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My Son Noticed This

06/04/2015 - Author: Jennifer

IMG_20150522_084738Yesterday, I made a smile face with my blueberries on my waffle. My 4 year old said a smile like you mommy. That comment made me smile. I was elated. I never could have imagined that this would be a conversation me and my son would have.

When my son was an infant, I did not laugh a lot. I did not realize this until one day my laugh scared him. I was watching something funny and I laughed out loud. My poor son (around 6 months old) reacted by having a scared look on his face and even jumped a little. My laugh was a foreign sound to him. It made me sad. I knew that motherhood wasn’t always going to be fun and easy, and I thought that I was enjoying being a mom, but my son showed me a different view. I did not notice that I did not have joy. Something had to change.

There was a time when I was known for my smile. There was a time when laughing was easy for me. I don’t know for sure if I can tell you exactly when that stopped, but I have an idea. It started before motherhood. Moving away from friends and a place that I love is when I lost my joy if I had to guess. Coming back to the area I grew up but feeling like a foreigner probably did not help. Not feeling connected or community could have amplified the feeling of boredom and helplessness.

So what helped?

  • Exercise. I don’t have an awesome body, but my mood is a whole lot better. It really does help the mind.
  • Baking. I do not like winter and when you are stuck in the house, well, I had to do something. Cooking (which is a necessity) and baking is something we can do together. Now, nothing fancy, gourmet, or pretty, but somewhat yummy is what we call a success in this house.
  • Work outside of the home. I know that this isn’t popular for a lot of people, but yes, I put my son in daycare at the age of 3. I also put him in pre-school in our public school system. I can honestly say that I enjoy being a radiologic technologist (x-ray tech. NOT TECHNICIANS BUT TECHNOLOGISTS). The way all of the events worked out, well, I can only point to God because not a lot of techs can work part-time. I do not take for granted this gift. Pre-school has been a HUGE benefit to my son and his needs. They have skills that I don’t that help my son learn and succeed. It has been a HUGE benefit to our family.

I am a better mom and we are a better family due to the changes we made. God makes women to do different things. Some work outside the home. Some work from home. For others, home is work. I don’t believe in the Bible anywhere it says that mothers are not allowed to work outside of the home.

What did I learn? That my son is paying attention. It can be hard to believe at times. When it seems like I have to remind him to use good manners repeatedly I wonder if he listens or when the chores seem monotonous and you doubt that your family notices the work you do.

Yeah, kids see the bad, but they also see the good. I now believe that, even if they do not verbalize the good they see.

I am not saying that these things will help you. (Actually, exercise can’t hurt) I just want to challenge you by asking yourself if you have your joy and if not, what can you do to get it back? I hope you don’t have to wait until the kids are older or grown. Yes, you may have to have time away from kiddos, and that can be ok. Maybe God is having you get out of your comfort zone (and it may make your family squirm a little too).

I am grateful that my son and I can be happy and I have joy being a mom. I have a genuine smile when I think about how my son notices my smile.

Be blessed 🙂

 

 

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One Day Mama….

01/21/2015 - Author: Jennifer

IMG_3010 2

 

I have been working part-time outside of the home for over a year now. I have to say, it has been great for our family. We have benefited greatly from this. I did gain a lot more of something since working -perspective- and I needed it.

Motherhood is messy. Being a boymom is messy. (I am not saying that having girls do not come with messes, but I can only speak as a boymom. Girl moms, I applaud you for your survival skills and keeping your sanity).  I embrace the mess. I really do try. Yes, there comes a time when I just can’t stand it anymore and we need to clean, but I try not to exasperate me. I try not to get frustrated when I am asked to do something again or when my son asks for my help. Why? One day, the mess will be cleaned up. One day, the questions for help will stop coming (or not come as frequently). Our conversations are going to change through the years and get harder. One day, if he meets “the girl”, I will be replaced.

The super-hero pajama’s will be no more. He will not need to be rocked to sleep anymore. Baking will go quicker because there will be less mess to clean and nobody to help you or teach so you won’t be slowed down. Just breath and try to take mental pictures. Laugh when icing gets on you and flour is all over his shirt.

The legos will no longer be stepped on and nobody will scare you with snake noises. The towers that are being built just to be torn down will no longer be. Nobody will try to gross me out or scare me (because the more disgusting and the scarier mommy thinks it is, the better). That season will come to an end sooner than I want, so I am trying to live it as much as I can with as much enjoyment as I can. My schedule will no longer be broken up by school and other activities. I will one day have a little more free time, but I will need to know what to do with it.

Karen Kingsbury has the best book on this perspective called Let Me Hold You Longer. I encourage you to read it.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t teach our kids responsibilities. They need to function without us. I am also not saying to make your kids the center of your world and life existance.  I am saying (and I say this to myself) to breath, be patient, and try to find the good in it all. Let’s have more fun with this awesome privilege we call motherhood. One day mama, it will be gone.

Be blessed 🙂

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My 4 year old asked me what temptation is

11/03/2014 - Author: Jennifer

Question Marks

This past Saturday, my son was helping me make dinner. I love having him in the kitchen with me. I was shredding cheese for homemade macaroni and cheese. He was supervising and making sure the cheese tasted good by eating it before it could be put in the sauce. (I should tell you my son LOVES cheese). After eating more than he should, I told him to please stop and save some for dinner. He could not or would not do it, I really do not know. So I did what any good mom would do–I helped him out by removing the temptation from him. I told him “here, let me remove the temptation from you”. I could not have predicted what happened next.

My 4 year old son asked me what temptation is. This.is.huge! First, we are learning how to form conversations and he did it right. Second, I was challenged.  I tried to define it. (I honestly do not remember what I said). I didn’t pause. It almost felt natural to talk about this. (Divine intervention). God, please let me get this right.

My husband and I are trying to raise our son to want to follow God. I feel like a failure everyday. I am not making Jesus look good with how I live sometimes and I often wonder if my son will be turned off with a relationship with Jesus because of how I lived and what he saw. I have on more that one occasion asked God to fill in the gaps of my failures where my son is concerned.

The next day, I was talking to my husband about faith and wondered if our son will understand. I said I hope he gets his faith, not ours. Not mine. Not my husband’s. You see, my husband and I had piggy-backed on our parents faith for too long. We didn’t search out the Bible enough, we just did what was taught as we were growing up. I feel like I am recently coming into my own faith–meaning I am looking only to Jesus, not what my parents believe or how I was raised in Church to believe.

As parents, we have a responsibility to raise our kids and have God be our guide (Ephesians 6:4), but I can’t force my faith upon my son. I pray that he does believe and accept Christ as His Savior and strive to live for Him. But, I want my son to do it for himself, not for me or his father. Not that I mind if God wants to use me to help show our son the way. What an honor!

What about you? How did you come to know Jesus? Who challenges you to be a better follower and witness for our Savior?

 

Be blessed 🙂

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