Posts tagged ‘Word of the Week’

Word of the Week: joy

Sometimes in the midst of all the craziness, and the struggles, and the day-to-day busy-ness of everything it can be easy to lose sight of just how much joy these little ones bring into our lives.



February 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm 6 comments

Word of the Week: expectations

With the start of the year and reevaluating New Year’s resolutions, it’s funny to me to think about how much things have changed in the past few years and how wildly different my reality is from what I thought life would be like with a child.

Last week I went to a friend’s baby shower, and as the only attendee with a child, they asked me how I spent my free time… “So besides working and starting your business, and having Grace, what do you do to keep busy?” they asked.  It took a moment for me to remove the blank stare off my face, and then I admitted that in the past year I’ve only read one book.  (I don’t count the chapters of the Sears parenting books that I read and re-read when I am trying to console myself that I am not a terrible parent just because my child isn’t on a schedule and cannot sleep independently yet.)  I’ve seen two movies–rented or in theatres.  And I think I’ve spent a total of less than 50 hours away from my child since she was born.

Before kids I just expected that my life, so well ordered due to my type A personality, would pretty much remain so … with just a few diapers to change and a cute little person to accompany me around town.  How much work can a little person be, I thought?

I was wrong.  Dead wrong.   I expected that my house would be spotlessly clean (so as to prevent germs from attacking my baby), that my books would stay alphabetized on their shelves, and that of course I would be just as well-groomed as before I had a baby.  And sometimes those expectations and my failure to live up to them are hard to live with.  It is hard to forgive yourself for the things that you don’t feel you’re succeeding at, and sometimes the hardest person to show grace is yourself.

I try to remind myself, though, that I’ve made the choices I have as a parent for a reason, and that sure, I could have things be different; I’m just not sure it’d really be worth it to me.  I’ve made the conscious choice to sacrifice some of my scheduled perfection and control for the sake of giving Grace what she needs at the moment, which I think is just a lot of love and nurturing.  My plans often have to take a backseat to her needs, and I think that’s the way it should be for now, and it’s what we are comfortable doing as a family.

And for friends and family (many of whom I know consider me an overindulgent mother because I am still nursing, still cosleeping, etc.) who don’t understand, believe it or not, I get where you are coming from.  My parenting style certainly isn’t what I expected it would be.

But sometimes expectations need to be thrown out the window, and the “perfect” life takes on a new look.

February 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm 8 comments

Confession of the week

So yesterday’s Word of the Week post is being replaced by a confession of the week.  Plain and simple, this week I know I’ve down a pretty sorry job with the blog.

Battling stomach issues myself, having a baby shower and a family birthday party, and then on top of it all having my poor hubby dealing with a case of the shingles has sort of left me gasping just to stay caught up on things.

But I am thrilled to see that this week’s entries are the most we’ve had yet, and I plead with you all to keep coming back to the blog.  I promise to do better!  I’m going to work on “banking” some entries so I don’t fall behind again.  Bear with us and our growing pains…



February 4, 2010 at 8:28 pm 8 comments

Word of the Week: faith

(Sorry this is late, but today got away from me, hence a 11 p.m. post)

No matter what your belief system, there is no denying that becoming a parent is a definite leap of faith: belief in family, hope for the future, even a trust in yourself not to totally foul up this thing called parenthood and the little one you are bringing into the world.

Nothing has taught me more about myself, and about my own values and trust in God, than becoming a parent.  As cliche as it sounds, the parent-child relationship really is unlike any other relationship we have, and I’m 100% sure that I could’ve grasped my own faith in quite the same way that I do now that I am a parent.  And I am also sure that I have grown personally in ways that never would have happened had I never taken that leap of faith and welcomed Grace into our lives.

I’m sure my understanding of faith in both God and myself will continue to morph as my children grow, but right now I believe two things: (1) as a person, I am not only more stronger than I ever thought, but also my fumbling and bumbling is “good enough.”  I really struggle with this concept off and on, and especially in my younger years dealt a lot with insecurity.  But it’s amazing how much confidence parenthood can give you. So far I don’t seem to have messed up Grace too badly, in spite of the fact that I am a bit more of a pushover than I thought I would be and I am hopeless at sleep training.

And (2) I am starting to believe more and more that the God-me relationship doesn’t have to be so hard and that the struggling and striving I do may be a lot like Grace, and how she becomes angry and thrashes about and squalls, when all she has to do is allow herself to be held by her mama and nursed, and she would get all she needs just from that.  And her happiest times are when she does just that.  When Jesus says to approach the Father like a little child, maybe it is not so complicated after all.  And this gives me great hope, that even for a very flawed mother and person like me, there’s a very abundant life ahead.

Now I know that definitely not all my readers can relate to my Christian worldview and the particular reasons for my hope, but I would hope that we can all find a measure of confidence, faith, and optimism as we continue this journey of raising our children.  I truly believe that our kids’ futures and the way they will see the world depends on it.

January 27, 2010 at 10:59 pm 4 comments

Word of the Week: compassion

In the wake of tragedy, like what we’ve seen in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, I’m always convicted by the feeling that my sense of compassion shouldn’t be just limited to catastrophic events but should be an ever-present way that I view the world and try to treat others.  I’ve been so encouraged though by how some of my friends and their families are trying to help out… from baking bread and cookies to raise money, to one Southern Californian photographer friend who is donating a large portion of all of her bookings for the next month.   May we all carefully consider the ways we might be able to help others, and may we also carry this out in our day-to-day lives, and teach our little ones to be people of compassion and generosity.

January 20, 2010 at 10:39 am 5 comments

Word of the Week: discipline

At this time of year, I once again have created all sorts of resolutions and goals for the coming year. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat, brimming with hopes regarding your finances, spiritual life, exercise, diet, and more, and hoping that this year will be the year you really stick to your guns and accomplish what you’ve set out to do.  And yet all too often I seem to get derailed, if not by January 15 then definitely by March or so.  So this year I am trying to think more not just about what my goals are, but also how I realistically plan to attain them.  I know this seems obvious enough, and yet it seems to be the step that has led to my failure in the past.  I somehow always just figure I’ll manage to “squeeze in” a few additions to my routine without making conscious decisions about what I’ll set aside or how that will happen.

One of the things that I’m hoping will help me be more disciplined and actually follow through is writing down my goals and checking back with them every week.  I admit it also helps having this blog, which seems to impose a feeling of accountability on me (how can I chat about trying to be a wise mama if I’m not following through on anything?).

Are there any tricks you have for becoming more disciplined and following through with your New Year’s resolutions? What has helped you succeed in the past? Where do you think you’ve gone wrong?

BONUS ENTRY ALERT: Comment on this post and give a tip on how to succeed with resolutions, and earn the right to make three extra entries under our blog giveaway post. Remember to create all your extra entries as separate entries so you have the maximum chances to win!

January 12, 2010 at 9:20 pm 3 comments

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