“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." - Cyril Connolly

Friday, November 16, 2012

"Expert" Parenting Styles: Where I Go For Help

I have been a parent for almost eight years now.  I am learning everyday how to be a parent. I admit I am not perfect.  So, to continue in my parenting education,  I turn to these experts.  We all know them and have them either in our family on social circle. If they are unavailable, be sure to take your loudly crying baby to a really quiet place, and they will emerge to help.


These experts are the ones, and let's face it, we have all been this kind of expert, that tell you how they are going to raise their children--the right way.  That's right, these experts do not have kids yet.  They lurk about restaurants and grocery stores looking for parents who are doing it all "wrong" and exclaim how their child is not going to pitch a fit like that, how their child will act "right" in public, and how their child will do what he is told...the first time.  Apparently, their child also won't speak, cry, get upset, fall down, get hungry, teethe, cry for no reason, need attention or anything else a child would do.  Their expertise comes from the few, short hours they spend with children in non-intimate situations, such as, Friday night high-peak dinner hours at your favorite restaurant or those afternoon I-just-need-to-grab-some-milk grocery store trips.  When advice from these experts fail, move on to our next experts.


The next experts have mastered all the required education needed from Level 1 and have advanced to Level 2 parenting.  As parents, it is quite a treat to reap the benefit of these experts.  See while you have been feeding your newborn every 2-3 hours with little to no sleep, these dog parents with been walking the dog every 4-5 hours with plenty of sleep.  While your child is refusing to eat anything except his brother's socks,  dog parents have discovered a chewed-on pair of shoes.  The similarities go on and on. These experts like to share those funny stories of how their dog pooped on the porch right next to the door (wow, training is hard), while you have had to give your children a second bath because your baby had diarrhea in the bathtub. Level 2 expertise comes from having a dog which never argues or talks back, which they can leave in a cage when they go to work,  and when the dog simply becomes a nuisance can be shuffled into the backyard. As you can see, learning from these experts is very beneficial. However, if these experts lack the information you need, try Level 3 experts.


The last level of experts are held to the highest standard.  The scenario is quite simple: you are family with multiple children at multiple ages, and when you need parenting advice, simply go to those who just had a baby.  Their sleepless nights with a four-month-old colicky baby just about guarantees they understand the dynamics of a family of six.  They can help you with unprecedented emotional outbursts brought on by a bad day at school, as well as, tips with handling an overactive child needing attention afraid of getting lost in the shuffle. They also know how to handle declarations of independence and admissions of non-independence.  Words of patience continually flow from these experts, because the constant needing and fighting and questioning and talking are quietly handled in their homes. No need to explain where their expertise comes from, these parents have had a baby in the house for under six months.

If these three levels of experts cannot help you become better parents, then I guess you are just out of luck.

Maybe if you just continue to take parenting day-by-day, learn from your mistakes, and stick with what works, pick your battles, and love, Love, LOVE your children, you might just make it through the toughest assignment you have ever been given.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Operation Gratitude: Halloween Candy Give Back

I don't know about you, but we got boocoodles of Halloween candy this year (the word is actually boodles, but I never say boodles; I say boocoodles). We got it from church, school field trips, Trick or Treating, the store- everywhere.  In fact, it is just too much. So while driving, I heard on K-Love (102.1) how a mom sends her excess candy to the troops through Operation Gratitude.  Operation Gratitude sends care packages to our servicemen and servicewomen as a way to boost morale and to let them know they are remembered. This sounded like a great idea.

I thought about it for a day or two before presenting it to my kids. I figured they could enjoy the candy for a couple of days.  When I did suggest sending the candy to the troops, they got really excited.

I thought I would suggest it to my friends and family, also.  If you would like to learn more information about Halloween Give Back, simply follow the link.  Some dentists participate in this, too, offering to buy back your candy for usually $1 a pound. Local dentists participating can be found at Halloween Candy Buy Back.

If you are interested in sending candy to Operation Gratitude, you can also just let me know.  I will be glad to send it for you, especially if you are in Macon.

Even if you choose to keep your candy,  Operation Gratitude has a list of other ways you can help support our troops.  Still may be worth a visit to the website.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thirty Days of Thanks

November is here!  Life really begins to crank up at our house in November.   With four out of five birthdays occurring between now and the end of the year, plus two major holidays, it is really easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the happenings.  I have learned that the busier I am, the less focused I am on the God's blessings.  This year I want to slow things down and truly focus on those blessings.

Many people like to take on the challenge of Thirty Days of Thanks.  I will be declaring one thing I am thankful for each day in November.  I will post each one to Facebook as a way to share, and I will collect them in this post.  If you have never taken on this challenge, join me.  I am thinking I will be pleasantly surprised at all of my blessings by the end of my month.

1. Today I am thankful for the good health of my family. We have managed to steer clear of stomach bugs and major colds. *Knock on wood*
2. Today I am thankful for the opportunity to sub at my kids' school.
3. Today I am thankful for sweet friends from church for taking care of my baby girl during a GA sleepover. She had a great time.
4. Today I am thankful for the safe return of my hubby from his band trip. So glad he is home.
5. Today I am thankful for the school holiday that allowed me to spend some time with my children. I often forget that they are growing up so quickly.
6. While this may sound trite to some, today I am thankful for the coupons I had that allowed me to save 44% on my grocery bill.
7. Today I am thankful for the short, quiet, kid-free time I was able to spend with my dear hubby tonight.
8. Today I am thankful for my parents safe arrival to Macon. I know they will have a good weekend seeing the kids.
9. Today I am thankful for clothing and car heaters that keep me warm. It was cold at the football game.
10. Today I am thankful for my sweet baby boy, Tucker, who turned 2 today. He is a sweet-hearted little boy who keeps me busy. He gives the best hugs ever and has made our family complete. Love me some Tucker.
11. Today I am thankful for lazy afternoons watching VeggieTales with the kiddos and thumbing through magazines.
12. Today I am thankful for sleeping children. The last couple of nights have been rough. Hopefully everyone will sleep soundly.
13. Today I am thankful for my sweet baby girl who is growing to be a young independent little lady. She is so kind with a grateful and giving heart. While she does fight with her brothers, she is always little mama to them also. She is so smart and loves math. She enjoys soccer and has a beautiful voice. I know she will continue to love the Lord as she grows and matures, and I am thankful. to be a part of her life.
14. Today I am thankful for my kids' school Tattnall. We had Thanksgiving feasts this week, and I have just loved how we are one big family growing together as friends and in Christ.
15. Today I am thankful for my inlaws. They love me and my children, don't mind us hanging out at their house, and willing to feed us almost all the time.
16. Today I am thankful for Fridays at home with my children. Hope my other baby gets home soon. Then we can enjoy our week off from school.
17. Even though I have been sick as a dog today, I am thankful for my hubby for taking the kids to Memas giving me time to rest.
18. Today I am thankful for doctors.
19. Today I am thankful for my children's giving hearts. We always go through their toys and books and no longer used items and donate them in hopes that someone else can use them. Both Melody and Judson filled up a big 'ol box.
20. Today I am thankful for my hubby. I finally got to see him on our holiday. He has been running around taking care of everybody when they were sick, but today we actually got to hang out together.
21. Today I am thankful for my bed. I am tired.
22. There are so many things to be thankful for today: family, food, God's love, forgiveness, blessings, and grace, and of course, chocolate. It has been a great Thanksgiving day.
23. On this day, I was thankful that pulling teeth does not make my hubby squeamish. Melody lost her second tooth (finally).
24. Today I am thankful that my parents made it home to Nicholls safely despite holiday traffic. We had a great visit.
25. Today I am thankful for a slow afternoon to spend with family before school started again.
26. Today I am thankful for my sweet children. They truly are a blessing to me, and I cannot imagine my life without them.
27. Today I am thankful for routines. They seems to keep my life busy but organized.
28. Today I am thankful for imaginations. My kids use them frequently and that always makes for interesting conversations.
29. Today I am thankful for friends.
30. Today I am thankful for Christmas trees. We went and picked one out tonight, and it is beautiful. Now if we can just find the time to decorate it.

So there you have it.  A month full of thanks and gratitude.  Did you write or type or tell all of yours?