And the mom of the year award goes to……

I’ve done some pretty strange things in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT in line for sainthood by ANY stretch of the imagination, my husband & I fall short ALL the time in our parenting decisions and our skills are often those of first time parents of 6 children (two whom are grown with their own children). BUT, sometimes you just have to shake your head and think “What were they thinking?”
 
A Tennessee woman has set the Internet on fire when photos of her walk down the aisle at her wedding started spreading . In an effort to make her newborn baby part of her wedding day, Shona Carter-Brooks tied her 1-month-old daughter, Aubrey, to the back of her dress and dragged her down the aisle. It is actually a little less brutal than it sounds, as you can see in the photo above, but still…why?!
 
I’m all for including your children in your special day, and I’m also all for doing whatever you want when it comes to your wedding, because it is your wedding. But this is obviously something that Shona and her husband, Johnathancould have & SHOULD have taken a second to think about before deciding that yeah, this would be special and not at all hazardous or upsetting for guest.
 
Facebook
While the couple’s friends and family have jumped to support their decision to trail their baby behind them in the ceremony, others have called for Child Protective Services to become involved— and honestly, I can’t say I blame them. There was no reason to exclude the baby from the ceremony, but putting her on the train puts her in harm’s way—all it would take is someone to trip or stumble, and poor defenseless baby would have been stepped on and seriously hurt or worse! 
 
To each their own, I guess, and I thank God I’ve never done something to be publicly ridiculed for with my children, but here are a couple other ways she could have included her baby into her special day:
 
1. Carried her down the aisle
2. Pushed her in a stroller down the aisle
3. Held her during the ceremony
4. Have her husband hold the baby as they both walked down the aisle
5. Had her pulled down the aisle in a buggy/wagon
6. Literally anything else besides tying a 1-month-old to the back of a wedding dress and dragging her down the aisle
If your children were at included in your wedding ceremony, how did you include them in the festivities? Would you ever consider something as extreme as carrying your baby in your bridal train?
I welcome your comments, but please be tasteful!
 
 
 

Personal Responsibility In Our Children

I’ve been thinking more and more recently about my children being “self-sufficient” & “personally responsible” adults in life. Scary, I know, considering Alyssa is 18 yrs old and I probably should have been thinking about this much earlier than now. But, alas, I haven’t!

 

A series of events have lead to this post, the most recent being yesterday:

While I was working Alyssa (my oldest daughter) text me from school saying that she was hungry. “OK?” I thought. I respond “I’m working”. She then proceeds to whine *yes, I could hear the whine through the text* about how she had been up since 6:00am, forgot her lunch, it was now 4:00pm and she wouldn’t be done with practice until 7:30pm and she was *starving*.

My first thought was that of frustration. I mean seriously?!?! Is she for real? Did she really go ALL DAY without eating anything and now expects to have the energy to practice {colorguard}…. oh AND expects ME to stop working to bring it to her?
{I know the following should have been my first thought, but it wasn’t, so sue me!}
My second thought was concern; after all, she IS a diabetic. Going all day without eating isn’t good for anyone, but it especially isn’t good for a diabetic. The horror of a low blood sugar then comes to mind.
But, I think the biggest thought was “Where is your personal responsibility?” and I responded as such! {I am a serious contender for mother of the year right now} “You should have planned ahead and packed your lunch and some snacks. You are 18, Alyssa! What are you going to do when you are on a college campus next year and you don’t have mom to run something to you?” Her response you ask? “I dunno!”
Agghhhhh!!!!! I HAVE CREATED A LITTLE MONSTER! Now I do have to say, Alyssa is GENERALLY a pretty responsible & mature kid. She is actively involved with school, church, and her community. She maintains good grades, is Captain of the Rifle team for colorguard, coaches cheerleading, works with special needs children, helps me with her siblings, etc., etc. etc. She has been an active participant and day to day giver of her medical care for the past 10 years. But all of the sudden a light bulb went off for me……
So much of her “responsibility” is because MOM keeps her on schedule and gives her reminders. *oh, snap* Is she really going to be a self-sufficient adult? Is she going to “survive” without mom there to keep her on track? Well, duh, I KNOW she will… but could I have prepared her better? I still have 7 months before she leaves for college. It’s crunch time!!
What about you? How have you prepared your children to leave the nest and fly on their own? HELP!

Linked To:
Raising Arrows, Easy Life, Losing My Gut, Turnips 2 Tangerines, Scrumptilicious 4 You, From My Front Porch to Yours, Sweet Haute

Instilling Vision In Our Sons

He had that look in his eye.
You know the look. That way of silently expressing that this young man has got things to do and places to go. You could tell he felt a calling on his life – a sense of purpose and a hope for the future.
Yes, that young man had a vision.
There was a time when I thought a boy either had it…or simply didn’t. But I don’t believe that anymore. I believe parents can encourage vision in their sons. That it’s not merely a matter of chance, but an internal calling that can be brought out and molded into something solid and real. And I believe it’s never too late to appeal to that small flicker of fire deep inside his soul.
How Do You Instill Vision in Your Son? 
Encourage his unique strengths and gifting. Sometimes a son’s strengths can seem almost odd, even out-of-place when he is young. You worry about him and wonder. But don’t. Maybe he’s bright, overly-social, not-social-enough, a tinkerer, funny, or serious. Whatever he is – God made him that way and He has a plan for that boy of yours.
Don’t impose your dreams on him. This is probably the biggest mistake parents make. They want their sons to fulfill their own dreams. But, please, don’t do this to him. Let him live out his own God-given desires and goals for his life. Even if it looks a bit differently than the picture you would have painted for him.
Be bold and offer some direction. This might seem to contradict what’s above, but it doesn’t. I’ve heard more than one guy confide that he could use a little help – maybe even a little push – to get going in a direction. Often a young man feels the pressure of having to pursue something, but has no idea what that “something” is. So offer guidance as to his best options and then together set out specific steps toward the goal.
Read the Rest of Lisa Jacobson’s blog here

The Important Thing About Yelling

I cherish the notes I receive from my children—whether they are scribbled with a Sharpie on a yellow sticky note or written in perfect penmanship on lined paper.

But the Mother’s Day poem I recently received from my 9-year-old daughter was especially meaningful. In fact, the first line of the poem caused my breath to catch as warm tears slid down my face.

“The important thing about my mom is … she’s always there for me, even when I get in trouble.”

You see, it hasn’t always been this way.
In the midst of my highly distracted life, I started a new practice that was quite different from the way I behaved up until that point. I became a yeller. It wasn’t often, but it was extreme—like an overloaded balloon that suddenly pops and makes everyone in earshot startle with fear.

So what was it about my then 3-year-old and 6-year-old children that caused me to lose it? Was it how she insisted on running off to get three more beaded necklaces and her favorite pink sunglasses when we were already late? Was it that she tried to pour her own cereal and dumped the entire box on the kitchen counter? Was it that she dropped and shattered my special glass angel on the hardwood floor after being told not to touch it? Was it that she fought sleep like a prizefighter when I needed peace and quiet the most? Was it that the two of them fought over ridiculous things like who would be first out of the car or who got the biggest dip of ice cream?

Yes, it was those things—normal mishaps and typical kid issues and attitudes that irritated me to the point of losing control.
That is not an easy sentence to write. Nor is this an easy time in my life to relive because truth be told, I hated myself in those moments. What had become of me that I needed to scream at two precious little people who I loved more than life?

Let me tell you what had become of me.

My distractions


Excessive phone use, commitment overload, multiple page to-do lists, and the pursuit of perfection consumed me. And yelling at the people I loved was a direct result of the loss of control I was feeling in my life.

Inevitably, I had to fall apart somewhere. So I fell apart behind closed doors in the company of the people who meant the most to me.

Until one fateful day.

My oldest daughter had gotten on a stool and was reaching for something in the pantry when she accidently dumped an entire bag of rice on the floor. As a million tiny grains pelleted the floor like rain, my child’s eyes welled up with tears. And that’s when I saw it—the fear in her eyes as she braced herself for her mother’s tirade.
She’s scared of me, I thought with the most painful realization imaginable. My six-year-old child is scared of my reaction to her innocent mistake.

With deep sorrow, I realized that was not the mother I wanted my children to grow up with, nor was it how I wanted to live the rest of my life.

Within a few weeks of that episode, I had my Breakdown-Breakthrough—my moment of painful awareness that propelled me on a Hands Free journey to let go of distraction and grasp what really mattered. That was two and a half years ago—two and half years of scaling back slowly on the excess and electronic distraction in my life … two and half years of releasing myself from the unachievable standard of perfection and societal pressure to “do it all.” As I let go of my internal and external distractions, the anger and stress pent up inside me slowly dissipated. With a lighten load, I was able to react to my children’s mistakes and wrongdoings in a more calm, compassionate, and reasonable manner.

I said things like, “It’s just chocolate syrup. You can wipe it up, and the counter will be as good as new.”

(Instead of expelling an exasperated sigh and an eye roll for good measure.)

I offered to hold the broom while she swept up a sea of Cheerios that covered the floor.

(Instead of standing over her with a look of disapproval and utter annoyance.)

I helped her think through where she might have set down her glasses.

(Instead of shaming her for being so irresponsible.)
And in the moments when sheer exhaustion and incessant whining were about to get the best of me, I walked into the bathroom, shut the door, and gave myself a moment to exhale and remind myself they are children, and children make mistakes. Just like me.

And over time, the fear that once flared in my children’s eyes when they were in trouble disappeared. And thank goodness, I became a haven in their times of trouble—instead of the enemy from which to run and hide.

Click on this blog HANDS FREE MAMA to finish the rest of the post

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My Precious Daughters

As parents, we only want what is best for our children.

As parents of daughters, we strive to protect them like fragile pieces of china. We want them to feel loved and cherished. We want to bring them up properly and show them the best ways to live life. Here are two fabulous blogs by one of my favorite sites Club31Women that are written to parents and their daughters.
http://www.thebettermom.com/2013/10/01/5-facts-my-daughter-really-needs-to-know/
http://club31women.com/2013/04/24-ways-to-prepare-her-to-become-a-lovely-woman/
http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/2013/10/titus-2sday-link-up-party_28.html
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