mommy lessons

Isn’t it funny how God can use parenting to teach you something about yourself?

Well.. this week has been one of those weeks. My husband has been out of town, so it’s just me and the three kiddos.

There were a lot of great moments in the last week… but also some really frustrating ones.

I definitely lost my cool a time or two in the car when the girls were bickering and my toddler was screaming. I rushed everyone in to bed a half hour early the other night because I just needed a break.

Being a mom is not easy. But, I keep telling myself.. I am and will be one of the biggest influences in my kids lives. And I want it to be a positive one.

My daughters are 5 and 7. They don’t always make the right decisions. Lately, when I have called them out on a bad decision or disobedience.. they immediately start to give an excuse for why they did what they did. And usually it starts with… “but mommy I was just…”

This has been driving me nuts. I found myself getting angry or telling them I didn’t care why, I just wanted them to stop.

Then I realized, this really should be a teaching moment.

So, we sat down and I explained why making excuses or trying to justify something wrong can cause damage.The person you wronged or hurt in the process… doesn’t want to hear excuses… they want you to apologize and mean it and try harder not to do again.

Ellie said, “Well sometimes mom, it’s really hard for me to just say sorry. I didn’t mean to do something to hurt someone.”

I realized as she said that, often times I have the same problem.

It’s humbling to admit you are wrong. And it makes sense that you immediately want to explain that it wasn’t your intention to do the wrong (almost defend yourself). Most of the time it isn’t our intention to hurt others, but the point is that we do. We often hurt or disregard others because we are in a selfish mode and aren’t taking the time to think before we do things. That is still wrong. And it still deserves an “Im sorry.”

Saying I’m sorry is harder, but maybe because it is harder to admit you were wrong… you will be more intentional the next time to not make the same mistake.

When we justify things or make excuses… we make them to ourselves too. We some how write it off as not being a big deal.

I even thought back to times I have been in an argument with my husband and been a little rude. I have gone back and “apologized”, but also explaining why I felt I needed to be nasty (because he was.. or because I was tired and stressed.. etc). And in a weird way, I felt like I had a good excuse for my behavior. It’s a pride thing I think. When really, there’s no excuse or justification for those actions.

The girls and I had a good talk and I can tell they are working harder to stop the, “but I was just…”

And, the talk was good for me too.

Next area God has been teaching me lessons in… parenting my son.

So, we adopted our sweet foster son back in December and made him an official member of our family!

We couldn’t be more thrilled. And honestly, there isn’t much of a transition.. because he has already been in our home for over a year and half.

Here’s the adorable little guy here…

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Disclaimer: I love my son. He is an amazing little guy. But, I am about to get honest.

Now Jax is currently in my LEAST favorite age. The 18 months – 2 year old range. I know some moms love this stage… but not me.. not so much.

Yes, they do learn a lot and it’s fun to see them transition from baby to little boy. But, they also have a hard time communicating and get extremely frustrated. At least all three of mine did. They want to do everything themselves, but can’t. They have an opinion about everything… but they can’t quite articulate what that is.  And.. have you ever tried to teach a toddler patience? Haha.

Jax has been a lot more difficult then the girls were too. Maybe it’s because he is a boy? Maybe it’s just his personality?

He is just so passionate and extreme.. which are awesome qualities. But, it also makes the battles that much bigger and longer.

And he has this scream I swear does damage to your ear drums.

Lately, Jax has been struggling at night too. He switched to a toddler bed about a month ago because he kept climbing out of his crib. The first week went great, he slept normal. The last three… oh my. He has been getting up on an average of 4-5 times a night. Needless to say, we are exhausted and so is he. Which makes for a lot more of emotions from all of us.

They biggest thing I have been learning.. well honestly since the first moment I held Jax in my arms… is that I don’t have control. God does.

And there have been many mommy moments where I feel like I am running on fumes with him. I am out of ideas. I am at a loss. I have been praying more throughout the day now than before. And God has been good to me. He has given me peace and comfort when I need it. He has given me strength.

I know God has incredible plans for this child. I know that He entrusted us with the privilege of raising him.

I even just saw this last week that Jax’s name means…  “God has been gracious; has shown favor.”

So, I am just holding on to those truths.

I know I rambled on a bit in this post.. and it was a bit unorganized. But I just want to share what God has been teaching me… and maybe encourage others in the same boat.

q & a- the cradle coach

So today is an exciting day… because it starts my Q&A series on the blog. I am so, so excited about this. I have some awesome women lined up to share with your their stories and expertise.

My first interview was with Melissa, also known as the Cradle Coach. Melissa and I have been friends since college and I have always admired her mommy skills. She now shares those skills with other mamas… especially ones who struggle with their children’s sleeping patterns.

I am sure if you have been a mom….  you remember! Those long… long… nights of being completely exhausted. Some of you may still be there! I know I have been with our foster son the past few months.

Well, you need to read her advice below and be sure to check out her site here.

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Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Melissa and I am a mother of two little ones, Riley (3) and Hudson (1), who I am totally in love with. I married the man of my dreams who I met in college. He makes me become a better wife, mother, sister and friend every single day by pushing me to be greater. There are three things I need every day to get me through; spending time in the word, running, and drinking coffee. If I don’t get those in, I feel completely lost. I absolutely love what I get to do and love the people I get to do it with.

What inspired you to become The Cradle Coach?

I was sitting on my couch, feeding Riley who was 2 months old at the time, and scrolling through my phone searching for someone to talk to about training my very stubborn little girl. I was up all night, every night, for 2 months straight and was exhausted. I wasn’t myself and felt completely out of control. I was desperate! For years I was a nanny and dealt with many situations like this with infants, twins and toddlers but when it was my own child with very real emotions to consider, I didn’t know where to begin. Nothing worked and I couldn’t find a single person to talk to. Then and there was when I decided to start The Cradle Coach. I wanted to help other moms create a routine for their children during the day and a game plan for the wake ups at night, while giving them that emotional support along the way.

What’s the biggest challenge you see parents running in to when it comes to their children’s sleeping habits?

Second guessing themselves. They start off with a technique and after a day or two, think that its not working and try something else. This causes so much confusion for their little ones – communicating by their actions one thing and changing things on them the next night. Stick to your plan for at least a week to see if you see progress. If you don’t then change things up a little but too much change creates for a harder time sleep training.

I remember when I had my first child, everyone had some sort of advice to give when it came to feedings, schedules, etc. What would you say to a new mom about the rush of advice they receive? How do they know who is right?

I always say to my clients, go with your motherly instinct. If your gut is telling you something about your child, more then likely you are right! Nobody can tell you more about your child then you can, so trust your gut.

Any other tips for fellow mamas?

Routine, Routine, Routine! Children thrive on routine. They like knowing whats expected of them and what’s next. Starting off with a little bedtime routine before you lay them to sleep helps them know it’s time to go to sleep. It slows them down and And obviously, enjoy the moments. Sometimes we are so exhausted that we cant see the joy in the moment. Be open to those moments. Love on those moments. They go by so fast!!

Thanks so much Melissa. And like I said follow her page on Facebook here and check out her website here. Great advice!

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