Tag Archives: parenting

I’m Not Going There

I got up this morning with a mission to help my daughter.  As a homework assignment, she was asked to gather pictures of herself which capture her favorite things.  As I began skimming through files of photos on my computer, you would have thought I was spending most of my time smiling and reminiscing about the past.  To my surprise, recalling those days turned into feelings of discouragement as my role as MOM.

You see, after I had my first daughter, ten years ago, I did a great job taking lots of pictures and getting them into a scrapbook in a timely matter.  As life got more hectic and our family grew, I didn’t capture the same moments by photograph with my other two kids—probably because I usually had one kid on my hip and a basket of laundry in the other.screen

The reality is, life will always be hectic and I CaN’t Do iT ALL.  As soon as I had those sunken feelings this morning I could see how this day was going to pan out—feeling guilty ALL day about the numerous things I should be doing better.  Like how I should plan meals ahead of time instead of pulling meat from the freezer at 4:59 every afternoon…or logging our monthly expenses in a spreadsheet every month instead of staring at a pile of receipts from the last 5 months. The list is never-ending, isn’t it?

Instead, as soon as my daughter left for school, I shut those feelings down by thinking to myself, “I’m not going there”.  I’m not going to spend the entire day beating myself up about my areas of weakness as a mother.  To help, I tried to imagine what our seven-month-old would say to me when he becomes an adult.  If he knew how terrible I felt for not taking pictures of his sweet feet when he was only a few days old, he would say, “Mom….really?  That’s what you’re worried about?  It’s not a big deal. Really.”  And then he would go on to remind me how I would play tractors with him on the living room floor and  spontaneously make him a farmyard out of old oatmeal containers and cereal boxes.  Ahh…thank you, my sweet kiddos, for loving me for my imperfect self.  And Leanne, make sure you remember this if you become a Mom some day. Don’t be so hard on yourself :)

So if this is you today, pick yourself up and start focusing on the things you do well.  You simply can’t do it allDon’t let special moments (like scanning through years of pictures and reflecting on the past with your kids) pass you by because you are beating yourself up, wishing you’d done better.

From one parent to another, I think you are doing just fine ;)

Lara

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Filed under Getting Real, Life

A Simple Solution for a Chaotic Life

One of the best things I learned as a first year teacher was, when I got overwhelmed, to take a step back and try to SIMPLIFY the situation.  I am especially grateful that I figured it out before I had kids because I can’t imagine my life without it!

Are you overwhelmed about house projects?  Starting your own business?  The rhythm of your family life or how your child is doing in school?  Maybe it is your cooking skills or the thought of your daily workload as a mother or in your career?  We are usually so busy trying to keep our heads above water and control every situation that we can’t see the obvious solution:

SIMPLIFY THAT AREA OF YOUR LIFE.

How do you do that?  Take a step back and prioritize what is truly important about each specific situation.  If you are stressed about your house being out of order, maybe you should decide on what room is most important and ONLY focus on that.  If you don’t, you get so overwhelmed about trying to do it all, which only discourages you from even starting!

If your kids are having trouble in school, maybe instead of nagging them constantly you should set really small, achievable goals so you can praise them for something they are doing right.  I understand that it will feel like their progress is going at a snail’s pace, but focusing on the small successes will remove the tension.  And we all know it is easier to be motivated as a kid if you are getting praised and not yelled at, right?

I don’t write this because I have it all figured out.  In fact, consider this post as an entry to my journal, reminding me that I need to re-evaluate some areas in my life and toss the “all-or-nothing” mindset out of the window.

That being said, this post probably comes at a good time now that Lent is here.  If you want to enrich your spiritual life over the next 40 days, try to think of a small and siMpLe thing you can do each day to spend time with God.  Mine is as simple as having Christian music on throughout the day.  Whatever it is, just remember….

LeSs is MoRe!

Lara

P.S. And because I am “simplifiying” the fact that I wanted to post something, I am NOT including a picture.  If that is what it took for me to sit down and write, I still think it is bettering than doing nothing at all!

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Filed under Faith, God

They Are Paying Attention!

Today I got an email forward from my mom that really made me think.  It was a beautiful poem about what goes on in the mind of a child when we ThInK they aren’t looking.  There are so many times I clean up the toys only to have them scattered around the house an hour later and think to myself….Why do I even bother?  This poem really touched me because it made me realize that as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends we may not instantly see the influence we are having on the children in our lives, but they are always WaTcHiNg us and taking in the little things we do day in and day out.

When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking

Author: Unknown
When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed that there was a God to talk to.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I felt you kiss me goodnight,
and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt,
but it’s alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw that you cared,
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I looked….
and I wanted to say thanks for all the things
I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Good Life, Inspiration, Inspire, Kid Stuff, Life, Parenthood, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships

Best Parenting Advice

Of all of the great words of WiSdOm given to me by parents with years of experience, the best AdviCe was this: Always give ultimatums that benefit YOU!

This advice is something I utilize numerous times a day.  When my kiddo doesn’t want to take a nap I ask, “Do you want me to read some books before your nap oR do you want to go to bed without reading a book?”  She always picks the books and without her realizing it, her reSisTanCe to nap is derailed.

Life is so much eAsieR with this method and I can’t imagine parenting without it.  Hope it can make your life a little easier too!

HaPpY PaRenTinG!

~Lara

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Filed under Parenthood, Relationships