relying on who you’re not

IMG_4447IMG_4454 Last weekend we had our friends over. Both of these friends are artists.  I’m talking about painting and drawing type of artists.  That’s not something I would classify myself as “accomplished” at.

My friend asked me if they could bring over supplies to make slime with.  Supplies like beads, sequins, and glitter.

I admit that my insides tightened at the mention of loose glitter coming into my house.   Ever since Olivia poured chunky glitter into her eyes as a toddler twice in one week, glitter of the loose sort has been banned from our house.

Banned.

Glitter glue…okay.  Flaky, loose glitter that sticks to you for weeks…nope.

Here we are, years later with glitter of every shape and color on our kitchen table.

Why?  What has changed in me to allow this abominable craft medium back into our household?

Nothing, really.

Nothing has really changed in me and my thoughts towards glitter.  What has changed is my perspective on what I believe about how my kids are shaped by others.

What’s important for me to remember is that I’m not the only person that has something to teach or offer my children. Everyone that my little peanuts are exposed to have different gifts, experiences, and learning opportunities they can absorb.  I’m not always the “fun mom” that I idealistically want to be.  I can get around this deficit in my personality.  I can allow people who are gifted and passionate about horribly messy crafts and activities the blessing of sharing their excitement with my kiddos.

I know I’m not alone in this distaste of glitter.  The husband of said friend called loose glitter the “herpes of crafts”.

Spreads, can’t get rid of it.

You get the idea.

I was thankful that God pressed on my heart to let someone else do the “fun” thing with my kids. Even my teens couldn’t resist the sparkly mound of activities. Do you have friends like this?  Are you that friend yourself?

I’m happy and grateful to rely on people that I’m not.  It’s truly freeing to rest in who and what I am, and let others do the same.  I believe we all have great things to offer each other.  I don’t need to be all that things myself.

Are you feeling this in your life?  I feel it’s so tempting to try to be the “superwomen” mama.  I find that role so exhausting and unfulfilling. Instead, I want to send up a bat signal when I’m noticing something the kids need that I can’t provide.  I want to call for help and have someone else meet their need alongside me.  I aim to use my resources to expose them to things I would put off or avoid altogether.

You know what?  I am totally willing to do the same for people in my life.  Just as a marriage is made of two different people working towards a common goal, friendships and child-rearing can be the same. Two gifts or talents being exchanged to better the children we long to raise as well as we can.

Don’t carry every burden of this perfect mama illusion you see plastered on the internet. You are enough for your tiny humans.  Every has a special gift to offer another.  Rely on who you are not. That mama is plenty.

 

 

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beat you’re kids up

For the last two mornings I’ve done something that I haven’t been doing for a year.  I beat my kids up.  By “beat up” I mean I got up out of my bed and started my day before they were awake.

This was something I did as often as I could before I went back to school, but I fell off the wagon.  I actually did get up and get ready before them on workdays, but I was gone all day.  It doesn’t have the same benefit when you aren’t around the kids.

I like getting up earlier then they because I don’t like starting my day with a list of demands and tasks.

Mom I’m hungry.

Mom ____ isn’t sharing.

Mom can I _____?

What are we doing today?

What are we eating?

When is dad coming home?

I think you get the drift.  There’s instant motion and work in my house, the moment the children rub their sleepy eyes.  The workload begins and I find myself grumpy and weighed down.

Yesterday was a great example of why, for me, beating the kids up is of utmost importance.

We had “one of those days”.  I mentioned before how we are all learning how to be together.  With school out, it’s even worse now.  Our house hasn’t found it’s rhythm yet.  Rhythm is important.  Moving has also contributed to the chaos.

I woke up, had my time in the scriptures, drank an exorbitant amount of coffee, and the first little one came trickling out to the back porch.

The back porch is my favorite spot in the morning.

The rest of the day was rough.

fighting, arguing, disobeying.

Sound familiar?  I hope not, but I know I’m not alone.

I handled the hectic mess so much calmer and gracefully than I had been this last month.

Truly, I just to mentally prepare for the day.  Soak in The Word, sip in the caffeine, and prepare for battle.

That’s what it can feel like, can’t it? A battle for peace.

Do you need to prepare for battle as well?

How do you maneuver the mine field in your house?

I beat my kids up.

9 misunderstandings about motherhood (i wish someone told me this)

If you’re a struggling mama, a new mama, or a soon-to-be mama, a never-ending, or a super mama, hippie mama, corporate mama, stay-at-home mama, unschooling, homeschooling, public schooling, private schooling mama…this list may be for you.

1. Breastfeeding is beautiful and natural.  Okay, this ends up being mostly true, but it’s starts out blisters,  crying (mama from pain), and ends in biting and more crying- ’cause mom doesn’t want her baby to  grow up.  Somehow your child will live- even on formula *gasp*.

2. Stay-at-home moms don’t do much.  Excuse me?  They have time to do everything perfectly that working moms never can.  Being a SAHM is easier.  For me, I think my mind and emotions would rather I get a job.

3.  Motherhood comes naturally.  Disagree.  Selfishness comes naturally.  Motherhood is a life of service.

4.  It gets easier.  So far, no.  The change of physical demands and no sleep to bra shopping and  hormones- ’nuff said.  I have heard enough from mom’s with adult children to know that season has it’s struggles  as well.  Like I said- life time service.

5.  If you read a bunch of parenting books, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect and how to deal with  it.  Don’t worry the formula works for everyone…said no mother ever!

6.  You have to be able to juggle house, schedules, and bake cookies all the time.  Give yourselves a break.   We mamas can seldom muster up the will and motivation for for anything other than keeping the young  alive.  It’s okay.  If you’re a ball of energy, that’s awesome.  If you’re not, don’t fall into the trap of looking  around you.  Assume you’re friend’s Instagram picture of perfection was the only moment of peace that  day held, and she documented it.  Assume that all the Pinterest pins are looking more like the Pinterest  Fail blog.  Just love your babes and do lots of deep breathing and praying.  You’ll make it to the next  stage.

7.  Your friends are sweeter, more peaceful, and never complain about anything.  They have it all figured  out.  They are better than you.  Yeah right.  They are likely struggling just as much- maybe more.  Have  honest conversations and be a friend who understands.  We are all figuring things out as we go.  YOU”RE  NOT ALONE!  Surround yourself with godly women who you can relate to.

8.  If you don’t feed your child organic from scratch food, on a plate that’s BPA-Free in a chair you bought at the thrift store and painted with chemical-free paint, while strumming your guitar to a song you wrote especially for him– he’ll grow up hating you and thinking that you neglected him.  Give that kid some chicken McNuggets and let him play in the ball pit of death germs.  He’ll love you more.  Just kidding. Do what ever you want, but remember that he only wants you.  Not your food or your up-cycles.  Just your presence and love.

9.  If you’re a single mom you have failed.  You don’t see your kids enough and they will turn out horrible.  Don’t believe that for a second.  You can do it, and you will realize one day how amazing you are for raising a child with no help or relief from a spouse.  I think single moms are amazing!  God will get you through to your next season.

Moms!  You are important.  What you do everyday is doing something.  Every stage of motherhood you look back on and see the growth in your person, your relationship to the Lord.  Every stage is teaching us something.  Don’t believe lies.  You are a mother.  You are amazing.  You may not feel amazing, look amazing, or act amazing (mommy-ka-boom!), but if you love your children they will know.  

Sometimes a, “Mom, MOM, MOMMY!  I love you.” Is enough to remind us, right?

Do not grow weary in doing good.  The Lord provides the strength you need.  Just be the mom He wants you to be, not the one you think you should be.