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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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Being a Safe Place to Land

12/28/2014 - Author: Jennifer

Being a Soft Place to LandHave you ever had to go to someone and talk to them–scared of what they will say or how they will react? I hate having to talk to people if I think that it will start a conflict. I will usually just try to ignore it and hope the issue goes away. Sometimes it works, but not always. I think one of my biggest fears is how is the other person going to react. I don’t feel safe. However, when someone needs to come to me, I don’t want them to be scared. I want to be a safe place.

I want to be a safe place for my husband. If he needs to talk, confide, confess, or just share what is on his mind, I need to have love, patience, and listen without interrupting or attacking.

When my son needs to tell me something, he shouldn’t be scared of how I am going to react. I want him to feel safe with his mom. I want him to know I love him no matter what. Showing positive reinforcement and less frustrations I am sure will help.

When someone needs to talk to me, I want them to come to me with confidence, not fear. I need to be safe when others have opinions that differ than mine. I want them to feel comfortable talking to me.

I need to remember that I am not perfect. I will need to seek grace and help at times in my relationships. So why is it so hard to offer the same? I get so consumed by hurt that I want them to feel hurt. Offering grace is also being vulnerable. Vulnerability can make you feel exposed and make you feel as if you are opening the door to be hurt again. Truth? You are, but is the relationship worth it?

We also have to forgive. It is commanded in Matthew 6:14-15: “14 If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (NLT)

Let’s face it. I feel better when I forgive. Don’t you? I feel better when I don’t lash out or get defensive. There is good in being a safe place. I am working on it. I will get better.

Be blessed 🙂

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Working Mom Blues

06/03/2014 - Author: Jennifer

Working Mother Blues

I am feeling like a failure at being a mom. I really am having a hard time seeing and believing why God chose me to be my son’s mom. Someone else is better equipped to do this. I even have a list in how I have failed my son

  • Not being responsible with money in the past has now impacted what he can and can not do now
  • I have fear and anxiety that he will get sick (again) in a restaurant so we don’t go out
  • He isn’t potty trained. Yes, being special needs this will take longer, but really?!
  • I don’t understand him. Due to his lack of comprehension and emotional understanding, we both get frustrated
  • I lose my temper
  • I am not creative or crafty
  • My husband and I don’t get along at times
  • I want to go to work. I like working outside of the home. I think it makes me a better mom.
  • My son doesn’t want to be with me. They say boys love their moms, but I am not living that reality. He would rather be with my husband.
  • He has learned more since starting public pre-school and daycare. He is thriving. He is doing better since being away from me. I couldn’t teach him

I love my son. Really I do. I hope he believes me when I tell him I do. I do have to wonder if I did anything right. All I can do is pray for healing and have hope. But I feel that this is a hopeless situation. I am struggling with my faith–is God really going to conquer this for us, or is this punishment for my sins? I feel like I have 3 strikes against me as an American Christian woman

  1. I work outside of the home
  2. I put my son in daycare
  3. I put my son in public school

When I talk to other moms and I tell them that I work because I want to, I just feel like there is judgement in the awkward moment after I speak my truth. I think they also feel sorry for me when I tell them that I just couldn’t stay home full-time anymore. He needed to be in an environment to help him with his special needs. That environment is public school. (and it is awesome)!

There is more than one way to parent. I need to do what God wants me to do, and not listen to naysayers–including me.

Be blessed 🙂

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What Road is He Taking Me On?

09/12/2013 - Author: Jennifer

What RoadThere are some things that I am anxious about. We have an unknown future for my son awaiting a diagnosis. I have bad lab results that call for further testing. I am scared. I fight discouragement and fear everyday. I am working to have joy. I am working at spending time with my son before he starts pre-school. I am scared of what further testing might reveal, but I would also be scared if I didn’t go through the tests.

I know that I am not living the best I can. I am grateful that God forgives my doubt and fear. I know He is bigger than this. I believe that He doesn’t mind my questions.  I know that He can make everything better, but I don’t know what He is going to do and I don’t believe that makes me less of a Christian.

Psalm 18:30 God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

I am still scared and I don’t always like what God is doing in my life, but I still need to trust and obey Him. I need to believe it is for the best and it will bring Him glory.

I don’t know how much of a transition I am going to go through, but I do know this–that when opposition comes, it doesn’t always mean that it isn’t God’s will. Sometimes I think He wants us to fight. Sometimes, I think we need to persevere. He doesn’t promise easy. He promises to never leave. Deuteronomy 31:6.  “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (NLT)

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Rhythm

06/21/2013 - Author: Jennifer

Every Friday, Lisa-Jo Baker over at Tales from a Gypsy Mama gives us a word and a challenge. To write for 5 minutes without abandon. It is fun and I encourage you to try it. Here we go! The word is…

RHYTHM

Rhythm

This thing we call life has a rhythm to it, yet there is no routine. It is an oxymoron. We don’t have a strict schedule. I don’t follow the rules of motherhood very well, but I like the rhythm we have. I like the flexibility I allow me and my son to have. Our rhythm will change like the weather. We can base what we do when the weather changes. Maybe we will go play in water or the zoo. Sometimes, the rain keeps us in.

Change is good, I think. I look forward to the changing of the rhythm as he grows, this strong-willed and  lovable boy. I try and cherish these moments we have now, like when he wants to dance with me to a certain song. I get my laptop out, and he expects me to play the song so we can dance.

My son sets the rhythm too. He is becoming his own little man and sometimes, I can’t seem to keep up. Yes, change equals growth, and I celebrate it. Sometimes, the rhythm seems fast and sometimes, painfully slow, but I am trying to enjoy this time, here and now, and dance right where we are.

Be blessed:)

Five Minute Friday

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