Sharing the Gift of Faith with my Tween Daughter

Sharing The Gift OF Faith With My Tween Daughter (through Tween Devotionals and Quality Time)

As a Christian, I am always, always, always, reevaluating my walk with Christ.  I mean lets face it to be like Christ, is no easy feat, I often feel like I am not doing enough.  Basically, it is just me acknowledging that I am a work in progress.  I fall down and get up.. like pretty much everyone else.  But, the constant in my life despite has always been my faith.

That being said,  if I were to tell you what my gift is, I probably would not saying preaching or ministry.  But, as a Mom, I feel like it is my responsibility to share my faith with my children. Growing up religion/faith was taught to me in a very totalitarian way.  There were very few gray areas or room for explanation and or deviation.  I’m not condemning this way of thinking, but, it is is not how I wanted to share my faith with my own children.  I wanted us to be able to talk about it and make sense of it together.

This year my oldest daughter started Middle School.  Since, I do morning drop offs, after dropping off my youngest at elementary school , my older daughter and I would get to her school with about 20 minutes to spare before her day began.  I had no idea that this window, which at first seemed like it would be a pocket of wasted time, would turn out to be such a blessing for the both of us.

She was transitioning from Elementary to Middle School, which means that she was already quite nervous about all the change.  So we prayed about the transition, we prayed about her finding her way through this NEW BIG school.  We prayed about her making friends and being happy.  And, when we came up on some rough patches through the year, we prayed about that too.  Then one morning I had a light bulb moment and started to search for Devotions for “Tweens”.  I am not sure I actually expected that to be a thing, or to find one.  But, I did.   When the first book arrived from Amazon, we were both so excited.  Almost every teen girl .. is equally as excited about the “tween” title.  I skimmed through the book before our first reading together.  And, I knew it would be a good fit for us.

So each morning after pulling into our Spot in the School Parking Lot, we took turns reading to each other from these devotionals and discussing it.  Some days the discussions were deep, some days they skimmed the surface.  Some days we didn’t read we just talked about things that were on our minds.  But, I would not have missed this time for anything.  And, at the end of the day.  I feel like I was able to share with her something that could carry her through anything life had to offer, similar to what my Mom in her own way passed down to me.

These are the two books, that took us through this school year, the links below are clickable.  Do you have any Teen/Tween Devotions that you loved and would like to share?  Leave it in the comments below, we would love to check them out.

 

you-re-god-s-girl-a-devotional-for-tweens-wynter-pitts-paperback You’re God’s Girl – Clickable Link For Girls Like You - A Devotional for Tweens - Wynter Pitts

For Girls Like You – Clickable Link

Mommy Hears and Understands

Mommy Hears and Understands

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Each May, BHSM, provides an opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders and the role of the American Speech – Language – Hearing Association in providing life-altering treatments. The theme for this year is “Communication, The Key to Connection.”   I am sure like most people, this month probably has little significance to you.  And up until my eldest daughter was born, it had little significance to me either.  However, in October of 2004, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, with all her fingers and all her toes.  She was perfect in my eyes.  She was more than even my wildest dreams could have conjured up.  She was all sugar and spice rolled into one.  As she grew older, like any parents we anxiously anticipated her first words.  Every mother longs for the day when they hear the words Momma cross their little ones lips.   But, those sweet words would be delayed.  Obviously concerned with the delay, we spoke to her pediatrician and she agreed that our daughter needed to be evaluated by a Speech Language Pathologist.  The tests that were needed were difficult at best for a small child, who was terrified of strangers.  It was a trying time.

After some time, she was diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder.  Honestly, they might as well have told me that she had Astronaut’s Disease, because I had no idea what it meant, and or what it entailed.  I consider myself to be pretty bright, but even after they explained it to me, I was still grasping at straws.  If I were to give you a layman’s description of what it is, it would go a little something like this, how she hears and processes sound is different than you and I.  Even with the diagnosis,  I had no idea what lay ahead of us.  At the age of 2, she was assigned her very first Speech Language Pathologist. We could not have known what a significant role her SLP would play in her developmental progress.  She was able to relate to her as her therapist and on an interpersonal level.  Pulling her out of her shell, and getting her to be open up and  try new things was key. She started to attend Speech Therapy twice a week for an hour, and slowly her vocabulary began to grow.  We finally were able to hear and understand her.  But, it was no easy feat.    Learning to pronounce and enunciate her words was difficult for her.  After a while we could understand her, and those that were around her frequently could understand her but it was still hard for a stranger to pick up on what she was saying.

As the years went by, she continued to make progress.  When it was time for her to begin Kindergarten, we let the school know immediately about her speech delay, and provided them with her diagnosis and all the necessary documentation.  Soon into her first year it was evident that she was struggling.  As you know, Speech, Communication and Comprehension are huge components of the educational process.  It literally was hindering every part of her experience and it was heartbreaking.  With the help of an exceptional team, by the first grade she had a functioning IEP (Individualized Education Program).  For the second time, a new SLP was introduced into our lives.  And again, what she brought to the table made ALL the difference in the progress that my daughter would make. The SLP would sit with the teachers to see what they were teaching and how she could help.  She would incorporate the lessons being taught into their daily sessions.  To say she went above and beyond, is a drastic understatement.  She was able to pick up on her moods, her strengths and her weaknesses and she nurtured her in a way that I can not explain.    God knew exactly what we needed to make it through the journey.  And, when it was time for her to retire I was devastated.  I was truly sad to see her go and I was not sure how the change would affect the progress that we had already made.  But, she made the transition seemless and we went from one blessing to another.

The greatest blessing in this test for us, as a family and for our daughter has been receiving Speech Therapy.   We have been extremely blessed to have been paired with SLPs who have become more than what there jobs required, but true friends.  I always say that the way to any parent’s heart is through their children.  It is not often that you run across educators who have a genuine love and concern for your child.    Now, I am coming at this from the Speech side of things, simply because that is where our diagnosis took us.  But, Auditory and Speech issues affect children all across the board.  As is the case with most disabilities, early detection is very important.  There are many programs available to you, if you feel that you child could be struggling in this area.  If you think your child may be struggling with Speech and or Hearing Issues, check out this website, which is full of useful information and resources.

If our journey, that we are still on, has taught me anything it is this, it truly takes a village.  And, we could not be more thankful for ours.  Every Journey will be different, as no individual is the same.  Want to know more about Auditory Processing Disorders?  Here is the first book I read about it at the start of our journey.

“INDIVIDUAL COMMITMENT TO A GROUP EFFORT – THAT IS WHAT MAKES A TEAM WORK, A COMPANY WORK, A SOCIETY WORK, A CIVILIZATION WORK.” – VINCE LOMBARDI

5 Ways Being A Mom Has Changed Me

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Being a Mom has changed me, in fact it honestly continues to change me every day.  Before I had kids, I was very confident in the fact that I knew almost everything, but, boy was I wrong.  I am not sure that anything can adequately prepare you for motherhood.

Perspective:  Being a Mom has forever changed my perspective on life.  I no longer believe that things are just black and white.  In fact, the gray areas far surpass any other.  Through the eyes of my children, I have seen things in ways that I don’t think I ever would have otherwise.  Because they are still so young, and tend to see the world without cynicism and fear.  And, because of them I try my hardest to be less judgmental and dogmatic.

Patience:  I am not sure you can successfully parent without some kind of patience.  Yet, I fear this will be a lesson I will continue to learn for my whole life.  There is no way that you can hear your name called over and over again, in various octaves and within 3 minutes, without having to exercise patience.

Understanding:  I think the older we get, the less sympathetic we become. We start to become easily annoyed with things that we feel require simple common sense and effort.  But, after becoming the parent of little people, I find myself being a little more compassionate towards other people’s plights.

Forgiveness:  Crayons on Walls, Vaseline all over faces… General messes… and the older they  get hurt feelings… Motherhood is a daily exercise in forgiveness.  I know I am not alone in feeling this way.  You clean up a room, only to have it destroyed moments later, by the cutest little thing you have ever seen.  Or you drive your teenager all over town, only to have him throw a hissy fit, because you won’t get back in the car to take him somewhere else.

Love:  I know it sounds cliche, but children do teach you the true meaning of unconditional love.  You love your spouse, or your significant other, but… you have very real and very definable expectations where they are concerned. Not that you do not have expectations of your children, but when they fall short you are the one who has to be there to pick them up, dust them off, and give them that needed push to get back on the horse.

I would be remiss if I did not say that being a Mom, is one of the hardest jobs that I have ever had.  It is challenging, it is rewarding, and sometimes it is a thankless job.  There are days when I feel unappreciated and burnt out.  But, the ups far outweigh the downs, and for that I am forever grateful.  God entrusted me with these little souls to love, to cherish and to mold, and even when it’s not easy, I intend to do just that.

How has being a Mom changed you?

7 Things Every Parent Should Know

7 Things Every Parent Should Know - www.stage-presents.com

  1.  Every child is different.  I think sometimes we base our parenting styles and decisions on how things worked the first time around, or how our parent’s raised us. I have three children and they couldn’t be more different.  Growing up, I remember thinking that my sister had it so much easier, because I had already gone through all of the hard things.  And, that my mom favored her over me, which.. well I am still not sure that isn’t entirely true, lol.  But… now that I have children of my own I know that what worked for one of them wouldn’t necessarily work for the other.
  2. There is no such thing as the perfect parent.  Even though it is what we all aspire to be, we would save ourselves so much time right out of the gate, by acknowledging from the very beginning that we are human, and therefore flawed. There will be times when you have to say you are sorry.  You will not always be right.  You are charged with shaping these little lives that have been entrusted to you, but try as you might you can’t mold them into your own image.  (Trust me I’ve tried, lol)
  3. Quality and Quantity.  I know you probably thought I was going to say  Quality over Quantity.  But Nope.  Here’s is my reasoning you are probably never going to be able to please everyone see #1.  And, even though you will most likely try to find things that everyone is interested in and or try to give them as much one on one time, as possible.  That simply may not be the way that they remember it.  So do you best to spend as much time as you can, whenever you can.  And hope that it is enough.
  4. Routine. Routine is the key to any well oiled machine.  Bed times, chores, expectations, etc.  As I mentioned before, I thought my parents were too strict.  But, the thing about it is that looking back I see now that knowing what was expected of me and how I was to conduct myself played a large part in shaping me.  I can see now that a lot of the heartache that my friends went through I was lucky enough not to have experienced, because I simply didn’t live that life.
  5. Enjoy it.  I will be the first one to tell you that parenthood is NO WALK IN THE PARK.   You love your babies and you can’t imagine life without them.  But, sometimes you do.  You imagine what it would be like to pull your hands through you hair, throw on some bright red lipstick and skinny jeans and just jump in the car heading off to God knows where and for God knows what reason.  But, you know those days are over.  So once you are back from your pity party.  Make sure to enjoy these days.  One day you will miss it.  Since my oldest is 20 and my youngest is 6, I have a unique vantage point.  I can see the other side while still in the trenches.
  6. Document your days.  This is a controversial one for some people, because if you are snapping pictures then maybe you aren’t present.  I guess I have mixed feelings about this, because I see things from behind a lens that I am not sure I would notice otherwise.  Or maybe it’s that the things that I see make me want to pull out my camera to preserve the memory.  Like taking my daughters to the beach last year, and watching their faces so go from fear, to fun, to frolicking.  It was amazing to sit there and watch them grow before my eyes.  To me, it’s equally amazing to look back on those pictures and remember that day with joy in my heart.  I think I have always taken a lot of pictures, but when my son was little there were no iPhone’s and such, so there are way less pics of him than of the girls, and it is one of my biggest regrets.
  7. We Time and Me Time are a necessity.  Before they came, it was just the two of you.  And, before you became the two of you, it was just you.  Every relationship needs cultivation, even the ones we have with ourselves.  And, I believe this with all my heart.  If you are depleted at some time in some way, it is going to come out.  I am lucky enough to have my parents close by and when I need a break they are more than happy to afford us that luxury.  But, even if you don’t have a support system close by, little things mean a lot.  Can you both get off work for a couple of hours while the kids are at school, for lunch or for a movie or both?  Can you schedule a babysitter, and make a night of it?  Or maybe you just need the peace and quiet, or solitude of a massage, or mani-pedi appointment.  Figure out what feeds your spirit and your soul and do that, make time for that.

“TODAY’S LITTLE MOMENTS,  BECOME TOMORROW’S PRECIOUS MEMORIES.”

Our Top 5 Children’s Holiday Books

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You may very well get tired of hearing me say that Christmas is my “favorite time of year”.  But, I am pretty sure that I am not alone.  Some of my favorite Christmas memories are centered around the books my parents would read with my sister and I around Christmas time.  It is a tradition that I have tried to pass on to my own Children.  Every year on Christmas Eve they both get a Christmas related book and we read them together.  Needless to say over the years we have grown quite the collection.  I personally believe that a love for reading and a quest for knowledge are one of the most important things that we as parents, can pass on to our little ones.  It is always hard for me to narrow down only a few choices for Christmas Reading, because there is so much to choose from.  But, check out my Top 5 Favorites for this year!!  I have included some classics, as well as a Bonus Book for all those Moms who want to teach their kids the real meaning of Christmas.  All of the links to the books are Clickable.

Olivia Helps with Christmas

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The Sweet Smell of Christmas A Scratch and Sniff Story

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Grace At Christmas

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THE CLASSICS

The Night Before Christmas

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The Polar Express

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BONUS — the real meaning of christmas

God Gave Us Christmas

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Out of all the books listed, my very favorite is God Gave Us Christmas.  We just discovered this one last year, and it is a gem.  Everything about it gave me the warm and fuzzies and the kids enjoyed it to.  So it’s officially Mommy and Kid Approved.

What are your favorite books to read with your little ones?  What are your favorite Christmas Traditions?  I’d love to read all about it in the comment section below.

Peace of Mind Essentials for Hotel Stays with Little People

Essentials for Hotel Stays with Kids www.stage-presents.com

I know you remember when spending the weekend or vacations at a hotel was a welcome treat.  The only thing you really had to think about what was what to pack and for how long.  Then, you became a Mommy and all of a sudden it seemed like every news program was feeding into your new found Mommy obsession with germs [esp. in hotels].  And then, in my case, you had a child that was allergic to daylight… (well, at least it felt that way) and had eczema and everything became a battle to avoid  germs.  Unless you are one of the lucky ones who live near all of your family and or can afford your own vacation home, hotels are a necessary evil.  Now, don’t get my wrong I still enjoy my stays at swanky hotels with the hubby, but my mind is not so focused on little people during those trips.

Even though I know full well that this is probably a battle I can not win, there are some essentials that make these trips just a bit more manageable in my OCD Brain.

HERE IS MY LIST OF PEACE OF MIND ESSENTIALS FOR TRAVELING WITH LITTLE PEOPLE

Lysol – I have a true love/hate relationship with Lysol.  Of course I love the purpose that it serves, but ugh the smell.  My compromise is the lemon scented one, it still has distinct undertones but I can handle it.

Disinfectant Wipes – Wipe down as many surfaces as you can that the kids will touch.  Which if your kids are like mine, that is every thing, lol.

Baby Wipes – Cause you can’t wipe down everything

Ziplock Bags –  Storage for pretty much anything.

Your Own Soap – I don’t know about you, but I hate most hotel soaps because they tend to be drying.

Pillow Cases – I sleep better knowing that the pillow cases we are sleeping on, have been washed by yours truly.

Flat Sheets – another OCD thing.

Garbage Bags –  Hotel garbage bags are always TOO SMALL.

Snacks/Juice/Water – This one is just about saving you from the mini bar/vending machine prices.

Hand Sanitizer – For When All Else Fails.

I know I am not the only panicked Momma going through this.  So I’d love to know what are your go to items for hotel stays with your little ones? Drop them in the comment section below, and if you know another Momma going through a similar struggle please share this post with them.

To read more about my adventures Road ‘Tripping” with Kids follow this link.

Advocating for your Child’s Future

Advocating for Your Child's Future - Does your Child require an IEP? Do you need to know what lies ahead of you? Be an advocate for your child's future with these tips from a fellow IEP Mom.

Being a parent is the hardest job that I have ever been entrusted with for all the obvious reasons.  There is no manual, no two children are the same, my normal way of creating templates that I can repeat mindlessly doesn’t work here.  All the ways that I can work smarter rather than harder in other roles, can not be applied to this job.  I learned very early on that parenting was just not a job that I could prepare for. I bought everything on the suggested nursery list, and tried to anticipate any need I felt that they would have before they arrived.  But… still there were just things that could not be anticipated .

It is often said that a parent is a child’s first teacher and also their first example of God’s love.  Both scary sentiments, if you ask me, but equally true.  And, as such it is our responsibility to advocate for them and their needs.  I don’t often talk about my daughter and her speech and educational challenges, and I think most people keep these things within the family.  But, recently the thought occurred to me that there are parents who do not advocate for their children because they are afraid, embarrassed, uncertain and unaware of the resources that are available to them.  And I don’t know, maybe I would have felt this way too if I was not surrounded by knowledgeable friends and family who were able to point me in the right direction.

Even though my daughter is just 11 years old, I feel like we have already been on quite a journey together.  At an early age she was diagnosed with a Significant Speech Delay and Auditory Processing Disorder.  She has been in Speech Therapy since she was 3 years old and has had an IEP since the 1st grade.  I know first hand how hard it is to accept that your child has a delay or special needs that make her different.   But, once you come to peace with this, the world is literally your oyster.  Now, I won’t lie to you and tell you that the sea will part and the mountains will crumble.  You are in for an uphill battle, but one that is possible and even if progress is slow, one that can be rewarding.

  1.  Know your child’s strengths and weaknesses.  What I mean by that is,  be an expert on your child.  Don’t allow anyone else to tell you what will work for him or her.  When my daughter started school, she was VERY VERY VERY shy.  Now, I am sure that you are thinking that most Kindergartners are.  And, that is true.  But, in her case, it took her a while to warm up to strangers.   And, I knew that.  So I let everyone who would be working with her know that.  She would also get frustrated when she was trying to express herself and others could not understand, and any kind of aggression towards her, made her shut down.  So I made all of that known.  In fact, call me a  “Helicopter Mom” if you like.  But, I would literally write a letter to the teachers at the beginning of the year to make sure that they went into the new school year knowing just who she was and the best way to reach her.
  2. Be diligent in your pursuit of services.  It is the public school systems responsibility to see to it that your child is educated.  You might think ok, well I can leave that there.  Wrong.  You can not.  There are seven different recognized learning styles.  Knowing which ones work  best for your child can improve both the speed and the quality of your child’s education.  That being said, If the arrangements that are set in place for your child are not working it is your responsibility to seek out a situation that better suits their needs.  The key to this is being involved enough to see the red flags.  For example. even though IEP’s are pretty common now a days, you may  have to request that your child be evaluated to determine if he or she needs one.  The meetings can be long and tedious, but it gives you an opportunity to both get your concerns across and work with those who come in contact with your child to make sure that he or she has the accommodations that she needs.  Extra time for testing, a Small Group Setting, or  Additional Study Skills just to name a few
  3. Build a team.  I was beyond lucky when it came to my team.  And, I don’t just mean the people who interact with your child at school.  But, a support team, I had my Mom, my sister, and my husband who I felt were all equally vested in my daughter’s success.  And then as fate would have it, the very first Speech Therapist that the school paired her with was hand picked by God.  She was able to pull my daughter outside of herself and give her some of the confidence that she was lacking by helping her with her speech and by her sweet and encouraging nature.  In addition to that , she was the gentle hand that guided the team at school that worked with her.
  4. Be both forgiving and flexible.  For me this was a new experience, so I say be forgiving because you are learning as you go.  But, even if this is not your first time at the rodeo, no experience is going to be the same.  And, sometimes the goals and milestones you put in place originally, will need to be revamped and changed, or even thrown out all together.
  5. Accept limitations.  As I said before things may not move as quickly as you would like, and that could be as far as how quickly your child is learning and making strides.  Or, it could mean how long it takes to get additional testing done or to receive additional  resources
  6. Don’t Give Up!!  This is the most important point that I will make in this whole post, because it is a frustrating process.  It is hard to see your child try and fail, and be discouraged.  It is hard for you not to become emotionally drained on their behalf.  Or to stop yourself from feeling like what you are doing is not yielding results.  But, you have to stay strong because you are the only one who can fight this fight for them.

” WHAT LIES BEHIND US AND WHAT LIES BEFORE US ARE TINY MATTERS COMPARED TO WHAT LIES WITHIN US.”   rALPH WALDO EMERSON

Spring Break – Perfect in It’s Imperfection

our “perfect yet not so perfect” spring break

Recap of Spring Break 2016 - www.stage-presents.com

Spring Break is over and things are getting back to normal around here.  I have been out of pocket for a few days, that normally happens over extended breaks.  The blog and the business run around my family life and not visa versa.  Last week was Spring Break, so I spent as much time as I could hanging out with my little ones.   I am always trying to teach my kids lessons that I am still learning and yes,  I know just how hypocritical that sounds. But, I guess it’s in hopes that by teaching the lesson, they  will avoid some of the same mistakes that I have made in my own life.  One of the things that I am always telling them is that they have to roll with the punches or that certain things are beyond their control and they are.  But, it is a lesson that I struggled hard with and for a  long time.  My mom always tells me that God will keep teaching me to be patient and understanding until I am both.  Spring Break was an exercise in just that.

Our trip to Florida for Spring Break was great!! But, I am not sure that you would have agreed taking it at face value.  I have been back and forth to Florida three times in less than 30 days.  Now, my sister lives there, but that has never happened before.  As I am sure you remember me saying in my last post, we lost my sweet niece on the 15th.  So, I went down when she was sick and was there when she passed.  I went back for the service and then I returned for Spring Break and to physically lay eyes on my sister.  Saying this to say there was a melancholy under tone to our trip, but we were determined to make some good memories, in spite of it.

The first night there we had date night.  We left all the kids with the nanny, and we went out and enjoyed some grown up time.  It was great to spend some time with my sister and her hubby that was just light and fun.  The next day we took the kids  to the Central Orlando zoo.  Now, if you know me at all, you know that outdoors and heat are not my thing, but the kids had a ball.  The highlight of the trip was to be our trip to the beach.  After all nothing says Spring Break like the beach.  On the day of the beach trip it was COLD… Yes, I said cold in Florida.  But, we went anyway thinking that maybe the weather would warm up.  When we arrived at the beach, the tides were so high that they actually closed the entrance to drive on to the beach.  After circling around we we were able to get in, and when we got on the beach and out of the car the wind was so fierce and sand was blowing everywhere.  So we had to vacate.  Talk about three disappointed girls, yes I said 3 because I included myself.  So pouts and all we packed back into the truck and headed to go get something to eat.  The plan was that we would eat and stay in the area for a while in hopes for a change in the weather.  But, the change never came so we ventured back to my sisters house.  On the way back, we decided that since they were already dressed to get wet we would take them to the “Splash Park” not too far from where we were.  By that time it was getting warmer, and though a little apprehensive at first, with each splash the beach became a distant memory and we once again in their good graces.

Since we paid for admission to the beach, hubby and I managed to escape back there later in the day, the kids stayed with my sissy and we got to have some one on one time.  I will consider that her anniversary gift to me this year.  Yesterday made 7 years since I married this man.  And, still just a couple of hours alone with him ALWAYS refresh my soul.  Even when I don’t feel like I need it.  So Shout out to him today + this was the first year that he was able to take off the entire week to spend with us.  Another Spring Break survived and enjoyed and now back to our regularly scheduled programming. (P.S. – I know there were no pictures of me.  But, you know how that it is, I am always the one behind the camera. #mommylife)

Time Spent with Family Quote - stage-presents.com

What did you do to celebrate Spring Break this year?  Feel like sharing, we would love to hear your story in the comment section below.

Check out Our Previous Spring Break Shenanigans Here.

Things being a parent has taught me

Things being a parent has taught me - Life Lessons When you find out that you are going to be a parent, I am not sure you ever give any real thought to what things you will learn from your children.  The entire time that they are growing inside you, you think about the things that you will teach them and show them. But, the moment that you look into the eyes of your child, everything changes. You realize that you will never love anyone anyone more than you love that little person, at that time. There are sleepless nights and incessant crying and you are not sure that you can put one foot in front of the other because you are exhausted. But, your love instead of diminishing keeps growing.  You once again get to experience life through the eyes of a child and your perspective on life inevitably changes.

  1.  The way you feel about parenting and parents change.  You are going to be a new Mom and even though you technically know that you know nothing, I venture to say you had lots of opinions, on the lady with the screaming toddler in Aisle 3, or the friends who were late because of one kiddy crisis or another, or even just about the fact that whatever it was, you would certainly not raise your kids that way.  And, since every child is different this may not only apply to new moms it works for second and third time moms as well.  My first child was a breeze (at least when he was little).  He always minded his Mommy was very polite and pretty much towed the line (lol).  But when baby number two came home he was not exactly excited about his position being usurped – Enter the drama.  My middle child, had a temper tantrum in Macy’s when I was almost 8 months pregnant with the baby and I had to hoist her over my belly to get her back in the car because she wanted new Dora The Explorer Sneakers. (don’t try that at home).  Oh and my baby, had a melt down in Kroger over the Witch Display during Halloween, so I spent the entire checkout process with her head buried in my chest howling incessantly.  So yeah… it’s fairs to say the way I looked at parenting and parents changed.  If anything it made me feel empathy instead of aggravation for other Moms.  Hell, the struggle is real.
  2. They taught me the true meaning of perseverance.  How?  Well, have you ever said no to a toddler?  They will ask you the same question over and over and over again in an attempt to wear you down.  Or have you ever watched a child try to wedge their body into a space that you know is way too small for them to get into?  So you ignore them and hope they will tire themselves out only to look up and find them wedged between section 1 and section 2 of your sectional.  On those days when I am ready to give up I almost have to ask WWMRRD?  What Would My Rug Rats Do?
  3. They taught me the true meaning of forgiveness.  Or should I say they are teaching me, this is an area I still struggle with in everyday life.  They have pushed you to your edge, you are tired frustrated and just flat out DONE.  And, then they make that little face and squeak out how much they love you and that they are sorry.  And, try as you might you can not prevent the corners of your mouth from turning up.  Or being human you lose your temper and you feel like crap on a stick.  You are guilt riddled and before you can go back and say just how sorry you are they wrap their little arms around you and you know all is well with the world.
  4. They taught me how to be less rigid and not to take myself so seriously.  I am a planner girl, I want to be able to anticipate everything.  I want to always have a change of clothes, extra diapers, wipes, know exactly what time they ate last.  I need to know.  Well, the day of my oldest child’s baby blessing, he had the ear infection to rival all ear infections.  The baby who rarely every cried was going ape…. sh!@,  and I had no idea what was wrong with him.  He was super whiny, clingy and I had family from out of town there to celebrate his big day.  I am still not sure how we made it through the day.  The next day I took him into the Pediatricians office and she told me the poor baby had an ear infection.  He was my first baby and I was clueless.  My middle child had what we call colic.   I say we will call it that, because no one technically still knows what the heck was wrong with her.  She cried all the time.  She was a sickly baby and the only one who was able to comfort her until she was about 4 months old was her Grandpa.  He somehow had the magic touch.  Then my last sweet girl,  was my true lesson in flexibility.  She was allergic to everything under the sun.  Her formula cost us as much as her Nanny.  The Nanny she needed because on top of all that she had acid re-flux and had to be held up for 45 minutes after every meal.  I would literally come home and change out of my work clothes and anticipate the hot milk down my back.

I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that learning each one of these lessons was not painful or at times, hard pills to swallow, but being their Mom continues to shape me.  And, for that I am extremely grateful.

What lessons have your little ones taught you?

Things I want my girls to know

Things I Want My Girls to Know - www.stage-presents.com

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs out there.  Like most parents out there, I often find myself wishing that I could protect my girls from all the pitfalls that lay ahead.  I am sure it’s not much different than what my own mother must have felt while watching my sister and I grow into young ladies.  But, I must admit that it’s only now, that I am a parent of two young girls that I am I even starting to get a glimpse into the sheer panic that she must have felt.  I remember thinking that my parents were too hard on us or that we  were way too sheltered.  I had lots of opinions on the best way to raise myself.  My son now 18, almost 19 felt the same way, and, I’m sure my girls will too.

As a woman, I often think of what I could tell my own little girls that would help them to avoid some of the pain and heartache that I went through.  Knowing all too well, that just because I tell them doesn’t necessarily mean that they will listen, and that they won’t have to find their own way.  Over the years, I have started keeping a list of things to tell them, which eventually turned into a Pinterest Board on my Personal Page here.   And, I am pretty sure that the list will get longer as they get older.  My long term plan is to have these quotes and words of wisdom put into a small book that they can carry with them when they leave for college.  Here are just a few of my favorites..

1.  Be Yourself.  An original is always worth more than a COPY.

2.  If you can’t be kind, be quiet.

3.  Don’t let someone dim your light, simply because it’s shining in their eyes.

4.  Comparison is the thief of joy.

5.  I hope you know, you are capable, brave and significant, even when you feel like you’re not.

6.  Someone who is worthy of your love will never put you in a situation where you feel you must sacrifice your dignity, your integrity, or your self-worth to be with them.

7.  Rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength.

8.  Hope is the little voice you hear whisper “maybe” when it seems the whole world is shouting “no”!

9.  Laugh when you can, apologize when you should & let go of what you can’t change.

10.  Beauty without Intelligence, is a masterpiece painted on a napkin.

The Educated Child Quote

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I am sure there are things that you want to tell your little ones as they grow.  What are your thoughts?  Consider sharing your quotes or Words of Wisdom with us in the comment section below.