Thursday, December 31, 2015

Parenting with Joy

Photo edited from CC

    Faith is contagious, as is being positive or negative. Often negativity is far more contagious... which is sad but true. When I first started a small group at church for moms who had little ones, I was close to my wits end. I needed other mothers to relate to, I needed other mothers who had similar views/morals as I do to talk with. I was struggling. Not as bad as I was when I had a newborn, but I definitely felt alone in my struggles. See one of my other articles on "Loneliness and the New Mother."
    Toddler P. was about 7 or 8 months old when I started the small group. We started off with only three of us total, but soon grew to 7 moms in attendance (each bringing their babies as well). Immediately we noticed a change within ourselves after the first meeting. We read books on motherhood and our faith, we talked about our struggles, and most importantly we prayed. I began to feel a weight lifting from my shoulders. There were other moms out there struggling with the same feelings as I was, the same situations as I was... the battle over eating EVERY meal, the battle over naps and sleep, the battle over "no you can't touch that... yes you can touch that."
    Recently I've noticed an internal struggle start again within myself. Toddler Picturesque is now almost 2 years old. We started dealing with temper tantrums early on... at a few months past her first birthday. We still struggle with sleep and eating at times. We are dealing with similar things as when Toddler P. was 7 months old, but it's also so different. It's exciting watching her piece together words, seeing her eyes light up as she understands what mommy and daddy are telling her. 
    But there is also frustration for her of dealing with new emotions, the devastation of feeling she can't do something she truly really wants to, and the longing to be independent but also making sure mommy and daddy are within reach. 
    This is an exciting age, but a tough age, and so I've struggled with my own new emotions. Pure exhaustion from chasing her around, excitement at her learning new things, even more love as each day goes by, anxiety for the future, anxiety for the present... the list goes on. 
    So today I've realized I have to go back to where I was when Toddler P. was 7 months old. I have to realize I am not alone in my struggles, I am not alone in my feelings... I can do this. Not only can I do this, but I can do it with joy and not overreact when Toddler P. throws a temper tantrum. I can do this, and you can too! With God's help and grace we can get through today calmly and with joy!

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  1. There has been so much joy in parenting for me! Thank you for the reminder! Some days it's too easy to get caught up in the negatives and worry that accompany parenting.
    ~Heather aka HoJo~

  2. Some days inviting God into my parenting is the only way I make it through the day (emotionally). It can be rough!

    1. Absolutely! I don't know how I would do anything without the Lord's help!


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