Megan's Ponderings

Contemplations from a Blessed Life

Archive for the category “Mothering”

A Lesson from Potty Training

Today was a breakthrough day! Ryan finally went #2 on the potty. Now, I know some of you are saying, “Woohoo. Another crazy mom telling me her son’s bathroom habits.” No, I’m not boring you with the mindless details of this developmental rite of passage in my toddler’s life. What I will tell you is something I learned by observing Philip’s and my actions when it happened.

I can’t begin to tell you how much we celebrated this little event. Philip and I were clapping and cheering like fools, but it made Ryan feel so good to see our enthusiasm. This started a thought: why do we lose our excitement over the little things in life as we get older? Why don’t we high-five each other when we make small strides towards a large goal, or forgo a habit we’re trying to break (even for a day)? Why do we shy away from celebrating those small victories that lead to greater achievements?

So today, I’ll celebrate your small victories too, whatever they are:

Great job!

Keep going!

You can do it!

Awesome!

Thanks, Ryan, for showing me that celebrating the small things in life is really worth it.

 

Almost 3: A Very Fun Age

Ryan is almost 3, and I’m enjoying every (well…almost every) minute with him. His speech has developed over the last few months. He’s excited to talk to us, mostly about fire trucks and airplanes.  His imagination is running wild, and he’s fascinated with Curious George. He’s also remembering more events each day. So, what does this have to do with me? Well, I get to listen to his discussions about “John Fire Trucks” and “Mr. Glenn’s airplane.” I also get to watch him play with Evan, mostly pretending to be in various situations. I’m also very aware that he’s becoming more independent, needing to “spread his wings” more often.

I’m learning a few lessons from my almost-3-year old:

1. I thought I was pretty laid back, but I was sorely mistaken. Having a child who wants to walk by himself or do another task on his own is enough to bring out the helicopter parent in me. I’m more of a hoverer than I realized. I’m learning that Ryan wants independence, but he also needs clear cut boundaries. I’m ok with that, as long as he stays within an arm’s reach away from me 😉

2. Focus is key when talking to Ryan. If I’m distracted by something else, he will say my name constantly. We are working on patiently waiting for me to be done with my task, but I’m also aware that I need to give him my attention the first time and not wait until I can’t handle the “mommy” call anymore.

3. Ryan wants to be involved in projects around the house, a.k.a. helping. I appreciate his helpfulness, and I’ve learned to take the time to teach him about the task I’m completing. Right now, he puts away silverware, helps load laundry, and wipes up spill. He’s also fascinated by any DIY jobs Philip tackles throughout the house.

4. Ryan is more affectionate than I though. For example, he nuzzles his way under my arm while we read books or watch a cartoon. He gives lots of hugs and kisses, and is starting to say “I love you” without being prompted. (I’m glad I’m writing this down so I have something to remember when he’s in the yelling/non-affectionate stage of life.)

5. We are not without tantrums, “my way or the highway” attitudes, and “mine…mine…mine”. Philip and I are learning what works and doesn’t work. Even when dealing with the selfish behavior of my son, I’m realizing I need to apologize (at times) for my own failures when confronting those behaviors. I’m definitely not a doormat for my children, but there are times an “I’m sorry” is warranted.

If you have children, what are you enjoying about them right now? (Taking a nap is an acceptable answer!)

Mommy-Son/Daddy-Son Dates

Since the boys are now old enough to enjoy time alone with Philip or me, I’ve instituted Mommy-Son (or Daddy-Son) dates once a month. These times are carved out of our normal routine to give individualized attention to each of the boys. Earlier in June, Ryan and I went strawberry picking for the first time. Today, I took Evan to the library and the store while Philip took Ryan to the Rail Festival at Carillon Park. Later this month, I’m taking Evan to the park to work on his climbing skills.

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Why am I doing this? Well, I look forward to any one-on-one time I have with my sons. I spend time with both of them all day long, but I discover new idiosyncrasies when I’m with them individually. It’s also fun to go to new places or try new things, especially when it’s something that interests the boys. I don’t know how, but I also feel like a better mom after individual time with Ryan and Evan.

What are some parent-child dates you do with your kids?

Book Review: Road Trip To Redemption

Roadtrip To Redemption

Road Trip to Redemption is an amazing story about the Mathias family. Brad, the author of this book and the father, chronicles his family’s journey on a family road trip. However, this isn’t a normal road trip. This one is fueled by a tragic event that happened to one of Brad’s children. Through various events throughout the trip, God revealed Himself to the author’s family in ways only He could.

Even though I have 2 young children, I was reminded of the importance of focusing on heart issues rather than behavioral issues. No matter what the behavior, a child’s heart is directing that behavior. My prayer is that I can remember this nugget of truth and put it in to practice as my boys grow up.

Another area that intrigued me was a parent’s authenticity with a child, especially in their walk with the Lord. My boys look up to me, and I want them to see that my faith is real and not just a “Sunday only” faith. That means letting down my “perfect parent persona” around them and my friends (especially other moms).

I would highly recommend this book for any parent, no matter how young or old your kids are, as well as those who work with young adults. The insights found in this book are profound, and definitely worth taking to heart.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.

Book Review: Mommy Time

Mommy Time Book Review

I just finished Mommy Time, by Sarah Arthur, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Of course, I reflected on the birth stories of my sons, ages 2 1/2 and 1, while I was reading. But, I couldn’t forget the 3 women in my family who are about to give birth to their first child. (Actually, one gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on the morning I wrote this post!) I remember all the questions running through my head during the pregnancy, after the birth of my boys, and the first days as a new mom. I remember thinking: “Are these feelings normal?” “Did other moms have this issue?” “How can I be a mom when I’m not coherent enough to realize that’s my baby crying and not the alarm buzzing?”

Sarah tackles these hard to answer, new mom questions with humor, grace, and God’s Word in her new book, Mommy Time. In these 90 short devotions, Sarah discusses her own birth plan, anxieties that she had (and still has), humorous anecdotes about her husband and son, and a few history lessons about strong moms. Most importantly, she opens each devotion with Scripture, knowing that God is the perfect parent and He provides us with the strength and wisdom to parent like Him. Each one is sure to provide biblical encouragement to any new mom, in a short amount of time.

Mommy Time blessed my heart, and I know it will bless any new mom’s heart as well!

To find out more about Sarah Arthur, visit http://www.saraharthur.info/

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.

Connecting with Other Women

When I decided to become a stay at home mom, I was super thrilled. I knew God wanted me to stay at home, and I was looking forward to spending time with my son. Right away, I noticed a void in 2 areas of my life with this new decision: adult conversation and intellectual stimulation. When I worked, I talked to adults all day. I was able to hold stimulating conversations. I planned conference sessions and webinars for others in my field. Honestly, the transition from working in an office to staying at home was harder than I expected.

Soon after Ryan was born, I began looking for ways to connect with other women. These connections came in various forms, and they all blessed me in some way. If you’re a stay at home mom (or soon to be one), here are 3 ways I connected with other moms/women:

1. Bible Studies – If you belong to a church that offers women’s Bible studies, get plugged in to one. Some may even offer childcare for your little ones! If you don’t have women’s Bible studies, find some friends or neighbors and start one of your own. Diving into the Word of God with other women is the most encouraging part of my week, and I know you’ll be blessed also.

2. Book Studies – Just like Bible studies, book studies can be done with other women from church, friends, or neighbors. Many blogs for women offer online book studies throughout the year also. My favorite is Bloom (in)courage. I’ve done 3 book studies through this site, and have come away challenged and strengthened each time. A schedule is posted about the chapters that are covered each week. Bloom will post a video pertaining to the chapters covered, giving a little more insight into the content. After watching the video, readers post their thoughts or questions in the comment section. Their new study, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, begins Feb. 11. Other sites that have book studies currently underway are:

SarahMae.comDesperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

Grace Full MamaBecause He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life

The MOB SocietyGive Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus

Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible StudiesLet.It.Go.

**Disclaimer: I haven’t read these books, but they’re on my Books to Read list.

If you’ve read them, which one(s) did you read, and what did you think?

3. Playdates – I’ve found that moms have just as much fun as the kids when it comes to playdates. The kids play and run around while the moms talk with each other. When it’s nice outside, a park or splash area is a great place for playdates. When the weather is cold or rainy, another house or a restaurant with a play area is a great alternative. I personally enjoy playdates because my sons are exhausted afterwards and sleep VERY well during naptime!

These suggestions are not meant to pull you away from your kids or your role as a mom. Actually, these activities have made me a better wife and mom. Many of these suggestions can be done in the comfort of your own home. The goal is connecting with other women!

How do you connect with other women?

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