so stressed! I have enjoyed them so much more this week than I did before our trip!

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I’m often tempted to be jealous of my friends with family (aka, built-in free babysitters) in the area…but I fight the feeling and remind myself that I’m just building character and becoming a stronger, more resilient person. When I’m not being impatient and irritable, that is. Yes, my kids are sweet, precious miracles, but parenting is hard, and often, it just plain old sucks!

Sometimes I’m afraid I will offend people with my frankness in saying how difficult parenting can be. But what I really want other moms to know, is if you feel like you’re drowning and can’t handle one more night of the bedtime routine, or clean up one more plate of spaghetti dumped on the floor the very day you *finally* got around to washing it, or lovingly quiet a sobbing child with yet another ‘owie’, or calmly handle one more outburst, you’re not alone! 

Trip to Mackinac Island
Romantic Carriage Ride…sort of…We shared the ride with another couple (strangers) to save money!

All parents need date night, to step back and breathe, to have blessed silence, and peaceful conversations with their spouse. It is good for your marriage, and good for your children. Hopefully, someday they come out with Rent-A-Grandparent for transplants like me! I don’t need a therapist to maintain my mental health, I need a granny on call!

If you want to read more about our getaway, where we went and what we did, check out my guest post over at Family Vacations US. I am so excited-it just went live this morning about two hours ago. Thanks so much to Allison and Terri for letting me guest post!

My (Revised) To Do List for Today

My Revised To Do List For Today

My revised To do list for today

My Revised To Do List Today:

  1. Clean kitchen Gaze at my children’s sweet perfect faces.
  2. Pick up the living room Listen to my girl’s imaginative stories and swim in the pretend swimming pool she made on the floor out of packing supplies.
  3. Make dinner Appreciate the humor in daily life-wherever you can find it! Sometimes this includes what happens when your toddler tries to ‘help’ you and all your ingredients go flying…
  4. Strip the sheets  Enjoy watching my kids play, dance, and laugh.
  5. Make produce run Listen to the delightful concert coming from the backseat.
  6. Wash the floor  Remember that dinnertime is soon and the little one will just dump whatever she is eating on the floor again anyway so ya might as well forget it.
  7. Vacuum Appreciate the moment of peace and quiet…when you have kids, the roar of a vacuum drowns out all the crying and arguing, so make sure you get every speck of dirt and dust out of that carpet!
  8. Sit down and take a break. No strikethrough here-just stop for a minute!

Moms work hard; we all know that. But I often get so caught up in all the things I need to get done, and I forget to appreciate those sweet little giggles, the 3 year old humor, and the cuddly, sweet baby who just loves her momma. Sure, I would love to accomplish everything on my to do list once in awhile, but realistically it’s probably not gonna happen. Not now, while the kids are small. Not now while they need me every minute of every day. I am only one person- I am not required to do and be everything. I just need to be my girls’ mommy (and their daddy’s wife- but that’s a post for another day!) and love them like no one else.

My to do list will be there tomorrow, but my girls are getting bigger every day and soon enough, they will no longer cling to me when they fall. They won’t look to me to solve their problems (And who knows what solutions they might come up with on their own…!!). They won’t think I know everything there is to know, so they won’t bother to ask, “Why?” incessantly, and I won’t be able to guide them the way I can now, while they’re still young and impressionable.

It’s okay to put some things off until tomorrow. But not the most important ones.

 

My wise friend told me, “You never know the last time your child will do something…whether it’s holding your hand, or sitting on your lap…There will be a last time, and you won’t know when that last time is until it’s already come and gone.”. So stop and smell your children…Wait- that may not be something you want to do, especially if they’re still in diapers, haha! But be still for a moment and look at your kids; look at their sweet faces, and their sweet innocent spirits and appreciate the gift you’ve been given.

Where Does the Love Go?

IMG_9512Being a stay at home mom is great, and it’s the perfect fit for me. It’s the only job I ever wanted. But as much as I love being there to protect, mold, and guide my kids all day every day, I really dislike being their servant in bondage sometimes…I have a baby who points and grunts (then cries and yells) to get what she wants and a toddler who’s vocal, yet just as demanding and insistent. Well, maybe not QUITE as demanding. My littlest is a pro at getting her message across (to put it nicely).

And the very moment I finally get to collapse into a chair, there they are again, wanting something, needing something. I’m not sure if I need to ‘die to self’ like my old Bible Study teacher used to say, or just grow a little more in patience and love. Which I feel woefully short on every single day of my life.

My girls are so loving, it astounds me…where does the love go as we age? Why do we not greet our friends with hugs and kisses the way toddlers do? (Never mind the fact that it would be really weird and gross.) I could yell at my girls all day long, but they’ll still  want to sit on my lap and smother me with kisses. They don’t hold grudges!

Sometimes I just wish I could be more like my children. And be waited on hand and foot, too. Ha!

When Your Child Puts You to Shame

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The other day, I was seriously suffering from extreme hunger… I had just gone through an oral surgery and everything I tried to eat hurt my mouth. You’ve all probably heard the phrase, “I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry” and it is so true! Hunger really does have an effect on us. It’s been shown that people on diets are grumpier and more irritable. I tend to be somewhat grumpy and irritable on a good day, so I, if anyone, should stay fueled up! Ha!

Sadly, on this particular day, I was not fueled. It was mid afternoon, and I felt like my stomach was eating itself. I was busy tying up some gift packages with ribbon, when my little daughter comes up to the kitchen counter, interested in my activity. She reached up, enticed by a roll of bright green ribbon. And she promptly dropped it. It rolled across the floor, unwinding itself at warp speed.

I snapped, “Why did you do that?!? Don’t TOUCH!” and I immediately felt foolish. It was just a spool of ribbon! And she’s just a curious toddler!

But my sweet girl said, “It’s okay, Mommy. I can roll it! I can roll it back up!”.

Luckily, my pride got in the way for no more than a second. I apologized. My precious girl questioned why, and I replied, “Because Mommy shouldn’t have yelled at you. That wasn’t nice.”. And she reassured me, “It’s okay, Mommy. It’s okay when we say sorry to ‘each-udders’ that we love.” Then she paused a moment before continuing, “I’m sorry I touched the ribbon. I love you.” as she carefully rewound it onto the spool.

We are supposed to set examples for our children, but sometimes, they set the example for us.

Have your children ever put you to shame?