Category Archives: Motherhood

Messages, Judgments, Choices, and Your Kids

Spank your kids or else they will be unruly, disrespectful, little brats.

Messages, Judgments, Choices, and Your Kids

Spank your kids and you will damage their self-esteem,  teach them violence equals love, or that they can bully those smaller than them.

Give them time outs kids need discipline, they need order, they need consequences.

Give them time outs and they feel shamed, neglected, humiliated, isolated.

Breastfeed. It is best, it is natural, it is cheap, you are doing what only comes naturally.

Breastfeed. But only at home, only when I don’t know what you are doing, only when you can find a place alone, or only when you and baby are fully covered.

Bottle feed in public and no one tells you to cover the baby, to go to the next room, or go to the bathroom to do that.

Bottle feed though and hear the whispers, feel misunderstood,  or even just feel defeated.

Buy organic, free range, cruelty free, hormone free, non-gmo it is best. It is the only way to go.

Buy what you can do your best, don’t worry about the gmo’s it is all hype anyway.

Homeschool vs. Public School vs. Private School vs. Charter School

Cry it Out vs. Not Crying it Out

Free Range Parenting vs Helicopter Parenting vs Any one who falls in between

Parenting can take on many forms. We hear many messages each and everyday on how other people think we should be doing it. We might even be putting on our judgy pants and telling other parents how they are doing things wrong.

We might even feel justified in judging, giving un-asked for advice, or commenting about their choices in not so hushed tones. Maybe it is because we have raised our kids, and they are successful happy adults. Maybe it is because our kids are older, or we have more kids. Maybe it is because our kids did something like that once. Or maybe it is because we just don’t understand.

That last one there is the real kicker, isn’t it? Do we  really understand? Have we walked a mile in that person’s shoes? Don’t judge, what you don’t understand. Let each of us extend grace, encouragement, love, and support.

That tired, distracted mama with a real stinker of a kid? Give her a supportive smile. Heck maybe you are the friend who can help distract the kid for a moment, while she takes a breathe, finishes a phone call, or cooks dinner.

Instead of telling a friend all the, “Well I would do’s,” ask them about why they made the choices they made. Then listen, really listen.

In the end remember, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it might benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) It is not our place to be critical of their choices. We are not the ones who were tasked with raising their children. Instead let us, Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32)

 

 

To Be An Awesome Mother

Dearest Friend,

It doesn’t take much to be an awesome mother. There are just a few things to remember.

Awesome Mother

Sometimes being an awesome mother is letting the kids run through the water from the hose in their clothes.

  • Love your child with all your heart
  • Give yourself grace
  • Extend grace to those who need it
  • Don’t try to be like that mother (You know the one, the one who we think has it all together.)
  • Set boundaries that work for your household

I can’t tell you what loving your child will look like, because every child and every parent is different. Some parents excel at showing our love through time spent playing games with the kids. Others of us excel through cooking meals from scratch every night. Or perhaps none of those are you. You just do your best each day and get in snuggles every chance you get, and that is great too.

There are days though you will feel like you have blown it. In those moments you may have given too harsh of a punishment, yelled too loud, or were just plain mean don’t lose heart. You can use this as a teachable moment. In these moments I go back and apologize for my poor behavior. Then I explain what I could have done better, and ask for forgiveness.

 

Sometimes those around us just need an extra measure of understanding. They need our love instead of our discipline. Get to the heart of the issue and address that. Sometimes the poor behavior of others is a symptom of a larger issue of the heart. Just love them.

Remember you were uniquely and wonderfully created. The bible says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” It also talks about how each of us has a different purpose here on this earth, if you want to read more about it, go to 1 Corinthians 12. So what all this means for you, dear friend, is no two mothers will do the job the same. We were each created with different skills, abilities, and strengths. Play to your strengths and you will be awesome.

Following suite with the above no two households are the same. So what that means is that I might need rules in my home that you never even considered. Maybe your home is too lenient for my taste, but it works for you. Or perhaps you are even more strict than I am. The bible says very little as to exactly what a home is to look like.  (That is a post for another day though.)  From what it does say though we can determine how it is best looks in our individual homes.

I can’t say that this will always be easy to do, because some days it is hard to extend grace. Other days that nagging voice creeps in and makes us doubt whether we are enough, or doing it right. On those days remember you are loved.

Much Love,

Sara

***What would you say to a friend who doesn’t feel like she is enough?***

***As always if this has touched your heart in anyway please share. You will never know who else might need this message, today. Please just link back to the original.***

No-Cook Playdough Recipe

My girls and I are fans of anything crafty. I love sitting down working with them on a project. It is just so much fun to see what they will create or how they will interpret what I demonstrated. Sometimes though when they really want to create, I still have house work to do or other work that needs to be done.  This is where playdough comes in, because a little girl can see crayons for only so many days in a row before revolting. (Disclaimer: While yes, I pull out the playdough when I have other work to do, I still must be nearby to supervise. Playdough must not leave the kitchen!)

We have done store-bought playdough in the past. In terms of consistency, it is great I know what I am getting, but it can get expensive to have to continually replace. I also prefer homemade because then I know first hand what is going into the product, and then the girls can also get involved in creating it.

I have tried my hand at both cooked playdough recipes, which for us were a flop, and no-cook recipes. A simple Google search led me to The Best Ever No-Cook Play Dough Recipe. Anna, the author of the blog, offers up this simple recipe. It creates a soft dough that the kids have used for the last two days and there have been no signs of drying out. It produces a great end result that I will turn to again and again.

As great as the result was though I noticed it was stickier and tackier than playdough should be, when I followed the recipe exactly. So what follows below is a slight adaption of the original recipe. (It is worth noting that she does say that you might need to add a touch more flour, but since what I had to add, 1 cup, was more than a touch I will explain how I did this.)

No-Cook Playdough Recipe

No-Cook Playdough Recipe

(Adapted from The Imagination Tree)
 
 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (reserve one of the three cups)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • Up to 1.5 cups boiling water (add in increments)
  • food coloring (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Mix the flour, oil, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. On a low-speed add the oil.
  3. Add the boiling water in  1/4  cup increments mixing until the dough is smooth.
  4. If you still have tacky sticky dough and the mixing is not helping go to your flour reserve, and add a 1/8 cup at a time till dough is smooth to touch.
  5. Divide playdough into the different number of colors that you wish to create. Work food coloring into dough by hand, kneading the dough as you go. (This can get a bit messy so gloves are an option here.)

Store your playdough in an airtight container, and it should last for months.

 

Dear Mommas

Dear Mommas,

Sometimes your best laid plans will go sideways. It’s ok. It happens to the best of us.  Tomorrow is a new day.

Some days you are so tired you can barely form a coherent thought. We have all been there. At the end of those days I just suggest going to bed. Forget the dishes for a night. Catch up with your favorite show later. Turn the computer off. Turn off the phone. And go to bed. Get as much sleep as your babies will let you have.

Breathe mommas. When the going gets tough remind yourself that this is just a season. Seasons of life change, just like the seasons of weather change.

But remember…

Sometimes the sticky hands pulling on you just want one more hug.

Sometimes whiny cranky child just needs to be held and told everything will be ok.

One day the dandelion flowers for Momma, will come no more.

One day there will be no more art work for the fridge.

One day the toy phone will ring no more.

Enjoy these days.

Even when your best laid plans get torn to shreds, your babies are still there to snuggle. They will crack you up with their latest observation, or melt your heart with their latest gift.

When you are awake on your long nights breathe in the sweet smell of your baby’s hair, and rejoice in the blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon you.

“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” Psalm 127: 3

Much love,

From one tired Momma to another

 

From Menopause to Motherhood: The Blessings That Are Children

Rusty and I knew we wanted children even before we were married. We wanted a house full of laughter and love. Less than a year into our marriage we faced a stumbling block to whether or not this might ever happen the way we envisioned, I was diagnosed with cancer and would need chemotherapy. The chemotherapy did as chemo often does, it took a devastating toll on my body. By our first anniversary we had already had one of what would be many conversations concerning what we would do if we came out of this unable to get pregnant.

From Menopause to Motherhood

By our second anniversary we knew though. We knew that the chemotherapy drugs had thrown my body into an early menopause at the age of 21. In the years that followed we talked to three different fertility specialists, tried rounds of different drugs (to stimulate fertility,) and during one of his deployments we had hoped to save up enough money to try the donor egg program. In the end the doctors didn’t provide much hope. They explained how multiple tests showed I was post menopausal not even pre. Even the fertility drugs seemed to tell us that donor egg was the only way to go. Yet during his deployment we never quiet got the 10s of thousands of dollars set aside.

It was during that deployment I started to think that maybe a life without children would not be so bad. I know that there are many paths to parenthood, but at that point in our lives we were at an impasse concerning what that would mean. Yes I knew anything was possible with God, but at this point in my life it seemed to me that miracles happened to other people. We went back and forth on whether a donor egg was a way to achieve that miracle, or maybe we would adopt. In the end though I decided I was comfortable not having children of our own.

God had other plans though, as he often does. When Rusty returned home from Iraq, we had not saved up for the donor egg procedure, and I was alright with that. What did happen though was he came home in December and by Valentine’s Day I had learned I was pregnant. To say the news thrilled us was an understatement. We were walking on air. After all I had been through to get to this point, including two miscarriages even before the chemotherapy, I knew that this was nothing less than a modern-day miracle. My doctors all declared it was a miracle as well.

That pregnancy, as things were, turned out to be pretty uneventful. I was blessed with a pretty easy pregnancy. It gave me time to think. Think about how we hoped that this meant a door was opening so that we could have more children, yet even if this was not the case we were still thankful for one. In October of 2009 I gave birth to Chloe, my sweet, beautiful, servant-minded child.

By the time she was 6 almost 7 months old, I would learn I was pregnant again. It was another miracle! In February 2011 we were blessed with our second little miracle. Miss Paige is our rough and tough little girl who has a tender heart and wants nothing but to share her love.

In March of 2012 the blessings seemed to come to a terrifying stop. I miscarried again, and this time I was in the ER, after having arrived by ambulance. I lost enough blood that I needed a blood transfusion. We knew though, as sad and scary as this was, we had already been blessed. Those two girls were and are, blessing upon blessing.

It was upon the heals of that miscarriage though, I would get pregnant with our youngest daughter! Miss Madelyn was born January of this year, 2013. God is good.

I tell you this to let you know I have been there, I understand the pain of infertility, but I also know the joy of motherhood. Yes motherhood has its challenges and raising three strong-willed children between the ages of 4 and 9 months can be taxing. But it is a journey that I appreciate, and I value. It is a journey that is from the Lord.

From Menopause to Motherhood

To this day if you were to run a blood panel on me it would show that I am in menopause. I should not be able to have children according to modern medicine, yet the Lord has blessed me with 3 little girls. So it is for these three little miracles I want to thank the Lord for today!

***Do you have a story of infertility, miscarriage, or pregnancy you would like to share today? Or perhaps you are in need of a comforting ear. I am here for you. You can reach me through my contact page, Under the Sun’s Facebook page, or just leave a comment.***

 

Birthday Reflections

Four years ago at this time I was just getting used to my new role as mom, and now four years later I am mom to 3 beautiful girls.  As much as my girls have grown and changed, I have as well in equal proportion. Four years ago I would never have imagined spending half my night awake tending to a sick baby and then awake  writing my blog  and celebrating a little girl’s birthday. Once upon a time I could not function on anything less than 8 hours sleep. Now all I need is a cup of coffee and a little time to re-adjust in the morning.

Birthday Reflections

This is a sweet day for me. My four-year old birthday girl is busy playing with her princess castle. Her younger sister is busy playing next to her, and her baby sister is asleep in her grandmother’s arms.  It is so wonderful to have a houseful, and the mess of children all around.

Before kids I was able to workout and exercise when and where I pleased. Now four years later and after five weeks of The Living and Active Challenge I have learned more about flexibility than just how far I can stretch forward. I have learned that my workouts don’t have to look the same from week to week or even day-to-day. I have also learned how to incorporate preschoolers, toddlers, and babies into any workout.

This challenge has also blessed me through the scripture. I am able to take the scripture and share it with my children. My girls are learning the value of scripture as I learn to memorize it. Never before have I actually attempted to memorize it. I have always taught myself the principles, the general locations of where to find them, but now I am learning the verses word by word and the exact locations. Yes some verses are more difficult than others, but persistence pays off and my girl’s are learning the value of these things through watching me.

Thank you, Lord, for granting me these last four years of Motherhood. Please bless me in the years ahead that I may further learn and grow in my role as a mother. Thank you for these blessing that are my daughters. In your son’s name I pray, Amen.

***What are you learning through this journey of parenthood? What so far has been your favorite age or stage your child/ children have gone through?***

Previous Posts on my Living and Active Challenge:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Living and Active

Dear Sweet Tired Mama of Little Ones

I had wanted to write something deep and meaningful that you could take to heart and reflect on. Everything I was trying to say kept coming out wrong. I tried to write a piece that was encouraging to those parents struggling with the sleepless nights and the worry that invades the dreams that do come when your children are sick. I wanted to express how a sick child can bring even those far from God to their knees, but still those words were not coming.

My Sick Little Ones

My Sick Little Ones

 

The only thing I have for you is this short letter:

Dear Sweet Tired Mama of sick little ones,

I know you are tired. I have been there. The sleepless nights. The waking up every time your child stirs just to make sure they are still breathing. Your child may never remember that you were there for them on nights like this but they will remember they were loved. Keep on loving them.

I have been there in the trenches as the child is getting sick and the only thing we have to offer is our hands to catch the vomit. It happens. It doesn’t really help anything, but it is one way to show your child you will do anything for them.  Granted when they are done you will have to clean not only your child but yourself as well. 

Don’t feel guilty if when they are sick you let them eat nothing but ice cream and crackers all day. When they are sick sometimes it is just enough to see they eat a little something, no matter what that something is. When their stomachs start to feel better you can try for a more varied diet. 

Remember though no matter how far away your friends and family may be during these long days there is always someone who is never far, God. Call out to him. Pour your heart out. Your words need not be fancy, he is willing to listen. If you open the Bible and give The Lord half a chance he will speak to your heart. He knows what it means to tend to sick little ones.The new testament is full of stories of Jesus healing the sick. I believe that when he saw the people of this world sick it grieved him just as much as it grieves you to see your child sick. And at the end of the day reach out via phone or internet to your friends and family. 

While you are busy tending to the little ones, don’t forget to take care of yourself. You need your rest and you need proper nutrition. You even need to spend some time nourishing your soul. A worn out frazzled Momma who has burnt her candle from both end will not do her children any good.

I know you are doing your best. You are loving them the best you can. Just keep on loving them and being the best Momma you can be.

Love,

Sara