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Turning the tables on my son

Moms, if you’re anything like me, you probably grow a wee bit tired of some of the fads and crazes that the kids bring home from school.  In this past year, we have had our fair share of Pokémon madness.  What in the world is this Pokecrap? Why are they so important?  All I know is that the cards have flooded my house and I find one of these little creatures at every turn, under every couch cushion, underneath all of our beds, and even once in the fridge. The only one I can even stand is Pikachu. Pikachu is cute.  The rest can go back to Pokeland.  Then the constant dabbing for everything.  I’ve seen my son dab so much, that I now find myself unwittingly dabbing to adults.  Its contagious.  I’ve caught the dab fever.  I don’t want it, but I have it.  Oh, and let’s not forget the water bottle challenge.  Whoever invented this gem is a genius. Really, its so fun to hear and see the constant flipping of bottles over and over and over again.  And again…and again…and again….just to make it land on its bottom.  That really makes me want to land my hand on his bottom.  All the flipping is flipping annoying.  Have y’all seen the latest and greatest craze?  The ever so purposeful fidget spinner!  Do you know what it does?  It spins!  That’s right, it spins! This is somehow very amusing and we have spinners spinning out of control in our house.  I’m tired of picking them up and I even find myself sometimes spinning them just to see what the fuss is all about.  For a moment I feel like Spinderella, right before I come to my senses and realize that these spinners are merely for parent and teacher aggravation, but I can certainly see the hypnotic effect they have.

So, I decided to turn the tables on this kid.  I flipped the script on him to give him a taste of his own medicine.  I figured out that they key to getting your kids to stop doing something is for you to do it and make it seem like its so cool so they no longer think its cool.  Yep, it worked like a charm……or did it?  Watch and see his reaction.

What other fads did I leave out here, moms?  Comment below and share your kid’s latest craze!

 

The Message that Moved an Entire Middle School to Tears

Former professional wrestler, Marc Mero, tells the story about his relationship with his mother that brings this entire middle school to tears. “If you have a mother or father, tell them you love them!”

“Life is not about winning the race. Life is about finishing the race, and how many people we can all help finish this race. How we can start being kinder to each other.”

His speech is heartwarming, beautiful and sincere. Share this with the ones you love!

An open letter to single moms from a mom that doesn’t get it

Dear single moms,

I don’t get it.  How do you do it?  I am a married, working mom of 3 young boys. My day starts at 5 am and ends around 9pm right about the time when I am so physically and mentally exhausted that all I can manage is crawling into bed or curling up on the couch where I quickly and most times unintentionally fall into a deep sleep. Even when I know that there’s a mountainous pile of laundry that needs to be done, bills that need to be paid, spending time with my husband with no kids around, or simply catching up on all the things that slip through my fingers throughout the hectic day. None of those things are usually enough to convince my eyes to stay open just a little while longer. Regardless, it’s not a deep sleep for very long.  It’s the kind of sleep that often gets interrupted in the middle of the night by one of the kids, or the dog barking, or because I suddenly wake up in a panic worried that I forgot to do something important from the long list of to-dos that plague my daily routine.  Don’t get me wrong…I love my life and my family and I’m beyond grateful for the many blessings that I sometimes take for granted.  But being happy doesn’t mean that its easy.  I wake up in the morning to fix breakfast, pack lunches, pack bags, get kids and myself ready usually in a mad rush, get them to where they need to be and rush to make it to work with seconds to spare.  I make it through the work day to then pick all the kids up, get home to then make sure homework gets done, projects complete, and depending on the day get them ready for a school program, karate, soccer, or anything else they have going on throughout the busy week, prepare dinner, get them fed, get them bathed, squeeze in some quality time with them then get them all into bed, after which I find myself back on the couch or in bed fighting sleep so I can stay up for at least one more hour to tackle what I couldn’t when everything else took precedence. I can’t say that I do this all alone.  I have a husband who is a wonderful father and is as hands-on with our sons than any dad can be.  He helps with everything, even laundry.  It’s truly a blessing.  We’re a team.  Yet, even with all the help and support I get, I still find myself drowning in the sea of responsibilities.  During the most overwhelming moments, I often think to myself, I could never do this on my own.  I couldn’t manage all of this craziness and stay afloat without my partner, my life vest. In the times I feel like I’m drowning, I know he’s not far to rescue me.

 I often think about you.  I think about how you do this all on your own.  I wonder how you have so much strength, so much endurance to conquer each day as a single parent.  It’s a thought that humbles me.  It makes me think twice about complaining of all the to-do lists and the chaos of everyday.  While I think about how overwhelming it is to be a mom even with the help and support of my husband, I remember that not only are you just as busy trying to be a mom, that you are also busy being a dad.  You are doing the job of two.  You are teaching them how to be compassionate, but also strong.  You are teaching them how to cook, but also how to throw a ball.  You are teaching them how to be kind, while also showing them how to defend themselves.  You are nursing them back to health, while still trying to make them tough. You are pulling double duty, all the time.   And I just don’t get how you do it. I think of how hard it is to be a full-time working mom of 3. Then it occurs to me that you are not just working full-time, you work countless of hours overtime. You are the sole breadwinner. You have to make one income look like two. You are the one who comes home after long hours to then cook, clean, bathe, tell bedtime stories, tuck them in, all without any help.  You are the one who has to wake up in the middle of the night to tend to one of them every single time because there’s no one there to do it for you.  You have to kiss all the boo boos and nurse all the fevers, even when you are also sick and no one is there to take care of you.

As much of this has already become part of your daily routine, you are probably used to it all.  You probably just take it day by day and do what you have to do for the sake and love of your children. You probably have forgotten or just no longer think about how much you have sacrificed.  I am writing this because I want you to know that what you do, doesn’t go unnoticed.  I want you to know that its not just your children who appreciate or will someday appreciate everything you’ve sacrificed for them. It’s not just your family who sees your struggle and how you find the strength to keep everyone above water.  I notice it too. Even if we are complete strangers, I admire your strength.   You are a warrior and whether you realize it or not, you make me want to be a better mom.  I’m sure there are moments when you are so completely overwhelmed that you hide in the bathroom to cry or sit alone in the closet so that the kids don’t see you at your weakest. Know that I also have those moments, but it’s the thought of you that makes me stronger.  You are a woman of unbelievable strength.  You are a woman that inspires me to just keep going. You are a mom and a dad.  You are a hero.  Not just to your children, but to me, and I’m sure to many others. I have a profound respect for you and whether you know this or not, I am a better mom because of you.

No, I don’t get how you do it…but I get why you do.  It’s out of love and love knows sacrifice.  Love knows putting others ahead of yourself. Love knows that when your children become parents someday they will then know what you did for them, what you went through. That’s the kind of love they will pass on to their own children and that is the greatest inheritance you can leave them. I don’t get your strength, but I understand your heart.  And I hope that at your weakest, that love always makes you the strongest.  

So, how do you do it? I’m pretty sure that love is the answer…and the greatest part of that answer, is that it never fails.

Sincerely,

An Inspired Mom

 

 

A powerful tribute to mothers: You Are Mighty.

This video is a touching tribute to mothers.  I was in tears watching it because it rings so true.  We often get lost in the ordinary of motherhood, without remembering that what we are doing is truly extraordinary.  I took it upon myself to transcribe the words from the video below.  They are impactful.  Watch the video, read the words, remember them, and share them with the mighty women in your life.  If you take anything away from this tribute, take away these words:  You are mighty. 

“There are those who say that this is ordinary, but don’t’ let that fool you. Motherhood will always be the greatest, least ordinary, most difficult, utterly challenging career that anyone ever hopes to lay claim to.

While others might hear diaper-changer, food-maker, laundry-doer, carpooler, bottle-washer, sweat pants-wearer, life on hold, want to be doing anything else woman. The truth is, whether it feels like it some days or not, you are in fact a shelter from the storm. You are a cape of good hope. You are a warrior who will do battle for your children’s hearts, souls, attention, innocence, education and memories. Go to battle my friends. This is your time. We will hold strong on either side of you. We will pray for those bottles through the dark watches of the night and when doubt comes and children break when adults fail them; and when they push and push as hard against us as the day we delivered them into this world, WE WILL NOT BE BROKEN.

We may ache and see cracks tear through our hearts, but we will get up again tomorrow and we will load the clothes and the words that need to be said again and again and again. When the world tries to paw at them, to break them, to smash the beauty in them, may our wall hold true. May the lessons we’ve told them, truths we’ve lived, the light we’ve spoken into them, come back easily, predictably, with wash and repeat ease. Kingdom business. Jesus work. This shaping of souls, this raising tiny humans. There are those who say this is ordinary. Don’t buy it for a second. Mighty. You are mighty…because you mother.”

Top 5 Scriptures for the exhausted mom

As a mom of 3 young boys, it’s almost impossible to find free time.  Most of the time, any free moments are dedicated to a very rare commodity: SLEEP!  My days start at 5am and typically end at 9pm and it is at that time that I get so excited at the thought of having a little “me” time.  That thought lasts for about 2.3 minutes, right before I unknowingly drift off into a deep sleep.  Even as I write this, I feel my eyes getting heavy……..so sleepy…can’t type….need sleep….ZZzzzzzzzz………..Oopsie daisy! Sorry about that. And I’m up again.

Take for instance this week, I fully intended on waking up at 4:45am to have a little extra time before kids were up to pray, workout, pack lunches, make breakfast, iron clothes, and the list goes on and on.  Nope. Not happening.  Between projects, and sick kids, and bills, and work, and mountainous piles of laundry, it just wasn’t happening.  This morning, I was feeling more rested so I decided to make time for scripture.  Although I haven’t quite got the hang of the busy working mom of 3 schedule just yet, I am making it a priority to seek His word as often as I can.  Even if its for 5 minutes a day.  Those few minutes will eventually add up to a lot of minutes of much needed healing. And we all need a little daily healing, don’t we?  Can I get an Amen?! Exhausted moms, take heed: we are doing holy work. Through all the good, the bad, the ugly, the busy, the chaotic, the craziness of parenthood, we should be inspired everyday.  There is nothing that can renew your spirit better than the word of God.  Although there are many scriptures that can encourage even the weariest of moms, below are the 5 scriptures that I lean on most often.  So if you ever need a shoulder to cry on or someone to lean on, no worries.  He is always available.  And if you can’t find time, make time. So scoot your overworked butts over mamas, and let Jesus take the wheel.

I hope these renew your spirit and strengthen your weary heart, just as they do for me.

  1.  Yes, my soul, find rest in God: my hope comes from Him.  Truly He is my rock and my salvation.; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  – Psalm 62:5-6  Make that your motto: I will not be shaken.
  2.  He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  -Psalm 46:10  Be still means to not worry.  I know from experience that anxiety is second nature to motherhood.  This one is a tough one, but something we must practice everyday.
  3. Even the young grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:30-31  Do you hear that mamas?  We are eagles. Even if most times we feel like crows, we are like the eagles. Remember that.
  4. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. – Matthew 11:28-29  Find rest in Him.

And for my favorite go-to scripture when I’m feeling exhausted:

5.  When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I. – Psalms 6:1-2  Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom to discover He is that rock at the bottom….

 

What are your go-to scriptures?  Share them with us.

Check out this dad killing it with this old school rap! Great message for parents and kids.

This dad seriously has some skills! Love the motivational message behind it.  Now here’s a little something I threw together for you —

He’s a motivational speaker by day and a rapper by night

I came across this video and thought it was alright.

I must admit sometimes I like to throw out some lines.

I really like his daddy rap, now do you like mines?

Word to your motha’.

HA! Okokok, maybe I’m not a grand master rapper, but I do appreciate a good rap when I hear one, and this dad’s got skills. Derek Clark is not only a rapper, but he’s also a motivational speaker and has a very positive message to give out to kids and also other parents. This is a little about Derek’s story.

“I had a rough start in life and felt rejected and broken for many years, but despite my childhood growing up in foster care, I’m really trying hard to give my kids a better life and break the cycle. I try to show them a positive outlook and to never let a mistake or the past infect their future, to never give up on their dreams. My dreams are what kept me alive during the hardest times of my life. Despite what the haters write about me… Rapping Dad is vehicle to connect… it’s all about having a fun and unique way to connect with my kids creatively. Every parent has the ability to show their kids that they are important…just listen to them and be fun, fair and firm. There is nothing wrong about being a fun, enthusiastic and optimistic dad. My kids will tell you I’m not their best friend. I’m a fun dad but my job is to help them find their calling in life. It’s all about passing on generational blessings instead of generational curses. I’m not perfect but I do try to bring light to the ones’ that are lost in the dark…for I once was too. I sincerely thank you all for following my page, for supporting and sharing our videos…for your wonderful messages and comments. You. Are. Amazing! and I appreciate you all!!!” – Derek Clark

And that’s a rap, folks!

Moms in the Spotlight: Audrea shares her difficult journey to motherhood

This is Audrea.  She is a dear friend and colleague of mine.  She was one of the first people I talked to about starting a blog dedicated to mothers.  We talked about how I wanted to share my own experiences, as well as stories from other moms.  Every woman’s journey to motherhood is very different.  I don’t pretend to know everything there is to know about parenting or the struggles women face in their journey.  On the contrary, I have so much to learn.  I have not been through many of the experiences that other women have endured. That is why I hope to learn from other inspiring women and share their experiences with others.

Audrea’s first reaction to hearing about the blog was wanting to share her journey.  She has gone through issues with fertility and endured the heartache of a miscarriage.  Its a subject not many women want to talk about.  I am so proud of my friend for wanting to share this with others, to reach out to those who have gone through or are going through the same heartache.  Her story is beautiful and I hope you watch to the end as she reminds us all that we must weather the storm to find our rainbow.  There will always be a rainbow, as that is God’s promise.

Watch her story here and please share it.  Lets make it reach women everywhere who may be in the midst of the storm, so they know they are not alone.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Audrea!

Saying goodbye to the daughter I never had

I am a boy mom.  I love being the mother of 3 remarkable boys. I feel blessed in such a way that if I sit and think about it for too long, my eyes well up with tears.  My cup runneth over.  Yet, every now and then, there is a teeny tiny part of me deep down in the depths of my heart, that sometimes aches just a little.  I never thought I would have 3 children.  I always longed for a big family, but for many reasons, I never thought it would become reality.  I remember finding out I was pregnant for the first time.  It was a complete shock and one that took my husband and I some time to absorb.  We weren’t ready for it.  Come to find out, though, you never really are ready for it.  After the initial shock wore off, we learned our baby was going to be a boy.  I remember the feeling of pure bliss knowing that we had our very own prince on the way.  As scared as we were to be first-time parents, it pales in comparison to the overwhelming love this little baby boy brought to our household. Its the kind of love you can’t put into words, it is something you can only feel.  Years later, we decided to expand our family and we also decided against finding out the gender of our other two babies.  We wanted it to be a complete surprise.  Each pregnancy had us guessing throughout the entire 9 months.  It felt like the majority of our family and friends were rooting for a girl. I was just rooting for a healthy baby.  Although, I couldn’t help but wonder how life would be with a little girl. People were so matter-of-fact about knowing that I would have a girl and their self-assurance made me giggle inside.  I knew they said it because they wished it for me.  I had my boy, and they thought I needed a girl to be complete.  I would sometimes feel slightly offended on behalf of the baby, thinking that if he were a boy, he wouldn’t appreciate all this girl talk.  Maybe I felt a little slighted because although I wouldn’t admit it, I had an inkling that God would give us another prince.

However, as I had 9 months to wonder about the gender, I had plenty of time to contemplate life with a girl. I pictured her having her dad’s kind heart and her mama’s free spirit.  Stubborn in her ways like me (which in reality scared me to death) yet with a caring and compassionate nature that would move her to do great things in the world. I wanted her to have a very sophisticated, dainty, and classic name.  This little girl would be my best friend for life.  And her name would be Elizabeth Pearl.  I was a bit of a fiery child.  That may or may not be an understatement.  I feared the thought of Elizabeth because if she were anything like I was as a child, then I had my work cut out for me.  Yet, I was still fully prepared.  I knew that regardless of its challenges, my princess would be worth every struggle.  I wondered how she would be, what she would look like, and how my life would change with her in it.

Then came my boys.  Each time at the hospital, I remember the almost impossible-to-bear anticipation of meeting our baby for the first time and discovering what God blessed us with.  Each time, I would stare intently at my husband’s face as he was the first to see each baby born and the first person who would tell me if it was a boy or a girl. There was so much emotion packed into those few seconds, as I waited for the verdict.  What I heard from my husband is the same thing I would hear all 3 times at the hospital, yet still each time was just as exciting. “It’s a boy!”….then almost 5 years later…”It’s another boy!”….and 3 years later…”(laughing) OH MY GOD, its another boy!”  Each time I felt an indescribable happiness.  I had 3 little princes in my life and alas, I would remain the queen of the castle…..but I can’t pretend that there were moments I didn’t feel a tiny sting in the deep down depths of me.  I can’t say that there wasn’t a little part of me that struggled just a little to let go of the idea of Elizabeth.  After all, I had such a vivid image of her and how she would be.  I pictured her bossing me and the boys around, yet still having us wrapped around her little finger. I pictured long talks about hair, makeup, and boys. I pictured her crying on my shoulder as she went through her first heartbreak.  I pictured her dancing on daddy’s shoes then eventually fitting into mine. However, I knew I had to let her go.  It was time to tell her goodbye.  I can’t lie.  Letting go was a little difficult, but it was made much easier knowing my heart is filled to the brim with the 4 greatest loves of my life. They are my gift; a gift that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the universe and God knew exactly what each one of those boys needed in a mother.  I’m eternally grateful that He chose me to be that for them.  What an overwhelming thought it is that God Himself carefully chose me out of the billions of people on this earth to raise these 3 beautiful souls.  That is what finally made it so easy to let go of the thought of my little girl.  She wasn’t meant for me.  She was meant for someone else.  I accept that.

So, goodbye my Elizabeth Pearl.  Wherever you are and whoever God carefully chose as your mother, I know that someday you will do great things in this world. I know someday you will move mountains and our world will be better because you are in it.