You’re More Than A PB&J Mom

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have become a daily meal at our house. I even remember as a kid that’s all I would eat for lunch. Seriously, they are easy to make and just so darn delicious. But today the PB&J sandwich made me question if I’m a “good mom.”

I’m 37 weeks pregnant with my second baby; which means everything hurts. My hips are constantly in pain, I pee at least 6 times a night. I battle insomnia at night while struggling to stay awake during the day.

Today, I actually had some energy to do a few chores. To me, that means clean the whole house. But my body only allowed me to Vaccuum and sweep the floors before my back was screaming at me. I felt so exhausted afterwards. I couldn’t push through the pain. My anxiety was escalating just by looking at the mess around the house.

Finally, I put my daughter down for her nap. I decided to rest myself but by the time I started to fall asleep my happy toddler was at my bedside ready to eat lunch.

As I walked in the kitchen I struggled to keep my eyes open. I was tired and all the energy I had to muster was only good enough to make a PB&J for my daughter. That’s when I broke down into a deep cry for about 5 minutes. “You’re a bad mom”, “you can do better”, “Aurora deserves a better mom” all flooded my mind. I felt completely overwhelmed with failure and I didn’t know how to find the energy to do more. In the midst of my crying, my beautiful 3-year-Old ran and hugged my leg with all her strength. “Mommy, it’s okay.”

Even though she didn’t understand why I was crying she reminded me in that moment that she loves me. She reminded me that a 3-year-Old doesn’t measure by perfection. They measure by love and how those around them are a part of their everyday lives.

I may have made the millionth PB&J but to my daughter it was something to look forward to. She never saw it as a lack of effort on my part but a treat to enjoy.

My husband called me right after my breakdown. He reminded me that I’m not a bad mom. He told me I’m 37 weeks pregnant so it’s okay not to be able to do everything. He told me to be patient until after I have our baby boy. Then I can become supermom again. (He knows me so well because that’s exactly what I want to be. Even at 37 weeks — supermom).

To the moms like me (pregnant or not) struggling to make more than a PB&J — you’re a good mom. You’re doing the best you can within your circumstances. Your babies love you and really do enjoy that PB&J. Give yourself grace and remember that what you make for lunch doesn’t define who you are as a mom. It’s the time and love you put into your kids that really makes a big difference.

My Journey with Prenatal Anxiety and Depression

Dear Foster Daughter, I Couldn’t Help You

Moms, It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

When Little is Good Enough

To the Foster Mom without Kids This Mother’s Day

It was exactly a year ago that my husband and I got the call, “You are certified foster parents.” After 4 months of training, LOTS of paperwork and home studies we were finally able to welcome foster kids into our home.

In the last year we’ve had 8 girls come in our home. The youngest was 7 and the oldest 17. A few stayed a week while others stayed almost a year. I never expected my life to be changed so much by letting these girls into our home. We mostly fostered teen girls this year and it was pretty fun. They taught me slang words, how to contour my face, what the latest fashions were and some even laughed at my jokes. But among those amazing moments there was a lot of low moments. All of them left me with my heart broken a little more each time. Sadly, this Mother’s Day I will be celebrating without any foster kids and that makes me sad.

I recently watched the HBO documentary, “Foster” that premiered this week. The part that left me in sobbing tears was at the end when the single foster mom gets cards, hugs and appreciation from all of her foster kids. I realized that no child I have fostered in the last year will be here for Mother’s Day. Yes, it’s probably conceited of me, but as a mom/foster mom I want to be told sometimes that I am making difference. Why? Because that is my hope as a foster parent. However, I won’t know if I have made a difference for MANY years if at all.

Our last foster teen left about a week ago because she chose to no longer to be in our home. While I have a very beautiful daughter of my own and a son in my growing belly, I will be morning all my girls who are no longer here.

I will mourn because I don’t know how much of an impact I had on them. I will mourn the loss of them because I don’t get to hug and thank them for making me a foster mom. I will mourn them because I may never see them again. I will mourn them because I don’t know if they are safe. But among the mourning I will remember the laughs, the jokes, the new things we taught them while in our home and so much more.

To other foster moms who won’t have kids this year — I feel you. My heart goes out to you. Especially those who don’t have children of their own. I pray you give yourself a moment to mourn the loss of these kiddos who are no longer with you. But like me, try to remember the fun times. Maybe one day we will know the true impact we had on these kids.

To my former foster kiddos who may read this one day: I  want you that Steven and I will always love you as our own children. You guys brought so much joy in our lives and we will be forever changed. If you ever need a home away from home we hope you consider ours. I pray we see you guys again one day!

 

Parents, Your Kids Can Help Too

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As a stay-at-home mom, days can seem long and overwhelming. Most days I spend with a 2.5-year-old while I try to keep the house in one piece. It’s a daily struggle of mine. The clutter causes me more anxiety so I work harder than I should most days which causes me to neglect time with my daughter so I can load the dishwasher. Then I find myself too exhausted to really play and engage with my daughter. Since I found out I was pregnant, I realized I can’t keep that schedule up. So I decided to invest more into something else. How to teach my daughter to be a good steward of her things.

My daughter Aurora is 2.5 years-old and she has been a big help lately. I first noticed her interest in helping out around the house after she turned 2-years-old. She started by throwing things away in the trash can and putting dishes in the sink. It was cute to see her want to help but I didn’t think much of it. Now, it’s 6 months later and she is helping out in so many ways. Here are some chores you can teach your toddler.

1. Putting their dishes in the sink after each meal.

This is an easy one. Honestly, a child on the later side of one-year-old could start doing this simple chore. After every meal, Aurora takes her cup and plate to the sink where I can wash it. She feels like such a big girl and it gives me one less dish to pick up after meals.

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2. Unloading the dishwasher.

This chore has become a new-found excitement for my daughter. At first it was kind of annoying because she was unloading dishes faster than I could put them up. I would tell her to go play but she would cry her littles eyes out because she wanted to help me. I took advantage of the time with her and decided to give her a chance. Now, she hands me dishes and I put them up. Yes, I even let her handle breakable dishes. Unless it’s a special dish I don’t freak out about it possibly breaking. To me, teaching my child responsibilities is more important than dishes. Tip: make sure to grab sharp knives out of the dishwasher before letting your kiddo help.

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3. Picking up toys.

This chore is probably the biggest one for me. I hated constantly picking up toys three times a day just to do it again tomorrow. As my belly has grown I have had less energy to bend over. Now, I sit down and direct my daughter on how to clean her toys. I’m not going to lie, this took a good week or so to work on with my daughter. The first time it took her about 45 minutes to pick up a handful of toys. The next day, the task took less time. Parents, this will change your life if you really spend some time helping your kids learn how to pick up after themselves. My daughter has to pick up her toys after she plays with them. She also cleans them up before bed. One way I motivate her is to say, “Mommy needs help. Can you clean up with me?” I still guide her a little but she loves being my big helper.

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4. Feeding the pets.

One day Aurora wanted to pour the dog food into bowls so I decided to see how she would do. She did great. Now, she feeds the dogs in the morning and at dinner. Often times she even reminds me of her special chore. This also helps develop motor skills.

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5. Sweeping/mopping/vacuuming floors.

This chore I’m still working on. We bought her a Melissa and Doug cleaning set that she usually plays with but sometimes uses for real messes. My daughter is a little on the shorter side so it’s hard for her to use them sometimes, but she is getting there. At this point she mostly cleans messes up by wiping them up with a towel. It can be when she accidentally spills something on the floor or when she throws a tantrum and causes a mess. Either way, she cleans up after herself. Parents, I would not make a big deal out of messes when they are on accident. Just teach your child accidents happen and they can be cleaned up. A child doesn’t need to feel more anxious than they already do.

Other chore ideas for older toddlers.

  • Making their own bed
  • Brushing their teeth
  • Help fold laundry
  • Put up laundry
  • Help move laundry to dryer
  • Load dishwasher/wash dishes by hand
  • Help prepare meals
  • Set the table
  • Wipe the table
  • Dust
  • Clean windows

I’m a firm believer that teaching our kids to do household chores will not only help with development, responsibility and appreciation. But it will also help us moms or dads relieve some stress. Yes, teaching some of these chores will be an investment for a few weeks but just think about all the other weeks you get help. The best part is they are so excited to be a part of it. Take advantage now because once they hit pre-teen age you’ll be fighting them to wash a dish.

Another great thing is teaching our kids how to take care of what they have. If they are constantly leaving a mess for you to clean, throwing toys around, destroying things then they will never learn the value of what they have. They will always want something else. This teaches them to respect what God has given them. To be good stewards of their possessions so maybe one day they can pass them down to a child that has less than they do.

I hope these tips help you feel less stressed. Parents, invest and don’t forget to encourage your kiddos and thank them for helping with the mess. We wish our kids would say thank you so why shouldn’t we teach them that as well?

Attention Shoppers, Please Be Patient With My Screaming Kid

Making Dinner Chores Fun For Kids

Parenting Through Grace

Preparing My Daughter for Battle

 

Moms, It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” ~ Jeremiah 31: 25

It’s lunchtime and the kids are screaming for food. You survey the kitchen for something quick to eat make because you have no more energy. Your day has been good but you’re just tired and overwhelmed. Sadly, it’s still hours before your husband comes through the door. You love your kids but you need a breather. You’re not okay.

I’ve had many days like this over the last few weeks. I’ve struggled with my mood despite taking my anxiety medication. I’ve fought depression as I look outside and see gray skies with no blooms. I yearn to be around life to help revive my mom soul. My mom friends are deep in their own family commitments so I have no one to call on in the midst of my loneliness. I’m struggling.

These mom days are hard. They’re exhausting when you feel like you have nothing left to give. You love your babies but just feel trapped in this world of everyone needing you.

Moms, can I tell you something? These seasons, days, weeks and months are normal. We are constantly serving others before ourselves. Yes, it’s important to take time alone but in real life those days are far and few between. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to realize you need help from others. Please don’t feel like you have to be a perfect mom to be a good mom. God sees your struggle. God knows you’re exhausted.

I think it’s a beautiful thing to say you are struggling. Every mom needs to hear they are not alone. These seasons are what keeps you pressing in to God’s word. Pressing in to God as you seek Him to find restoration for your weary soul.

The best part about going through these moments — when the days are good you become so thankful that you kept pushing through. That you found a way to survive. Not to mention those beautiful faces that give you hugs and smiles when you are at your lowest. Those moments are my saving grace. I feel like that’s God reminding me of His love for us. He’s given us our babies to keep us going when we have nothing left.

Moms, don’t be ashamed to go to God with a heavy heart. Don’t be afraid to take help from a friend when they ask if you need something. Don’t feel guilty for wanting time away for yourself. Most importantly, don’t worry about not being okay today. The sun will shine. Keep your weary eyes open so you can see those sweet reminders that God sends us each day.

Parents, Your Kids Can Help Too

When Little is Good Enough

Exhausted Children: Why Your Kids May Not Be Getting Enough Sleep

Parenting Through Grace

Foster Care and Sex Trafficking: What you need to know

Currently there are 40 million people world-wide trapped in slavery. The industry earns about $150.2 billion dollars a YEAR. One of the major forms of slavery is sex trafficking. Just this past weekend while many of us watched Super Bowl — 18 survivors were freed and 169 traffickers were arrested in Atlanta. One of the biggest holidays for the sex trafficking industry. This issue is a growing epidemic that’s not just impacting poor countries, but underage kids who are some how connected to the foster system.

According to Salendria Mabrey, with Foster Care Newsletter, foster kids are at a higher risk of becoming trafficked.

Huffington Post reported In a 2013 article that child sex trafficking victims who were recovered by the FBI in a nationwide raid — were children from foster care or group homes.

These are just a few eye opening statistics that show how human trafficking impacts the foster system.

If a child is in an abusive situation often times they may run away to protect themselves. However, this makes them extra vulnerability to becoming targets for trafficking. Reports submitted to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, 4,550 in foster care were runaways. Many between the ages of 12 and 17.

Sadly, as a foster parent I have heard stories of kids who don’t run away but are trafficked by family members. Another reason why these kiddos end up in foster care.

The longer I’ve been fostering the more stories I hear about kids being trafficked here in Indiana. In the first 6 months of 2018, there were over a 1,000 calls to report trafficking and over 700 victims in the state of Indiana. This is according to the Human Trafficking Hotline statistics.

I’ve even spoken to service providers who say its harder to place kids from sex trafficking situations. One reason is because many are teens.

Among the fostering world any teen is hard to place compared to a baby or younger child. Many foster families are terrified of teens so these victims linger in group homes. But what they need is a foster home willing to love them and help them heal. Another reason is because foster families have no clue how to deal with an older child who has been through that kind of trauma. Behavior issues are easy but how do you help a child who has been through sex trafficking?

I don’t have all the answers on how we as a country can tackle this issue. I’ve followed and advocated for sex trafficking victims for many years and will continue to do so. Now, I’m personally seeing the issue a little closer because of the foster system. I believe we can make a difference no matter if you are a foster parent or not.

6 Things you can do TODAY.

1. Educate yourself on human trafficking. Learn more about what it means and how it impacts victims.

2. Learn the signs. Understand the language used towards victims, ways they are lured into trafficking and how to recognize victims.

3. Spread awareness about why porn sites are a gateway to sex trafficking. Many of those girls are victims who are underage. When you engage in those sites you are supporting this.

4. Be open to fostering a child who has been through Sex trafficking. Educate yourself on what to expect and how to help them cope with the healing process. Take training on the topic. Talk to survivors if you can about ways to parent a child overcoming that trauma.

5. Be open to fostering teens. Many statistics show most victims are teens girls. Yes, younger kids as young as 2 can be trafficked but the main targets are pre-teen to teen girls. Don’t be afraid to foster teens. They have so much to offer if they can only find a loving family and a place to heal.

6. Join the EndIt movement. Today, February 7th is where people come together to spread awareness about human trafficking. Many people mark their hands with red x’s and post photos on instagram and Facebook. It doesn’t seem like much but just making people aware is huge. It’s the easiest thing you can do right now.

Please join millions of others as we spread awareness and educate people on this issue.

Entering the Season of Leaving: When Foster Parents say Goodbye

To Foster Parents Who Take it Personal

5 Ways to Introduce God to Foster Kids Without Being Pushy

Fostering Teens Who Are Surrounded By Weeds

When Little is Good Enough

Last week my family and I celebrated one awesome girl. One of our foster girls turned the big 1-6. A big milestone for her no doubt. For months we’ve been planning on what party she wanted. We budgeted out what we were going to do. Sadly, the original plan didn’t happen because of the weather. But we still found a way to throw a party.

The day before the party I sent her and my husband out to get party snacks and decorations. Here I was expecting a huge bag of party decor because that’s her personality. But when they came back, all they bought was food and a birthday banner. I was shocked. Didn’t she want more?

The day of the party comes around and we got our girl two cakes. One was an ice cream cake and one a regular. Her guest list was about 20 so we wanted to be prepared. Hours begin to approach the party and I felt unprepared. If it was up to me I would have covered our whole downstairs in sweet 16 decor. But she wanted simple.

The time of the party came and only 2 people showed up other than us. I was so sad for her. How could this sweet 16 not be amazing?! My perfectionist side was coming out. I started to feel like a failure. Why didn’t I just decorate the party my way? I started focussing on the expectations of the world. I felt like I could have done so much more. While in the middle of my thoughts our girl came up to my husband and I. She threw herself on both of us for a group hug. With a huge smile she said, “Thank you for my party and presents. It’s the best birthday I’ve ever had.”

What?! How could it be? There are little decorations, few guests and you’re still having a great time? I realized in that moment she was just happy to be celebrated even if it was a simple Sweet 16 Birthday party.

Later that night she told us why she thought this birthday was the best. She explained that being surrounded by people who cared about her made it the best.  To the world and to me, this party was basic. But to her…it was a party to remember.

Our 16-year-old reminded me the meaning of being grateful for what we have. She reminded me that a party with decor, party favors, matching cups and plates doesn’t equal a perfect party. It’s about those who are around us. It’s about those who show up to celebrate with us throughout life. It’s about finding the joy in daily life.

To Foster Parents Who Take it Personal

Exhausted Children: Why Your Kids May Not Be Getting Enough Sleep

5 Ways to Introduce God to Foster Kids Without Being Pushy

Fostering Teens Who Are Surrounded By Weeds

5 Ways to Introduce God to Foster Kids Without Being Pushy

fullsizeoutput_417eIt’s no surprise that my husband and I are followers of Christ. Each day we try to put God the center of our marriage, home and lives. But when you have new people coming into your home to live… it can get difficult.

During our foster training we were told that some kids will reject the idea of church and God. As foster parents we cannot force them to go to church. We were warned that we may have some kids who come into our home that have had bad experiences with religion. Here are some ways we’ve talked to our teens about God.

  1. Be open. We had the privilege of meeting all of our girls before they came to stay with us. During our meetings we talked to them about how we do go to church and that we are a Christian home. We talk a little bit about our values and let them know what that means. This was really helpful because they can know what to expect. Especially if God is a sore subject.
  2. Practice what you preach. If you are a follower of Christ then you know the Bible talks a lot about grace, mercy and forgiveness. You may even have your kiddos ask you questions about what they mean and maybe even giving examples of it. But when they get in trouble or talk back you cannot waver from what you’ve talked about. Meaning, you can’t talk about forgiveness and grace and then not show it in the midst of struggles. That will not only destroy your relationship but it will create a bad experience for these kids.
  3. Don’t push. My husband and I are strong believers that we show God’s love through our day-to-day actions. We talk about God but we don’t pressure our foster kids to read their Bible daily or force them to do things that are uncomfortable. You have to remember, these kids probably never grew up in that type of home. So you can’t expect them to adopt your habits over night. You have to slowly introduce them. A great way is taking them to church if they want to go. Let them get involved in youth group. Maybe have family discussions about stories and meanings of scriptures from the Bible. Find a way to educate and teach but don’t push. Let them make their own choice to follow Christ.
  4. Have the tough conversations. Many foster kids that come in your home have different beliefs. Even if they are accepting of this relationship with God they still struggle understanding what God says about things like sin, being gay, cussing and divorce. Many foster kids have seen more than we will ever see or know about. You may have to have a deep conversation about topics most christians fear to have. Like explaining why a loved one died. Or talking about what God considers a sin. Sin is a big topic because you don’t know what these kids have done. So telling them they sinned and they’re going to hell — may not go over too well. These kiddos have enough guilt so you will have to be careful with how you word certain things. Most importantly you need to remind them that no matter what we as humans have done, Jesus paid the ultimate price for us to be free. Forgiveness is a beautiful thing that we should be teaching and demonstrating in our homes everyday.
  5. Share your testimony. The best way for your kids to see how God can work in their lives is by sharing your own experiences. I talk to them about having an abusive father. I talk them about mistakes with guys I’ve dated. I talk about my personal struggles and what brought me to where I am today. I am very open about my life and what I have been through. I even talk about my daily struggles with faith, stress and fears. This is probably the best way to share your love for God without being pushy.

These are just a few ways you can share and discuss God with your foster kids. It may vary depending on the child and how they take up. Be open and transparent about your walk with God. Let them see christianity is not about perfection. It’s about having a deep relationship with God.

Fostering Teens Who Are Surrounded By Weeds

When I Doubt, God Sends a Sweet Reminder

Preparing a Place for Our First Foster Child

Fostering Teens Who Are Surrounded By Weeds

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“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” — Audrey Hepburn

I love gardens. There is something about walking around and taking in the beauty of the flowers and plants. Seeing butterflies and bugs use the plants to meet their needs as well. But one thing I always think about, is how much work went into making these gardens beautiful.

My husband, 2-year-old and I went to a botanical gardens this morning. Our foster teens were at school so we took a family trip just the 3 of us. It was so needed. I kept thinking how much I wish I had gardens that looked like this. Just with my small garden I know the amount of work that must go into it. I thought how amazing it was see other people’s hard work pay off so I can enjoy something beautiful.

Last night, one of our girls reacted to a situation, that caused several foster agency workers to show up. Nothing violent, but let’s just say it was stressful. I cried most of the night. Thankfully, we got it resolved and I think everyone is calm. So this morning’s garden retreat was much needed for my soul.

As my husband and I were driving home, we were talking about how much we would love to have property with a large garden. Then we can use it to maybe even teach foster kids how to grow and nurture plants. I began to tell Steven how I would compare that to them working on their own struggles. That’s when he stopped and said, “this is what you need to hear.” He was right.

Last night, I found myself feeling responsible for my foster teen’s actions. I felt like a failure. I felt like all the hard work I’ve been putting into their lives has fallen by the wayside. But as I listened to my own advice, I realized I needed to hear that. Especially from myself. Here is what I was telling myself.

When we get to the point where we realize we need to start over with a new attitude, lifestyle, and friends we get excited and plant the seed. We add new dirt and water it. We even can see it start to grow in our lives. But once we start seeing the weeds we get frustrated. Once we start seeing the bugs attacking we want to give up. That’s the same way I felt last night. I felt like I had watered the plant, added new soil, gave it plenty of sunlight and STILL it was struggling. I put so much hard work into growing this beautiful flower. But I forgot that no matter what I do there will always be weeds.

These 3 foster teen girls have grown since they’ve been in our home. I’ve seen their smiles get bigger each day. I see them thriving and working through issues. I see them embracing a loving home. But throughout the growth I understand that there will be outbursts. I forgot that growing 3 teen girls will take a lot of hard work. A lot of repetitive weed pulling before I see the fruits of my labor.

I have to constantly tell these girls I love them. I have to constantly sit down with them and help them work through their emotions. I have to constantly referee fights because of how much they argue. It is an endless and tiring process. So when I see outbursts or major shifts I get frustrated.

After today, I reminded myself that I have to expect a lot more weeds. I have to be prepared to pull them as needed. Help them recover when they feel others eating away at their leaves and blossoms. Why? Because this is what I signed up for. This is what it’s like to be a foster parent. I pray one day I will see them bloom to their full potential. But for now, you’ll find me on my knees. Pulling the weeds and praying over their lives.

***I want to thank my amazing husband for all he does for us. I know I write most of my blogs from my perspective. But he is a major part in making these girls grow as well. So please, don’t think I am doing it all. I could not do this without him. ***

Attention Shoppers, Please Be Patient With My Screaming Kid

For many, the grocery store is a place where people go for a peaceful stroll while they shop for food. That is until my daughter walks through the doors.

My 2-year-old is pushing the buggy fast through crowds of people, nearly running over several toes along the way. Once she spots the crackers she grabs them off the shelf and throws them in the buggy. A snack I don’t mind giving her later but my daughter wants to eat them now. I tell her not until we check out, which causes a huge dramatic reaction. I look around at fellow shoppers as she screams “crackers.”

I bend down to calm my daughter but it only makes it worse. It takes about 5 minutes to explain she can have crackers once we get back to the car. Once that issue is resolved we continue to shop for the handful of items I came for. The next isle, the process starts over again. By the time she gets to the checkout I’m straining to hear the cashier reveal the total. My child is out of control because all she wants is “crackers” and of course it continues on the way to car.Before I can put her in the car seat – I spend another 5 minutes explaining what needs to happen before she gets a cracker. She finally calms down, I get her strapped in her seat and she enjoys her cracker.

This happens a lot. I see those looks from fellow shoppers who cringe when my child screams. I see the people who try to calm my child down but are rudely rejected by my 2-year-old’s, “No”. I see frustrated shoppers trying to grab items off the shelf where my child is throwing a tantrum. Please, just be patient.

It’s not because I won’t discipline my child. It’s because I am trying to teach her patience without whipping her into submission. Yes, she does receive spankings on occasion but as parents we also learned that the more she gets spankings the more she hits. My child responds to timeouts, not hitting.Shoppers please don’t get frustrated, I know my kid is acting like a wild animal. I know she needs to calm down but sadly, 2-year-olds don’t listen to reason. They react based on emotions.

I want my child to learn she can’t get what she wants when she screams for it. I want her to learn the meaning of patience. I want her to be okay waiting for something even if she wants it REALLY bad. Why? Because those teachings start now.

One day I want her to be a great person who impacts others, to be faithful to God and trust him even when she doesn’t get her way. I want her to be able to calm down without always spanking her. I also want her to have a calming spirit towards her children one day. So shoppers, I thank you for being patient. I thank you for giving me the space to discipline my child. I thank you for understanding that I am trying as a mom.

I am working daily with my child’s reactions to her world around her. For both of our peace, I pray one day I can walk in a store with my toddler and not fight a battle. I pray she will help me grab items off of the shelf and place them in the buggy but for now she needs to learn how to act.

So until then shoppers, please be patient, offer me a smile instead of a grimaced look. Try not to be quick to judge the situation and my lack of parenting skills. For now, try to shop around me when I am in the middle of the isle dealing with a toddler’s attitude. I promise one day, I will offer the same grace when you find yourself handling a toddler of your own.

***DISCLAIMER: This article represents my views on tasing my child. This article is not meant to criticize or point fingers at parents that choose other ways to discipline their children.****

Looking Beyond the Mess

Parenting Through Grace

Why I Don’t Want My Children To Say Yes, Ma’am

Looking Beyond the Mess

In less than two weeks I went from being a mom of a 2-year-old to being a mom of two elementary school girls and pre teen. It’s been interesting for sure. Among the many changes is dealing with the extra mess.

I’m used to my toddler leaving a mess of toys but glitter, paint and glue is a whole other animal.

I came home last night after work and saw that the girls did some art work. I briefly glanced at their masterpieces because I was too focused on the glitter covering my dining room floor. Honestly, I was mad. Frustrated because I did not want to see the mess. Why didn’t they pick it up?

This morning I woke up and saw the mess again. I was still frustrated because I knew I would be the person to clean it up. I started complaining to myself about the extra work. But then I realized I’m overlooking something. I’m forgetting what this mess represents.

The mess is more than spilled glitter and dry paint. It’s a beautiful, messy picture of kids being kids. Kids that come from a home where they’re used to being the adult. It’s proof that they were having fun in our home.

I started to feel guilty about my attitude towards the mess. Especially knowing that these two little girls will be heading to another foster home tomorrow.

You may not be a foster parent but all parents get frustrated with their kids. With the mess they make while having fun. Even though kids should clean up after themselves…we as parents should not look at it as a negative. But a positive that they are experiencing joy, happiness and love.

If you find yourself frustrated just take a step back and find a positive. Be thankful for those messes. Remember they are temporary. There’s plenty of time to have a clean house when you’re older.

Making Dinner Chores Fun For Kids

A Cup of Tea and a Whole Lot of Grace

When I Doubt God Sends a Sweet Reminder

Preparing a Place for Our First Foster Child