It is no secret that mornings with kiddos can be hectic. If you don't start your day off right, it can feel like a herd of bulls ran through your house; leaving you feeling overwhelmed and tired before the AM turns to the PM. After having two kids in two years, I discovered that there were a lot of smaller chores that had to be done in the mornings to just get the day going for everyone. It really seems like there are a thousand things to accomplish in just the small amount of time we call morning. If you're like me, a makeup wearing, hair- doing, praying mama, you know that you have to schedule time for yourself and the Lord each morning BEFORE your squad awakens! That sounds pretty simple...until your alarm goes off at 6AM (or before), and you haven't gotten enough sleep (in years).
When I started homeschooling my oldest daughter in Pre-K 3, I knew I HAD to be on top of things in the morning if I wanted a smoothly running school day, so I learned to do these 5 things at night so that my mornings could be less tedious and more successful.
We Owe It To Our Daughters
When my daughter turned one, people started warning my husband and I about the terrible twos. They would say things like, “Enjoy the good behavior while it lasts because once she turns two, it’s terrible!” Parents of former two year olds would tell how their babies turned into “nightmares!” Not knowing what to expect from a two year old, I would always walk away from those conversations with positive comebacks. I know how powerful words can be, and the last thing we wanted was to speak negative, life-sucking words over our child.
We started saying that she was going to be in the terrific twos instead of the terrible twos!
So when the twos came upon us, things did change, but the changes weren’t terrible and neither was our little girl!
Protecting your littles In Public
As a stay at home mom, I find myself out in public with my little one and think that we can potentially be an easy target. I try to get out of the house daily. Most of the time we go to the park that's right down the road from us. It's in walking distance, so I strap my little one into the stroller and head out for some exercise/playtime. Every mom knows that getting the incredible amount of energy out of your little one is crucial!
More often than not, its just us and a few other woman with their children. I am a pretty cautious person. I always carry some kind of protection with me, and I am determined to use it if need be. I think you have to set your mind to protecting yourself and your child. My husband often reminds me to bring something along for safety purposes. It's easy to make comments about the mama bear instinct coming out when your babies are in danger, but when it comes to keeping yourself along with your little ones safe in public, I believe the best thing you can arm yourself with is knowledge. Knowing exactly what to do in a potential dangerous situation can be just as effective as carrying a weapon of some kind. If you do not know how or when to use it, it will remain useless.
After hearing several stories about strangers preying on moms with children, I felt like it was important to learn more about this topic of protecting myself if I was ever in a dangerous situation. So, I went straight to the professionals and interviewed a friend of mine who is also a deputy sheriff, and he gave me some great advice which I want to share with you!
Below is our Q&A! I hope it gives you some insight on how important it is to stay alert and do what you need to protect yourself and your children!
quick & easy Bath Toy organizer
Hello fellow parents who are tired of the bath toy messes!
I have a solution for you!
I want to share a quick, easy and cheap way to fix the bath toy chaos that can create a huge mess! If your child’s bath time is anything like my toddler’s, to them it’s more about having fun splish- splashing than it is about getting clean. Bath time is a great way to help your little one wind down at the end of the day or get some energy out on a rainy afternoon when there’s not many indoor play options! There are so many unique and fun bath toys out there, it's hard to pass up another bath toy purchase when I see something I know my little one would love which is why we have a very large toy accumulation in our tub! Whatever your using bath time for, you’re most likely collecting a lot of toys and other bath utensils to keep your tiny tot entertained. From big green frogs to bathtub paint, our bathtub can get pretty messy which makes it difficult to clean and use especially when your child’s bathroom doubles as a guest loo also.
We bought one of the nets that suction to the side of the tub, but that only partially solved the problem and over time grew nasty mildew! Yuck!
We needed something that would keep the toys organized while allowing them the thoroughly dry after each use, and something that didn’t cost very much!
Community, Not Competition
Sitting in the office of my OBGYN for a whole hour while doing my glucose test revealed an ugly truth about women that I’m almost embarrassed to talk about!
Women are so many great things, literally built to accomplish things no other could ever do
( um, hello, childbirth)!
But many of us sadly have a flaw that I can’t seem to understand. We have a difficult time accepting each other for who they are and we find it completely too easy to judge one another based on differences- different stages in life, different beliefs, different choices....
I had this thought as I sat there in the waiting area, enjoying my one hour of silent reading as the timer ticked.
You know how you can feel someone staring at you? I had that feeling, and looked up to find another woman eyeing me. I gave her a polite smile and got back to my reading, but something kept coming to mind. I could have started up a conversation with her. Maybe I missed my chance to have a meaningful encounter with a fellow mom. I glanced around the room and noticed something spectacular. Every person sitting in the same waiting room as me had two visible things in common- we were all women, and we all clearly had a wonderful ability that God has graced us with- we were all pregnant, and even though it looked like we were all in different stages, each one of us would undergo a possibly traumatic, physical hardship in the months to come in order to bring a complete miracle into this world.
Momming Must-Have Apps
Sometimes I wonder how moms like mine did it without the benefits of technology. Think about it. Today, moms have the ability to look up an insect bite their child may have gotten at the park, and identify the source, symptoms, treatment and so many other things that probably won't make a big difference; however, having the information at hand gives many parents peace of mind. I guess when we were little, parents like mine just waited to see what happened, and prayed it wasn't anything serious. I think sometimes we can certainly be too dependent on our technology, but I sure am thankful for having it when I need it. With so many apps and websites on the World Wide Web, how do you know which is best and which ones will only frustrate you more? These past two years of being a mom, I have tried many apps in hope of finding ones that would actually assist my job as a mom, and not just sit on my phone screen taking up valuable space. I noticed the other day that I consistently use certain apps, and I began to think about life without them. It wasn't a pretty picture because, like I mentioned, I may have become a little too dependent on these such things. Nonetheless, I want to share them with you, and maybe you can gain some of the beneficial usages from them that I so have! Momming is already a tough job, and any help along the way is greatly appreciated!!! I hope you, too, find these 6 apps useful, and maybe they will become your little assistants just like they are mine!
This past fall I was working on a wreath for our door, and I noticed something was missing. I needed something extra to complete the look I was going for. I thought about all the things we see during fall- orange leaves, crunchy pine cones, big acorns!
That’s what I needed for my wreath. I remembered that, as Elliot and I were walking at the park a few weeks before, he picked up this huge, beautiful acorn! Probably the biggest one I had seen. Those are the ones I needed! So this morning, Lydia and I set out to find our treasure and hopefully bring home big, over-sized acorns. I went towards the trees I knew or thought I knew would have the ones I was looking for. To my surprise and disappointment, Lydia and I could not find them! We were looking everywhere on the ground but could only find the ones that squirrels or other creatures had already gotten to.
The Big Reveal
Baby Johnson number two is currently cooking away, and it’s funny how things from one to two has already changed. When I found out I was pregnant with our first, surprised was the beginning feeling and then my feelings quickly moved into excitement with a little bit of fear of the unknown. After finding out I was pregnant with baby #2, the feeling of being overwhelmed overcame me for several days. How can I have two? What am I going to do with a second baby AND a toddler? How will I ever love another baby like I have our first??
Many questions flooded my mind so much so that I actually lost sleep pondering the answers to all my questions.
Then one night as I was laying in bed, something came over me to go to the Word with all my questions, and here is what I found. God reminded me that He’s got everything under control. When I went to Luke 12, I was quickly calmed by these words-
“Jesus said to His disciples, 'For this reason I tell you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; or about your body, as to what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the crop]; they have no storehouse or barn, and yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add one hour to his life’s span?
Consider the lilies and wildflowers, how they grow [in the open field]. They neither labor nor spin [wool to make clothing]; yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. But if this is how God clothes the grass which is in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you?'"
LUKE 12:22-32 AMP
How comforting it is to know that the same Father who cares so much for His flowers in the field, cares a greater amount about me!! How beautiful that is!
It's a complete understatement to say that parenthood is one of the most difficult things a human being can face. Not even considering the daily tasks our jobs as parents require, the fact that we are responsible to bringing an entire human being into the world and then taking care of them, teaching them, training them and loving them unconditionally is a pretty daunting task. I think its amazing how God designed parenthood. Some days you may feel like you are a superhero, getting all the laundry complete before the little ones wake up and then getting a head start on dinner before dusk. Other days you may feel quite the opposite, but, regardless of how the day went, being a parent brings you this unexplainable joy and happiness that nothing else can cause.
I remember thinking as I held our little one for the first time that nothing can top the joy I felt that very moment, but then she smiled at me for the first time and my heart melted all over again. Just like it did when she said, "mama" for the first time or when she grabbed my face and planted a big, juicy one right on my lips. Parenthood is full of the things that bring us to what feels like our breaking point, but I encourage you not to focus too much on those times. Hang on the heart-melting, watery-eye making, over-joyed times. These experiences is what parenthood is all about, and these are the times God designed parenthood to be about.
When I was pregnant with Lydia, a couple gave "advice to The Hubs and I. The advice was a little disappointing, especially to someone who was having a baby for the first time. Without going into their exact words, this couple, being parents themselves, explained parenthood to be almost a regretful thing. I walked away thinking that I am not going to regret this gift from God, but I am determined to face every challenge, every joy and every overwhelming moment with God's grace, and enjoy my new identify called Mom.
And this is exactly what I am doing!! Day-by-day, breathing in the meaning of momming, and being proud of motherhood, yes, even the ugly parts! This is what I want to share with you. I can't promise perfection; actually I can promise quite the opposite, but there is comfort in knowing that I'm not doing it alone!
Author- Marianne L. Johnson
This is a blog about my journey and adventure of being a mom. Let's be honest! Motherhood is nothing but an adventure. Some days you roll with the punches while other days unfold to be little specks of perfection. With whatever kind of day I get presented with, I always find God's glory, grace and blessings.