Parents: Enjoy the process

I like to get things accomplished and check them off the list.  Honestly I like to just to get through them, not to necessarily enjoy them.  Its the checking off I like.

This poses a problem with kids.  

It’s hard to tell when our kids will make that next step whether with sleep, with potty training, with new chores, or discipline.  How do we know what to do and when?  Isn’t it all laying on our shoulders to direct and mold them?

Whew that last question has about killed me a time or two.  The pressure of getting it all right pushes down on me and causes anger and impatience with my kids.  Because if it’s all depending on me, then I have this pressure to get it right.

“They won’t go to school with a pacifier!”

“They won’t come into your room at night to sleep with y’all in high school!”

“He’ll get it.  She’ll stop.”

Those are some of the encouraging things I’ve heard along the way as a mom.  And you know what, so far they have proved true.

For example, with my son I tried the natzi three day potty training, and whew all I had at the end of it was  a headache and hurt pride.  And then one day just before three he decided he was done, potty trained pretty quickly and slept dry through the night.  Please don’t compare any process with yours.

All kids are different!  (explanation point, explanation point.)

Sleep with my first born was tough, he had eczema so it made it hard for me to let him cry it out, which also felt completely against my nature.  So we didn’t.  But kindergarten has come and he sleeps through the night on his own.  He’s grown.  So now, I enjoy the occasional snuggles at five am.

My daughter has been different.   Again, all kids are different.

With sleep, we let her cry it out at nine months and she slept great after that until we moved her out of her crib.  Now, she needs me to lay by her until she falls asleep but it’s ok.  It’s a good time for me to calm down too and realize I’m not in control of even sleep.  It’s a natural process for us to fall asleep.  If we make it something bigger then pressure and sleeplessness result (personal experience).

With potty training though, our girl was the same.  We pushed a little but I learned my lesson with the first no natzi camp.  Just before three she came out of the bath and decided it was the day for potty training.  And it stuck.

A few thoughts on regression.  Regression is a normal process for all of us right especially when we are learning?  We don’t always get something the first time, so why do we have such expectations on our babies to be different.

Parenting is so rewarding.  Maybe because it doesn’t all depend on us.

These are a few things I know:

  1. My kids are watching all I do.  Good and bad and they love me still.  And they are turning out ok.
  2. My kids are resilient.  They can do hard things.
  3. Most of the things I’ve feared or worried about with my kids have ironed themselves out.  They’ve grown without my constant control. Maybe in spite of it.

I’m hoping a mom or dad needed to hear this today.  You got this.  You’re doing it.  Even if you don’t see results.  Relax.  Enjoy the process.  Because one day you’ll wake up and that phase will be over.

Reminding myself.  Relax.   Enjoy the process.

It’s pretty miraculous, this raising kids thing.

 

The Good Life

Life with littles.

I have learned a lot.

As a parent you say a lot of, “no don’t eat the sand.”

“You just had a bath.” (mud from head to toe)

“Don’t put that in the toilet.”

It is a constant roller coaster of ups and downs and doing the same thing over and over.

Maybe it is the point, because I am a slow learner.  It takes me a few circles around the block for me to get the point.

I feel like the best mom when my kids are off their tablets/away from T.V., but there is a trade off.  And it usually means the house is a complete disaster.

Disaster equals play.

They have to see where the toys are, which means lots and lots of dumping toy buckets and picking them up to be dumped again.

Just writing it feels overwhelming.

But it’s not all parenting is.

Eventually, the evening slows to lulls.  The kiddos get a little sleepy.  We read our stories for the night.  Brush teeth (that is not the peaceful part).  And I watch those sweet kids fall asleep. Their eyes begin to drift slowly, slowly, until they close.  It’s beautiful.  They are content.  Happy I’m beside them.  And it’s quiet.

Life feels like a whirlwind, but there are these moments where it pauses.  Where it slows to almost standing still, where you can take it all in.  Don’t miss those moments.

It’s not just parenting, but marriage too.  It is the quiet in the car where you are just happy to be in each other’s presence and content to be quiet.

Maybe work, all the sudden you feel a groove in your job and you understand someone more and appreciate all they do.  The frustrations start to fall as you sit and just embrace where you are.  What you have.

Content.

Being content in the quiet has taken me a long time to embrace.  I used to believe silence meant something bad was about to happen, but it’s not true.  The quiet is where God tells you who you are, who He is and why He can be trusted in the busiest of moments.

Life is both.  Crazy and lovely.  Content and fast-paced.  Slow and powerful.  Meaningful and mundane.

Embrace it all.  And make those quiet moments count; loving those around you, listening to the songs of birds outside on this spring day, the sun shining, and the breeze blowing.

I’m sitting in my hallway, listening to my kiddos get along, the birds are chirping, my coffee cup is almost empty, and I’m writing.  Life is good.  It is not perfect, but it is good.

Importance of quiet: God is in the whisper, so we should probably make time to hear it.

Psalm 46:10 says “Be Still, and know that I am God.”

I like how the NET translates it, “Stop your striving and recognize that I am God.”

Be still, embrace whatever moment you are in, and allow God to speak straight to your heart, I promise it is good, a gift.