Category Archives: a. Mothering Monday

Mothering Monday: The praying mom

As moms, we all have really good intentions and lots of visions of how we’d like our mothering to look.  Maybe you’d like to be a June Cleaver keeping the perfect home, raising well-behaved kids, and having dinner ready for your hard-working husband when he arrives home from work, all while sporting heels and pearls.  Maybe you’d like to be a Mrs. Brady keeping the perfect home with the help of a housekeeper, raising well-behaved kids perfectly meshed together in a blended family.  Maybe you’d like to be a Claire Huxtable keeping the perfect home, raising well-behaved kids while successfully maintaining a successful law career.  Whatever your personal vision is, most likely your reality falls short of it.

As I’ve said over and over again, I am extremely aware of my imperfections.  Some I’m willing to concede to as just who I am.  Others I’m willing to accept as who I am today, but desire to press on in those areas to grow into the woman God has created me to be.  As a mom, I have many, many, many, many imperfections.  But lately one has been standing out above the others to me.  I haven’t been praying for my boys as faithfully as I should.  At night I pray with them.  But I haven’t been petitioning God on their behalf through the days.  I haven’t been praying for their safety at school.  When I’ve been frustrated about a behavior, I’ve talked to my husband and friends about it, but I haven’t been talking to their Creator about it.   I haven’t been praying for the friendships they are establishing.  I haven’t been praying for the decisions that they are making everyday.  I haven’t been praying about the decisions they will make in the future – decisions about sex, about drugs, about careers, about relationships.  I used to be better at this, but I’ve gotten busy and lazy and things with them have been going pretty well and the praying has been neglected.  But this is an imperfection on my part that I cannot allow to continue.

So as I’ve thought about how I want to be more intentional about praying, yesterday I was reminded of a prayer card I received years ago.  It is 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray For Your Kids.  My intention is to each day, pray one of the virtues for my boys.  For example #1 is Salvation.  So today I looked up the verses noted on the card.  “You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it;  I, the LORD, have created it.” (Isaiah 45:8)  “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” (2Timothy 2:10)  I then prayed what was written on the card, “Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal Glory.”  I then continued on my own praying, “God, thank you that (Son 1) and ( Son 2) have both asked you to be their savior.  I pray that as they grow they will not walk away from you.  I pray that when they do mess up, they will know the fullness of your forgiveness.   God, I pray for (Son 3).  I pray that he too will ask you to be his savior.  I pray that he will know that he will never be good enough, but that it is only through your death on the cross.”

Then I find that when I take those few moments to be more purposeful in praying for my boys, it continues through the day, shooting up prayers for them about anything and everything.  (You can order a prayer card like this one from here.  Or you can search “31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Kids” and find them typed out on various sites.)

Now here’s the cool thing about my deciding yesterday that I need to be more focused on praying for my kids.  Last week I signed up for another blogger’s 31 day “Making Your Home a Haven” Challenge.  Then yesterday after I had gotten out the prayer card, I noticed she posted Week 1’s challenge:


“Go buy an extra large candle and light a candle everyday in your home. I will be starting mine in the morning! But you can start yours at dinner time. Do what makes sense for your family. I will be placing mine in the kitchen – the main hub of my home. Each time the candle catches your eye, say a prayer for peace in your home.”


In the post, she later says about a praying woman, “She knows that she is weak but God is strong and that she cannot fulfil the role of wife, mother, homemaker and sometimes employee, on her own strength. She is completely dependent on God and practices this dependence by daily praying for all of these things.”  (click here to read the whole post)  God is really impressing on me the need to pray, so I’m going to listen!  With the home decorated for fall and the cooler weather here, I love lighting candles.  I have my apple one in the kitchen ready to light once I’m done all my running around for the day.  Each time the candle catches my eye, in addition to praying for peace in my home, I’m going to pray the day’s virtue for my boys as well.

Are you a praying mom?  I’d love to hear the ways you pray.  Do you want to be more of a praying mom?  Join me in praying.  I’d love if you’d leave a comment committing to pray more.  Let’s encourage each other to Pray On as we Press On!

♥Becki, imperfect pray-er

Mothering Monday: A dog?

They are wearing me down.  They make unceasing promises about how good, happy, responsible they will be.  They point out every one they see.  They are willing to make it their ONLY Christmas present.  We got to see Santa when he was on “vacation” at Ocean City this summer and my middle child told Santa he wanted one.  Santa wisely replied, “Santa will have to talk to your Mom and Dad about that.”

A dog.

I worry about having to take it out during the day.  I worry that our home is too small.  I worry that it will disrupt my sleep.  I worry about when we go away.  I worry about barking.  I worry about expenses since we are already looking for things to cut out of our budget.   I worry about my oldest son’s possible allergies.  I worry that I would either want to “take it back” or that I’ll spend the next 14ish years regretting giving into it.

It was so much easier when my younger 2 were afraid of dogs – but now they want one.  It was so much easier when my oldest seemed to have allergic reactions – puffy red itchy eyes – but now not so much.  They were good reasons to not get a dog.  But now my reasons though valid, seem almost petty when I see the joy on their faces when they play with dogs.

My husband, Jeff, would bring one home with him today if I called him and said that I’m on board with the dog idea.  So really, the power lies with me.  But like it is with Spiderman, “With much power comes much responsibility.”  (Ok, maybe not as much power as Spiderman.)  But I definitely feel like this decision has a big impact on their childhood.

So is it yes or is it no?  I don’t know.  And if it’s yes… what kind?  What do we get for a small house.  One that’s easy to take care of, preferably doesn’t bark too much.  One that is “hypoallergenic”.  Any thoughts?  Oh, yeah, I have said that if I do give into a dog, it has to be a cute girl dog that I can dress up since I don’t have any little girls to buy dresses for.

Opinions definitely appreciated here…


Mothering Monday / Training Tuesday: School lunch

Since I didn’t post yesterday on Mothering Monday, I’m combining it with Training Tuesday… mothering and nutrition…

Growing up, I remember my mom giving me a dollar every morning for lunch.  I’d get to school, and every teacher had a different way for ordering whether you were going to get the hot or cold lunch and white or chocolate milk.  For one of the years, I can remember putting rectangle sheets of colored paper (brown for chocolate milk, white for white milk, blue for cold lunch, red for hot lunch) into a pocket with my name on it, all stapled to a bulletin board outside the classroom.  I’m pretty sure I always ordered the hot lunch with chocolate milk.  I remember the cold lunch being a disgusting looking triple-decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut diagonally, stacked together to form a tall triangle and wrapped in saran wrap.  I remember the jello with the little pieces of unidentified fruit in them.  Canned peaches or pears constituted the fruit selection.  I remember learning to fill my milk carton with my untouched green beans because Mrs. Evans wouldn’t let you take your tray back if you didn’t eat your vegetables too.  I’m pretty sure the lunch used to be 70 cents but I don’t remember ever giving my mom the change.  Pretzel day was Wednesday and they cost 10 cents and ice cream day was Friday and that cost a quarter or 30 cents for the nutty buddy ice cream cone.  We didn’t have a snack at school, but I never remember being hungry during the day.

Now, 30ish years later, I’m sending my boys off to school mostly with their packed insulated lunch boxes.  But of course, there’s days when I woke up too late to pack the lunch or days that they choose to buy lunch.  But oh how the elementary school cafeteria has changed.  Lunch is now $2.45.  You can still pay cash, but the kids all have accounts that you are asked to send cash or checks in with large amounts of money so that the kids have an endless supply of funds.  The kids have account numbers that they use to pay for their purchase.  If you happen to let the account run out of money, they still let your child purchase food (because they wouldn’t want your child to go hungry…) and your account has a negative balance.  You then get an annoying automated phone call and email telling you to add funds every day until you do.  (Can you tell that I have experience with this?)  This bugs me for several reasons: <<stepping on soap box>> 1. The children are learning all about a cashless society living on credit when they don’t have enough to pay for something.  (Huge problem today in our society)  2.  The children can buy something without my permission or consent.  3. No one is assisting the children in making smart decisions.

It’s not just how you pay that has changed in the elementary school cafeteria, but the choices as well.  They still have a hot and cold lunch – but now instead of peanut butter they have sunbutter.  But they also have an additional weekly option that includes a nacho fun lunch (tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, salsa) or a monthly alternative (this month it is a hot ham and cheese pretzelwich).  The lunches also still come with a vegetable (steamed peas, steamed carrots, fresh carrot sticks, steamed corn…) and some type of fruit (fruit cup, pears, mandarin oranges, applesauce, pineapple…) and milk.  But here’s the kicker – they don’t make the kids take these things.  In fact, last year, my first grader didn’t know he was supposed to.  When he bought pizza, he only took the pizza.

But then he’d get to the end of the food line and to the big, bright, beautiful display of every kind of chip you’d want and the cookies and the ice cream and he’d take some of this too.  (They even offer fresh made funnel cakes because of course every child should have the option to have a funnel cake every day of his life if he wants, right????)  When he got to the drink section, he’d take the milk because he likes milk.  But my older son doesn’t and he’d take the capris sun or lemonade instead.  Well that stuff isn’t free – the chips, cookies and ice cream cost 50 cents or 75 cents and the lemonade costs 60 cents and the capris sun costs 75 cents (at Giant, I can buy 10 for $1.99).  No one was telling them, “No you get milk with your lunch.” So now the lunch was costing anywhere from $2.95 – $3.70.  Also, they were going up and buying snacks when I packed them a lunch.  So, I have a financial issue, of spending way too much money on lunch without my consent.

In addition there’s also a nutrition issue.  When they came home asking for a snack, sometimes I’d give them cookies or ice cream not realizing that they already had that at school.  I was giving my oldest water instead of milk to drink at dinner thinking he had milk in his cereal and milk for lunch not realizing that he bought a capris sun  instead.  The nutrition of the school lunch is already pretty crappy, so let’s throw some junk on top of it.  And then of course, make sure to send in a snack every day for their morning snack time because apparently our children will starve otherwise.  (OK, sending a snack doesn’t bother me that much, it’s just throwing that on top of all the snack choices they are given at lunch.)

So what does the school say when I ask about it?  I can check online every day what they purchase and to talk to my kids about making the right choices.  Well, yes I can, but to be honest, I have a lot of issues to battle and work on and this really is not a battle I want.  These are elementary school kids.  At home, I don’t say to my kids, go get yourself some lunch or dinner, I do it because their choices are never going to be as good as mine.  I could freeze their account and not allow them to make purchases – but my oldest son is autistic and has melt downs about certain things, and I’d rather he didn’t have a melt down because the lunch lady is not letting him purchase something.  No, I’m not really happy with those options.

What I’d like is for the school to not offer 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10-year olds cookies and chips and doritos and ice cream and lemonade and funnel cakes every single day.  What I’d like is when I pay $2.45 for school pizza, is for them to give my kids the carrot sticks and the pears and the milk that I’m paying for with it.  Because if that was all they had, they would eat them.

I think I need Jaime Oliver to come to my school…

♥Becki, imperfect nutritionist

P.S. If you are in Phoenixville School District, our district’s contract with Chartwell’s is up for renewal this year.  I am sending emails to superintendent, Dr. Fegley, and to asst. superintendent, Dr. Palubinsky, voicing my frustration and disappointment in our school lunch.

<<stepping off my soap box>>


Mothering Monday: The Tooth Fairy

Recently, while play-wrestling on the couch, my 7-year-old’s tooth went flying out.  Despite searching through the cushions, under the couch, chair and coffee table and around the carpet, the tooth was not to be found.  Afraid that this disqualified him from a Tooth Fairy visit, he started to get upset.  We quickly comforted him, letting him know that he can leave a note under his pillow instead.  So he did.  And all was OK in his world.

This reminded me of the Tooth Fairy ordeal we had a year ago after he lost his first tooth and an article I wrote at that time for my MOPS newsletter…

“Dear Tooth Fairy, The tooth is in the mailbox.  Please don’t come in the house.  Thanks.”  A couple of weeks ago, that was posted on our front door.  My middle child lost his first tooth.  We were excited for him and brushed off his apprehensive comments throughout the day about the tooth fairy.  Then at about 8:30 the drama began.

As we were getting ready to put the tooth under the pillow, the questions began firing:  What if I’m awake when he comes (apparently our tooth fairy is a he)?  What if I have to go to the bathroom?  What if it wakes me up when he reaches under my pillow?  How big is he?  Do I have to put the tooth under my pillow…

Sensing his brother’s anxiety, my youngest joined in, “I don’t want that tooth fairy in my house!”  None of my answers appeased them.  And the questions quickly turned into full-blown tears about this strange tooth fairy.  My husband, Jeff, had run to the store and wasn’t home.  My oldest child was trying to console them with no luck.  I called my sister and their husband, who they idolize, in the hopes that encouragement from them would calm my boys down – it didn’t.

 Looking at them, I realized I needed to make a choice – find a way to make this OK for them, or tell them the truth and take away the tooth fairy for both of them with this very first tooth.  The easy way would be to just tell them the truth.  And probably a lot of psychologists, parenting experts, and friends would tell me that’s what I should have done.  But instead, I let my creative side flow…

“Well you see boys, tooth fairies are not allowed in your house unless you invite them in.  When you put your tooth under the pillow that is an invitation.  The tooth fairy is not bad and would never hurt you, but he also doesn’t want to scare you.  So let’s put your tooth in the mailbox and leave a note on the door for him.”  The crying slowed and through the remaining sniffles, he smiled at me and said, “OK.”

The boys peacefully went to bed.  I pondered the events.  Did I do the right thing?  I don’t know.  (But he did wake up awfully excited to check the mailbox.)  I have been a mom for almost 10 (since writing this 11) years now, and I know that I’m not an expert.  However, the longer I’ve been a mom the more I realize that most situations don’t have a blanket correct answer for all.  Rather you know your children and you through trial and error figure out what works best for them… and sometimes you have to be a little bit creative!

Becki , imperfect Mom


Mothering Monday: First Day of School

Today I took my baby to his first day of kindergarten.  Such a bittersweet day.  I’m excited for him, I’m excited for this new phase in our life.  But it also comes with a pang of sadness.  I feel like I’ve wished too many days away and now all of a sudden they’re gone.

If you’re a mom, you know the days I’m talking about.  The days that you keep looking at the clock and praying for nap time, and then bed time to come quickly.  The days when you don’t know how you are going to make it through another 5 minutes let alone another 5 hours.  The moments are overwhelming and sometimes unbearable, and you wish them away.  (I’ve often said that a day can feel like an eternity, but a year goes by like the blink of an eye.)

But there’s also the other moments that get wished away simply because you are waiting for the next thing to happen: to sleep through the night, to crawl, to walk, to talk, to go to pre-school, to go to kindergarten, to play sports, to get their license, to go to college…  As we focus on what’s coming next, we sometimes wish away the moments we’re in.

So now, I have 3 boys off to school and am determined to live in the moments and not wish away the days.

♥Becki, imperfect mother of 3 school-age boys!

*First day signs were printed from:  life… your way

*Cupcake toppers printed from: The Paper Cupcake 

Mothering Monday: Close to normal

My oldest son is so close to “normal” but also so far from it…  and last night I confessed to my husband that sometimes I wished he was either completely “normal” or lower functioning.

He has Asperger’s Syndrome, a high functioning form of Autism.  He can be social – he looks me in the eye, gives me hugs, tells me he loves me, he laughs, he cries, he is able to communicate the really deep thoughts that are going on in his brain, he’s able to be in a regular ed classroom (part of the day), he can get along with other kids (sometimes), he can run and play (although he’d rather be watching TV or playing video games).  For those things, I am very blessed and very thankful.  So why on earth would I wish sometimes that he was lower functioning?

Because he often annoys those around him with his non stop talking about things he’s passionate about that others either don’t care about or know about to the degree that he does.  Because his social awkwardness often comes across as selfish, non caring, rude, and thoughtless.  Because his meltdowns (though not as often as they used to be) are not expected from a 10-year-old.  Because he can obsess about things such as furniture placement or why on earth the school would replace the old playground that he liked better.  Because he’s sloppy and doesn’t respect other people’s property.

I know these don’t seem like reasons to want him to be lower functioning.  But here’s the thing, all of these things cause people, both adults and children alike, to not like him or not want to be around him.  And that breaks my heart.  But what breaks my heart more, is that he wants people to like him.  You see, in my mind, if he were lower functioning, it would be more obvious that he’s not “normal” and people (especially his peers) would be more forgiving of his actions.  As it is, he just comes across as weird or defiant or mean. And in all honesty, I think I’d feel less judged.  Whenever he behaves in a socially unacceptable way, I always feel like people are judging me as a mom and I sometimes feel embarrassed of him – and I hate that!   Also, many lower functioning Aspy (Asperger’s) kids don’t care or don’t realize what others feel about them… and somehow as a girl who used to be very aware of the parties she wasn’t invited to and the kids who didn’t want to be my friend or made fun of me, not realizing seems like a blessing.

I do embrace who he is… he is amazing!  He is loving and insightful and smart and affectionate.  He can be kind and thoughtful and caring and funny.  He is perfectly imperfect and he’s mine and I love him.  But being his mom is not always easy… there is always a balance of trying to figure out what is a discipline issue, what is a training issue, what he can learn, what he can’t, how to hold him accountable to things that make no sense to him and doing all this while trying to keep my emotions in check.

I share this today just to be real and honest.   Because sometimes putting words to feelings is therapeutic, and sometimes somebody else needs to know that there is someone who feels the same way they do.

And also perhaps so that some will be a little more forgiving of him and his actions…

♥Becki, imperfect mother of a special needs child


Mothering Monday: The Tattletale

“Mmmmooommmm!  My brother said I’m a tattletale!”  Whined imperfect son #3 as he came into my room.  My husband and I looked at each other while trying to hold back the laughter.  Apparently his brother was right.

When I “signed up” for the role of mother, I didn’t realize that a large part of the job description included being a referee.  Whether I’m refereeing whose turn it is to play with a toy, to go first at something, or who is right and who is wrong, it’s one of the things I like least about being a mom, but I know it is necessary – especially since I have 3 boys.  I try to teach them how to work things out on their own, but often the dispute warrants my intervention.

One of the things that I struggle with the most is how to handle when they tell on each other.  Right now I know their motivation for telling me is purely to get the sibling in trouble.  So I want to correct them for tattling.  But then, there’s a slight check in my spirit that wonders if I really want to do that.

Here’s my dilemma:  when they are older and the things that they might be doing wrong are more dangerous, I want them to tell me about it.  What if, despite all Jeff’s and my work as parents, and all of our prayers over them, one of them gets involved in drinking, drugs, stealing, skipping school, hurting others or something along those lines?  If their siblings know, I’d want them to tell me.  What if their friends started getting involved in these things?  I’d want them to tell me.  What if kids at school were hurting them, stealing from them, or teasing them?  I’d want them to tell me.  So do I really want to train them not to tell me when someone is doing something wrong or hurts them?

To me, the distinction of when it’s tattling and when it’s not is pretty straightforward – it’s based on motivation.  Like I said before, if the motivation is purely to get someone in trouble, than it’s tattling.  If you care about the person and your motivation is that something might get broken or someone might get hurt, than that is being responsible.   But since right now, my imperfect sons really only tell on each other to get the sibling in trouble, how do I train them to learn the difference.  I feel like I can explain it until I’m blue in the face, but they don’t understand.

So then should I just promote the tattling so that they’ll be used to it when a situation comes up that I, or the teacher, really needs to know about?  Any thoughts, suggestions, or advice is welcome… because I really don’t have the answers on this one!

♥Becki, imperfect referee



Mothering Monday: The imperfect mother

“God, I know I’m messing up a lot with my kids.  I pray that my mistakes, failures and shortcomings will not be ones that my boys will need to tell a therapist about in 20 years…”  I used to be the best mother ever, I had all the answers, I knew how to handle every situation, I was incredibly patient, loving, kind, and fun… until my oldest son was about 2 months old.

At that point a friend gave me a book to read and I learned that apparently I was not “correctly teaching my son how to sleep”.  From that moment on, I became extremely aware of all my short comings.  For the next 10 years, I have battled feeling like a failure comparing myself to authors of books and magazine articles, comparing myself to friends, comparing myself to strangers in the grocery store and often feeling as if I don’t measure up.

Anytime my imperfect boys misbehaved, clung to my side, went running around wild, said something inappropriate, didn’t say something when an adult talked to them, hit someone, didn’t share, took a toy from someone else, got a bad grade, got a cavity, was mean to another child, watched TV instead of playing outside, had McDonald’s or pizza again for dinner, was reading a Pokemon comic book or “Captain Underpants” instead of “Treasure Island” or some other classic, wiped his nose with his sleeve instead of a tissue, picked his nose, picked his butt, had a dirty face, had hair sticking up all funky, had clothes on that didn’t match, had dirty clothes on, didn’t pick up his toys, cried through the grocery store, cried during church, cried at a birthday party, cried at school, cried when I left him in a child watch, walked through a screen door, broke a ceiling tile, got a bloody nose all over someone’s couch, ripped up someone’s drawing, knocked over someone’s block tower… I felt like a failure of a mom and was positive those offended or around in those situations judged me as such.

Anytime I yelled, spanked or disciplined out of anger instead of calmly and rationally, anytime I let them watch TV while I escaped into a book, anytime I said something that tore them down instead of building them up, anytime I fed them chicken nuggets instead of organic, whole grain fed, free range chicken (that I should bake using a fabulously healthy and delicious Martha Stewart recipe) and french fries instead of some steamed vegetables, anytime that I let them go to bed without brushing and flossing their teeth, anytime I realized my boys hadn’t bathed in at least 4 days, anytime I let them play video games instead of joining them in some educational play… I felt like a failure of a mom and was positive those looking in judged me as such.

So, as you can probably guess, pretty much every day, I can beat myself up and feel like a failure of a mom.  But here’s the thing I use to battle these thoughts… I love my children like crazy, but God loves them even more than I do.  His word says they are the apple of His eye, He delights in them, He knit them together, He works together all things for good for them, they are His masterpiece, His workmanship, He desires that they should not perish but have life, He loves them with an everlasting love, He is their heavenly Daddy.

I’m not just going to let anyone watch my kids.  Rather I am going to make sure they care about my kids, are able and capable and reliable.  So if the God of the Universe loves and cares for my boys more than I do, I’m pretty sure He didn’t mess up by making me their mom, He knew I was the right mother for them… not a perfect mother, but the perfect mother for them to grow into the men he created them to be.

Just even typing that, a reassuring peace comes over me, it’s like feeling God wrap his arms around me and whisper in my ears, “It’s OK, I’m here.”  It’s like hearing God standing on the sidelines as I’m running a race clapping His hands and cheering like crazy, “Run, keep going, you can do it, Go Becki!”  It’s like seeing God pick up the baggage I’m struggling with and He says, “Don’t worry, I got it.”  Such sweet peace…

Now, I know that doesn’t let me off the hook.  I am still accountable as their mom before God.  I still need to be repentant of my failures that are due to sin.  I still need to strive to be the best mom that God created me to be.  But, oh the peace, of knowing that God covers my imperfection with His perfection…

Do you feel like a failure?  Like you don’t measure up?  Do you wonder if God messed up letting you be a mom?  Do you wonder why God hasn’t “allowed” you to be a mom yet if ever?  As I type this, I am praying for you, asking God to cover you in that same reassuring peace He has just covered me in.  I am praying that you know God loves you like crazy, that you are the apple of His eye, that He delights in you, that He knit you together, that He works together all things for good for you, that you are His masterpiece, His workmanship, that He desires that you should not perish but have life, that He loves you with an everlasting love, that He is your heavenly Daddy.

♥Becki, imperfect mother


Mothering Monday: Words that hurt

A friend posted the following as her facebook status: “What not to say to the pregnant lady with 2 hyper kids in line at the grocery store, ‘Do you really want a third?’ A little late for that don’t you think?”  It really got me thinking 2 things: 1. People may think they are funny, but they are just rude and 2. You never know the impact of your words.

Thankfully, my friend, who is a great mother with nice, well-behaved kids by the way, was able to go home, laugh about the comment and post it on Facebook to invite others to laugh as well.  But what if she was feeling like a failure as a mom, what if she was feeling overwhelmed and doubting how she was going to take care of another child, what if she was battling depression, what if that particular comment pushed her over the edge and led her to do something “unthinkable”?

Then I started thinking about the things that are said that our kids hear.  Did her kids hear the woman?  Did they understand what she was implying?  Would they think that perhaps their mom didn’t want to be pregnant or maybe didn’t even want them?  Which then led me to think about the things my kids hear me say.

Do I say things that give them the impression that I don’t like being a mom, let alone their mom?  Through our life, we can probably all remember something that was said (whether from a parent, a classmate, a boyfriend, a spouse…) that made us feel unwanted.  Maybe it was said in jest, maybe it was said in anger, but whatever the motive it hurt.  I can remember the sting, I can remember how it feels.

My new resolution is that my children will not hear this from my lips.  Because they are wanted.  They misbehave sometimes.  Sometimes I need a break.  (This week I’m counting down the days until Thursday when I go away with just the girls to a MOPS convention in Nashville.)  But they are wanted, I love them, they are mine and I wouldn’t change it.  And I don’t want them to think I feel otherwise.  I also want to be their defenders.  If someone says a comment like that to me… which occasionally their behavior in public would warrant such a comment… I want to have a comeback that shows my kids just how much I love them.  I’m thinking my reply would be, “Absolutely, I want another.  I love my children and they bring me great joy.”  (Of course I can correct them later for their behavior…)  

♥Becki, imperfect mother

Mothering Monday: Knowing and following through on limits

Right now I’m listening to my 2 youngest sons and my husband playing some game in the living room that involves fighting, rolling around and tackling each other.  I can tell they are having a great time, but I’m pretty sure I’ll hear crying soon because it always ends in tears.

One of the biggest challenges of being a mother of 3 boys is knowing how much rough housing to allow.  Some of my friends don’t allow any.  For me, I see how much fun they have and how much energy they spend so I do allow it.  But I wish I knew the perfect point to say, “Ok, time to stop.”  I seem to only recognize that point too late when someone gets hurt.

Other areas are easier to set limits on such as sweets, tv watching, video game playing.  You can come up with realistic guidelines and follow them.

Oh wait… here are the tears… imperfect son #3 just came crying into my room.  Funny thing though, he didn’t get hurt rough housing, he somehow got hurt trying to lie down on the couch.

Back to the sweets, the TV, the video games.  My problem isn’t knowing how much to allow, my problem is following through on the guidelines I set up.  After allowing way too much this summer, I’m going back to a chore chart / ticket system.   I have a chore chart on the fridge with “jobs” that all 3 boys need to do to earn stars.  Jobs include normal things like picking up toys (inside, outside, and in the porch), making their beds, setting the table, clearing the table, cleaning the bathroom, taking out the trash, bringing the cans in.  But I also put things on the chart like brushing teeth, reading 30 minutes, playing outside, Bible time, no yelling.  That way it holds them accountable for doing the things they are supposed to and me accountable to enforcing it.

They then earn stars and have to earn a certain amount to have any screen time the next week.  The more stars they earn, the more screen time they get.  Screen time includes TV, video games, DS’s, and computer time.  I found these great tickets on a site that they turn in for an hour of screen time.  This makes it easier for me to keep track of how much I’m allowing.  It also helps them make better choices for themselves.  They’ll ask to watch a show on TV, I’ll remind them that it costs a ticket and they decide it’s not worth it.  But my dilemma becomes does it count as screen time if they are watching someone else play a video game?  What if their Daddy is watching the Phillies and they sit down to watch it too, should that cost a ticket?  I guess it’s really not as easy as I originally was saying.  But doesn’t that pretty much sum up mothering?  Not as easy as we all thought it would be?

♥Becki, imperfect mother

P.S. I’d love to hear what you’ve found that works for you!