Recently a friend posted the statement, “Parenting is HARD.” Why yes, lady, yes it is. Our children are all different and they each present their own sets of challenges and let’s face it there is no one book or manual or set of advice that applies to every child or that works for every parent. For every parent that thinks to themselves, “this stuff is hard” and doubts their abilities I want to take a moment to applaud you because if you are taking the time to question your abilities, you are probably doing something right.
I’ve recently been bombarded with all sorts of parenting information and I thought I’d share some of the most helpful of the hints I’ve discovered.
You cannot give from an empty cup
As a parent, you should never feel guilty about taking care of yourself. I myself have learned the hard way that one person can NOT do it all. There are times that you need to take a break from parenting to make sure you are taking care of yourself.
What your children want most from you is your time
One of the commonly reoccurring themes that I hear on podcasts and read in parenting advice is that what your children want most from you is your time. In a recent podcast from Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk entitled Dealing with the Difficult Child the speaker Dr. Tim Clinton referenced a study done by psychologist Russell Barkley. If you spend 20 minutes a day with your child in command free time (aka in layman’s terms PLAY) you will notice a difference if your child’s overall defiance. Imagine that… 20 minutes a day playing with your child, crawling into their world spending time with them doing something they want to do.
Have Family Dinner
Studies have shown that the more you have dinner with your child, the more healthy the outcome for the child. In my house, we have both Breakfast and Dinner together because let’s face it, there is truth to that saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and also because I want to try to engrain the importance of family in my child.
Communication is Key and Practice, Practice, Practice
Let’s face it, parenting is a skill and if you want to get better at any kind of skill you must practice. Adele Fabor says on a podcast from The Psych Files “The foundation to communicating with your child is to acknowledge feelings. Acknowledge your feeling, acknowledge their feelings and be respectful of those feelings.” Sometimes this is easier said than done, but any skill must be practiced. We must practice empathy and patience with our children and with ourselves every day.
Always Choose Love
The best thing we can do for ourselves and our children is to always choose love, in every situation. Let’s bring back happiness and laughter into our families. Let us choose daily kindness and empathy. Let’s show our children that we love them and our fellow people and teach them to love themselves and others. Let us always choose love no matter what difficulties might try to throw us off balance. A positive mindset plays a key role in a happy lifestyle.
I stand in the bathroom,
While my son naps
In the other room.
seizes my core
Hard to find
Taking over my
The core of my foundation now
I am lost in an oppressive
Frantically searching for a
But unable to see past the cloud of
I crumble to the floor.
I whisper to no one and
Hoping this word will bring me
From someone, somewhere in the
I receive no immediate
So I gather what little reserve of
I have left and stand.
I wash away the tears from my
and look into the reflection of the
“You are stronger than you
I tell myself and then try to
There is truth to the words.
To all the mothers out there. You are not alone. We all face so many challenges on a daily basis and it can feel so lonely, but you aren’t alone. You are strong and courageous and beautiful.
For a long while
I forgot who I am
a once strong warrior women
always armed and ready
for whatever quest
the spirit guides might set upon my path.
I became lost in a fog
of the changing tide
The transitioning of life seasons
muddling my mind
The birth of my babe
dulling my battle instincts
transforming them instead
to a need to nurture new life.
The once strong
and resonate battle cry
replaced with the wail
of a new generation of man
with the beginning
of my new stage of life,
The armor and weaponry
of my maidenhood
sit on the sidelines
waiting for my return
And as the dust upon them thickens
The dust that lightly veils the heart of this warrior woman
is lightened by the addition
of new weapons to my arsenal.
A tribe of mothers surround me
Lending me their strength ,
And a coven of crones encompass me
In my new apprenticeship
filling me with knowledge,
and teaching me tricks of the trade
that have been passed down
through the generations.
Surrounded by my new clan
the future is optimist in outlook,
the cloud of confusion into
this new stage of life has been lifted.
Where I once thought
I must fight my battles alone,
in single hand to hand combat
I have since learned the lesson of strength in numbers.
© 2015 -LRFB
I’m still plugging away at cleaning, organizing and building to help declutter our home and make my life simpler. My husband has been busy with little home improvement projects he’s been wanting to tackle and every project helps bring us a step closer to a simpler life.
Project Number One: Changing out some doors.
When you live in a small house space comes at a premium. There were two spaces in our home where the doors seemed too big for the space so we changed the hinged doors for folding/sliding doors. The first door was from the Jack and Jill bath to my son’s room. The door opened into my son’s room from the bathroom and I was always terrified one day he was going to jump from the bed smack dab right into the door. The folding door takes up so much less space and I no longer harbor this fear. Door two was from the laundry room into the bedroom. Our house is a big circle and we often play hide and seek and “running tag” all through the house. This door has caused a few bumps and bruises during playtime so, out it went. No bumps or bruises have been reported since this door has been changed.
Project Number Two: Changing plugs, switches and adding some new dimmable lights.
My husband has talked about adding some dimmable lights in the living room for a while now, but getting in the attic in Texas is not something you normally want to do. The weather has been forgiving lately so he climbed on up and cut a couple of holes in the ceiling to add some new dimmable cans. Honestly when he talked about adding the lights I really had no opinion, but now that it’s done my thoughts have been more along the line of “Why didn’t we do this sooner???”. While he was on his mini-rampage, he added a dimmer to the living room light and fan and added some really cool plugs with built-in night lights. These are the perks of living with an Electrician, he knows that little things can make a big difference.
Project Number Three: Fixing the fence.
I cannot even begin to explain my love-hate relationship with trees at our home. We have had so many trees fall down and the aftermath is a nightmare. A few trees helped in the destruction of parts of our fence. Our dog is normally fairly well behaved and stays in the yard but lately, she’s been leaning toward the ill-mannered and keeps taking off through the holes in the fence. We can’t scold her too harshly as we all know squirrels are irresistible. To fix the larger part of the downed fence required quite a bit or shrub clearing. My husband and I hacked and whacked and piled up to large piles of brush (to be burned at a later date). We cleared away enough room to roll out some new fencing. Fence hole number two still has a downed tree in the way so we laid some fencing down as a deterrent until we can figure out a more meaningful fix without having to cut up that tree. It’s at the back property fence line so I’m not in too big a rush to work on its removal just yet, but I would like to keep the dog in the yard. I found another place she was escaping from after she got trapped on the other side of the new fence. . .naughty dog. ..
Project Number Four: Building an Outdoor Table Using Wood from the Pile
Have you ever been to Ana White’s website? If you haven’t you really don’t know what you’re missing. Ana is this awesome lady who lives in Alaska and builds all sorts of different things and posts actual plans on how to build the things. We have used these plans on numerous occasions and the latest was building an outdoor table and some benches. My husband and I worked on this project together and it made me miss projects, so I have a feeling this is going to be the year of projects. I love making things, working with my hands and getting dirty, so this year I want to do a lot more of it.
I am so grateful for this year. I am thankful for lots of little things. Chances to create with my husband and opportunities to play with my son. Having creative, soulful and inspiring people flitting in and out of my life, whether in person or virtually. These people make me smile and laugh and strive to be better. They are my everyday hero’s and I am blessed to encounter so many every day. So to my hero’s I say Thank You! Keep blessing us with your beautiful hearts and smiles and fill our ears and bellies with laughter.
Peace and Blessings