• Friday, September 26th, 2008
When I became a mother, I found that I needed lots of support, and talking to my friends who were not moms wasn’t helping me. My husband didn’t understand either because he was at work all day. I needed a group of mothers who could be encouraging, compassionate, and helpful when I needed advice. I also wanted a group of friends for me and my children. If you are a new mother, or even if you have been at this motherhood thing for a while, it is worth looking into the different support programs that are available to you in your community. Here are just a few:
MOPS International (Mothers of Preschoolers)
Mom to Mom (by Linda Anderson)
Mothers and More
The Mommies Network
Do you know of other mom groups? Please comment and leave links to their websites.
• Thursday, September 25th, 2008
Now that I am a mom I cherish my “me time”, the time that I have on my own, since I rarely have it. It is easy to get wrapped up in the list of things that need to get done every day and skip out on taking care of me. I have learned that I have to take that time in order to be a better wife, mother, and me. Here are a few tips for how to ensure that you have the time to take care of yourself.
- Schedule your day/night off well in advance. If it is on the calendar, you are more likely to make it happen.
- Simplify your plans for your “me time”. If the arrangements are too complicated, you are less likely to continue to find the time for yourself.
- Choose an activity that is low cost or free. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time. Go to the library. Go for a walk, bike ride, or a hike. Go to a coffee shop to sip coffee and read a book. Meet up with friends to get a dessert.
- Talk to your husband about who will take care of the children - Daddy, Grandma, a babysitter. Make sure the plans are solid and have a back up plan in case someone gets sick. If you are concerned about the child care arrangements, you won’t be able to enjoy your day or you won’t even be able to get away.
- Relax and enjoy the time you have. Forget about what is happening at home or with the children, and trust that your husband will call you if there is an emergency. Worry defeats the purpose of “me time”.
I hope you consider finding some “me time” this month and find that you are rejuvinated!
• Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
My kids make me laugh. They are such funny little people. I love watching them play and listening in on their conversations. It is such a beautiful sight to see these two small, individuals develop a relationship with each other. It truly warms my heart when I see their kindness and their compassion toward one another. It is also equally heartbreaking when they cannot get along, or when they are intentionally mean to each other. It disappoints me so much when the mean and selfish side of them come out. I must say, though, that the benefit from having siblings is learning how to resolve disagreements. Siblings also learn how to accept other people for who they are. Have you ever watched that happen with your kids?
C4 likes to be in charge all of the time. A2, most of the time, gives in and follows. Our problems arise when A2 decides to assert an opinion. C4 does not take that well, so we have an explosion. It is interesting to watch the action, though. Today I spent time really looking at and listening to what was going on. The kids were playing so nicely, and both of them were part if the game. There was a great conversation about the game, too. Then C4 took over by changing the flow of the game. When A2 squawked about C4 changing the game, C4 actually started shushing and spent time explaining the game better. That actually diffused most of the disagreement. It was remarkable because, until recently, I always had to intercede to avoid a physical fight. Today they were able to work it out, though. We are making progress! It is amazing what you can learn when you have a sibling!
• Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
My husband and I have been together for what seems like forever - 12 years. We met when I was 19 and in college still. In retrospect, in many ways I am glad that I met him when we were both so young. We have been through many life changing events as a couple and really have grown up, so to speak, together. We don’t have to go into long explanations about our opinions or what happened in our families long ago. We even accepted Christ and got baptized together, so we know what we were both like before we were saved. This means so much to me and to us as a couple.
Sometimes, though, knowing someone for so long means that your old baggage gets carried around for the rest of your relationship. You both leave things unresolved, or you regret past mistakes and haven’t forgiven each other. The way that you as a couple solve problems may not have been very healthy in the past, and that behavior pattern might still haunt you now.
Then there is the inevitable transition to parenthood that turns your world upside down. As a couple you are used to doing things a certain way, or you can ignore and avoid chronic problems in your relationship when it is just the two of you. Once a little one arrives on the scene, though, things change. You cannot ignore your problems anymore. Things that seemed like minor issues before are magnified now because of lack of sleep and increased stress. The weak parts of your relationship are stretched to the limit. Having children forces you to take a long look at your marriage. What have we done about the stressful situations that test our relationship?
E and I have found that prayer is by far one of the most effective ways to make changes in our marriage. On the day we got married, we invited God into our relationship. Our marriage is built on the rock called Jesus, so we need to let Him do the work that we cannot do ourselves. For me personally it has meant that I pray for my husband, our marriage, and for me as a wife regularly. I ask God to change our hearts and to be ever present in our marriage. I have read and reread scripture (Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:21-33) about the marriage relationship. E and I also pray together for each other at least 4 nights a week. We continually work on those areas that we find causing the most problems. We also try to have time alone without our children. Although we value family time, we know that we will continue to be married even after the children have left our home. It is essential for us to have a solid relationship because without that, there really is no family and we will be left with nothing after the children are grown.
I hope that this week you and your husband can find some time to pray with each other and for each other as well as spend some time alone building a solid marriage on the Rock.
• Monday, September 22nd, 2008
Life has been busy for our family since the beginning of September. School has started for C4, so I am driving back and forth in the mornings. This week Mom-to-Mom and the ladies’ Bible study I attend also start this week. I am actively involved in Mom-to-Mom this year as I am coordinating the hospitality team. I have been trying to go to the gym three times a week in order to try to relieve some stress and to take care of me. I am also educating my children at home, and I am building my own business, Homeschooling Coach. I am going to be very busy. Don’t get me wrong because I like to be busy. I am just wondering how I will be able to do it all, and I am concerned that I might end up missing out on the little things that I truly appreciate like time relaxing and enjoying my children. In the past I have used busyness as a way to fulfill my needs without spending time with God.
Starting now I am praying that God will guide me this year to be able to do His work in His strength and not on my own. I am praying that I will be able to stay focused and accomplish the things that He wants me to do. With a truly busy schedule, I will be forced to be organized, and I will need to seek God more than I think I have to. God will guide me if I let Him and if I listen to him. While I am driving all over the place, I will be listening carefully to what He has to say!