Archive for the 'Mothering' Category

Page 2 of 17

A Mother’s Law

When you have small children, and you want to train them up in a way that pleases God, you’re going to need to remind yourself of some basic principles pretty often. I still remember going over these and going over them again to keep my bearings.

1. Pick your battles carefully and always win. I can remember talking with Doug about some little habit or behavior in the children that I was concerned about, and we would decide together whether it was really worth making an issue over it. Let’s say nail biting. If I say, “You may not do that,” I have to be willing to enforce it now. What happens if the nail gets bitten after I have issued a command? If nothing happens, then I have just undermined my own authority. We decided to let that kind of thing go, and teach on it without laying down any law. But if it was an issue of more importance, like hitting your sister, that was a battle I had to win.

2. Obedience must be in the little things and the big things. This goes back to being very careful about issuing commands. If I say, “Pick up your toys,” but the child wanders off and I forget about it, I have just taught the child that obedience doesn’t really matter. It is so easy for parents to fire off commands one after another and then ignore whether the children are obeying or not. Better to not issue any commands! If you don’t establish your authority clearly, you won’t have any.

3. Mothers can be tempted to go soft. You issued a command, the child disobeyed, and then you start making excuses for the child. When you told the child to do the thing, you did not take into account what you would do if he didn’t obey. And now you’re sorry you said it! Either quit Continue reading ‘A Mother’s Law’

Lizzie and Biscuits

Rachel has written a blog post about unbaked biscuits over at Desiring God, and I thought you might like to read it. It is an excerpt from Fit to Burst, her hot-off-the-press book.

Fit to Burst with Birthdays! Giveaway!

Give away is now closed! Yeehaw for the winners: Maranda, Meghan Auxier, and Garstabugg!

Guess what! Yesterday was my birthday (it was bound to happen sometime), and today is the day where I get ready for the twin’s birthday tomorrow. I’ve still got to talk them onto the same page about their birthday dinner. They have a lot of ideas, my favorite being Butternut Squash soup for all the boys, and Sloppy Joes for the girls. It is a good kind of crazy around here.

Bekah told you all a while ago about my new book which is pre-releasing in time for Christmas (at least for USA folk), but I thought my birthday would be a perfect time to do a little giveaway! It will not be in from the printers until December 7, and they can ship it off to you then. International shipping is not a problem, but it will take longer due to oceans.

Anyway, I thought I’d give away three different prizes, but all the same. Each winner will get two copies of the book, one to keep and one to share. Or two to share and none to keep. Or two to keep? I don’t know. The distribution of the prize will be left in your capable hands! Just leave a comment to enter, and I will do the drawing on Friday!

Sometimes people ask me about how I manage to write with so much to do at home. I never really know how to answer that because I do, in fact, have a lot to do at home. The answer is really that I don’t spend time thinking at the computer. I think and talk to people as I do other things. The content of the books make this possible, because what I write about is what I need to deal with. Sometimes something provokes a thought that needs to be fleshed out. Sometimes I realize some way that I have been stinking it up, and sometimes I don’t like something that comes up and need to work through why. But all this happens while I am folding laundry, doing dishes, at the store, cleaning bathrooms, or what have you. I never sit at the computer and think. I think while I live, and then periodically write.

I agreed to write this book while I was preggers with Shadrach, and the initial plan was to do it earlier. But, writing for me has to squeek in somewhere, and the somewhere just wasn’t showing up. I got the emailed contract after dinner one night when I had crashed on the couch and was talking to my husband. I got the giggles when I read it. Yes! I should write up a little something about how easily this is all going! Because I am struggling to complete a thought in a conversation with my husband! Yes! Let me try to bless others with some of this insight!

My husband offered to blurb my book for me, even though I had yet to write it. “I don’t know how she managed it, but this book reads as muddled as I feel!” We had a good laugh about it all, and then I said I needed more time. Turns out writing for me is like being stuck in traffic. Sometimes there is no way to go anywhere, and then you either get moving with the other cars, or you decide to go ahead and drive on the shoulder.

Fit to Burst is a little bit of shoulder driving. But, thankfully, at last, we got somewhere!

Snowmen, naturally.

The other day I told the twins to pick up all the coats that they had dumped out in the hall (I know… this reminds some of you that I haven’t done that post about the entrancing topic of the dresser-free lifestyle, but ignore that). So anyway, as they start to do it Chloe cheerfully shouts out, “Many hands make more work!’

I loved that little insight. Many hands make light work, but many hands also make more work for the many hands to make light of. It’s a cycle. This funny misquote came at a time when I had recently had a few conversations with people about the amount of work required with different numbers of children, so it prompted me to think a bit more about this whole topic.

Truthfully, I do sort of laugh at myself when I remember the early days. I can remember when Lina was born that I was shocked (shocked!) by the dramatic uptic in laundry needs. There were things that needed to be stain treated, there was a lot more laundry all the time. But now, with Shadrach fresh on the scene, I can honestly say that I haven’t noticed any change in the laundry at all. None. I know he is contributing, but I already live under a regime of three loads a day or die, and since he can spread his laundry needs out into those three loads, nothing seems different. Even he can not require a full load to himself every day.

Continue reading ‘Snowmen, naturally.’

When you need…

A while ago I was asked to do a radio interview about my book. In the course of the discussion the man asked me what advice I had for moms who lacked a support group. How can they find help? How can you meet the people who can encourage you, perhaps stirring you up to love and good works, and cheerfulness in the midst of potty training? Of course this doesn’t apply to moms only – lots of people struggle with this. But there is something unique about being a mom that makes it harder to really get out there and meet people. You could go to the park with other moms, and maybe not get past a few sentences coherently exchanged. There are diapers, scrapes, all manner of interruptions. It is not as easy to go somewhere because you need to plan around meals and naps and potties and whatever else is currently happening. You need to know that your own energy will hold up, that you could get yourself back home from wherever you are going. Most of the time mothers are not free to make friends the way they used to. Continue reading ‘When you need…’

Natural and Cursed

I may perchance be going out on a limb here . . . so let me state at the outset that I’m not trying to poke anyone in the eye! I haven’t even made it through all the comments on Mom’s recent childbirth posts, so this isn’t directed at anyone in particular. (Not because I don’t want to read the comments, but because I’m with my husband in England at the moment, and our internet opportunities are a bit patchy!)

Anyway, those qualifications having been made, I just wanted to point something out that I think Christian mothers need to keep in mind when they’re in the middle of “birthing option” discussions: You’re Christians. And that means submitting to the Bible as the true and inspired Word of God. It means actually listening and paying attention to what the Bible says, and then . . . believing it. When you hear claims being made regarding childbirth, your first question should be, “How does that line up with Scripture?” Because, as it turns out, the Bible does have some things to say on the subject – and shockingly, they aren’t really the same things you may be hearing from your facebook buddies.

Which things do I have in mind? There are a number of things – but the most fundamental one is this. Continue reading ‘Natural and Cursed’