Posts tagged mom life
I Can't Control My Kid. There, I Said It.

I have no control over my kid.

There, I said it.

But guess what I’m learning? It’s ok. Did you know that a human can’t really control another human and have a healthy relationship? And no one can control you unless you let them. What we need to focus on is controlling ourselves.

 
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Check out the quote from Danny Silk’s book Loving Our Kids on Purpose, “You can’t control other people, and nobody can control you but you.” He goes on to say, “The ability to manage your children and yourself toward the goals that you have in being a parent rests in the ability to tell yourself what to do and do it no matter what they’ve done or are doing.”

But ya know what is reallllllllly hard? Self-control. Just by existing as a human, it’s super hard. Then add on a job, a spouse, several other key relationships, lots of expectations, temptations, and curve balls. HA. Good luck to ya, my friend. Sprinkle on a couple kids and I seriously dare you to survive one single minute with sound mind and a spirit of self-control without working hard to achieve the goal.

Oh wait, did I tell you that your chicken is burning in the oven, one kid is trying to jump from the couch to the coffee table and back while the other is performing some sort of hand washing ritual that soaks the floor, the counter, the mirror, and still somehow never manages to get the hands clean? Oh, and there’s the Amazon package delivery guy ringing your door bell that sets the dog to barking and the baby to crying.

But don’t worry, I still haven’t really piled on top the pressures of maintaining a reasonably clean home, the fact that your family needs to eat dinner every single night (what IS that?!), and the laundry pile that grows day after day after day. And you probably have some hopes and dreams, maybe some emotional stuff you’re working through, maybe a full-time job.

I’m literally exhausted just typing this out. You’ve probably stopped reading already for the very same reason. But if you’re still with me, let me share with you a couple key takeaways I’m *trying my best to implement from the truth that at the end of a very good day, the only person I can say that I’ve controlled decently well is myself.

It’s all about choices:

 
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Fear or Love: “When we allow the mistakes of others to manage us, to dislodge us from the goal of being loving and respectful, what we are actually submitting to is a spirit of fear.”

  • What does that mean for me and you? Self-control looks like being as loving and respectful as we can during heated exchanges with our kids over anything from mismatched socks to the toast they said they wanted and you made for them that they shunned because they obviously didn’t want that toast.

  • What does that NOT mean for me and you? That our kids don’t suffer the natural consequences of their actions. And that’s where we have to get creative (and read the rest of the book, because this is not a book report!).

Helpful or Hurtful: “[Our] words are spirit and [we] carry vision for [our kids]. [We] carry it in [our] hearts and in [our] lives. [We] carry what it is that [we] want them to have.”

  • What does that mean for me and you? That we have the choice to breathe life into our kids at their worst moments. When our kids look into our eyes, no matter what is happening within and around them, they need to see that we believe in them!

  • What does that NOT mean for me and you? That we’ve got to be perfect at this. That we aren’t honest with our kids. That they don’t suffer the natural consequences of their behavior.

This is so hard for me! I’m a really emotional person. And I’m a bit fiery, too. But I can only control myself (on a good day), and it’s my job as a mother to teach my kids how to operate under the freedom that they have, and model it well. And that truth spills over from mothering to every other relationship we have: we cannot control another.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Keep in mind, this is one philosophy taken from 2 pages of an entire book. I haven’t painted the whole picture (because I’m not Danny Silk, and if you want the whole picture, I’d suggest you pick up a copy of the book!)

Listen, you are a really great mom. Perfection doesn’t usher in peace. Never has, never will. But let my words seep into your heart today, no matter what you’ve got charging down the pike. You can do this. You’re not alone. You’re the best mother for your children, and at the end of the worst day, I guarantee they’d agree with me on that one.

You are loved, friend!

Do You Need a Little Hope?

Hope.

There’s nothing like it. Sometimes it’s all we have and sometimes it’s all we need.

That was me this past Monday morning. After a fun, but full week at Disney, then coming home to settle back in and the girl child getting the flu, and then her daddy getting the flu, I honestly didn’t think anything wonderful could come from our quarantine as I watched my productivity slip through the couch cushions.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

 
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Our time in Disney and the few days after transitioning back into real life was just crazy enough to put me over the edge with Josie (4 going on 16). Just crazy enough that I ordered a book on parenting. A book. Me. (For those of you who don’t know me, I can tell you that unless it’s the Twilight Series or Hunger Games, I’m probably not going to read any books. And I haven’t touched those since Josie was born, so you do the math.)

And my time in basement quarantine with a flu-ridden Josie watching animated movies dawn till dusk was just crazy enough to make me actually want to read the book. You guys, I read a book. Well, not the whole thing…yet. But stay with me.

I started reading this book Sunday afternoon while I plopped the kids in front of the TV (#iammotheroftheyear) and made trips up to the bedroom to make sure flu-daddy Ryan was still breathing (#iamwifeoftheyear). And I was caught up in something so amazing that the only word I can use to describe it is HOPE.

Everything this guy said was making sense to me. My brain and heart were consuming it at an amazingly powerful depth and speed. I pulled myself away from it to feed the children (#iammotheroftheyear) and throw them into bed before diving right back into these pages that were filling me with life. I saw a future for my family come alive on the pages that I want to sprint toward. Peace. Freedom. Confidence.

Victory was so sweet that I woke up the next morning ready to take on the entire world. My posture was changed. My demeanor. The way I interacted with my girl child. And here’s the important lesson in this for us. I hadn’t even gotten to the how-to section of the book. I merely read the heart behind the book and let it cover me in hope. And that hope was so tangible that it changed me. Motivated me to love better. Think deeper. See more clearly. Hope did that for me.

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So what’s in it for you? Hope:

  • Cling to Hope: No matter what you’re going through, when you feel even a shred of hope, cling to it. Soak it in. Remember it and keep looking back on it as often as you need until the next piece of hope comes along.

  • Bring the Hope: Whether you’re waiting on hope or have it in full supply, you can be a hope-giver to someone who needs it. Never underestimate the power of sharing a smile or kind word with a stranger. Mailing a sweet note to a friend. Buying the cup of coffee for the person behind you in the drive-thru. Giving another mom a Mother of the Year Award Sticker. Bring. That. Hope.

Remember, hope isn’t the end result. Hope isn’t a plan. Hope is the momentum to take us where we need to go. I still haven’t gotten to the how-to section of the book yet. But I have remembered the feeling of hope I had waking up on Monday morning. I remembered it as Josie lost her ever loving mind over me trying to tie her shoes. Losing her mind over the wrong color toothpaste. Losing her mind over you-name-it-and-she’s-lost-it. That sweet Monday morning was as close as I’ve come to living the verse that says, “His mercies are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

If you need hope like that, I have faith you’ll find it. I’ll pray you see it when it arrives. And if you’ve got all the hope you’ll ever need, let it spur you on to what’s ahead with confidence. And do me a favor, share your hope with another. Seriously. Be a hope-giver. We really need you out there!

Need some amazing inspiration to GET IN ON THE Mother of the Year Award Sticker Hope-Giving? Check THESE out!!!

 
 
If You Aren't Using This ONE SURVIVAL TACTIC When You're Sick, Are You Even a Real Mom?

I’m sick. I mean, it’s just a cold, and I don’t mean to be a whiner, because I get that people, maybe even you, are receiving health news much worse than “looks like you’ve got an endless amount of snot that keeps pouring out of your nostrils no matter how many times and how long you blow your nose.”

I mean, where does it all come from? Lord have mercy!

But I digress. And I’m here to tell you one quick thing before I go to bed at 8:30 p.m. for the 6th night in a row (thank you, Nyquil…you’ve never let me down, even after all these years).

 
 

There is ONE THING that all sick (insert: pregnant, lazy, busy, stressed, and actually sick) mothers use when they bite the dust. And how do I know this magical thing, you might be thinking? Well, of course, I took my woes to the I Am Mother of the Year Facebook groupand this ONE THING kept floating to the top of the list.

So listen here, mama. If you aren’t yet employing this miracle, life-saving strategy, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

You guys. This. Is. Genius. And I can say that because I didn’t come up with it.

It’s called (drum roll, please………………………………………….)

THE PANTRY RAID:

If you’re a sick mama (that means anything from having the sniffles, to barfing, to being overly or newly pregnant, or had a bad day at the office, etc.) you do not have to feed your children dinner. Instead, your employ the good ole fashion pantry raid, whereby your kids get to eat anything from your pantry that is within reach. And you call it dinner. And you call them fed. And you call yourself a hero.

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Don’t believe me? Just check Section 9, Page 1,387 of the Parenting Handbook, where mothers from around the country have chimed in on this very matter:

  • Jessica: Whenever I bite the dust, it’s a pantry free for all. Popcorn, pop tarts, granola bars, chips, cereal (dry of course)... whatever you can reach, you can eat.

  • Cassidy: TV all day. And eat what you can find/reach!

  • Katie: Candy and chips only for food.

  • Tiffany: Anything within reach - Cheetos? Sure! Animal crackers? Fine! M&M's? Go for it! Just eat at the table.

  • Victoria: Sat on the couch all day while instructing my 2.5 year old how to feed herself. “Push the chair to the pantry. Open the door. Get the goldfish... there’s lunch!”

Apparently, mothers for GENERATIONS have been using this exact same tactic.

  • Emily: My mom just shared with me that she was laid up on the couch with a terrible cold when I was about a year old. She brought the box of Cheerios with her and kept throwing handfuls onto the living room floor for me like she was feeding birds!

Not so sure about this whole Pantry Raid idea? Not a problem.

Some honorable mentions include survival by:

  • TV. All day ‘er day.

  • Goodbye Diapers. Seriously, if you don’t have energy to change them, why put them on? As a bonus, it induces some extra incentive to have your carpets cleaned.

What’s the point? When mama’s down, mama’s down. The quickest way for mama to get back up again is to soak in All. The. Rest. And that means employing some tactics that probably wouldn’t fly on a regular Tuesday. But listen, not ONE of these moms talked about feeling guilty for doing the absolute bare minimum. Mom guilt won’t help you heal any faster. No one’s snot is disappearing overnight because they felt guilty for throwing Cheerios on the floor and calling it dinner. No one’s vomit has spontaneously vanished because mom guilt made them feel like a complete loser of a human being for allowing their kids free reign over the TV for a few days (or weeks). Mom guilt is a dumb liar.

Thanks to all the moms who helped me feel better for scraping by in my time of sickness. We don’t need to thrive all the time. If we did, we’d never appreciate our own awesomeness, and neither would our families.

So raise your class of Emergen-C for a toast. “To you, mama. For being who you are in sickness and in health and in all the days between. Your sanity, your creativity, your love is unparalleled. And your kids, your family, and your community are better because you are in it. Snot and all.” *Clink clink* And goodnight.

P.S. If you need some practical self-care steps, download your FREE Self-Care Guide here!!!

 
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