Sunday, 15 November 2015

Do This To Save Your Sanity

Okay, so this chapter had a LOT of highlighter marks.  And pencilled in notes.  And aha moments.

Hoodwinked - Myth #4: Motherhood Is All-Consuming and All-Fulfilling.  Or maybe not.  I love the way the author writes this chapter, because she is just so honest about her journey.  It hasn't been as shiny and sparkly fun as we all imagine, but a lot of us never actually say those words out loud.  We don't want to feel judged, even though we've all been there at one point or another.

She encourages us to find our own village of moms who will be honest with us about where they are, or with the low moments they've had, and what they did to get beyond them.  And to find people we can be honest with as well.  And we should be willing to be prayer warriors for these women as well. 

We are encouraged to raise our children from our knees.  Now before you get your knickers in a knot, she doesn't mean as a servant to them.  She means to do all of this with God at our sides.  He parted the oceans and had a man swallowed by a whale.  Surely he can get you through today. 

I think one of my favourite quotes from this chapter is, "just because you don't love some of the tasks of child rearing doesn't mean you don't love your child."  Wow.  Just wow.  You would think that might be common sense, but we are often lead to believe that you have to love everything about someone to truly love them.  Which is a farce.  But still, when I look at my kids, it feels like since I love them unconditionally, I should love everything motherhood entails.  But potty training?!?  Who loves potty training?!?  Or those phases with the talking back and eye rolls?!?  That doesn't mean that you don't love your child, you just don't like their behaviour.  And that's okay.  That's actually normal. 

I believe that the encouragement to find your village, utilize those other moms for a shoulder, advice, prayer or just to vent to.  And be there for them to do the same.  Don't replace God with them, just let God use you to help each other get through this.  These women have crossed your path because its part of His divine plan.  Let them in.  All the way in.  You won't regret it!

Heavenly Father, I thank you for the women you have brought into my life.  I am so grateful for all the wisdom and support we can offer each other.  And Lord, for those women who are still searching for their village, I pray that they would find even just one person that they can be real with.  God, help us all to be real about parenting.  And let us feel you there, every step of the way.  We are not alone in this, and we thank you for that.  In your name.  Amen.

If you have any prayer requests, I would be honored to life you up to God today.  Please do not hesitate to ask!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

More Than "Just" a Mom

Today's post from Hoodwinked:10 Myths Mom's Believe & Why We All Need to Knock it Off, is from Chapter 4: Myth #3: I am "Just" A Mom.

Ruth starts off this chapter telling us about a trip to the bank, where she tells the bank teller that she is a stay at home mom, and the teller saying to her, "If you ever start working, we can update your information."  Page 53.

Now, I am fairly certain that this teller is probably not a parent.  Because we all know, staying at home is work.  It's actually 24/7/365 work, with no "bank holidays", no stat pay, no medical benefits, and no vacation pay.  It's amazing, rewarding, frustrating, testing, loving work.  Sometimes all at once!

But just because I too am a stay at home mom, it is not my only identity.  I am a wife.  I am a daughter.  I am a friend.  I am a Christian.  I am our bookkeeper, as my husband is self employed.  I am a blog writer. I am addicted to crafting stuff.  Lots of different stuff.  I'm not addicted to always finishing a project before I start a new one...  This means I am also a work in progress.

AND I am a Mom to three amazing, God given gifts.

I think the single line from this chapter that resonated with me the most was on page 56, where she is talking about the fact that she wants her daughter to embrace motherhood, but then continues to say, "And more than anything, I want her to reject the myth that being a mom is somehow less significant than other pursuits."

Yes.  That!  I was talking with my husband the other night in the kitchen, and I told him that it is sometimes frustrating that society today paints Mom's who have the ability to stay at home as lazy.  Like the only thing we have to offer the world is our career.  For some mom's, that is their dream.  They have chosen to have a career outside the home, and still have a family.  And that is their choice.  Just because my husband and I have decided that the best thing for our family is for me to stay at home with our children and homeschool them, does not mean that I am not contributing to society. 

My contribution to society is going to last for generations.  Because the days, weeks and years that I get to spend at home with my children now are going to shape how they parent.  And how their children parent.  My contribution to our society is the next generation of our society.  Maybe only locally. Or maybe globally.  I don't yet know what God has planned for them.  And I can't think of anything more important than what God has called me to do for this season in my life.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Being "Right"

I can't imagine that any parent has lived their entire life as a parent without uttering some words of thinly veiled "advice", certain that if you could just have that child for a single weekend, you would have them all straightened out.  Because your methods of parenting have produced your perfect children, so why ever would they not work on others?  I mean, you know it all, right?


Think of those days where your kids are the ones being judged.  When you pass that woman in the supermarket and she gives you that LOOK.  Or worse, her opinion.  Of how, since your children are having a bad day (since we are all human), your parenting skills seem to be lacking.  Is that moment really the whole story?  Can you look at that situation from the outside and see that maybe they've recently lost someone close to them?  Or maybe one parent has to travel for work, and the kids are having a difficult time adjusting.  There are a million situations happening every day to millions of people, and that moment is one that you only catch a glimpse of the whole story.

I've been there.  I actually had one of my brother's friends parents tell me one day while grocery shopping with my newborn, that I was doing it wrong.  I wasn't mothering right.  And oh those words got a reaction out of me right away that day.  I knew what was wrong with my baby.  She was hungry.  I was going to pick up formula so that I could get home and feed her.  And I was probably going to make it.  Until this woman stopped me to poke at my baby, upset her delicate little mood, and ruin all our days at once.  Then she decided that I wasn't doing it right.  I told her, maybe not so politely, several times since she didn't seem to believe me, that my baby was simply hungry.  And that if she'd just let me go, I could actually rectify that problem pretty quickly. 

But what about those moments where you're already doubting your abilities?  When you question if He really got this right, and that you are capable of getting this child to be a decent adult.  When you question if you're both going to make it that long.  And when all you want is to hear that you are doing a good job.  I can't think of a single time that I've been told I was a good mom that I've ever been insulted to hear it. 

So maybe next time you see that mom in the grocery store, you could tell her you've been there.  And that you can see she is a good mom.  And you can turn both your days around, both leaving that store feeling better for you abilities as a mom.  Seems you have a choice which words you use today.  What will you choose?

"Go forward with confidence - not condescending cockiness - and serve him and your family as you enjoy your unique journey of motherhood."  Page 52.

Heavenly Father, I lift up all of those parents who are weary.  All of us who wonder how we are going to do this all again tomorrow. Help us to remember that you are already there.  Refresh our perspective on your expectations and fill their hearts to overflowing with your love Lord.  In your mighty name.  Amen.

If any of you have a prayer request or would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment, I would love to be one of God's soldiers for you!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

No More Assumptions!

Yay! I finally get to write about this amazing book that I have had the privilege of reading before it was officially released!    I have been reading all about how to let go and let God in my parenting journey.  And it couldn't have come at a better time.  I have been juggling motherhood, cleaning, shopping, working, homeschooling and contract negotiations for our business.  Oh, and trying to sleep.  Not doing so well with that one.  :)


Chapter 1
Hoodwinked: The Mythical Mosaic of Motherhood

There were SOOOO many beautiful little nuggets of wisdom in this chapter.  One of my favourites is from page 12.  "As a new mom, I wanted so desperately to get this mothering thing right.  And I not only wanted to get it right, I was pretty sure I already knew how to do it right."

Oh my word!  I can clearly remember looking at parents with their children before I was officially a Mom.  And I judged. So. Much.  And I am so sorry that all I had to offer was my poorly thought out, completely lacking "wisdom."  I should have offered compassion.  Or told them that they are doing a great job.  That plugging through those bad days, still showing your children unconditional love is the most important thing you will ever do.  And that no matter what, He has this.  He covers all those shortcomings.   And He loves you, and your children. 

Parenting is so hard.  I don't know about you, but I was most definitely not given a manual for my child with my starter pack of diapers. 

I was not told that my children would be so different from each other in so many ways that I would sometimes question if they really were siblings. 

I was not told that for years and years, my house was not going to be clean.  And I was definitely not told that I should buy shares in Cheerios!  I have picked more Cheerios out of more places than I even want to think of! 

I was not told that even on those days when all I can do is fall to my knees, tears in my eyes, and call out to God, that I would still love those kids more than life itself.  That after they drive me to the brink of insanity, the very next moment, they would be the cutest things on the planet.

Yep.  Its hard.  And so much more rewarding than I could ever dream.  So stop believing that you have to do every single thing perfect, every single day.  You were never meant to be superwoman.  You were meant to be a child of God, willing to rely on him. 

Join me as I explore the 10 Myths Mom's Believe & Why We All Need to Knock It Off.


Heavenly Father, tonight I pray for all of those who are feeling the stress of trying to be everything to everyone.  Let them feel your loving arms surround them, let them take refuge in the fortress of your strength.  Let them reach out for help to those that they can trust here on earth.  And never let them feel alone.  Amen.

If any of you have a prayer request or would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment, I would love to be one of God's soldiers for you!