Mommy Monday

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Right now, we’re in a lovely phase of parenting Huff the Babe. Wait, I mean we’re in a loathsome phase of parenting: the two year old stage.

Its less than pleasant.

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And its not just because its the “terrible twos”, so much. Its because, this time around, its “the-terrible-BOY-twos”.

But Jessica, you say, surely its the same as it was with Huff the Tot. 

To which I reply:

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The Boy Twos are infinitely different than The Girl Twos.

With The Girl Twos, there’s a lot of crying. Emotions are constantly on high and frustrations are endless. When you’ve got a girl going through the two year old phase, she wants to choose her own clothes, she wants to dance constantly, and she cries at the drop of the hat.

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That, I totally get. After all, I’m a woman. I get that estrogen is basically like an amphetamine that can make you crazy and cry about weird stuff like I did when Cassini made its grand finale.

 

The Boy Twos however are nothing but running, screaming, throwing, hitting, flailing on the floor, and destruction.

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The Boys Twos are all about fighting anything and everything.

Mommy wants to change your diaper? DO NOT LET HER. Its clearly a trap to suck out your soul. Run, hide, twist and turn as she uses baby wipes on you. Whatever you do, RESIST! 

You need to put your shoes on? Shoes? You mean death shackles?! Hurry, throw them under the dryer so your parents have to waste thirty minutes moving everything out of the laundry room to grab one flip flop. 

The chocolate milk you demanded was served in a blue cup instead of a green one?! INSUBORDINATION! Throw the cup on the ground so it cracks and spills chocolate milk everywhere! 

The Boy Twos leave you physically exhausted. They make every muscle in your body sore because you’ve spent the day wrestling with something the size of a puppy that has the strength of a silver-back gorilla. The Boy Twos leave you counting down the hours until bedtime. Not bath time, mind you, because THAT is a whole other beast of its own in which you will be soaked as well as tired.

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But…The Boy Twos are also unexpected cuddles. They are “I wuv eww”s as you hand over their favorite truck while tucking them in at night. The Boy Twos are “I want Momma”s and holding sweet, dirt-covered hands. The Boy Twos are cars and trains and dinosaurs. The Boy Twos are hard. But The Boy Twos are also precious.

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Mommy Monday

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The other day, I felt like a chicken with my head cut off. I had so many errands to run, places to go, and things to get accomplished. The kids and I will soon be back at our church’s Mother’s Day Out program and Huff the Tot’s birthday party is next weekend so there’s been a lot to prep.

After a whirlwind day of shopping, organizing, writing, cutting out lamination, and wrapping gifts and goody bags, I collapsed on my bed at 10:00 p.m. I almost immediately  sat back up.

Did the kids get at least two servings of fruit today? 

Did I give them enough attention? 

Was I too short-tempered? 

Did I give them enough hugs? Kisses? 

Should I have read one more book at bedtime? 

This is almost a daily ritual with me. Its like I can’t go to sleep until I’ve listed all the things I’ve done wrong as a mom and vowed to make the next day better.

As I wrestled with myself about how much of a terrible mother I was, I started mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. Then, I came across a video a friend had posted. (I’m not entirely sure who Rachel Hollis is, but I’m glad she made this video!) It was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. In the short video, she says God made you and your child a perfect match. She elaborates by telling the worn-out, worried mom:

“You can’t fail at a job you were created to do.” 

WOW.

That got me. I started crying and told myself that I know for a fact my children went to bed that night knowing that I love them. And THAT was proof I wasn’t failing.

Here’s the video in case you need to hear her words of wisdom too, Momma. You’re doing great.

Mommy Monday

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The other day, I read a great article about praying for your child as they head back to school. Which I feel is very important. As parents, we should constantly be covering our children in our prayers (and not just in a “Lord, help me not smack this child” kind of way–ha!). I also think its very important to cover your child’s teacher in prayer.

Teaching is a very noble and draining profession. I don’t just mean physically draining, I mean draining in every area of life: emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and financially. With educators in my family and having many friends who teach, I see first-hand the effects (both good and bad) teaching can have on a person. If you’re wondering how to pray for your child’s teacher, I have a few starting points for you!

Pray for your childs teacher

 

Their Mental Health 

“…and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” Ephesians 4:23 

In a 2017 Educator Quality of Work Life Survey in which over 5,000 teachers from all over the country were polled, teacher’s reported poor health. To elaborate, this was pulled from the poll’s website: “Sixty-one percent of the teachers said their work was always or often stressful. Over half agreed that they didn’t feel the same enthusiasm as when they started teaching. They reported experiencing poor health and being bullied at work — by superiors, colleagues, students, or parents — at rates far higher than are reported for other professions. And the vast majority said they are sleep-deprived.” 

You may say, “Yeah, well, my job is stressful too.” And I get that. However, these men and women are literally working to prepare your child for the world and they are getting push back from a myriad of places–their superiors, the district, students, and parents. Not only that, but teachers are having to fight for attention from their classes–many of which are way overcrowded. With social media, YouTube, and gaming right at students’ fingertips, its difficult for teachers to cut through the noise and cell phone usage to actually teach the 30+ students in their classrooms!

What to pray: Pray for your child’s teacher(s) to get adequate rest, to be surrounded by encouraging and uplifting administrators and peers, for a stable and peaceful home life, and that they practice self-care, helping them de-stress. Pray for them to be filled with joy, hope, and renewed zest for their job.

 

Their Financial Situation

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

A study by by the National Association of Colleges and Employers revealed that the national average of  a first-year teacher is $30,377. Not only was teaching found to be one of the lowest paid professions, but the study also concluded that the more years a person taught, the more the wage gap grew.

Some people think, “They knew what they were getting into when they started teaching.” My response to that is quoting Marie Madison from a piece in Tulsa World: “The problem with the phrase “They knew what they were getting into” is that it ignores and dampens hope. It assumes that because we knew we were walking into a difficult situation, we shouldn’t have hoped that we could improve it; that we shouldn’t have hoped that our state would see its children struggling and decide to do something at last.”Our teachers are counting on politicians to make good on promises to fund education, thereby improving their working conditions (i.e., giving them what they actually need to do their job) as well as improve their pay. Something I learned from the teacher walkout earlier this year is that educators would rather have fully funded schools with the resources their students need than get paid more. Teachers around the nation spend an average of $500-$1,000 out of their own pockets to supply their classrooms with basic needs such as pencils, paper, notebooks, and erasers. So not only are teachers paid the bare minimum they also have to buy the basic necessities they need to perform their job. Don’t you think that would add some stress and worry to their day?

What to pray: Pray for the local and federal legislatures to fund education, increase teacher pay, and hire more teachers, creating smaller class sizes. Pray for financial wisdom for your children’s teachers, for donations to be made to their classroom (perhaps that’s something YOU can do), and that the teachers would be blessed financially.

 

Their Physical Safety and Health 

“I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.” Psalm 57:1b 

We face a sad reality: school shootings have become more and more present. With a sister who teaches and a mother who works in a school office, I’m always full of worry for their safety. I never thought I would have to worry about my family being shot because they worked at a school. I know this is a fear of many educators but I also know that every single one of them would put their lives on the line for the safety of every child in their room. The chances are slim, I know, but it is still a reality in which we find ourselves living.

What to pray: Pray for the safety and security of your child’s teacher(s) and school. Pray for teachers and students to be attentive and aware of any potential dangers and for them to speak up if anything seems “off”. Pray for security measures to be put in place at your child’s school to ensure the highest level of safety (another area in which you could volunteer!) and for your child’s teacher(s) to be physically healthy and take care of themselves by staying hydrated, physically active, and eating healthily.

 

What are some prayers you would add to the list?

Mommy Monday

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I’ve been in summer mode the past week–no major plans (sans the garage sale I had over the weekend; worst idea ever), no real schedule, and pretty much just doing whatever and hanging out with my tiny humans. That being said, my house has kind of been a pit lately.

I know that a lot of you have your kiddos home allllll day long now that school’s out and I’m sure your house will be pitted out soon as well. Which means we can ALL relate to this video from The Dad:

 

SO. TRUE.

Her’s Day Thursday

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On Her’s Day Thursday, I highlight incredible women. And guess what? Today, I’m highlighting YOU. Yep, you, momma! The hard-working, diaper changing, soccer uniform washing, tear wiping, teenage sound board that is YOU. You are amazing!

So many times in this journey of motherhood, we get wrapped up in the stress, worry, and hardship. We think we’re not good enough and spend our evenings before we fall asleep telling ourselves we should’ve been more patient, should’ve read that fifth book, or should’ve allowed our teen to go to that party. We think we’re doing a terrible job and wonder what our kids think of us.

Your kiddos love you exactly as you are, where you are. They don’t care if you didn’t make a Pinterest-worthy snack for after tee ball. They don’t even notice if you haven’t lost the baby weight. And let me tell you that they probably rejoice when you’re too tired to cook and opt for pizza instead.

Don’t believe me? Check out this inspiring video from Care.com:

 

See yourself the way your kids do!

Mommy Monday

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As soon as I sat down to write this blog, my son ran up to me. “Momma! MOMMA!” I turn my head and see he is completely naked from the waist down. Oh, and what’s that on his tushie and legs?

Yeah, it was poop.

His dirty diaper was about five feet away.

I frantically grabbed him and kept him at arms length so I could get him cleaned before I started to clean the poop from the carpet. That’s basically life with a toddler. For a more in-depth look, just watch this Thriller parody by Vintage Marquee Lights…

 

Its pretty much like that.

Mommy Monday

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So, the day after Thanksgiving Huff the Tot got the tummy bug and thought that Mommy made a better vomit catcher than her bucket. Yeah. Seriously.

Naturally, I assumed the rest of us were going to get it. A week passed and nothing happened so I figured we’d dodged a bullet. Then on Saturday, I woke up with a sore throat. And white spots on my throat. Sunday, the same things happened. I hit that sore throat hard and thought I had turned a corner. Little did I know that the germs had also turned a corner and decided to go south. Yep. You know exactly what I’m talking about.

Because of this, Mommy has been moving a little slow today while also scrubbing every inch of this house with Clorox wipes. I’m completely convinced that one of my sweet little germ bags gave this to me. Because those kids share every germ imaginable. The gals at I Mom So Hard know EXACTLY what I’m talking about:

 

Here’s to a healthier holiday season!