When Your Child’s Will Wears You Out

Last month I wrote about my newly-turned 16 year old girl’s birthday with a few reflections on how God wired her (and just how blessed I am to be her Mom!).

I did not go into incredible detail, but made reference to her toddler years — as in, the not-at-all-easy toddler, preschool and early childhood years.

Today, my daughter is a wonderful, beautiful teen whose character has grown leaps and bounds.  So far, she and I enjoy a relationship marked by lots of laughter and genuine companionship.  We are good friends as well as mother and daughter.

But, before we ended up in this lovely place, there existed another place.  One in which I would often wonder why I was debating with a three year old (or 5 year old, or…).  For crying out loud, I AM the Mom!

Honestly, it wasn’t a disobedience issue.  It wasn’t that she ignored me, refused to follow authority, or anything like that.  Most importantly, it certainly wasn’t solved by any typical parenting tips or tricks.  In those days, I was an emotionally weary Mama.

We both laugh now as I share stories from those years, but it was FAR from funny then.

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Mom, can you relate?

Perhaps you are blessed with such a child, such a brilliant and vibrant personality.  Maybe you are wondering where you have gone wrong in parenting or where to go next.  I wish a step-by-step plan could be be offered to you today, but I don’t have that.  However, I might be able to relate to your struggle and certainly can offer words of hope!

A few heart encouragements today:

Remember you will be equipped for this journey

You may not have every mothering tool necessary right now to handle the situation, but if you ask, it will be given to you.  God will supply what you need, just when you need it.  You are never alone.

Remember your child is a gift

Amen?  Speak it, say it, believe it….because it’s true.

Learn from the journey of others

We need to pray and ask God for wisdom.  Often, he can use the experiences of others to give insight into our own.  Read some books, talk to other trusted friends, share with your spouse.   Don’t sit inside your own mind!

Stay consistent (but stay open).

Your child may push and push sometimes just to test things out!  Keep clear and consistent in age-appropriate expectations, but also keep open to changing the way you do things.  You will likely need to!

Focus on relationship

It will be too easy to make everything a battle, a struggle, a debate of some sort with these types of children.  Yes, you are the Mom.  Yes, you are the boss.  But this child also needs your love, not just your discipline.  Be sure to focus on intentional relationship-building which fills the emotional tank of your little one.  It’s SO worth it!

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I trust and believe God will use my daughter’s feistiness for his ultimate glory if she allows him the honor.  I believe the same for your children and for your mothering.  Don’t give in or give up Mom!

Any other thoughts to add?

 

Post written by Daniele of Domestic Serenity; photo credit

My Second Pregnancy And Postpartum Anxiety

second-pregnancy-postpartumI tried to come up with a clever title for this article, but I just could not seem to fit the words together in a rhythmic way. I want to share with you how I am feeling about enduring my second pregnancy and how I am feeling about postpartum anxiety.

My first child will be turning two in November. Being a mother is incredible and every bit rewarding. I love watching my son master new skills and gain a wider vocabulary. The joy I have received from mothering is indescribable. However, despite the joy that has swirled around in my heart, I have also battled a force I was not prepared for: postpartum anxiety. For nearly 9 months following the birth of my son I experienced the worse case of anxiety I have ever dealt with. It was dark, it was dreary, it was horrible.

I had prepared myself for depression and what some call the “baby blues,” but I had no idea that some women can experience postpartum anxiety. I was paranoid about everything, I feared everything, and I lost more sleep than the normal new parent, because I thought death was impending. This problem negatively affected my marriage relationship because I didn’t fully comprehend all that was going on with my body. That uncertainty made it very difficult for me to think about my husband’s needs, and it also made difficult my ability to keep my attitude in check. We fought often.

After a few doctor visits I finally found out that my thyroid played a huge role in the anxiety I was experiencing. {I talk about that in an article titled: Living With Thyroid Problems.} I praise God that my body finally balanced itself out, with only a few lingering effects that still rise up from time to time.

What I endured through those first 9 months of postpartum was enough to keep me far from ever thinking about having another child. But then, as time went on, a desire in my heart for another child grew wildly. I tried to push it away, in fear of experiencing another rough recovery, but God kept bringing it back with a gentle reminder that He wants me to trust Him with every aspect of my life.

Well, in August I found out that my husband and I are expecting our second child. We both are over the moon for the opportunity to extend our family. Although I have joyfully embraced this second pregnancy, the thought of postpartum anxiety has definitely crossed my mind more than a few times. And each time I have to remind myself that God is in control and that I need to trust in Him. My fears are based on “what if’s,” circumstances that might happen but are not guaranteed. What I need to have is faith, confidence that no matter what happens God is going to help me through it.

I also wrangled up a friend who is going to walk through my pregnancy and postpartum recovery with me. Someone who I can talk to about all that I experience so that I do not get sucked back into the darkness that is anxiety. I am also very blessed to have a husband who is willing to be patient and share encouraging words with me, also reminding me to trust in God every step of the way.

I am curious to know if you ever experienced postpartum anxiety or depression and how you felt going into a second or more pregnancy? Let us all learn from each other’s experiences, please share in the comments!  


– Jennifer Smith   Unveiledwife.com

Autumn Quotes To Print

Give-Thanks-ImageMy mom is great at making my childhood house a home.  I loved it when we were home at Easter and she had pretty Easter quotes framed in the entry.  She smiled:  “I found it on Pinterest!”

As a blogger and designer, so much of my life revolves around social media that I had forgotten the true blessing it can be, sometimes in the form of simple printables.

So, in this season of thankfulness I thought I’d make something my mom can print up and use to decorate.  I’m hoping some of you will like these images too!  These are sized as 8×10 or 4×6.  Click the links below the images to print.

Attitude-of-GrattitudeAttitude of Gratitude 8×10

Attitude of Gratitude 4×6 GIve-thanks Give Thanks 8×10

Give Thanks 4×6

Blessings to you this autumn season,

Christy

 

For My Quiet Child – You are Not Broken; You are Beautiful

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Dear Daughter,

I can hear the sadness in your voice when you come to me at the kitchen sink.

Another girl has teased you for “being shy.” She scrunched up her nose and asked an accusing question: “What’s wrong with you?”

I dry my hands and pull you close. Tears sting my eyes. I rub circles into your back, like maybe I can massage the truth in.

I tell you how I’m so glad God made you just the way you are.

In a world where people are unfriended with the click of a mouse, I want you to know that you’ll never get de-loved by God—or by me. You’re loved because of who you are, not because of how extroverted you are, how smart you are, how skinny you are.

You are loved because you are. Period.

I breathe relief when you tell me how you know it solid: that God made you the way He made you. You know you’re God’s good idea.

But yeah, you’re tired of the expectations of people wanting you to be someone you’re not. Would it be too much, you ask, for other people to see you the way God sees you? Loved and approved, as is. In our house, we call it being “preapproved.”

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In your voice, I hear the voices of thousands of other kids whose introversion is a point of confusion on the playground, in the church, in the classroom.

We live in a world that values the extrovert.

My heart hurts for every kid who would prefer NOT to stand up front to say their lines at the Christmas program. For every child who is presumed to have a flaw if he doesn’t raise his hand with the answer to a math problem.

Girl, hear me now:

Your quiet doesn’t make you broken. It makes you beautiful.

What if the world were filled with only bold extroverts? Who would stop talking long enough to be listeners? Who would be the pay-attention-ers? Who would slow down enough to really see, the way you see?

I wonder, what would happen if all the extroverts in all the schools and the churches would stop long enough to see the truth about the quiet child.

Maybe we would all see an inner peace in children like you, how you have your own beautiful shine.

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Maybe we would all see what a deep thinker you are. Maybe we would learn how to enjoy simple moments with paint brushes and pens. To embrace the quiet.

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My worst fear for us as parents and teachers is that we would accidentally break what God created while trying to recreate you in another image.

We would miss the miracle of you.

A while back, your sister held a microphone confidently at the front of a church, sharing about our trip to Haiti. You sat beside me. I kept squeezing your hand, and pressing my forehead against yours, because I wanted you to know that I am as proud of you as I am of her. You were on that same trip and did some amazing things. You simply don’t enjoy telling a big crowd about it.

I tucked you in that night and told God, out loud, how proud I was of you. (I don’t typically speak for God, but I think it’s safe to say that He agreed with me.)

Daughter, you live life more quietly than your sister and most of your friends, but not so quietly that I can’t hear who you really are.

For instance, I found out how you stuck up for a little boy at recess. Some older girls were calling him names. You told them to stop, but they didn’t listen. So you pulled the boy aside and encouraged him to tell a teacher. Which he did.

The next day, you helped that same boy when he fell off a swing.

Most likely, nobody is going to hand you a microphone to tell that story. And even if they asked, you would probably quietly decline.

And if you did decline the offer? Your mama will be in the front row, with her palm out, waiting to hold your hand in hers.

Love, Mom

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Jennifer Dukes Lee

Jennifer Dukes Lee is a storyteller and a grace dweller, blogging about faith at JenniferDukesLee.com. She is a writer for Dayspring’s incourage.me. Jennifer is author of the book Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval—and Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes. Love Idol is for anyone who needs to know that she has nothing to prove, that she is “preapproved” in Christ.

 

 

 Love Idol has sparked a movement of women, declaring they are “preapproved.” Today, Jennifer is giving away THREE copies of her book, along with three “Preapproved” necklaces made exclusively for the Love Idol Movement.

Enter to win in the rafflecopter below! 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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