I had a picture in my mind of what I would look like as a mom. What I pictured isn’t quite reality. I had been a camp counselor, teacher, tutor, youth group worker. I thought I would have this thing nailed. Not so much. I thought I would have boundless energy, there were would be creative activities going on around every corner, I would exhibit the patience of a saint and my kids would have smiles on their faces as they played in the dirt and mud. I see pictures like this:
and that’s what I had pictured. I still do sometimes. I look at a catalog like this and think, “Oh, that art caddy thing in the middle of the table is so cool. I should get one of those.” Then, reality sets in. Minus the super mom composure this
is more of my reality. Craft supplies? Well, the Pottery barn room where supplies are always at their level wouldn’t work. Paint would be everywhere. Glitter would be in every crevice. Craft supplies are out of reach. My house would be destroyed if they weren’t. Maybe it shouldn’t matter because my house is destroyed half the time anyway. Boundless energy? I remember during my 3rdtrimester with my third child my oldest two would start playing slumber party with me. They could tell all I wanted to do was lay on the couch, so they adjusted. I am not one of those moms who seems like the Energizer bunny. Playing in the dirt and mud? Then I’d have to clean it all up and there would probably be tears. There’s no time to jump in puddles because when it’s raining, we only go outside to get someplace. They can’t get soaking wet before we go. There would be tears because of the wet and cold. Patience of a saint? Let’s just say, “Not so much.”
So, I’m not coming to you out of strength today but out of weakness. I am not one of those super moms whose house is always organized, kids are perfectly in line, runs around the yard non stop as she plays tags and always fosters an environment of creativity and growth, but why I am here today is because I’m trying to get better.
First, let me introduce you to my husband.
He is a great man. He is truly a renaissance man with a variety of interests and talents. We have been married for 8 years and have been going to this church for about that long. The reason I wanted to introduce him is because I want to let you know that if you want to be intentional in your parenting, you first need to become intentional in your marriage. If you wants well balanced, stable children, you need to have peace in your home. I am reading a book called “Brain Rules for Babies,” by John Medina. He’s a leading scientist in the development in children’s brains. Here is some info from his book:
- 83% of parents experience moderate to severe crisis in marriage during transition to parenthood.
- Marital quality decreases from 40-67% in the infant’s first year.
- Even in the first year of life, stress coping mechanisms aren’t developed properly if there is an emotionally stressful environment
· By age 4, kids in emotionally unstable homes can have stress hormone levels twice as high as emotionally stable homes.You can see how the brain doesn’t develop properly in unstable homes, so try and be more intentional in your marriage.I also wanted to introduce my kids. I have met parents who say, “My kids are just pretty easy.” That’s not quite what I experience. I have kids with a lot of…umm…personality. I know there are parents dealing with a lot more, and I’m sure there are some here. You may have kids with disabilities, sicknesses and special needs. I have to say God bless you. I never feel like I’d have enough strength because this is the hardest job already. I know God would provide the strength, but thank you to all of you who are caring for kids with special needs. That said, my kids keep me on my toes. Abby is 5. She is a lot like me, so I know exactly what I’m going to get, which definitely scares me. She is someone who feels life to the fullest. Luckily she has a lot of joy, but we definitely experience some drama around our home with her. Kenzie is my 3 year old. She is sweet, giving and loving. She also is “spirited.” My dad said, “If she is as smart as she is stubborn, she’s going to make a hell of an attorney some day.” If I say left, she wants to go right. Corban is almost 2 and is my class clown. He has a smile on his face most of the time. His nickname is “Loco” though because he’s a bit crazy. He’s the kind of kid who could steal your ice cream cone, and you’re somehow convinced it’s a great idea. I wanted to introduce these three to let you know that it’s not all easy around our home. We definitely have our challenges. With all that intro, let me introduce you to my blog, Meaningful Mama.
About a year ago, my husband’s uncle came to me and said, “You should start a blog.” I laughed it off and said no way and really didn’t give it a second thought – well, at least until about three days before the new year. Suddenly I was acutely aware of my short comings as a mom. I realized that I was often living in “I should really…” moments. I should really put a system in place for dealing with that. I should really stop playing “Words with Friends” so much and learn to be present. I should really work on developing character in my children and teach them more about God and what his word says. I should really embrace the mess and the moment and make mud pies or cookies or crafts with my kids. As my list of “I should…” seemed to grow so did my desire for motivating myself. I wanted to be more intentional. I wanted to be more meaningful. So, with 3 days to launch a website complete with graphics, vision, pictures, and ideas – Meaningful Mama (somewhat impulsively I might add) came to be. I am blessed to have a supportive husband who jumped in the water with two feet. He had many of the skills I was lacking to venture into such an undertaking – especially with so little preparation time. We launched on the first of January.
The claim of the site is it is “the place for you to come to live and a parent in a more meaningful way. Each day filled with an activity or craft, tip, and character development idea.” That’s three posts a day, every day for 365 days. Am I crazy? Yes, it was a tad ambitious. I also throw in some random pieces of information, recipes and cake designs as well. This is my own 365 day challenge to be intentional. It was intended to be motivation for me as well as inspiration for others out there.
I am here today to show you some of what we’re doing to make life more intentional and hopefully inspire you to be more meaningful in your own parenting. Let’s look at some of the ideas…
I then explored the blog with some of my favorite ideas…things that showed the heart of what the blog is all about.