Does anyone else get sick of hearing the latest parenting labels? There's Attachment Parenting, Gentle Parenting, French, Finnish, British or whatever international Parents that are all doing it better than us. There's Helicopter Parenting (which of course we DO NOT want to do!) and Tiger Parenting - and all of it, to me, seems to slot Moms into a box. All checklists of things to subscribe to that make parenting a set of goals to achieve, goals which often times seem so far out of my reach, and drive me further into despair over the things I wish I was but am not.
Friday, May 15, 2015
There is no sentence that induces more guilt in me than this one - "I don't know how you do it." I hear it all the time. Sometimes, like last weekend when I was away with my husband while both sets of our parents tag-teamed to hold down the fort at home, I even foolishly find myself responding things like, "it gets easier as kids get older," or "I've learned to let go of a lot of things and pick my battles."
Thursday, April 30, 2015
A friend posted an article a while back of a beautiful laundry room that a mother of six had designed for herself. It was beautiful, efficient, and far more organized than I ever could even dream of being! But the first thing I thought when I saw it was that the Mom was doing all the work. And it got me reflecting on the systems we have around here, and how I (a less-than-organized mother of many) enlist the help of the kids to keep it all running smoothly.
Monday, April 27, 2015
"At least some of them are in school." It's a common response I get to people finding out the number of children I have. They figure that if I'm going to live this crazy life of having so many children, at least I get a break when they're at school for the day. So you can imagine the surprise when I go to tell them that we home school, and that all the kids are with me all day. There's no relief in sight for me!
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
I've been thinking a lot this week about the choices we make, and being deliberate in the life we live. This is March break for the school kids in our area, and for the first time in my four years of homeschooling we are not taking the time off. A fact that would have happily gone unnoticed by my children, but for the announcement their violin teacher made at the end of the week that there would be no classes during the March break. My kids' ears perked up and the conversation began almost immediately. "Do we have to do school next week?" My answer was that yes, we did - a fact they were not, as you can imagine, overly thrilled about. One child in particular fell into a deep but short-lived depression over the whole thing (as can sometimes afflict unsuspecting elementary school children who've had a week off dangled in front of them and then swiftly removed.)
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
For the past seven years, we've been blessed to have someone come in to help with housework once every two weeks. In the very beginning I was a working mother with two children under three, and five months along in my third pregnancy. I needed the help! And she was a Godsend. Many times over those seven years, particularly since I started staying home full time, I felt guilty about spending the money on something I was home to do myself. But if I was honest with myself it took everything I had (or so I thought) to stay on top of the day-to-day house cleaning, not to mention our busy homeschooling schedule. When a veteran homeschooling Mom expressed to me once that if she could do anything different it would have been to hire a housecleaner no matter what sacrifices needed to be made, I felt a little easier spending the money. "I need this," I thought. And indeed it has been so very worth it.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
I have a friend who has the ability to say one thing that always seems to be what the Lord wants me to be thinking of. Often times it's just a casual conversation, but one word will jump out at me and stay with me long after we've said our goodbyes. Recently my husband and I were chatting with this friend, and he relayed a teaching moment he had with a mentor. Someone had shared about the difference prayer was making in their life, that after a month of committing to daily prayer they noticed everything changing in their life. The mentor told him, "that's beautiful, but can you tell me what is different that brought about this change?" There were the usual responses: Christ's presence, peace, a different awareness. But all of these fell short. What the mentor was really trying to convey was that the person was serious in front of a proposal - prayer. That when we take our lives and our relationship with Christ seriously, only then can we respond in any adequate way to who He is in our lives. And he went on to say, as my friend relayed, that if we don't understand the need to maintain this seriousness - if we focus too much on the beauty, on the mountaintop - then we risk going right back to the place we were before we found this peace, as if we had learned nothing.