Basics of Motherhood – You don’t need to fix your child.

This week on the podcast, Amerey and Kathleen finished up the Back to Basics Series with Basics of Motherhood.

Are you a mother?
Do you often feel isolated or alone?
Do you feel as if you need to “fix” your child so they are like everyone else?
Do you have doubts, struggles and wonder if other mothers have the same issues?
Then this is for you!

You don’t need to fix the child.

On the The Whole House Podcast  this week, Amerey and Kathleen talk about a lie that mothers often believe. What is that lie?
That your child needs fixed. From the time our child is an infant we encounter people who tell us:

The child isn’t sleeping – fix it.
The child needs to be rocked to sleep – fix it.
The child is not reading by the time they are 4 -fix it.

It’s a never ending list.
While there are guidelines and stepping stones of development, your child doesn’t need pushed through them. God made her the way she is. Your job as a parent is to meet her where she is, not to fix her.

Your child can’t be wrong in her makeup. She is born a certain way. You can’t say that a baby’s sleeping/eating/coping patterns are wrong. You don’t need to fix the child. Don’t stress yourself. Don’t say, “Her child is right and my child is wrong.”

If you just accept your child as she is then you will feel free. You will be free to parent the child the way she needs parenting.

Don't believe the lie that your child needs fixed

You have probably already found things that work for your child.

Don’t feel guilty for doing those things. Don’t look at other parents and measure yourself against their yardstick.  You’re not failing just because you aren’t parenting like another mother is. You are doing exactly what your child needs right now. That’s good parenting.

 You are doing a great job! Go YOU! Your job is to make them feel safe, secure, and cared for. If a child has a capital letter syndrome, then we make special accommodations for her (or we should).

Even if a kiddo doesn’t have a capital letter syndrome, we should parent her in the way she needs parenting. Cecilia is Amerey’s little one who has trouble sleeping. She doesn’t have a capital letter syndrome, but at age five, she uses a weighted blanket and needs melatonin to sleep.

Adults are picky. Why can’t kids be picky?

Our culture expects kids to conform to whatever we tell them to do. Kids are humans. Each child has a personality. They will have likes and dislikes just like adults. It’s okay. Don’t force your kiddo to like something because you think she should. It will backfire. Don’t try to shove a square peg in a round hole.

Eating Issues.

You want your child to feel comfortable at the table. So, if she doesn’t like what is always being served, don’t make it about the food. Make it about nutrition and relationship. Family dinners should be about connection.

Do unto other’s as you would like to be done unto you.

Listen to your kiddo when she is expressing a need, fear, like or dislike. That’s what adults want. Kids want the same thing. Think of your child as a person.

Motherhood is steeped in whatever is going on in the current culture.

When you’re born, whatever your culture is doing, we naturally do it. That is dangerous.

We have a family culture. A church culture. A culture.

Ask yourself these questions:

Why are we parenting this way?

What is my purpose as a mother?

What are my morals and values? What are my morals?

Am I living out those values.

Pause. Examine yourself. We should be laying up our treasures in heaven. Do we want to not invest in our children so when they grow up they are floundering. They are asking – is this the right religion? Is this the right religion?

Find a Group of Moms who support you.

You can feel isolated. You can feel like a lone wolf.  Then you isolate and the then hyper focus especially if you are a perfectionist.

Moms tend not to talk about the things they really struggle with. They tell poop stories and other things, but are often afraid to tell the truth about the struggles they are going through.

 You need to reach out to other Moms and find some who are going through similar situations.

Walk away from groups/friends that don’t encourage, equip and educate you! Friends who support your on your journey and don’t judge your child or want you to fix her are the kind to keep around.

Keep in mind your mission is to raise up a well-balanced child. Your mission is NOT to create a carbon copy of everyone else. Parenting a child as if she is “right” not “wrong” will help her navigate life with confidence. The end goal is heaven and a “Well done good and faithful servant” from God, not an “Atta boy” from the world.

Want the rest of the story? Listen to the podcast!

 

 

 

Three Things to Expect if You Host Thanksgiving

Do you find yourself hosting the Thanksgiving feast at your home this year?

*Warning – Do not read this post if you don’t have a sense of humor or understand the gift of sarcasm.

Not sure what to expect? Use this handy guide to help!

  1. Expect people to come to your home and complain about how full they are from the last three stops. Yep. True. You may have spent the week cleaning things you don’t normally clean like your oven (on the inside) and making sure all the closets look neat. You may have prepped, shopped and baked for the whole week while the guys are out hunting. And to top it off, you probably baked cinnamon rolls and made coffee for everyone that morning. You’re wearing nice clothes, you set the table and you have make-up on. What’s the thanks you get, a complaint? If you expect it, maybe you won’t be so shocked and slap someone. Just think, it only means more turkey for you, plus when that overstuffed relative tries to play speed scrabble with you, he won’t be able to think straight and you’ll win.
  2. The person who starts the political discussion will disappear and park himself in front of the football on TV while everyone else continues to discuss. True story. It’s okay. Politics will probably come up with family together. The important thing to remember is being in total agreement with each other on issues of politics, theology, child rearing and fill in the blank isn’t the qualifier of being part of the family. Just ask God. How many of His kiddos got along? Or take it one step further, he’s got a batch of the Hunter/Allen/Craven/Guire/ family members in heaven that didn’t agree one bit in the political, theological or fill in the blank arena.They sure liked to discuss the topics though. If your family likes to have discussions, just have some guidelines. No fist fighting (just kidding, not really). Our boundary is when people start yelling, Jerry shuts it down. It’s a pretty firm rule. *Just a note, if someone brings up abortion, adoption, human trafficking or anything to do with kids from hard places, I’ll be sure to blubber. It’s okay. It’s all part of the family experience.

You will have a fresh batch of memories at the end of the day

3. You will have a fresh batch of memories at the end of the day. Even the worst Thanksgiving moments become written in the family history. No one will ever forget when someone dropped the whole turkey, told the joke that no one got, listened to Grandpa say, “Did I ever tell you when…?” for the 500th time. Those normal, irritating. loud, innocuous moments are treasures. Store them up for the years you don’t get to see everyone. Save them to retell when Grandpa is no longer with you. Do the turkey crafts. Drink the coffee and talk about everything under the sun. Go for the walk after dinner. Throw the football around the yard. Fill your memory bank this Thanksgiving.

I know hosting at your home is hard work. I can say this from personal experience. I took over hosting over twenty years ago when my mom died. It’s hard work, but good work. I love having family here. If you are hosting today and you’re exhausted, leave the dishes for a moment. Take a few deep breaths. Smell the smells. Watch the animated conversations. Hear those kids running around the house dressed in their pilgrim and native American costumes, chasing each other with plastic forks? Drink it all in. Savor it. And if no one else says it, “Thanks for hosting this year! You did a great job!”

Family Vacation

Our Cabin in the Woods.
The Guire Family Vacation.
Rafal taking the kayak out on the lake. Toddler-Lucy trying to jump aboard.  Quick save by Mom-Audrey.

Part of the cabin before we dumped all of our stuff on the table and made it messy.
Two cousins, Cecilia and Lucy playing!
After dinner stroll around the lake.
Sam and Theo enjoying dinner on the deck.
A walk in the field with dad-Adam.  What’s a dad to do? 
The Lake of Shining Waters. (Anne of Green Gables)
Rafal taking off in the kayak.
There were campfires and s’mores.
Late night scrabble games.
Guitar playing and singing (son-in-law, Seth).
Violin playing and squeaking (that was me. I’m a lot rusty). Daughter-Amerey played beautifully.
Hikes.  So many hikes. 
Bear tracks.
Jumping in the lake off a diving board.
Canoeing.
Talking. Talking. Talking.
A visit to an old Schoolhouse.
Late night run to Walmart.
Chore charts.
These photos were taken by me.
The real camp photographer? Ania. She has more than 500 photos.
Ania took the action shots of all the older kids jumping off the diving board. Canoeing. Kayaking and the like.
I jumped too!

What?

Yesterday I was setting up a crock pot dinner before heading to THESIS (our homeschool co-op). I was feeling dizzy and dropped the chicken.

Hunter reprimanded me, “Mom, ask for help!”

He ordered me to sit down and drink my fruit smoothie while he took over. I had already removed the innards and bathed the beast. I instructed him in mixing the spices in a bowl.
“Okay, now what?” he asked, showing me the spice mixture for approval.

“Now, take the spice mixture, get it all over your hands and rub it all over the chicken, getting some of it under the skin.”

“WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You want me to touch the chicken? You want me to put my hands under the skin?”

With a few more grunts and some moaning, “I can’t believe I am doing this,” Hunter complied and did an awesome job of spicing the chicken liberally.

The result later in the day was a tasty dinner. I just wish I would have taken a picture!

Last night, THESIS held its annual Talent Show/Christmas reception which my family missed for the first ever. I have struggled with health issues this year and it has been different.

As I peeked into the rehearsal yesterday and heard and saw many amazing talents, I began to feel guilty that I hadn’t been able to assist my kids in pursuing their’s more this year. A reminder via text from daughter Audrey got me back on track.

Performance arts is not the talent that has grown exponentially in my kids lives this year. Self-discipline on Gregory’s part has made him a better guitar player without a live teacher. Yesterday, I watched Rafal help another student in class without complaint. This school year, he has made some amazing connections. Ania and I have cooked together, listened to podcasts on health and searched and tried healthy recipes. Damian is learning the rigors of college life and managing his time. Amerey is balancing classes life and homemaking for her new husband. Audrey is busy with twins,managing her home and helping me homeschool and craft for Christmas.

Yesterday, the crock pot meal was completed by Hunter. What a talent he has for empathy followed by action. Many times in the past year he has stepped in to do my job when I was not feeling well. Just the other day he made awesome quesadillas with pepper jack cheese, black beans and home made guacamole.

Yes, I missed the talent show which saddens me, but my children have many talents that the Lord is growing daily because of or in spite of me. Performance in real life is the talent my family has grown in exponentially this year.

Even a child is known by his acts, whether [or not] what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11

 

Posted by Picasa

There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…..

In “The Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy wants to run away, yet when she lands in Oz and encounters adventures, she wants to go home. Sometimes the mundane tasks of every day life overtake my schedule, all I want to do escape as Dorothy wished to. I have however, sometimes awaken to find myself in an Oz-like land where things are upside down and backwards, witches are good and bad, monkeys fly and Scarecrows have brains. Some days all things just seem to go wrong, the schedule is off, kids are fighting, the house is a mess and satan is whispering in my ear, ‘you are no good, you can’t do this, it’s just too hard, what do you think you are doing giving others advice about homeschooling and childrearing, you don’t know a thing, your kids are the worst, you have failed…” and the dialog continues to resound in my ears.
Lately, I have gone through an especially difficult time-my husband has been working out of town, which has reawakened some insecurities in some of my children. There have been issues resurfacing, anger abounding and some outbreaks that I haven’t felt equipped to handle- FELT being the key word in that sentence. My feelings are not the true measure of my abilities to cope or conquer, only the outpouring of my emotional reactions.
When going through periods of trial with my family, I can focus on the moment or the larger, eternal picture.

“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.”- Romans 8:28

When recent trials have been enveloped me, this scripture has resounded in my head. ALL things, not some things, not a few things, but ALL things. When I have had the right perspective in mind, I have been able to enjoy whatever time I have with my whole family, knowing that ALL things are working together, and fitting into a plan, whether I understand it or not.

No matter what is happening in my life, there is no place like home and home is where my family is. It is where children call me ‘mamusa, momma, mother, mom,” or any name that signifies the safety and security of a family. It is the Mother’s day celebration when the most meaningful and eternal accomplishments of my life gather to call me “Mom’. It is the cookout that got rained out and everyone crowds in the kitchen and family room to converse about youtube videos, babies, books, music and the nothings becomes the everythings of life! It is the walk in the rain with the grandkids, the seemingly mundane every day acts of life are the joy of living. There is no place like home……

What’s for dinner?

Posted by PicasaI have been busy trying to finish writing my book and I have asked the kids to step up to the plate and help out with dinner. Hence, the question I posted on my facebook the other day, “why does everyone ask me what if for dinner?” I was busy writing that afternoon. The closer it got to the dinner hour, the more visitors stopped at my door and asked, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” Couldn’t they see that I was writing?
Dinner is such an important meal for the family and during my busyness I had overlooked the foundation of me in that equation. My family had always made it a habit to sit down together at the table for dinner. They all relied on me to manage the meal. I assigned someone to set the table, get things out of the fridge, slice the needed veggies and call everyone to dinner.
Over a decade ago, Bill Carmichael, author of Seven Habits of a Healthy Home was a guest speaker at our church. He spoke of the importance of a topic of discussion at family mealtimes. We added that habit to our home and have continued it to this day. It such a simple concept, yet so hard to do in this face paced culture. The family sits down at the dinner table and a topic is selected. When my children were little, it was often as simple as, “My favorite thing that happened today was…..”or fun ones such as “what I wished happened today..” and each person would launch into a tale of knights, fairies and far away lands. As the children grew, the topics became more in depth, such as “share with the family the current book you are reading and tell us about it.” Now the topic range from, “my goal for the summer is..” to politics, movies and their ability to stick to the book, favorite summer vacations and more.
Nancy Campbell has a wonderful dvd on the importance of family mealtime. I just watched it a few months ago, Sonya, a friend and adoptive mom, asked me to watch in and let her know what I thought. I watched it and some parts of it twice. It confirmed everything that I had been doing for the past decade. Nancy speaks of the importance of family meal time being a priority. This means that the family sits down at a dinner table together at the same time.

. Throughout the scriptures, Jesus is seen breaking bread (eating dinner) with his disciples, and feeding those who come to listen to him speak. (Matthew 15:32-39). Meeting physical needs was important to Jesus. If they weren’t, he wouldn’t have gone about healing the sick, He would have just said-“Hey, just be more spiritual, forget about your physical ailments!” But, He didn’t, because he knew that meeting physical needs comes first. At the dinner table, the physical need is met with food, then the emotional need is met with conversation. The conversation allows the family to connect.


“Nurturing through food is not just about calories. It can be about making dinner fun and eating meals together. Preparing food, enjoying it, and even cleaning up after the feast are all part of the rituals of most families. Whether we like it or not, food is important to most of us-and to our children.” Parenting the Hurt Child, page 93

So, what did I do about dinner that evening? Okay, I compromised on the fixing a little. Damian offered to go get some take out burritos and I loaded up the rice steamer. We sat down at the dinner table together and talked about the day, climbing Mt. Everest, or something like that.