Goal Setting for Kids

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There is no great genius without a mixture of madness.-Aristotle

Last week we did our yearly Family Meeting in which we talk about Family and Personal goals. We talked about what goals are, how to set a specific goal and work towards it step by step, and what can help to be more successful like setting a specific time of the day and making the goal very specific. We discussed how goals should help us have good habits;  we consistently do good things until they become good habits. We also talked about how as disciples of Christ we constantly want to try to improve and each time we become better and more like Christ we have more help from Him to move forward and improve even more (Proverbs 4:18)

To make the process more visual and help the kids keep track of both their goals and progress we made up this GOAL SETTING WEEKLY STAIRS on which they could write their goals and each time they complete it for the day they move up a stair step. We had the kids choose a cartoon face of a child they thought looked like them from this Multicultural kids faces Clip-Art to use to “climb” the stairs. Elf chose one of the little Asian girls:)

 

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2014: How’d it go?

 

 

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Yep, that picture pretty much sums up my feelings on the subject….

 

Sometimes I almost feel a rebellious impulse to not go through the goal-setting process of an approaching New Year. Then I remember how habitual I am by nature and I know that I will never change and improve unless I make a planned and persistent effort to do so. So here we go with my first phase.

Reflection Time! I usually do this every 3-4 months to see how I’m doing, where I need to revise things and perhaps be more specific or realistic in my expectations. The end of the year I like to take a whole look at the year though and see how I’ve done with my goals.

This year, like most;), did not go exactly as planned but I think I did make significant progress in many of my goals. If you’d like to see a detailed outline of my 2014 goals you can see the  post on my 2014 Life Cleanse Outline.

The good. I think I did a fairly good job with the health and fitness part of my goals at the beginning of the year. I did my Food Cleanse and also had cleaned  up my diet to the point that I felt I was eating the right things and in the right way for my body. Also, I had a fitness routine that was challenging and got to the point that I felt I was back into the physical shape I wanted to be at, actually I surpassed my expectations in this aspect.

More good. I do feel I made considerable progress with my emotional and spiritual goals. I did become better at studying and feel I have improved my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I now have moved my devotional time to mornings too which has made a significant difference in my day as a whole. I also feel that I came to several conclusions and realizations about myself as I strived to find the “roots” to my vices. I believe this will help me significantly as I make new goals for the upcoming year.

The bad. I did not do as well with my record keeping as I would have liked. This is so important for me as I’ve noticed I make progress more quickly, consistently, and permanently when I’m journaling that progress. I tended just to write when I was struggling, more as a way to vent. While not bad in and of itself, I did not usually write my solutions or progress in the struggles. The majority of my reasoning for keeping a journal is for my descendants and I don’t want to seem like a pessimist!

More bad. I also did not progress much in breaking my habit of going until I can’t go anymore. I know that this is a major stumbling block to my stress levels and thus the atmosphere in our home. I am just TOO task oriented in general and do not stop to smell the roses and enjoy the moments as I need to.

The downright ugly. As I mentioned earlier, I did a good job with my health and fitness “at the beginning of the year.” Basically by the end July you would never have known I even cared about such things! I tried really hard to stay faithful to my cleaner eating habits but as the morning sickness ensued I realized that my stomach just cannot handle the same foods when pregnant as they can normally. It took me until I was throwing up blood to realize that I just have to listen to my body and readjust. Unfortunately, I’ve taken up some pretty bad eating habits that I’ll have to straighten out again this year.

More ugly. I don’t know that I’ve ever done so little exercise during a pregnancy. I also don’t remember ever being this consistently exhausted in my previous pregnancies. Not to mention my varicose veins that rival my Grandmother’s (no joke, I checked when we visited in October) Yes, I usually take a 2-4 month break from anything routine or challenging during my sickest months, but I usually pick things back up and get back into a low-impact regular exercise routine by the end of my pregnancies. I have done some exercise and I of course have 4 young children to go and do with and for so I’m not sedentary but Wow….I am feeling the out-of-shape-ness coming on strong. I know this will make it more difficult to get back into a routine, I’m just hoping that underneath the layer of blubber I still have the muscle tone I worked so hard for at the beginning of the year.

Another thing I’ve realized during this reflection time is that when outlining my goals I separate them into my own, family, couple, and homeschooling. I think this year I’m going to still do that but see how I can integrate them more so as to better synthesize the process and hopefully make more progress that way.

So that’s where I stand at the end of this year. I’m in the process of re-evaluating and will post my goals for the upcoming year soon! In the meantime I hope you are all enjoying the festivities and spending some quality time with loved ones!

Stay tuned:)

 

 

I’m Back!….What happened?

 

 

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Sometimes we get a little antsy waiting at the airport for Daddy…

 

Hey Everyone! You probably thought I got lost or something, haha! Not to worry, after a 7 month hiatus, I’m back!

So what happened? Mostly, life happened.

My computer finally gave up on me in May, after 7 years of faithful service. I decided to wait ‘til October, when we visited the U.S. to get a new one. (Anyone else have bad luck with electronics in Latin America?)

By then I was so out of the blogging habit that it’s taken be awhile to get the nerve to jump back into things. I thought I’d give you a quick update of what’s been going on for the last 7 months.

Right before my computer went kaput (is that actually a word?….yes, I’m the geek that has to look it up now….it is! Yay!) I had just started the Food Cleanse portion of my 2014 Life Cleanse. It went really well, I felt it was very effective, much more so then my last try, and I felt like it did restart my health and get me back on the right track to eating right for my body. The total cleanse lasted over a month with first taking out all processed foods, then going vegetarian, then vegan, then just fruits and veggies, then juice and then back again.

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Yep, that would be two lines alright!

I was just finishing up my Cleanse when I found out I was pregnant again! This was a bit of a surprise since I had just miscarried right before I started my Cleanse. I was so grateful I had, had the chance to clean out my body before starting to grow one inside of it;)

For the next couple months my main focus was keeping my cookies down and trying to find a rhythm of life I could realistically handle with a pregnancy.

Balance is always something I struggle with, especially when pregnant, but the last couple pregnancies have taught me that I cannot be Super Woman because my actions and health don’t just affect me. Thus, I’ve tried to be gentler with my body while pregnant and found that it helps in a multitude of ways which I’m sure I will detail in another post;)

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“She feels it’s important to be prepared….”

We were able to go on a much needed family trip to the beach in May, in which I was once again reminded of how traveling and morning sickness don’t mix well. Thankfully Marvel and the kids were just happy to be at the beach and didn’t complain that Mommy was laying around and not on top of meals nor anything else for that matter:/

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Happy with her castle cake!

We finished up our homeschool year in June and celebrated Elf’s 4th birthday! Man time flies! She is growing up so fast, maturing even faster…4 going on 40! She keeps us on our feet and laughing all the way!

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Wow! Ten years already!

In July we celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary with a dinner out all by ourselves! Gasp! We had entire conversations without interruption and got to talk about each other instead of family and business matters. It was wonderful to reminisce and remember why we fell in love in the first place. Marvel has helped me grow in so many ways and is so patient with me. I will be forever grateful for him in my life.cropped-fonsecas_018.jpg

What would I do without him?

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Too cool to smile I guess;)

We also got to celebrate Engineer’s 9th birthday in July! He is growing up WAY too fast and it’s amazing how much he has changed in the last year or so. He has reached a new stage in his life and it’s been interesting to watch and then adjust as all our girls are really still in the “little kid” phase. It’s been really interesting to partake of Engineer’s wisdom as he has become much more expressive about his thoughts. Loving it and at the same time a bit of the Momma in me doesn’t want my little boy to grow up!

August was my birthday and though Marvel was travelling like crazy he made sure to set aside time to surprise me with Japanese food (my craving of choice this pregnancy;) and the kids and he just about wet themselves from the excitement of trying to keep the secret from me. The girls also threw me a “tea party” in which we had imaginary strawberry soup with carrots, strawberry cake and strawberry tea.

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Oh yeah, Engineer “rescued” a homeless kitten….pets….my favorite:/

I also spent the months of July and August planning our next school year and finishing up our immigration processes to get us all our Mexican residency. Immigration is always a headache for me, honestly, but it’s so nice to get it done and know that with residency we won’t have to renew everything EVERY year anymore. I also finished up getting Button’s Mexican and U.S. passports because Marvel was a sweetheart and got us a surprise trip to the U.S. to see my family in October!

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Engineer participated in a folkdance performance for the Mexican Indepence Day

September was the start of a new school year. I decided to wait to pick up my curriculum in the U.S. when we would go to visit (AKA: saving a BUNDLE on shipping costs!!) we spent September with mostly review and setting up and getting used to some new additions (Piano, Portuguese, and Button being more involved as an almost 2 year old). It was a very useful month because I was able to better pin-point exactly where each kid was and adjust many teaching methods and scheduling before we even got our new curriculum.

Also in September I went to the OB/GYN for the first time! Yes, yes, I know, I know, believe me I’ve had the lecture about pre-natal care…let’s just suffice it to say that I’m not a big fan of doctors in general, haven’t ever really found one I’ve liked here, would prefer a midwife but after finding out about the minimal qualifications needed for them and doctors in Mexico decided not to risk it while we’re here, and in all humility I have done this pregnancy thing a few times now and basically know what is normal for me and what is not. So, all that said we were able to go to a basic check-up as a family and everyone got to see the baby on the sonogram, which is always fun. We also found out at this appointment that we are expecting another baby GIRL! January 19th is the due date…though at this point this Momma would go for earlier J

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Cousins! Actually only a few of them….

In October we continued our concentration on school and then the kids and I got to go visit my side of the family in Washington State! It had been 3 years since we’d visited and we’d only seen my parents in the meantime when they came for Button’s birth and another visit here.

It was WONDERFUL to see my brothers and sisters, many of whom had begun their families since we last saw them, and meet all the new additions to the family. It was so great to reconnect with Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles and even my close friends from my childhood.

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Birthday Girl!

Fiesta got to celebrate her 6th birthday while we were in Washington, which was a special treat and she was delighted with all of the attention! As usual, she was sure to tell us exactly how she wanted her cake, chocolate and vanilla with PINK frosting! As her nickname implies, if it had been up to her she would have invited every person she had met in Washington to her party, but we tried to keep it to close family;)

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Two Cakes???!!!!

It was really a wonderful visit and so fun for my kids to feel more connected to family that we talk about all the time. I was once again reminded of what an exceptionally loving and supportive family I have. They work so hard to stay connected and help whenever they can even with geography in the wayJ

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Can we forget Halloween?

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Why is she touching MY cake?

November we got back into the rhythm of school and also got to celebrate Button’s 2nd birthday! She was a little shy with the attention but made sure everyone understood that is was HER birthday and HER cake and HER presentsJ We had a smiley face theme because Button’s favorite song is “If you’re happy and you know it.” And she is truly one happy little girl!

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Guess we were too hungry to take the picture when the food was pretty!

We also celebrated Thanksgiving with our usual turkey dinner and this year the kids each picked a dessert that they wanted to make. We ended up having a leak come through our entry way, coming from the upstairs bathroom, a few days beforehand. So even though I wasn’t up to inviting some of our friends to share in the festivities as we usually do, we did have the plumber join us for our dinner;)

As soon as Thanksgiving was over we started on our Christmas preparations, more with our homemade gifts than anything. We knew Christmas was going to be a little different this year. Marvel had been hearing mixed reviews on his Mother’s health over the past few months and we all wanted him to go and see her himself to see what was going on. Though business wise travelling during December would be the best, he really didn’t want to leave in case the baby came early. He had decided to go in March.

Then he realized that his passport had run out of Visa pages. He travels a lot for business and Visas are often needed. Normally this isn’t a big deal but because his country has different regulations on passports the only way to get more pages was to return personally to his own country and get a whole new passport. So we felt that with that and his mother’s health deteriorating, it was best he leave before Christmas and be back by the end of December.

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Oh the ever frustrating star!

That meant we would postpone our own little family Christmas a few days. The kids were very understanding and everything was arranged. This also meant we had to adjust our Christmas preparations so that we wouldn’t just be sitting around waiting for Daddy to get home. So we moved everything over about a week and saved our Christmas baking for the real Christmas day so that we would be so busy making and delivering goodies we wouldn’t have time feel like we were missing out.

We’ll have a day of cleaning up for Daddy’s arrival and our Christmas celebration and a final day of cooking and baking and wrapping and preparing for our celebration of Jesus’ birth on Monday.

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Can you tell we like glitter?

We’ve simplified our schooling during the last part of this month and had many more activities and reading together than usual. We had a study of snow (which is interesting to do in a place where it never snowsJ We’ve made ornaments and gingerbread houses and the kids made all their gifts by hand this year. The kids also made their own Christmas stories, which was fun to see their creativity. Between that and being involved in Christmas get-togethers with friends and a Christmas program at church we’ve really had lots of fun memories made.

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Some candy even ended up on the houses!

So that about catches us up. In the next few weeks we’ll be having our Christmas with our family, celebrating the New Year, making our family and personal goals for the upcoming year, starting back to “normal” school, and finishing up our preparations for our new arrival next month!

Stay tuned!…

Mommy said so….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou probably thought I had forgotten about it….but I don’t think any parent EVER forgets about the topic of discipline;)

Nope, sorry my writings are so random, it’s therapy for me as it helps me put my ponderings into more concrete insights, so I can actually make change….thanks for your patience:)

Anyway, so along this more recent in-depth study of discipline you know what thought keeps coming back?

“Meg, until YOU change, there will be NO change.”

Well that’s a bit disheartening for me, but it’s true. I’ve read and studied discipline since before having children and for the type of household and family culture I’m striving for, it is just NOT going to happen with my current habits.

Here the low-down:

I’m a control freak

I’m a perfectionist

I’m nearly OCD when it comes to planning and organization

I’m bossy

I’m NOT touchy/ feel-y nor do I deal well with high-emotional situations

Can you see where these traits might just cause some conflict in any home? But especially in a home where the other members are:

Care-free

Fun-loving

Impulsive

Independent

Fearless

High-emotion and physical affection oriented

Its a precarious mix to say the least.

Now, looking at it from a big picture standpoint (and considering my last post🙂  I think we have a lot to learn from each other. That being said, no one is going to want to listen to me if I’m a witchy, party-crashing, beast that only talks to give orders and demand obedience.

Besides my theological research, which I’ll share in a separate post, my latest VERY helpful book on the topic of discipline has been this book
What I love about it is it shares how societal culture has led to a shift in family culture, thus creating a need for different discipline approaches. Also, it helps YOU as the parent, define your parenting style and explains why that can cause conflict or future discipline issues.

What I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE about the incredibly smart author is that she’s created a whole step-by-step/systematic approach to tackling the subject of discipline AND she has a great website (www.positiveparentingsolutions.com) that offers free webinars, free trainings, and free surveys (to find your parenting style).

One of the very first things that this discipline approach suggests is to spend more quality time individually with each child, actually at least 20 minutes each day per child. This is something that I’ve been thinking about for awhile, even before reading this book, especially when I noticed that quality time and physical affection were so high on the “love languages” for my kiddos (you can find out more about love languages and discovering those of your family here) But when I heard the reasoning and statistics for the quality time, it motivated me more to try for more consistent individual time with each child.

Now, maybe it’s not a big deal for most, but when I think of 20 minutes each child, each day I think….”How in the….?”

So I figured I’d start with 10 minutes each day each child…but even that was too much and crazy/stressful for me, so I switched to once a week. We call is our “date night” each kid gets one night that they get to stay up 20-30 (sometimes more) minutes up past bedtime to have a date with me. Each child chooses what they would like to do (except for T.V ). This means Engineer usually chooses his latest project, we are currently working on a hot-air balloon. Fiesta usually wants to do nails and/or makeup or color pictures (Wanna see when she gave me a makeover? ). And Elf often does nails too but likes to read stories a lot as well.

Honestly, some nights it’s hard for me to calm my to-do list going in my head, but by the end of the date I’m always more relaxed and refreshed.

Even more rewarding has been the immediate changes I’ve seen in my kids, especially Fiesta. Most notable the day right after their date, they are more compliable, talkative (in a good way), understanding, compassionate and overall in better spirits. It has really been a blessing for everyone. Now I just need to work up to more time, on a consistent basis.

I’ve especially noticed that Elf really needs time every day, so I’ve been trying to be more creative with “dates”. We cook, bake, read, sit and talk, make something, have a tea party, go to the park or on an errand drive (if Marvel is home so we can go just the two of us). I’m really hoping it will become more natural to me as time goes on so I don’t treat EVERYTHING like a check-list. But step-by-step, here I go.

You can see other posts on my discipline journey here.

So please do share….What changes in your discipline approach have had immediate changes?

By the way, I’m not getting paid for the “advertising” on Amy McCready’s book nor website, I just love it and thought someone else might find it helpful. The link to the book is an Amazon Affiliate link, however, so if you do decide to buy the book I would greatly appreciate you using that link to support this site. Thanks!

I Lost it at 3

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And then there were three….

 

When I had 2 kids I felt right from the beginning that it was doable. Yes, tricky at times but completely doable.

I don’t remember feeling completely overwhelmed by the prospect of parenting and keeping up with my other various responsibilities. I also felt like I could get my body back. I gained the least amount of weight with my second pregnancy and had stayed pretty active the entire pregnancy. A couple stretch marks (yes, two actually) but other than that by the time my second child was 9 months old I felt like I was as in as good of shape as I had been before kids.

But I completely LOST IT at 3. I don’t know what I did wrong or what happened exactly but I feel like from child #3 on I have never been able to get completely back up in the saddle.

Yes, I’m still on the horse….mostly….most days…..but it’s a very precarious ride and I feel like I’m wearing silk pajamas on a leather saddle with no reins to grab onto….the horse definitely has no bit….it’s wild.

That’s also about the point I mysteriously started finding things like gray hairs, hidden stretch marks in crazy places, love handles and extra “padding” around my middle, not to mention the ingrained purple bags under my eyes and my increased urge to lash out irrationally.

That’s when homeschooling became a daily battle. Discipline a guessing game. And a clean house a figment of my imagination. Where did the order go? I’m an organized person….right? Aren’t I?

So, at the moment we have 4 kids and we feel like there is at least one more waiting on us….maybe more….Some days I get all motivated and psyched up and think , “I CAN DO THIS!!!!!”

About an hour later, while battling my 8yr. old over a math lesson, trying to keep my 5 year old out of the mud when she’s supposed to be working on her handwriting (come on, at least during school can we avoid filling the entire patio with mud pies? :/), finding my 3yr. old in a flooded bathroom with her messed up pants around her ankles and WAY more than enough toilet paper to clean it up with (when did she even GO to the bathroom, I thought she was doing phonics on the computer??), only to come out of there to find my 1 year old has somehow figured out how to climb into the kitchen cupboard, dump out all the garbage in the garbage can and is now eating who knows what out of it….it’s at times like this I find myself thinking, “What in the world was I thinking? THERE IS NO WAY ON EARTH I CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Well, I’m right. Actually both statements are correct if I tweak it a bit. I, personally, cannot do this. It is just not humanly possible.

The thing is it really doesn’t matter how many parenting books I read, organizational webinars I listen too, or homeschooling blogs I follow….when it comes down to it, despite my best efforts…life is still going to happen and I’m still going to mess up. Big time.

So what does that mean? Should I quit? Should I just give up and go with the flow?

No, of course not. It just means that I am me. And my kids are each uniquely made as well.

It’s like mixing up a salad. Different ingredients, some of which may not even seem like they should go together, but a really good salad has a lot of surprising variety. The ingredients work together because they are put together by a chef that knows their unique taste and texture.

So here’s the thing. I’m me. You mix me with the members of my family and there is going to be sweet, sour, soft, crunchy…. mostly nutty. But the Chef knows what He is doing because He knows each of us better than we know ourselves.

Are families are not by accident. This is God’s Plan. We have families to fulfill his divine purposes and we are put together ON PURPOSE.

I am here to learn. To learn to be more like God. And that is what each of my children are here for too.

We are ALL disciples…followers, learners, willing students….I just forget that part sometimes…ok, LOTS of times.

I’m so busy instructing, teaching…ok, ok bossing…that I’m not even opening my mind and heart to what I’m supposed to be learning.
Yeah, there is always the standard answer, Patience. Right, well as parents we definitely know we could use some of that.

But what about charity? The ability to love as God loves, just as we are, good or bad, right or wrong,….He loves us. Always and forever.

What about meekness? The ability to be teachable. To look at every situation with curiosity and desire to learn and accept situations and people as they are.

What about submissiveness? The ability to give my will up for the better good, maybe better for me, maybe better for everyone. Trusting that the Lord knows all…and thus knows best.

These are all characteristics that are naturally inherent in my children. Yet, sadly, I tend to think I’m the Mom, I know best….really? Always?

Worst of all, by my callous, prideful words and behaviors I am shaping another generation to leave their child-like natures behind and follow in MY footsteps….wait, aren’t I supposed to be leading them to Christ?

I already know, I don’t know what I’m doing. I already know, I lost it. So, stop the fight.

Let humility take over rather than pride. See my children as God sees them and love them that way too. Let them teach me. Instead of constantly thinking, “I cannot do this.” I should be thinking, “Show me how to do this.”

There are times when I have actually been able to embrace these principles. Let go of myself, my thoughts, my worries, my pride….and open my mind to learning and guidance. It always works. An answer always comes. Sooner or later, all at once or gradual…it comes. And many times….from the mouth of babes…

So, maybe that’s part of God’s plan too. I HAD to lose it. I had to get to the point where I felt like I know nothing and I can do nothing, so I could let Him guide me back to where I’m meant to be.

Laws of Parenthood

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Don’t get me wrong. I love being a mom. It has always been my career of choice since childhood. Every once in a while though I think, “Can I really handle this?” It was just such a day that I started laughing at myself, reminded myself that I’m not in charge, and wrote this post.

The Laws of Parenthood

Children will only try your patience when you have none left.

Friends and associates won’t stop by the day AFTER cleaning day. No, they stop by the day BEFORE.

Your “quiet” child will only yell in the middle of church.

If you have more than one child you will have a least two that have opposite personalities.

Children have a certain quota of “why” questions they must ask each day, with most kids it comes to about 15,435,986 questions per day.

Your child will not do it; if they think they can get YOU to do it for them.

Children will always try their new tricks out when you have company or are trying to leave the house.

Your child will not sit down or take a nap when they become overly tired, they will become running, yelling, disobedient little trolls.

When your baby starts to sleep better your toddler will start waking up more.

Your children will decide to only make a fuss about food when you’ve spent at least an hour preparing it.

Your children will remind you of things you’ve forgotten when it’s too late to do anything about it.

If you have children you will always have a built in honest appraisal system, they’ll usually try to be tactful, “Mom, your butt is kind of big!”

If you have more than one child it is an irrevocable law of the universe that you cannot have ALL of them OR ALL of your home clean simultaneously.

If you have at least three children and a spouse, odds are that EVERY meal, SOMEONE will not like it.

Children will push all of your buttons only when you’re tired, hungry, and have to go to the bathroom.

You will have uninvited dinner guests on the day you decide to make bread and the kids decide to make mud-pies…..yes, in the house.

Though you may have times when you cannot get your child’s attention, DON’T WORRY! Your children will ALWAYS find a way to get YOUR attention.

And last but certainly not least:

When you first hold your own little baby in your arms you begin to understand the love that God must have for you.

Trippin’

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So I found myself in bit of a melancholy mood this evening and as usual began to analyze the cause. Then reprimanded myself as I ate something I thought I shouldn’t have. Then I continued to procrastinate cleaning up the dishes and started beating myself up over that too. Then I tried to distract myself long enough to do the dishes as I began to dream about what I would be doing right now if I could do anything I wanted (if money and logistics were not an issue). As I dreamed I found myself again giving myself a guilt trip because I kept thinking of all the “shoulds”.

In my mind guilt and sin are the main robbers of joy. They’re connected obviously, and for good reason. But I can also see how they can cause problems in and of themselves. Even if a person does not feel guilty about doing something wrong they will not feel joy because they’ve hardened themselves enough that they won’t feel (or acknowledge) guilt so thus they will not be able to feel joy either. I think the same holds true for guilt. We can feel guilty even when we’ve done nothing wrong simply because there is an expectation set in our mind that says what we are doing is “wrong”.

I actually thought of this earlier today when I began to scold my 3 yr. old for getting into my scone batter for the 100th time (yes, I exaggerate). Then the thought came to me, is this REALLY something I need to make a big deal about? And even if I do need her to stop do I need to make her feel GUILTY about it? Isn’t there another way? So I explained to her that I needed her to move so I could finish getting the scones ready and when they were done she could have one. There you have it, she moved, no harm, no foul.

Do things always go this smoothly when I try to be reasonable, rather than reprimanding? Nope. Is there no place for guilt in the realm of discipline? No, I think guilt is a very useful and necessary part of discipline. People need to know when they’ve done something wrong and guilt can be an excellent indicator of that. But, I don’t think it needs to be a primary tool for parenting. I also see that many kids today do not answer as well to the “guilt-trip”.

I’m no expert but I see a difference in kids of this generation. They are more intense, smarter, innovative, and fearless. I’m finding children now-a-days answer better to love, compassion, respect, and logic. If they know you love them, that you are trying to understand them and you think they are important, they will listen and if you’re being fair or at least honest they will usually oblige. Besides, I don’t want my kids to grow up feeling guilty every time they start to feel happy just because they’ve had an unrealistic expectation placed inside their mind, by ME.

Here’s the thing. I’m tired of being robbed of joy simply because I think I “should” have done something else. Maybe I should have. Does that make it “wrong”? I’m not talking about morality here. I’m saying, do I have to be robbed of the pleasure of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich just cause “I shouldn’t eat that.”, do I have to be robbed of the peace that comes from writing in my journal simply because “I should have done the dishes first.”, do I have to be robbed of the happiness I feel from actually sitting down and having a real conversation with my husband or watching a movie with him just because, “I should have mopped first and I should iron while I’m watching.” If I’m not degrading myself or anyone else by doing it than kick the guilt to the curb and feel the joy!

P.S. Don’t worry. The dishes will still be there when you’re done…..