stress

Mothering is Harder Than I Thought | Part 5

2019-01-03T13:36:05+00:00

Ways To Get Help As A Mom And As An Individual

One thing that we could all use more of is encouragement.  As moms we really benefit from being around others who are in the same stage of life as we are or even people who have gone ahead of us.  It is so easy for us as moms to get isolated in our daily activities and unless we are intentional we end up feeling so lonely.

There are many ways to find time to be with other moms.   Many churches have ministries solely for moms.  You can even set up a time every week for a park date with other moms who have kids of similar age.  Especially as we head into the summer months with our children home we need to be intentional about making these times out with other moms.

It is also beneficial to be able to have some adult woman time away from the children.  Whether that is a bible study that has child care or your husband is willing to take the children for an evening every once in a while.  Women thrive in community.  We even seem to get energy from being around each other.  This is another thing that is important to make sure and some how fit it into that crazy schedule.  It is worth the effort!

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on the topic of mothering.

 

Mothering is Harder Than I Thought | Part 5 2019-01-03T13:36:05+00:00

Mothering is Harder Than I Thought | Part 4

2019-01-03T13:35:22+00:00

How Is A Mom To Get Help

Many moms today because of the economy are working outside the home.  There are also many moms who are having to work from home to bring in extra income.  The problem is that statistics show that most of the time it is the women who are still coming home from work to do all of the house work and cooking and dealing with the kids.  This is not a slam on men, most don’t know how they can help.  They probably didn’t observe it in their home or are afraid to mess up the system.

There is a way to create a team for the family especially when both parents are working.  That is encouragement!  Don’t be afraid to ask your spouse to do something.  Most men would happily help if they knew what their wife needed help with.  Then we need to encourage when they help. This is another area of struggle for many women.  Many of us are very particular in how we want things done and nitpick if someone else does it.  We need to learn to be grateful and express the gratitude for a job done, not complain how it wasn’t done right.  Make sure you are taking the time to express gratitude for help offered to you!

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on the topic of mothering!

Mothering is Harder Than I Thought | Part 4 2019-01-03T13:35:22+00:00

Mothering is Harder Than I Thought | Part 3

2019-01-03T13:34:29+00:00

Finding You As a Woman and As a Person

Like we said yesterday it is so important to prioritize our schedules in order to find balance.  There is another thing that we need to find time to fit in and that is time for ourselves.  We need to make sure that we do not completely loose our identity and solely become mom.  It is so easy to get caught up in the frenetic chaos of the day to day and realize down the road that you don’t even know who you are anymore.  It is hard to relate to your spouse and your children as they get older if you don’t have a sense of self.  Now this is not to be confused with a sense of selfishness.  There must be a balance to this.  It seems that we live in a time of extremes in this area.  Either we think its all about me and sacrifice what is really best for our children for our wants or we attempt to become so completely selfless that we lose who we are.  Find the balance.  Make sure that you are taking a little bit of time every week as alone time.  Whether that is taking a small amount of time during naps to read or just sit in the tub, or take turns with a friend babysitting children just so you can have some quiet time.  And like we said yesterday make sure that you set aside time daily to spend time in scripture.  Even when it is hard to fit everything in it is still worth the effort!

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic of mothering!

Mothering is Harder Than I Thought | Part 3 2019-01-03T13:34:29+00:00

Mothering is Harder Than I Thought | Part 2

2019-01-03T13:33:38+00:00

Find The Balance In Life

One thing that helps moms find the concept of balance is learning how to prioritize. It seems that we all have this huge checklist of things to get done and if we can’t check them off we feel an inordinate amount of guilt.   So we all need to sit down with our lists and learn to make what is truly important the priority.

First is our relationship with God.  We first and foremost need to be making time to spend with God.  Even if it’s a few moments of reading scripture and some quick prayers, it will help with your focus and attitude through the day.  Part of our problem is most of us feel the pressure to do every thing awesome.  Our expectation is to have these major bible study times and hour long prayer sessions.  With small children this is probably not a feasibility.  I know of moms who spend their shower time as their prayer time because it is uninterrupted.  The point is this is the first priority, our relationship with God.

The second priority is our marriage.  We are first husband and wife, then parents.  Today’s podcast states it like this marriage is the priority and children the ministry of that marriage.  So often we place our marriage on the altar of parenting.  That cannot be, because the health of the family is gauged by the marriage.  Marriage should be the second priority.  Make sure that you are making time for your spouse.  The third priority may seem obvious but it is actually parenting (training) your children.  It is not what our house looks like or how well they are dressed or that they are involved in all the “right” activities. It is actually raising them.  This may mean that you put the dishes down and read to your toddler.  I have to allow myself to do this with out guilt and remind myself that those dishes will still be there to finish up when he goes to bed.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on the topic of mothering!

Mothering is Harder Than I Thought | Part 2 2019-01-03T13:33:38+00:00

Mothering is Harder Than I Thought | Part 1

2019-01-03T13:32:34+00:00

Motherhood Is More Challenging Then I Imagined

This week’s topic hits very close to home for me personally as the mother of a two year old.  We are going to talk about how to deal with the overwhelming day to day responsibilities of being a mom.  I can say that I have seen this from all aspects, from ten years working with the teens parents in residential care to the current stage of being around my friends with young children, every mom has days of feeling overwhelmed at the continuous task at hand.. .raising children!

We are going to spend the week talking about how we cope on those days and how we get to the point of choosing to be fulfilled with the awesome job we have been privileged too.  The first thing that we can do is take a step back and analyze our expectations.  Some one once said to me “there’s no such thing as a perfect parent, just a good enough parent.”  I love this quote and every time I think about this it takes a weight off.  Part of a mom’s stress today is the feeling that we are expected to be able to do everything and do it all perfectly, in perfect balance.  From keeping house, bringing in money, pouring into our kids lives, raising spiritual giants, keeping our kids healthy and well exercised, being involved in school and church functions and have time to work out and maintain the perfect body, to name a few.   We can work ourselves into a frenzy trying to keep up this level of balance and order. Take the time to sift through those expectations and cut yourself some slack.  There is no way to maintain this level all the time, something will get the short end of our attention.  We cannot allow it to be actually raising our children!  As we process today some verses that have helped me recently is Luke 9:46-48.

“An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”

It is a reminder from the only perfect parent, there is nothing greater we can do with our time then serve the “least of these.”  When we do this we are serving Him!

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more wisdom on this topic!

Mothering is Harder Than I Thought | Part 1 2019-01-03T13:32:34+00:00

Communication in Your Marriage | Part 5

2016-02-19T21:00:46+00:00

My Spouse Is Hard To Talk To

Communication is one of those areas in marriage where, even if there are seasons of difficulty, we must choose never to give up. We must make the choice that we are ultimately not doing this for our spouse or our self, but for God. During the difficult seasons we need to choose to give each other grace. Maybe our spouse is going through a difficult time at work or just feeling discouraged. We need to take that into consideration in our communication times and not allow ourselves to take it personally. Because we are working on our marriage ultimately for God’s glory we need to grace our spouse and keep pursuing them.

There are several types of communication “dodgers”. The first can be equated with a porcupine. If a difficult issue is brought up they become all quills and derail the conversation with spines. This is where we need to not allow ourselves to take it personally and either push on gently or continue the conversation at another time.

The second type of conversation dodger is the shellfish. They become a clam when an issue is brought up. These people can be married to a talker who can then overtake the conversation. Usually the people who are shellfish are afraid to open up. If the shellfish is your spouse, you need to slowly bring them out or warm them up by asking questions they will answer and then bring up the topic. After that just sit and wait. Choose not to overtake the conversation but wait to hear their opinion.

The last type of dodger is the prairie dog. These are people who hear topic and through out a red herring to get you off topic. They change a topic so they don’t have to deal with the issue at hand. With this type of person, just don’t allow yourself to be derailed and continue to gently steer them back on course.

More information on the topic of communication can be found in the book “We Need To Talk.”

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Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Communication in Your Marriage | Part 5 2016-02-19T21:00:46+00:00

Communication in Your Marriage | Part 4

2016-02-18T21:00:28+00:00

How To Start Great Communication

Great communication starts with planning, purpose and time. Because of the busyness of our schedules we cannot just wait for great communication to happen. We have to prepare for it. As unromantic as it sounds we have to put in on our calendar. Especially for parents, we are balancing lots of schedules and it is easy for marital communication time to get pushed to the back burner. This is very detrimental for both parenting and marriage.

So a time has been set, what next? Making sure your communication time has purpose. This can seem like it would be uncomfortable, setting aside time just to talk. Because the purpose is communication there can’t be distractions such as TV or phones or even children begging for your attention. This is very hard for young parents so maybe even putting your toddlers in a stroller and going for a walk would work if a date night is not feasible every week.

Finally we must allow ourselves enough time to communicate. It cannot be a five or ten minute burst when you get home from work. It must be a chunk of time set aside, so that you can practice through all five levels of communication.

Most importantly make it fun. Take the time to dream together and allow these times to deepen your friendship.

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For more insight on the topic of communication listen to today’s podcast.

Communication in Your Marriage | Part 4 2016-02-18T21:00:28+00:00

Communication in Your Marriage | Part 3

2016-02-17T21:00:29+00:00

The Levels of Communication

There are actually five levels of communication that we use when speaking to others.  The first level of communication is called “cliché conversation”.  This is very surface communication, verbally touching base with someone.  The basic questions like “hi, how are you” and the answers to those questions.

The second and third levels of communication seem to be where we spend most of our time.  The second level is journalistic communication.  This is reporting things or giving facts/information.  Such as my day at work went great, this happened today, ect. The third level is called editorial communication this is giving your opinion on what’s going on.  For example not only talking about the game last night but how you felt the players could have done things differently or sharing your opinion about things that are going on at the office.

The final two levels are vitally important for marriage but many of us are afraid to go there.  Either we are afraid of being hurt, rejected or we simply haven’t observed how to communicate at these levels.  The fourth level is the “risk feelings level” This is when you cautiously test the waters to see if it is a safe place, or even just a safe time, to share feelings.  This is the level where vulnerability begins.   By sharing how you feel or how something effects you then you are beginning to share yourself with someone else.

The final level is called emotional nakedness.  This is the goal for every marriage.  This is where we feel completely safe completely opening up to another person.  It is allowing each other to completely share who we are as people with no fear.  Because of this level of vulnerability we cannot stay in level five communication all the time or we would be exhausted.  For most relationships it takes building through each level even in one sitting to get to this point of vulnerability and ultimately years to practice!

For more insight on this topic listen to today’s podcast.

Communication in Your Marriage | Part 3 2016-02-17T21:00:29+00:00

Communication in Your Marriage | Part 2

2016-02-16T21:00:07+00:00

Why Is Communication in Marriage Important for Parenting?

Yesterday we talked about why communication in marriage is difficult.  One of the things that we touched on is that most of the time we marry our opposites.  We marry someone who is different from ourselves, gender, background and personality differences.

Because of these differences conflict is bound to happen.  Conflict if handled appropriately can strengthen a marriage.  This is where communication comes in.  We must work through the issues not bury them.  We need to be a parenting team.  In order for that solid team to be built it starts with solid communication through the marital issues.  That way when parenting issues arise we are ready to work  it.   Click here for more on when parents don’t agree.

the time to work through the communication issues it will help build a parenting team and strengthen your marriage in the process.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Communication in Your Marriage | Part 2 2016-02-16T21:00:07+00:00

Communication in Your Marriage | Part 1

2016-02-15T21:00:35+00:00

Why Is Communication So Hard?

One of the most important things in parenting is for spouses to be able to communicate about parenting issues.  We are going to spend this week discussing communication in marriage because it is ultimately such an important parenting topic.

Why with so many communication tools is it so hard for us to communicate?  There are many reasons.  The first is the fact that many of us never observed our parents communicating, or communicating in a healthy way.  Another is the busyness of our lives.  We can become like ships passing in the night with our spouses and be so exhausted by the end of the day that we don’t have the energy to talk to each other.  Another reason communication can be hard is that most of us marry our opposites and this is true for our communication styles.  It may even be as simple as one of us is a night person and one of us is a morning person.

Whatever the barrier to our communication is we must choose to push past it.  Find a time that is good for both you and your spouse.  If communication has been a difficult issue then choose to spend some time on neutral turf, like out at a restaurant or a coffee place, even just out for a walk.  The point is your parenting and ultimately your marriage depends on quality communication.  Choose to make it a priority!

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Communication in Your Marriage | Part 1 2016-02-15T21:00:35+00:00