Glossies Made Me Do It : Becoming a More Positive Parent

In the April 2018 issue of Parents magazine, there’s an article called “Refuse to Lose It” that talks about how to more effectively communicate with your child(ren) without yelling.

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Admittedly, I have the cutest daughter in the world, but she often sometimes on occasion tests my patience…particularly when it’s time to go to sleep. When I’m tired, my fuse becomes a lot shorter, and I find myself getting upset with her really quickly. This isn’t good for either of us!

This article was full of tips on how to communicate without yelling or fussing, so I’ve been working to implement those tips. Let me tell you, it’s been tough this week too because she’s been sick and bedtime and nights have been even more difficult than usual! One tip that has stood out to me more than any is to look at Charlotte and tell her how much I love her when I’m really frustrated. It may sound corny, but it’s true that it’s tough to be mad or upset when you think about just how much you love your child!

I know that there are going to be more times in the future when she tests my patience. There will be probably be more times even before this evening is finished! However, I want to keep implementing these strategies as much as possible to make me a more effective communicator and a better mom!

If you’re a parent, how do you keep your cool when your kids are pushing you to your limit? If you’re not a parent, what strategies do you use with your loved ones? Any advice is welcome! 🙂

Linking up with Lauren and Ashley

The one where I rant against another blogger

When I don’t feel well, I tend to become the worst possible version of myself -whiny, cranky, all around pitiful. I also become hypersensitive to any criticism, even if it’s not directly aimed at me.

I read a blog post earlier from a “fashion blogger” who ended it by saying something to the effect of “I’ll never understand why people take crying babies on airplanes.” There was something about her smug superiority that got really under my skin. I made a comment on the post and immediately unsubscribed to her blog, but I wanted to expand on it a little bit here.

Did you know that parents don’t like to hear their children cry? Shocking, right? A cry is a communication tool that indicates that a child is in pain, uncomfortable, or angry (unless the child is a toddler…then the cry could mean that the meanest mom ever wouldn’t let her eat something off the floor…), and no mom or dad wants that for their offspring. Sure, there are those handful of parents that can blissfully ignore their child(ren)’s cries, but the majority of us feel compelled to respond when those tears start up.

I get it. Hearing a crying baby can be annoying even when you’re a parent. I imagine it’s particularly annoying and frustrating in the confines of an airplane where you can’t necessarily just get up and walk away. However, those type of judgmental and rude remarks are exactly the types of things that add more stress to the already stressful job of parenting. You’ve chosen to be child-free. That’s great that you made that decision, but for those of us who haven’t, we really don’t need your unsolicited opinion or snark about where we choose to take our children. Let parents make their own decisions. For example, I don’t think that taking babies to movies or concerts is the wisest decision, but instead of calling someone out every time I saw it happen, I simply chose not to take Charlotte to the movies or a concert. Now, if The Wiggles come anywhere within a 100 mile radius of our town, you’d better believe I’ll buy those tickets in a hot minute. For her. Not because I sing Wiggles songs to myself all of the time. Not at all.

So, to that blogger, I offer my unsolicited opinion – get over yourself. Perhaps next time you should pack some noise-blocking headphones on your carry on bag and enjoy the fact that you get to escape whatever noise inconveniences you. Perhaps also you should look in your bag for a little empathy. Changes in altitude can cause physical discomfort in little ones that they don’t know how to alleviate. Changes in environment and being surrounded by strangers (even with parents present) can cause emotional distress in little ones that they don’t know how to express. Changes in routines during holiday breaks can be disruptive to little ones who thrive on daily routines. Get the picture?

I don’t like to be so openly snarky to people (I prefer to save my snark for private conversations with family and friends), but this really got under my skin. I know the odds of the original blogger ever reading this are pretty much 0%, but maybe my message will be helpful for some of you out there – as in, maybe you can pass it along when you see another judgmental jerk.

Now, excuse me while I go drink a delicious cup of nighttime cold medicine and wait for my semi-pleasant self to reappear.

Train Up a Child Tuesday : The Introduction

I’m so excited to introduce a new monthly feature – Train Up a Child Tuesday! Every month, Anna Bachelder from Train Up a Child will share an article related to motherhood, raising a child, or a related topic. I’ve known Anna for a few years (we used to attend the same church), but I’ve only recently gotten to know her better through her Facebook group and her business. We worked together earlier this month to sleep train Charlotte, which was a roller coaster experience that I will write about next month! I wanted to have Anna post here each month to give people a new perspective on parenting and to give everyone a monthly break from hearing me talk. 😉 Take it away, Anna!

After my daughter was born like any parent, my entire life was turned upside down. My heart was softened, my emotions were all over the place, and my hormones I don’t think will ever be the same. I could not believe how amazing this little baby was to me, and how different I was after having her. See I have worked with kids, mostly ages 6 weeks to 5 years old since I was old enough to baby sit. Every job I have had since I was 16 has been working with children, except a 2 year sales job where I was pretty much miserable. I worked as a nanny for several different families, worked in day cares, after school programs, I have a degree in elementary education and I taught kindergarten for a few years; anything you can imagine with kids, I’ve done. So I was as prepared as I could be for this mom thing, but being a mom was so different. Now I was the one setting the stage, setting the schedule, buying the clothes, and the one responsible for this sweet little life that I wanted to be perfect in every way. Of course I knew that wasn’t possible, but as close as I could get is what I wanted.

I went back to work after 3 months and after about 2 months I decided that I had to stay home with my daughter. Our families financial situation was changing to allow that to happen and I just couldn’t bear the thought of missing that much of her day every day. It was just not in me to spend all that time with other people’s children, while my own was getting taken care of by someone else. When I started to stay home I of course started hanging out with other stay at home moms and knew that God was stirring up something in me, I felt he had something for me, but I just wasn’t sure what it was yet. I decided to start a mom’s group on Facebook called “Mama’s Village” (which anyone is welcome to join) where mamas can give and get advice without judgement and where I would give little tips and advice of my own about once a week.

This started to unfold into a ministry for me and I was able to use all of my education and experience to help moms and children that needed and wanted my help. I started getting some serious testimonies and results, so I thought I should go ahead and dive into what I felt God had just unfolded before me and start “Train Up a Child”. “Train Up a Child” is such a ministry to me and so much fun and so rewarding for me. I get to help people with one of the most precious gifts and treasures God has given them and watch their children and parents blossom into all they can be! What a privilege and honor!

Train up a Child has unfolded into a full program of materials from prenatal to 5 years old. We start with day one of baby being born and take you all the way to kindergarten. This information is not just made up, but it is researched and if the program is followed, has always been successful. We give you coaching and material to get you through the newborn stage of schedules and routines and understanding what a newborn needs and then take you to the baby stage and the developmental changes that occur, and transitioning to solid foods, then to the dreaded toddler stage and how and when to deal with discipline, then go into ages 3-5 and the developmental hurdles that occur, along with academic prep and making sure they are ready for kindergarten. We also help get baby to sleep through the night at any stage they are in from about 4 months to 2 years old. God has just designed this from beginning to end and I stand amazed at what he has done and how he has allowed me to use my gifts and experience to help families with their most prized possession, their children.

If you are interested in the program or want more information, feel free to email me at annabachelder@trainupachild.care or check out my website – trainupachild.care – where you can check out testimonials and learn more about what I do.

Thanks, Anna! If anyone has parenting questions or topics they would like to see Anna write about, leave a comment or contact me!

Enjoy Your Journey

Today was the first day of school in my county. My Facebook and Instagram feeds were filled with posts and pictures that all shared a common theme : “I can’t believe how fast time is going.”

Since Charlotte had been pretty restless all night and decided to give us a 4:30 AM wake up call, it seems so hard for me to think about time going quickly, but I know it does. She is learning new skills daily and approaching milestones that seemed like far away concepts just a few days ago.

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This is what a rough morning looks like…

Part of me wishes that she would stay little; she’s so sweet and affectionate (when she wants to be!), and it’s fun watching her interact with the world around her. However, the bigger part of me is looking forward to seeing her grow and develop as a person. I’m curious to see what her personality will be like. I want to be able to talk to her and have her respond back to me with more than just a couple of words or random babble. And, let’s be real here, I really, really, really look forward to the days when her sleep is more consistent (when she’s about, what, 20 or 25? Ha!).

But, I’m not going to wish this time away. I’m going to attempt to savor every moment – good and bad. We are not having more children so every phase we go through is the first and last time we will experience those things as parents. I’m going to work on enjoying the journey because before I know it, we’ll be sending out high school graduation invitations, and I’ll be trying to remember what life was like when she was little. Enjoy your journey. Even the not-so-enjoyable parts have a purpose, and one day, they will be what you miss.

OPLG Blog
Linking up with Our Pretty Little Girls

Mama Needs A Do-Over Book Review

I recently received the opportunity to review Mama Needs a Do-Over by Lisa Pennington. Pennington, a blogger and the mother of nine (!!) children offers ten steps that mothers can use to reset themselves and their children when everyone is having a hard day.

Click on the picture to purchase your own copy!

I liked that her chapters were full of personal anecdotes and scriptural references. I’ll be honest; if I had nine children, I don’t know if I would have time to remember Scripture, much less quote it!

I also appreciated the exercises that she had in each chapter. It made going through the chapters much more interactive, plus I think it will make me more likely to remember and implement her strategies when my own future bundle of joy is pushing me to the edge!

I would recommend this book to any mother (or even many women) who are struggling with keeping it all together. Even though we only have a fur child until April, I could use some of the strategies now. Hopefully my scrambled egg brains can remember these techniques. Somehow I think if a mother of nine can do it, then so can I!

Disclosure the first: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Disclosure the second: The link above is an affiliate link. Purchasing the item with the link will provide money for diapers and superhero onesies.