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Are you mom enough? 

My best friend Laura and I have a saying. When we do things that are “unconventional” for the sake of motherhood sanity, we say, “That’s mom enough!” Example: The time I used chocolate milk in my coffee because I had no milk or creamer. I’m useless without coffee so I was desperate. (Admit it, you’ve been there). 

Well today, I witnessed my best friend Katie having a ‘mom enough’ moment. First, let me explain Katie. If ‘born to be a patient and Godly mom’ was a definition in the dictionary, the word it would define would be Katie. With 5 kids, a budding homestead, and homeschooling 4 of her 5 kids, she surely has ‘mom enough’ moments everyday. Today, while I sat peacefully in one of her Adirondack chairs, surrounded by chickens and here comes Katie, around the corner, baby attached to her in a snuggly, and tantruming 4-year-old under her arm. Her phone rang and she managed to answer it and have a meaningful conversation with the person on the other line. All of this happened simultaneously. Now that’s mom enough. 

SO… what’s your mom enough moment? Share in the comments. And remember, any woman that loves her children unconditionally and sacrifices for her children is surely mom enough!

Parenting, Uncategorized

To Screen or Not to Screen…

I saw an article on Facebook today about iPads being a bigger threat than we realized. I’ll let you read the article for yourself.

http://www.somedaily.org/ipad-far-bigger-threat-children-anyone-realizes/

As a mom parenting in the modern world, the technology tug-o-war is a battle I fight daily. My kids are elementary age. They have tablets and use them when my husband and I deem it okay to do so. They also love youtube videos and think being a youtuber is a viable career choice (yes… I cringe at this too). They also have an XBox 360. All this technology is very limited use for them. Often, I wonder why I even bought all this stuff for them when it just becomes an big battle over whining and begging to use them and me (exacerbated) giving in or standing strong. Any parent who has fought this battle knows, standing strong depends on how tired you are and how much you need to get done. So yes, most of us have used these items as babysitters in one way or another. The big question is why? If we are so against them using it all the time and doctors are telling us they are harmful, why do we do this? And what’s the answer?

Well, the why, in my opinion, is this… a form of mom/child peer-pressure. We’ve all heard it from our kids: “My friends play it”, “My friends watch it”, My friend has one”. And we hear it from our friends: “I bought one for my kids”, “I let my kids do it”. There’s also the added pressure of the fact that they use increasing amounts of technology at school. So, then, we have to make a decision. If you’re like me, you gave in because of the old saying: everyone else is doing it! Growing up in the 80’s, I’d beg my parents to watch rated R movies or have a phone in my room. They never budged. So why do I? Why do we? Well, it’s everywhere!

Sue Palmer, who wrote the above linked article, also wrote Toxic Childhood. She’s an educational consultant and broadcaster. The word TOXIC in the title of her book is what really makes me think about ‘why’ we let our kids on these electronics. Most intelligent parents would not let their children play with something deemed “toxic”. I think that the fact that it’s everywhere and marketed to everyone as a good thing is why we fall into the technology trap. Also, it’s an easy diversion for a generation of parents that have increasing demands and chaotic lives. I’ll use myself as an example. I work full-time, my husband works full-time and then-some. Honestly, there are times our children go a few days without seeing daddy because he works so late. (That’s a problem for another post.) There’s also meals make, errands to run, bills to pay, extracurricular activities, laundry, homework… I’m tired just looking at this list. That’s why it’s so easy to fall into this trap. It’s a break from my attention being torn in 12 different places at once.

So, what’s the answer? Well, I’m no expert. I’m just a mom doing her best everyday and hoping I’m making the right choices for my kids. I try to strike a balance between exposing them to harmful technology and the good old ‘everyone else is doing it’. Unfortunately, they will learn how to navigate tablets and computers in school. They will play these games at other people’s houses and even at school. I guess my answer is prepare your child for these experiences. For example, I DO NOT ALLOW violent video games that involve person to person execution, robbing, and blatant sexual content. Although that should be a given to not allow young children to play such games, it’s not. Either parents do not monitor what their children are playing/watching or they think it’s fine. I have tried to prepared my children for this. My older son recently went to a friends house for a ‘video game’ birthday party (yup…cringe again). I did allow him to go. They played violent video games. I did not check into this when I dropped him off (I know, I know!). When I picked my son up, he met me at the door and tried to quickly shuffle me to the car. At first, I scolded him for being rude and began to wonder if he behaved himself. I was confused because he always behaves best at other people’s houses. He begrudgingly turned at let me go into the house. I checked in with the mom and she said he had been great. It was when I looked at the TV, I knew why he rushed me out. A violent video game I do not allow was on the TV. I could see the anxiety growing in my son, wondering what I was going to do. I very coyly ignored it, made small talk for a few minutes, and we left. When I got in the car, I said, “Hey buddy, why’d you rush me out so fast when I got here. Was there something you didn’t want me to see?” He hung his head and said, “I thought if you saw the game, you wouldn’t let me be friends with him anymore.” Well, I explained that he could be friends with him still. I explained again why we didn’t allow those games and the reality of those actions in real life (in kid terms of course). I also reminded him of what happens when you lie to mommy and I find out. And I always find out because he’s a terrible liar. So, while other people have other rules, he knows what we are okay with and what we allow. I wish he’d have said he wasn’t allowed to play those games. He’s a kid. He still has a way to go. I wish the other mom had asked me if those games were okay. But you can’t blame her, when I should have inquired also. Lesson learned!

So, I know I haven’t really offered a solution. As a parent, remember, YOU’RE THE PARENT! If God intended for us to just be “buddies” with our kids, it would be so. It isn’t that way for a reason. We are to teach our kids right from wrong, integrity, the value of a hard days work, and to respect authority. We have to be there through the good and bad with unconditional love but not by dropping our standards to meet them. We need to hold them accountable for their actions, so they realize cause and effect. We need to give our future generations a bar to reach for.

For all you hard working, loving parents out there doing the best you can, parent on!

~ Windy

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Why a blog?

I have always been a writer. The power of words fascinates me. Since the first time I saw Anne of Green Gables I knew writing was my calling. I am starting this blog as a creative outlet. I hope to share my passions with the you, the reader.

Some of the topics I will be talking about are: homesteading, faith, parenting, marriage, education, crafting, cooking, and health. I am not an expert on any of these topics, rather I have learned from experience. I want to share my experiences in hopes that someone out there can feel comforted, humored, or at least smile from reading my posts.

Thanks for checking out my blog.

Windy