Parenthood Continues

Parenthood is the most rewarding and life-altering experience. There are many twist and turns along the way.

As a mom, I think you always want your family to be put together, rather than falling a part at the seams. You try to make your children look presentable, even though you know by the time you get to where you are going, juice will be all over their “trendy” clothes, they will look like they have bed-head, (even though you spent 10 minutes wrestling them to get their hair into a cute style), the snack, Motts gummies, (with no red dye, because other moms tell you to be cautious) will most likely be stuck to the crotch of their shorts. When go to pull your toddler out of the car, you find yourself wondering why you even bothered. Oh, I forgot to mention the song your child begged to listen to ten times before you reached your destination? (“Ring Of Fire,” “I’m Gonna Be Me,” “Anywhere With You,” and “Buy Me A Boat” to name a few). We see you, momma. You are not alone!

I am learning every moment, of every day, that to be a parent, and not lose your sanity, you must have a sense of humor.  If not, you are like an accountant without knowledge or understanding of math.  You will have a miserable existence and fail epically trying to reach your goal. Granted, with accounting, you could quit and find a new job…that is not how it should work with parenthood. 

Lately, I have been trying to make the most of our beautiful chaos at home. My three year old has had quite a change with his new baby brother entering the world. Uninterrupted time does not come as frequently as it once did, not with Baby J’s needs having to be met and nap times becoming shorter and less frequent. Big Z has been a champ with wanting to help out with his little brother, but I know the transition has not been the easiest.  My husband and I work hard to make sure both of our boys get plenty of our time and attention, but with Z still being a toddler, he tends to want momma a little more. {I am enjoying it while I can}. 

As a momma, struggling with wanting to be the perfect wife and mom, I tend to be spend time picking up after the kiddos, finding time to clean, doing laundry (separate load of course, because the boys clothes are washed in Dreft), figuring out ways to increase my BM supply, pumping, and washing endless amounts of bottles. That doesn’t include time with the hubs, the boys, “self” time (what is that, again?), working, or trying to make dinner.  However, all that said, time with my fellas comes first! 

For some time now, we have been teaching Z how to pick up his toys, sort laundry, and sometimes he tries to help us sweep the kitchen. For the past three weeks, he has been asking to help wash dishes. As most moms know, your time throughout the day is very valuable; lots to do with not enough hours in the day.  My thoughts exactly!

My sweet boy always wants to help… and I am, at times, reluctantly appreciative. Last night, I found myself getting frustrated, as my son sat on the edge of the counter, with his little feet dangling into the stainless steel sink in our kitchen. I was washing the dishes and he was rinsing the soap off each dish I handed him. As the dishes I had washed piled up on his side of the sink, he would pick up a bottle and ask, “Do you see any soap?” In my mind, I would think, Yes, I see soap! It is covered in soap. You haven’t even started rinsing it yet. Then I would calmly answer, “Yes, buddy! I see some soap.”  He would begin to fill the bottle with water, then dump it into the sink, which would splash up, and cover his little burgandy umbro shorts. I would remind him to be careful and not get water all over the place to which he would respond, “It’s okay? Sometimes, it just happens?” “Yes, son, sometimes it just happens.” I would reply to him as he was still rinsing.  Then he would hold up the bottle again and say, “Do you see any soap?” “No, buddy, I don’t! You did a great job!”


  
{All pictures were taken this morning}.


  
One thing about our son is he is independent and strong-willed. I was already done washing all the dishes and he was still taking his time rinsing the cumulating pile on his side. I found myself wanting to rush him, to say, “Hurry, Z! You have to go to bed soon,” or “Let me help you, buddy, so we can hurry up and get done.” Instead, of crushing my big helper’s spirit, I watched him rinse each bottle, nipple, top, and extras, soaking his new soccer shorts, and sometimes accidentally spilling water onto the floor, with encouraging words like “Man, that looks awesome,” “How did you get so good at rinsing?” “You are momma’s big helper,” and so on.


  

~ He was pleased with his work this morning and thanked me for letting him help. ~ Jasper watched us this morning. ~

  

  
My sons need me. My sons need me to be their biggest cheerleader, coach, encourager, teacher, and trainer. They need to know I am so proud of them. They need to know I value them, if and when no one else seems to. They need to know they are both loved unconditionally. They need to know that every thing else can wait when it comes to quality time with them.

As momma, I need to remember to always have a sense of humor. I need to remember how my momma waited on me for all kinds of nuances I brought to the table. I need to remember to encourage and support them. I need to remember to not take life too seriously. I really need to remember to slow down and enjoy every moment with my boys. I need to remember I am their inner voice. I need to remember they will gauge the type woman they marry based on me (what am I showing them). I need to show them Jesus’ unconditional love and how it is patient and perfect! I need to love the mess out of them, every day, in new ways!

I don’t get this right all the time… I am sure I never will, but hopefully, through God’s sufficient grace and love, my boys won’t be too screwed up. 🙂  I am praying for myself as well as other moms out there doing their best and striving for even better. Don’t give up, momma! You aren’t alone… (and I don’t mean because your kid is in the bathroom with you saying, “Momma! Momma!” as you read this). 😀

—thoughts from a new mom of two—

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I call her “Momma!”

Mommy. Moms. Mothers. Mommas.  Whatever you choose to call them, that name means something special to each of us.   They are our “Wonder Women.”  This week after spending time in Haiti and spending an ample amount of time in several orphanages, the word mother really penetrates your heart.  There are so many children who have no one to call “mommy” as a child, or “momma” as they grow older.  They have no one to hold them at birth.  No one to stay up all night with them when they are sick.  No one to kiss their “boo-boos” or “ouches” away.  No one to read bedtime stories or rock them to sleep.  No one to cuddle with them just because.  No one to hold them close or reassure them that all the bad dreams aren’t real.  They have no one to give them the nurturing they deserve.  Moms are an important part of our lives with an important responsibility.  (Dads are too, but this blog isn’t about them right now).  🙂

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God allowed me to be born into an incredible family.  With a father and mother that loved me and prayed for me.  God allowed me to have a family that loved me selflessly and unconditionally.  I was lucky enough to be born into a family that wanted me and showed that on a daily basis.

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My sweet momma has always been my accountability, my champion, my encourager, my example to follow, and my prayer warrior.  As a child, she was always cheering me on and encouraging me to be girl that loved Jesus Christ and love people through my love for Jesus.  As I reached middle school, she was in my face, challenging me to be a young lady of character and integrity.  She called me out when I was being mean or selfish and challenged me to examine my attitude and behavior.  She set an example for me during her journey battling cancer.  Even when she was scared, she trusted our Heavenly Father.  Even when she had (almost) deadly allergic reactions to her chemo treatments, she never lost faith in God, and continued praying faithfully for direction.  She showed me how to love your spouse selflessly and always be their strong, even on the bad days.  She showed me how to let God fight my battles for me and how to trust God’s direction for my life at all times.  She showed me the best way to be a rock for your family was to stand on the Rock (Jesus Christ). 

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In high school, my mom surpassed any expectations I could had ever placed on her.  In the midst of battling cancer, she lost her own mother, my precious Nana, and it was not easy.  She not only became the rock for our family, but the glue for our extended family.  I remember her telling me that my Nana had left a legacy for us to follow and that she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to feel her shoes.  She wanted to have the same type of spirit she saw in my Nana, but little did she know she had already been living a legacy.  

My mom has always been by my side through thick and thin.  She has been my coach by giving direction and guidance, but she has allowed me to make my our decisions.  She has watched me follow her instruction and come out on top.  She has also watched me rebel again her advice and instruction, which has more often than not, led to my demise.  During those times, she has never once said, “I told you so,” or said, “You should have listened to me.”  She has been in the pit with me dusting off my knees, lifting up my head, and cheering me on to pick myself back up.  She has prayed for me during those times and hoped I would redirect my life, while relearning how to use my compass.  

In college and into adulthood, she has become my best friend, counselor, and prayer warrior.  She has been a constant in my life and earned the right to hold the title of best friend.  I know she always has my best interest at heart and has no trouble challenging me to dig deeper and expect more of myself.  She challenges me to step out of my comfort zone and truly follow Christ even when it is difficult or uncomfortable.  

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I have been blessed to have a mother, who desired to make me a woman of character, class, and integrity.  I was blessed to have a momma that sacrificed her time to teach me about life, to drive me all over creation to play softball and soccer, and to answer all the thousands of questions I had about life and love.  She was sacrificial and selfless.  I was blessed to have a mother who would sit on the phone with me for hours just to laugh and talk about life or cry with me over frustration about life and womanhood.  She cried with me when God closed doors I was desperate for Him to open and celebrated with me when God opened unexpected doors that only He could receive the glory for.  

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I love you so much, momma!  Words can never express the nurturing I have received from you and the shelter I have found in you when I was struggling through many chapters of my life.  Besides Jesus, you have been the one constant in my life.  I don’t know what I would do without you.  Dad, Russell, and I are so lucky to have you in our life and be able to be a part of your life.  God truly blessed me when He allowed me to be born into your life and you raise me in this crazy world we live in.  Happy Mother’s Day to you!  Today and everyday, you mean the world to your family.   I love you!  xoxo Image

 

Ps.  You are a great grandma too! 🙂