Friday, July 23, 2010

and baby makes three.

I'm still here! Enjoying this great, hot summer we're having in the Northeast. Spending time with my kids and letting any projects, cleaning, even on the back burner (no pun intended!)

I was thinking this morning.. when that first baby comes life changes drastically. Your life will never be the same. It's demanding but the first smile, the little white tooth poking through, and first steps has a way of making you forget that you haven't slept a full night in awhile. Life is pretty scheduled and soon predictable as you focus solely on that firstborn.

But then the second baby comes along. And you are not going to be able to do with this baby what you were able to do with the firstborn. Life starts to get hectic.

My firstborn was a busy 2 year old when his brother came along. I remember being very frustrated when every time I sat down to nurse (or do anything for that matter), I had to continually stop what I was doing to see what he was getting into and guide and correct him. I no sooner put the framed picture back on the table, telling him "no", and he was off to something else.

It made me angry.

That's because none of us like interruptions. We like smooth sailing with the least resistance possible. And if you are like me... you do better when things are neat and in your control, you will have a harder time of it when baby #2 comes along.

Something has to give.. and it's gotta be you.

Not easy to hear, right? But I find that as we walk through tough stuff and learn to accept what is and decide to be content in it, it makes all the difference. In other words, the "wild stallion will" that was in me broke. It had to. 

This was going to be the beginning of many lessons of growing in maturity. The self-centeredness has got to go. You cannot be available 24/7 and live in resentment. You will be miserable and always looking for a way out.

The old "when life gives you lemons make lemonade" is true. It's not easy but it works. It's all about how you look at it.

If you find yourself in that place right now, I promise you it's not going to get better until your outlook changes. Don't wait for things to get better and then you will be happier. It doesn't work that way. You decide right now, today, that you are going to accept what is: hard work. Yet, there is nothing more worth working hard at than passing your values, your legacy, on to your children. Let God smile down on you with His strength to help in time of need. I guarantee that you will see a change once you commit to the decision that you are in this for the long haul.

I am on the homestretch with a 9 year old. When I am "done" I will have been a full-time mom for 38 years and homeschooling for 30 years. Already, opportunities are opening for me that I had no idea would occur. And for me, this is a reward and I'm loving it.

I have to add that it was much easier after babies #3, #4, .... and so on. I believe it was because I accepted the reality of the demands of motherhood and the self-centeredness left.

Stay strong. You can do this!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Friday, July 09, 2010

growing pains.

There's going to come a day when your little brood is going to want to fly. You need to be ready for it.

Some of my fondest memories are when the "little ducks" lined up behind me as we walked to the library. Or snowy days in a warm, cozy home watching Bambi while cookies are baking in the oven. What mom doesn't cherish those days of all is well?

Get ready. Because you may find that one day it all changes. Think of it like this: driving along on a Sunday afternoon at a steady, sightseeing pace and suddenly the emergency break is yanked on. Like that.

I can only speak from my experience. That's what this blog is all about. Me sharing with you what I have lived and how I've looked at life; the nitty gritty, raw, uncensored parts that are fashioned in such a way to not degrade or embarrass, but to be real.

Can I say this? If you are enjoying a controlled, Little House on the Prairie or Ozzie and Harriet lifestyle with your children it is a wonderful time. I don't criticize this. Yet, life has a way of changing without asking our permission.

In some churches of the Christian faith, in lieu of infant baptism a baby may be dedicated to God. It is done with the intent that God, who watches over things, may use this life for His will. It is a serious acknowledgement of gratitude for the gift of a child and the desire for God's guidance in raising him or her faithfully, using the Bible as a guide. 

That said, the key word is dedicate:

1. To set apart for a deity or for religious purposes; consecrate.
2. To set apart for a special use.
3. To commit to a particular course of thought or action.

Pretty cut and dry. And so moms set out to cross every "t" and dot every "i" in the task of raising their children. We may not do it all the same way, but we do it with pretty much the same goals in mind.

Yet, there will come a time when you will wonder what happened to Johnny? He used to be so .. this or that.

Johnny is growing up. Johnny is forming his own opinions about life that you may not have taught or modeled. Johnny may go in a direction that you hadn't planned. And you have to be ready.

I think there is a fine line between maturing and rebelling. We can't automatically assume that Johnny's behavior is a rebellion that needs to be controlled. It isn't easy finding that fine line, but find it you will. And the transition is brutal.

You're going to feel wobbly as you take this new path with your kids. They are growing up. You have to let them.

I remember a few of my "firsts". Like the time I came home and my 18 year olds son announced he bought a car on Ebay (before it became popular to purchase cars this way).


Or another time a son brought home "Mike's Hard Lemonade" that is 5% alcohol. Neither me or his father ever purchased beer or wine or anything of the sort mostly because a) we never cared about it; b) Christians avoided something that could potentially carry with it problems

Those are glaring examples but there were more subtle ones, too. Like a mild swear word or opinions about politics that were very different than mine or oh my gosh staying up past midnight.

I had to learn to listen and loosen my grip. I had to learn to not only accept but expect that my kids are not me. They are individuals created by God and I have a part in raising them. Because my Christian faith is important to me and highly valued, I always pointed them to God. And you hope it sticks. And you pray it sticks. 

It may not. At least for a time. I mean in the end, because of my faith I believe they come full circle since their are promises to be found in the scripture. But getting from Point A to Point B may be rocky and even shocking.

I want moms to be successful. And part of that isn't found always in the good results of well-behaved children that give you the good feeling when hearing, "My, you've done a wonderful job!" It may be that you are successful in enduring the hardships and successful in loving your child through his growing and maturity. You can be assured that those bed rock values and principles are in there somewhere. 

And you may find that you were the one who grew up.

: )

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Independence Day

Current events have always been important to me. I have been purposeful in having frequent discussions with my kids in order to nurture care and responsibility regarding their country. I am not overly patriotic, yet, I value America and believe in raising kids to be respectful, responsible citizens. I want them to be thankful for the men who labored over our country's beginnings and those who continued to uphold the founding documents which are currently being assaulted and undermined today.

There are many distractions for our kids. It used to be lots of lessons... swimming, sports, music. Now we have video games, computer, and cell phones to contend with. Moms must be purposeful in managing their kids' time and not forget to include worthwhile pursuits such as discussions of our nation's history and current events.

   Happy Independence Day!