Rebuilding Trust Part I

Children Need a Firm Foundation.

That firm foundation is found in their parents, but there are different faucets in which that foundation is secured.

A healthy, joyful marriage.

Love and respect for one another.

Faith.  Living Faith.

A home.

Where I’m going with this is here: If Mom and Dad don’t have their act together, the kids won’t either. Without a firm foundation, they’ll be like a house of sand, ready to collapse at the first sign of trouble.

Recently I began to notice some dramatic changes in my children.  It wasn’t your typical two and three year old variety tantrums and behavior.  It was more than that.  My children seemed to be lacking confidence in their abilities.  They also had begun cowering when they made mistakes, and lying to cover up mistakes and accidents.  They would go into full out rages if they didn’t get their way. Quite odd for kids who aren’t necessarily spoiled.

When these things started happening, I sat up and took notice, thanks be to God alone!!!  He immediately spoke to my heart and impressed upon me the urgency of the situation that I found us ALL in.  My children did not trust me, they were afraid of me, and they had no self-confidence.  Now, I would love to tell you that this is all in the past and everything has worked out perfectly, but that would be a lie.  It’s all happening right now. In the present.

I have read the many parenting books, blogs, listened to countless radio programs, studied my Bible, and asked many experienced parents for advice.  What I have found is simple, requires a process for change, and is free.

The answer?  I have to rebuild their trust. Or regain it, or however you want to phrase it.

My eldest won’t even go through a simple homeschool assignment without throwing a fit or having a power struggle to the death.

There is no more putting it off. No. The work has to begin now!

I don’t know how long it will take, but I’m guessing more than a week.  I have been abusing their trust for a couple years or better, so I imagine rebuilding it, healing our relationship, will not be a quick process.

But, I am happy to share with other struggling Mom’s, that I am already seeing changes after one day. In fact WITHIN the first day!

Let me start by clarifying what I had been doing wrong.  I was not respecting my children’s personhood, and I was punishing rather than disciplining.  Anytime there was an accident that meant I had more work to do, i.e., spilled milk on carpet, I would freak out. Scream, yell, blame, shame. “Why did you DO that?!” And then a litany of, “Don’t you know how busy Mommy is?! Don’t you even care?!”  Ugh… It’s embarrassing to share that.  I was supposed to be the perfect Mom who had it all together. Well?  Nope. Not me. I do NOT.

So, my darling daughters are real people, with real feelings.  They’re also precious, little tiny people who don’t know much about life yet except what I teach them.  *cringe*

And what exactly have I been teaching them? Don’t trust Mommy, she’ll blow unexpectedly and often.  The world is just junk and you can expect life to be awful.  HOW SAD IS THAT?!!!!  Well, not anymore!

Today, God has given me the power to turn the tide.  Today was one of the best days of my entire life!  Today, I responded with love, patience, kindness, self-control, intentionality, and diligence.  And it’s past my bedtime so I’ll tell you all about it on tomorrow’s post.

II Corinthians 5:10,17 and 10:5

 

 

Advertisements

Natural Teething Pain Relief

imageMy eight-month old daughter, E3, is getting her top incisors in and having a terrible time with it.  Her gums are swollen, and she’s constantly running her tongue over them, fussing, chewing everything, and just generally uncomfortable.

I really hate giving my children medicine, especially if I know there is another option.  There’s so much hype nowadays regarding kidney and liver damage due to over medicating, not to mention recent studies showing negative side effects on infants and children.

So bearing in mind that I am not a doctor, nor am I qualified to give any medical advice, I am just a Mom who has tested this option out and found that it works for our family and our children, here is what we do for teething pain:

Cloves and Peanut Butter.

Simple, affordable, natural.

Well, mostly natural.  Oh and by the way, if your child has nut allergies, this probably isn’t going to work for you.  Please use common sense and don’t give peanut butter to a child who is allergic to peanuts.

I mixed a spoonful of a name brand peanut butter, yes with added ingredients, and a few shakes of ground cloves.  Then I smeared the mixture onto my daughter’s swollen gums.  She had a delicious 😋 time licking it off.  I did this a few times and even fed her a baby-spoonful, and before I knew it, she was fast asleep and pain-free.

We make our own baby food and store it in little reusable containers.  I put a bit of peanut butter and cloves in one of these containers and carry it with me wherever we go in case she has teething pain.  I’m telling you, it’s the best idea I ever had.  I just wish I had thought of it with my older girls E1 and E2, who are now five and two.

The reason we don’t use natural peanut butter for this is because it tends to be extra sticky and dry.  I don’t want to put my baby into a panic or have her choke on the sticky peanut butter, so I opted for “unnatural” and sweet.  Besides, sugar can also relieve pain.

Anyway, there you have it.  “Natural,” teething pain relief.

Share your natural rememdies for pain for children or mom’s in the comments.  I’d love to read them!

 

 

 

Rebuilding Their Trust–Update

I wrote the first post two months ago so it’s high time that I post an update.

I didn’t want to write anything on day two because I failed on day two.  It was a miserable day.  But the enemy knew what plans I had.  He was ready to fight and I wasn’t.  I didn’t have an arsenal stockpiled.  I had no back up plans or alternatives.  So, when tragedy struck, as it often does around here, I was helpless and quickly defeated.  😞

I wish I could say it’s been easy and perfect, but it hasn’t.  It also hasn’t been as hard as I had expected either.  Not long after I figured out what was wrong and made a game plan to change it, things started imploding.  I got down on my knees and begged God for help, (not the first time nor the last), I called my Church’s Prayer Chain, texted my Grandma for prayer, and opened my Bible.  I began praying scripture out loud, asking God for clarity, copying scripture into my journal, and pausing.  If something sparked anger, I would pause before reacting and therefore I would instead, RESPOND.  It changed everything.  God changed everything.  All of a sudden I had the answers I’d been searching for!

If you want a bullet point, I’ll give you one.

•When a spill happens, breathe in, breathe out, and ask God to show you the best way to manage the clean up.

•Remember that if “it” isn’t life-threatening, then for goodness’ sake it ISN’T LIFE-THREATENING!!!  Take a chill pill!

•If your child back-talks or disrespects you in any form, do not dismiss it or delay dealing with it.  But do take a breath, pause, pray, and immediately get face to face with them.

For me, this meant there would be no physical discipline.  If my child was angry and not wanting contact, I would gauge their responsiveness and decide how to proceed. Since my girls are five and under, I don’t allow them a no-contact right.  I scoop them up, hold them close and talk gently and softly about how much I love them, how they hurt me, how and why respect is important, and what I expect from them in the future.  We talk about what happened that caused the disrespect and we talk about how it should have been handled.  Words are important.  I use these bad situations as teachable moments.  My girls are learning to use words to build up, comfort, and bring joy rather than pain and destruction.

•I speak to them the way I want them to speak to me.  Simple and the only exception being that I will speak sternly when they’re about to break a rule or endanger themselves or others.  THIS HAS BEEN THE HARDEST CHANGE OF ALL…  Remember from my first post that I was not respecting their personhood.  And for that matter, I wasn’t respecting their Father’s personhood either.  I have found the more I respect him, the more the kids respect me and him also.  If I don’t want to be belittled, I shouldn’t belittle others.  And if someone treats me badly, it doesn’t give me the right to retaliate.  If I practice this, my children will LEARN it!

More to come.

How To Open Sealed Canning Jars.

img_3727J
img_3730Have you ever gone to your pantry for a quart of bone broth and couldn’t open the jar?  Afraid to stick a butter knife under the edge and pop the top off?  I’ve found the answer!

Oxo Good Grips jar opener.  I slid the opener over my canning jar lid until it was secure, then gently lifted until it, “popped,” off.  Easy, painless, mess and stress free!

Happy Cooking!

Contentment: The Rich, the Poor, and the Rest of us.

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for He has said, I will never leave you, nor for sake you.” -Hebrew 13:5-

Contentment, self-control and self-discipline seem to be lost virtues nowadays.

The days of Laura Ingalls-Wilder, when people made good use of things, valued their possessions, and were not wasteful, seem to be long gone. Though we don’t need to become pioneers again and live on a homestead to relearn these valuable skills and truths, there is certainly an appeal to that lifestyle. When I see children, even my own, not knowing the value of things, I become increasingly concerned with our society and what it has taught us, or rather, what it has neglected to teach us. It’s been happening for the last seventy years, in my opinion. A slow decline of our values and character. Although when put into perspective, seventy years is really quite fast. I think we’ve been like frogs 🐸 in a pot of water, not noticing the rising temperatures.
We are in a place now where the poverty-stricken are under the illusion that they’re entitled to the American dream; As if it were something they’re to be given, rather than something they have to work for. See, the American Dream was never to be a hand out for the slothful, but a result of hard work, sacrifice, dedication. We aren’t under the rule of communism, which wouldn’t allow individuals to prosper, but would instead spread each persons “wealth” around. No, we live in a free country. Free to earn a wage and reap the rewards. Free to work for the American Dream and free to enjoy it. Most of the time it is our own foolish decisions that prevent us from achieving it, or our discontentment that prevents us from realizing we already have it. Because what really defines it? It’s different for everyone. The standards that mark its achievement may be high or even realistically unattainable for some, but for another person, may be much simpler and well within reach. Even in our poorest conditions, I think many of us struggle with greed and materialism, to our own demise.  Somehow we think that even though we can’t afford those fancy bath toys for our baby, we have to have them.  Dollar Store cups or Tupperware or measuring cups that we already have at home, won’t do. (Even though we all know that babies prefer those ordinary things in the bath more than any fancy toys that will only get slimey and gross).

If I have clothes on my back and food in my cupboards, what more do I need? What will I take with me when I die? I came into this world with nothing, and I’ll leave it with nothing. Riches on earth are only riches on earth.

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
-Matthew 6:19-21-

I don’t pretend to be above this at all. I’m just sharing an observation. I struggle against the discontentment mentality all the time, but in my heart of hearts I know it’s wrong to be ungrateful and unsatisfied. My satisfaction, my contentment, my needs, are all fulfilled in Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean my earthly coffers are full, but it means my trust is in Jesus and I believe His promise to provide all my needs.

The Discovery

My one year old daughter woke up screaming at 2:20 this morning.  She’s been having what we think are night terrors the past few days.

Each night it’s happened, I have made a discovery.  Sadly, my overtaxed brain can’t even remember what the discoveries were.  However, today’s discovery is fresh in my mind because as soon as I made the discovery, I lost all feelings of tiredness and I am now fully wired at 3:51am.

Alas, let me reveal the discovery because I really have no good reason to keep it hidden until the end of the post as most bloggers do.  No affiliate links, no money-making-schemes, etc.  (No one wants to sponsor me. 😉 I have only one post besides this new one, and I’ve little spare time to commit to using their products and coming up with a sassy post to support it).

So, alas again, the discovery:

I’m going to stop homeschooling.

I was reading articles, blog posts, rather, on how to entertain my one year old while I teach my Three year old, when I came across an article on why I shouldn’t be homeschooling her yet.  When I was finished reading the third article, I started to cry.  The tears were tears of guilt and a little bit of relief.

I have been homeschooling my eldest, the three year old, since January 2015.  We decided to start then because we didn’t want to wait until she was four and we had missed the boat the previous fall.  I thought I was doing the right thing.  She’s so smart and learns quickly. Why not introduce her to much more and help her brain develop, and just create this super smart pre-preschooler?!  Maybe she’ll be reading by four, four and a half!!!

….

What’s happened instead is that, yes, she’s learning a lot and retaining most of it, but at a high cost.  I have been so consumed with getting homeschooling done right, and early so that the haters surrounding us will no longer be able to trash talk homeschooling, that I have missed the last six months of my children’s childhood. I’ve been so worried about getting through the material, making headway, getting new skills mastered, that I have missed the fun, the laughter, and ended up all but squelching the joy.  I had to write this post or I would never get to sleep.  My heart is so heavy with this sorrow!  I can’t get back what I’ve lost, what we’ve lost, but I can start us in a new direction tomorrow, based on the leading of the Holy Spirit.  He lead me right to those articles which I’d never have seen otherwise. I’m so glad my little one woke me up!  God uses these night wakings to teach me.  Hopefully I can continue to be thankful for them, and praise Him even when I’m exhausted. 🙂

I’m overjoyed to start life at home with my children over again. Tomorrow, well today that is, is a fresh start.  I’m so excited to live, play, laugh, chase, be chased and hear their squeals of delight.  How on earth did I ever think that there was something more important?!  They’ll be five and ready for more organized learning soon enough.  It’s time for us to live now.

I hope this discovery and this change will help with some of the tension we’ve had around our house lately.  Trying to get a one year old to play quietly and a three year old to sit still for learning has been an uphill battle that’s caused many days of strife and unnecessary anger mostly on my part.  Agh! What a bad mother I’ve been!  Okay, so, here’s to forgiving myself and taking steps to change. 🙂

Proverbs 3:5-6

I Finally Joined The World of Blogging

I have wanted to start a blog for about ten years, but I never had the guts to do it.  And then I realized I didn’t need as much intestinal fortitude as I’d previously thought, but I never took the time to set one up… Until today!

So, here I am, making an attempt.  I’m writing this blog post from my bed, using my iPhone, while nursing my six month old baby girl, Bella Boo (our nickname for her, as I’m pretty sure for safety’s sake, I’m not supposed to share real names).  We have another daughter who is turning three this week, nicknamed Wemma Woo.  The interesting thing about their nicknames is that both of their real names start with the same letter, and it isn’t B or W.  🙂

There is a significant reason I have wanted to keep a blog.  It’s not for vanity or pride.  I have wanted to do this so that I could help encourage other women who are struggling as I am, to be godly stay-at-home-mom’s in this modern age.  Originally I wanted to start it to encourage fellow single christian women, then married without children women, the married with children working moms, and finally married with children and staying home.  So here I am… Late to the game, but still playing!

I have so much to share and I don’t know quite where to begin.  I guess I’ll start with this:

Follow my blog if you are seeking encouragement in your daily walk with the Lord, if you are a mom struggling to get in a rhythm, or just struggling to do anything right at all, or simply a follower of Christ looking for some building-up.  I hope I can encourage you and help you make good choices as we walk along life’s road and handle the blessings and circumstances that God has given to us.  And of course, never alone, but with the Saviour, hand in hand.

I’ll end my first post with this: If you don’t believe in God or you have questions about the God of the Bible or would like to know Him deeply, please visit:

http://proverbs31.org/do-you-know-jesus/#sthash.1iJM5HUL.OuCiofz4.dpbs