Have you ever had one of those days when you only have one little nerve left, and your child steps on it? Or your baby spits up on it? Or your teenager’s disrespectful words break that last nerve in half? Or when the stress of raising kids in general is making you a stress case?
Those are the days we don’t enjoy. Those are the days we want to scream. And if you’re anything like me, those are the days I want to pack one swimsuit and a towel and go on a long road trip to the beach – all alone – without a cell phone.
But although those days do happen, most days are spent being thankful for the little joys of being a parent, and I’ve learned over the last twenty years raising my kids, that what is considered “little joys” will change. Where I used to love the scent of my baby son after a bath and baby lotion, I now love the scent of American Eagle cologne he leaves when he come downstairs in the mornings. Where I used to love seeing baby dolls and ribbons tossed on the floor of my daughter’s bedrooms, I now find joy in looking at all the pictures of them with their friends, watching them find joy in working with handicapped children, and admiring their artwork which has truly become art.
Do I miss the days when my kids were little? Of course! Those years were filled with joy and purpose- plus they were so cute! Yet I also know that these teenage, adolescent and young adult years are just as sweet, as I get to experience the little joys of helping them succeed, work towards their dreams, handle life’s problems, and plan for their futures. Where I used to love all the things about them being little, now I enjoy the blessing of having three new best friends.
As mentioned in my Proverbs 31 devotion today, below are 6 tips for enjoying the season of parenting you are currently in, even on those days when you are ready for a road trip. To enter to win the $75 gift card to WiseDecor and a second special giveaway, see bottom of the post for all the details!
6 TIPS FOR ENJOYING YOUR SEASON OF PARENTING
1. When you are feeling frustrated or exhausted, take a mommy timeout. Pause to think about all the things you love about your kids, and the little joys they bring into your life. Ask God to help you focus on the joys of parenting, instead of all the jobs on the parent to-do list.
2. Remember the importance of spending time with your kids, not just spending energy caring for them. Regardless of age, kids need quality time with their parents, doing things other than the normal daily routines. Think about what you can do ‘outside the box’ with your kids that will be fun and enjoyable.
3. When you are at your wits end – PRAY. Ask God to renew your energies and your spirit, and to help you see your children through the eyes you saw them with for the very first time. Sometimes the chaos of life blinds us to their preciousness.
4. Keep a list of the things you treasure about the season of parenting you are in, and think back to what you treasured in years gone by. As new memories come to mind, jot them down. Revisit this list each time you are feeling discouraged, asking God to help you see new reasons for joy in the new season you are in.
5. Don’t ever think your child is too big or too old for hugs or to hear that you love them. All humans – young, old, male, female – need affection and love. Even if they try to squiggle away, or just don’t engage in an embrace, a mom’s touch has power to reach a child’s heart.
6. Try not to compare yourself to other parents. Whether someone’s child was more easily potty trained, has better manners, or achieved more accomplishments in high school than yours, comparison causes us to focus on where we may have fallen short as a parent, instead of all the great things we have done in raising our prized posessions.
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!
Ever since I was a little girl, my family would stand around the table and say the Moravian blessing. My grandparents were raised in a Moravian church and left a legacy of faith in our very large family, and this blessing has always been special to me. Now as me and my children bow our heads before meals, this blessing is also said. So I decided it would be a wonderful keepsake for our wall, and ordered the words from WiseDecor.com. Below is a picture of it on my dining room wall:
If you have a special blessing, a meaningful scripture or phrase that speaks to your heart about parenting or family, and would like to put it on your wall, then enter to win the $75 gift card from WiseDecor!
To enter to win, simply leave your best tip for other parents about how to enjoy the seasons of parenting. I can’t wait to get all the great ideas and encouragement from fellow moms, and I hope they speak to you too!