Looking back on my first pregnancy almost 6 years ago—I remember being overwhelmed…would I know what to do…would I mess them up?! How would I ever get them on a schedule? And what was a schedule anyway?!
This mommy is definitely still learning. But 6 years and 3 kids later I definitely see things differently—wish I knew then what I know now…that I have MUCH to learn and can learn from others…AND that most of the books I have read on parenting didn’t make it in our day-to-day routine. There are so many books out there on schedules, displine…yadda, yadda, yadda…and so few that encourage us to the one true Book that can encourage us most in our mommying. I know I might sound crazy and radical when I say this…but really mommying is so much more common sense and most of those books out there just create stress (don’t be afraid to abandon them!)…so I tossed most of them (a few I didn’t even have the heart to consign as they just stressed me out so that I didn’t want to do that to another mommy;)—and instead, I decided to take a chance and to simply pour into my children in different ways. I went old school…
When they cry—I go get them and rock them. When they rub their eyes or get fussy, it’s nap time. If they are still fussy after nap time, I feed them or change their diaper. If they are still fussy, I check temperatures. If they are STILL fussy, we load up the car and go to my friend Jett’s;). Hard mommy days are much more pleasant to do with other mommies:).
I know this sounds simple. But really—mommying can be just that. And even really, REALLY enjoyable AND fun! For me, I had to toss the books and simply LOVE my babies. You can’t spoil your babies by ever hugging, holding or loving them too much! I want to love them instead of lavish…and today’s post is just my 2 cents on a few ways I practically pour into my children and make my mommying matter…
When they are mean to their siblings, I sit down and talk to them about it—ask them to ask for forgiveness from one another…and then they have to hug one another UNTIL they love one another. Works ALMOST every time;). If we do time out, it’s really for me—not for them. I need to hold it together—get my bearings…and for me…that is really what time out is for. After I get my bearings I’m able to have a reasonable conversation and walk through what happened, who it made sad and what we need to do next time. LOTS OF TALKING over here.
I try (I said TRY!) to apply Biblical truths to my parenting—rather than this or that method which may be the decade fad. And in seeking scripture for my parenting guide—it makes ME GROW and THEM GROW on a level that I never imagined possible for this mommy AND for preschoolers.
Here are some truths I cling to in my parenting…
The Golden Rule: Matthew 7:12 “Do unto others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence that all is taught in the law and the prophets.”
So…when L-bird gives P-dawg a taste of her mind. First—as a parent, I want to discipline L-bird in a way I would want to be treated if I were in her shoes. SOOO…I ASK MYSELF that question—THINK through it—and FOLLOW THROUGH. If I L-bird, I would want someone to ask me why I acted that way first—I, personally, want to know my voice is heard. Then, I want to be understood. SO…I will try to understand why she was ugly. Finally, as much as my flesh doesn’t want to be wrong—I really want to have a beautiful heart…so I want to be changed…SOOO…I talk to her about having a beautiful heart and how much she, too, wants one and what she would have to do to make this situation right. Forgiveness and love are next.
Yes…a lot of work. But being refined isn’t easy.
And…I don’t have to waste my time as a mommy reading countless books on this person’s idea or that—I can go to the Word and receive parenting help straight from the Ultimate Parent…the Flawless Parent…the most Perfect Father in the world!
Ephesians 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
Babies…how I love my babies. But some times babies do have a hard time getting on a schedule. After the 3rd round though—you realize it really is easier than those crazy books that have new mommies out there stressin’ out. Some babies are easier than others—I’ve had a colic baby who cried for HOURS UPON HOURS for the first 6 months of his life (I was bearing with this one big time!)…I’ve had a baby that practically came into the world on a schedule. BUT just as your heavenly Father knows you—remember that He also knows your baby—and that you know your baby better than any other human. Be humble—the LORD knows your baby better. So ask Him what to do. Ask Him for wisdom. Ask Him to make you alert and aware when he really needs to rest. And when he won’t rest—be patient, bearing with him in love.
When mine rub their eyes I’d put them down (simple enough right?!)…and having to be consistent with this I parked it at home for years (and I’m still parked!) so my babies could nap. Well rested children aren’t as irritable as sleep deprived little ones. They are 5, 4 and 1 and they all still nap…although occassionally the older 2 will just enjoy books in their beds and have quiet time. Having down time is so important for ALL of us (mommy included!)
Deuteronomy 11:18-19 “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds, tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your forehead. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
One of the MOST POWERFUL tools for us is teaching the scriptures to our children. Beginning at age 2–each of our children memorizes a verse each month that is meaningful to what we are learning or dealing with that month. In doing this, our kids have developed a respect and reverence for the Word and for the the Lord. Richard leads the nightly practice time with them and goes over its meaning with them. Usually by the first week they have their verse memorized–which leaves the following two weeks to really talk about it.
We teach Bible stories to them through our felt board—and we choose not to let them watch cartoons as…well, have you sat through one lately to hear the dialogue?! Told you I’m old-school. (Some days I feel like I skipped the part of turning into my mom and I’m turning into my grandmother;)!) We haven’t always done this…this no cartoon watching. I’m LEARNING I tell ya! But after sitting through a few cartoons and asking myself if they line up with what we are teaching at home and to their precious hearts and minds that are SPONGES—we just decided not to watch them. That being said—some times this mommy NEEDS a break…a 911 emergency filler! I need a cartoon break so to speak! Once a month or so…(or at least twice this month…as it’s been a tough one for this momma!) I pulled out my “911 I need a break card”—and I can’t say enough about these sweet DVDS!!!
My kids LOVE these—and I’ve been through several DVDS from our local Christian bookstore that are just plain…well, weird…but these are 100% scripture and you wouldn’t believe how the kids LEARN from and LOVE these. OK, so maybe right when we cut the cartoons off they thought they were lame…but now that they’ve forgotten about Kai-yan or whatever…they LOVE these.
Parker learned on one of these DVDs that Jesus as a young boy would go to the temple to pray in solitary. And guess what?! He prayed to receive Christ by praying by himself. When I asked him if he wanted to talk to his dad about it first or wait until he really understood—he explained, “Mommy, back in those days when Jesus was just a young boy, he would go to the temple and pray in solitary—don’t you understand mom? I just do the same thing!”
Wow. I’m not bright enough to regularly use the word solitary in my vocabulary…so I have to give props to that DVD for quoting the Word and helping build Biblical truth into my children. I shared these DVDs with a friend of mine and she said her kids EXPAND on their Bible telling stories because of what they’ve absorbed through those DVDs. Not a bad 911 mommy filler, huh?!
We also listen to and looooove Seeds Family Worship.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Guess what?! No one is perfect. We are all going to mess up. And “Am I doing it right? Am I messing them up?”…you no longer have to fear when you are CLINGING TO HIM in your parenting!!! Perfect love drives out fear!!! Remember as a mommy you are NOT going to be perfect. Come see how messy MY HOUSE IS RIGHT NOW! It’s horrible. And guess what’s still on the table from after lunch???
Yes…an IKEA spoon…but also CUPCAKE CRUMBS! I know most mommies wouldn’t let their kids have cupcakes AND let them ice them themselves BEFORE nap time…and I normally don’t simply because we don’t have cupcakes on hand always. BUT, we are just enjoying life–wanted a chocolate fix (trying to treat my kids how I want to be treated!) and there will be a day and time for a perfectly clean house! I think in terms of “when I’m 80…” and I always say, “When I’m 80 will I regret that I let my babies giggle like crazy cakes while they iced their own cupcakes before nap time?” NAAAA!
So…there ya go—just some encouragement to see the Lord over any other thing in your parenting today…and the days ahead.
Much love to you mommas…and I’d seriously love to hear some things that make your momming just as sweet! So…shoot me a comment or an email and let me know so I can share some gems with others and maybe even try ourselves!