Monthly Archives: April 2013

No more one size fits all

In some ways it’s what I want, what I crave.  Just tell me what to do.  Give me a fool proof plan, some kind of formula; a 10 step program.  Because this being mom thing… it can be a little scary, it can leave me feeling weak and unprepared.  There’s a lot at stake, many ways to go wrong, so much unknown.  Surely there is a “best way” to parent, and all I need to to is find it and follow it to the letter.

But the longer I walk this path of parenting the more I am convinced that there are no “one size fits all” methods to raising children.  And chasing that idea is a waste of my precious time.  In fact I might even go so far as to say that there are as many good ways to raise children as there are good moms.  I believe that God equipped each of us with unique personalities, a functioning brain, intuition, and His Holy Spirit to accomplish this important work we are doing.  What’s best for my family is going to look different than what is best for your family, and that’s okay.

Please don’t mistake my meaning, I’m not anti-structure.  I don’t believe that parenting books, schools of thought, or formulated methods are evil or useless.  I’m a practical, rubber-meets-the-road kind of gal.  I understand the necessity of having a game plan.  From the minute you bring that tiny human home from the hospital you have to start making decisions and choices.  Nurse or bottle feed?  Scheduled or unscheduled?  Let them cry themselves to sleep?  Sooth and rock them?  And the decision making never stops, in fact it only becomes more complicated.  To spank or not to spank?  Home-school?  Private school? Public school?  How much TV is too much TV?  It’s not wrong to seek advise or to have opinions.  Choices must be made.   

Here’s where I start to see trouble.  When choices and decisions cease to become practical necessities, and are allowed to become divisive tools of the Enemy.  When our passion and excitement for our own chosen methods are twisted into superiority.  I’ve been there, I’ve done that.  I like my methods and it’s easy for me to loudly proclaim their virtues, while at the same time undermining those that don’t fall in line with my personal preferences.   It becomes this dangerous undercurrent that can erode the love and support I should be giving to the women in my life.  Being mom is important.  We make the Devil’s job easy when we tear ourselves apart from the inside out.  When we stand toe-to-toe, glaring at each other over lines dawn in the sand, instead of standing shoulder to shoulder facing the real danger.  Is my personal preferences really worth the damage I might be doing?  We must not loose sight of the big picture.  We must see each other for what we are, sisters who are all in this together.  Each of us with our own strength and weaknesses.  Be careful of how quickly we are to criticize another woman.  We should be united, but unity should not be confused with complete and utter conformity.  

So here it is in a nutshell.  We should be passionate, excited, and yes, even confident about our own parenting styles and choices, but that should always be balanced with an equal amount of graciousness for those who have chosen a different way.  To trust the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of other women.  To not see her as a rival, or a superior, or an inferior to yourself, but as your fellow companion on this journey to love and protect. 

Spring comings and goings

How has so much time gone by since I last sat down to share on my little blog?  I feel like I barely blink and I’m turning the page of the calendar.  I should have taken a picture of our March calendar page; not a single square that didn’t have writing on it. 

We did manage to squeeze in a 4 day trip to the beach; just our little family.  Getting ready for the trip was kind of crazy and hectic, but once we got to the beach it was just the break we needed!  Sleeping in, playing in the sand and water, lounging around the condo and just being with each other.

Lots of exciting things happening around our place too!  We are getting ready to plant grass in our backyard.  Everyone has been working so hard; friends, family, even the boys have spent most of their free time helping us get ready to plant grass.  It will be so nice to look out my kitchen window and see green!  And to have a lot less dirt coming into the house week after week.

When we bought this property 4 years ago there was only a horse pasture, a new double-wide trailer, a huge garbage heap in the back, and a whole lot of dirt and weeds.  That was it.  But it was ours.  Our own little place in the country were the kids could run and play.  There have been times when we looked at each other and said, “What were we thinking?!” but mostly we love were we live and wouldn’t have it any other way.  The key is to have patience (which can be hard for me) and take things one project at a time.  It just feels great to see our place start to come together.

My husband has been working so hard.  In addition to working full time, commuting, being involved in all the children’s extra activities, and picking up the slack for his pregnant wife… he somehow finds the time and energy to tackle big projects.

The back part of our property is planted with tall grass.  Our neighbor, who owns the dairy across the street, plants and harvests the back of our property.  This grass will soon be chopped and fed to the dairy cows, but for now it is where the children like to play best.  The grass is so tall that when Miss E gets into the middle of it I can’t even see her head.  They play out there until the sun goes down behind the hills, and I holler at them from the back porch to come in and get cleaned up for bed.
They come in every night looking happy, tired, and very dirty!

Baseball is in full swing.  J got his new uniform last week so I snapped a picture of him.

This year has been a year of growing for J.  It’s been fun for his Dad and I to watch him grown and come into his own.  Seeing his personality come out, watching him take on extra responsibilities around the house and seeing him thrive.  I’m really proud of this guy!

The younger two are also having fun with baseball!

G was showing E the proper stance for fielding balls.

The baby is growing and so am I.  

This is a picture my husband took of me last month.

This is a more accurate picture of what I look like now.

Some women do pregnancy so beautifully.  I do pregnancy so… largely.  It feels rather strange having people openly discussing your figure.  They want to talk about your size and shape, they try to guess your due date and the gender of your baby.  I know that for the most part they are only trying to be friendly but sometimes it starts to feel wearisome.   I love talking about the baby, I just don’t love talking about my expanding figure. 

Last week I made a few things to take as a gift to a baby shower.  My friend, who was also J’s first grade teacher, is having a little girl this spring. 

It was fun to make delicate, feminine onesies and headbands.

I’m definitely going to be replicating some of these for our baby girl!

I finally got to use some of the vintage doilies I ordered from Etsy.

This is the first time I’ve made a headband out of the skinny elastic but I love the way it looks.  I like the small delicate flowers and I thought they would make a sweet newborn headband!

Nesting is starting to set in.  I’m hoping in the next few weeks to get the girls’ room set up for the baby.  I like saying “the girls’ room” :)   There are drawers and closets to organize, tubs of E’s baby clothes to be brought in from storage to wash and sort, setting up the crib, and sewing projects to finish!  We shall see what actually happens before this baby arrives. 

I can’t promise that I will be blogging more frequently but be assured that when this blog is quiet it just means that life is a little extra busy.  I will try to update when I can squeeze in the time :)

Have a wonderful week!  ~April 

PS- please forgive any typos or awkward phrasing in my posts, pregnancy brain has hit hard.  I feel so addled lately and I keep putting things in the strangest places!  Last week I put the half-n-half in my tupperware cupboard and the sandwich bread in the frig.  The kids think it’s so funny, I think it’s annoying!