Homemade Puppy Potty Bell

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“Anything you can do I can do better.”

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Parent of a tween

The tween phase:

My daughter who is in the throws of it has just turned 12. The attitude and goofiness fills every moment of everyday. Extreme mood swings and emotional fallout are the bane of her existence. Some times she makes me laugh inside and other times I want to shake her back into reality.  I am glad that I have become resilient to things and that I’ve learned to take things less personally because sometimes she makes me want to cry. But in the end I know “this too shall pass” and I just hope that I can influence her and guide her through it with grace and wisdom that may have some lasting lessons.

My own tween years were extremely unstable and some of the most traumatic times of my life.  God was surely watching out for me and used the trials to strengthen me and later to teach me.

The Whining, Ohhh the whining is endless.  I’m doing what I can and as I learn to handle this time I am dealing with it with patients.….. What can you do, I’ve listened to broadcasts on focus on the family that are very informative about Tweens; and I’ve read and always looking out for good reads to guide her through this time of turbulence.   We are learning as we go, as I was too much of a wild child during my tween and teen years to have really learned much about the art of parenting an adolescent, and my husband only had a brother.  So we was never really exposed to any girls at this age.  I know as a mother now I am much more sensitive to her feelings and the state that she is in, because I recognize that most of what she goes through on a daily basis is fleeting and hormone driven.  I am also very sensitive to her inner confusion and feelings of instability.  I recognize now that when I was her age most of what I went through emotionally was traumatic and I know now that much of my feelings were not really rational.  However my adolescence was also much less stable then hers.  So I’m not sure how much of that also influenced my unstable irrational feelings.  We have been trying very hard to make hers much more stable.  Even to the point of returning to homeschooling after her first year at a private school.  I think now we know what we need to focus on and what are the actual factors so that next year when  she goes back to school we will be able to recognize what is hormone fueled and what is actual reality and needs to be dealt with.  I do not want to shelter her, but rather protect her from the most unnecessary influences and troubles that she may face at this stage.  She was never really very sheltered as a homeschool kid, and we did not do many of the traditional homeschool life, but it still seemed to be a wonderful way for me to learn as a mom, and her to learn how to focus on school and make it a priority.

Some of the wonderful books and resources that I have learned from so far:

Preparing for adolescence, by Dr. James Dobson

Bringing up girls, by Dr. James Dobson

Boundaries with teens, John Townson

Strong and Kind, Willie and Kori Robertson

Captivating, John and Stacie Eldridge

Thriving Family Magazine

Semi homemaker

I take this seriously, because I am a homemaker and I admit my lack of qualification for the stereotype.  I love having a clean home, but I have struggled with tidiness most of my life.  Thankfully my husband is a very tidy person, and helps a bunch with that side of the housekeeping.  We are a match for sure in this respect because I will do the dirty work of deep cleaning that no one generally notices, and he is the tidy-uper. I have a bit of vanity in my appearance to others. Although I have admitted that it is very true to say if I focus on looking fabulous, my house gets very little attention.  I admit this is a little selfish, but my husband knows that I care a great deal about cleanliness,  as well as my looks.  I am not so vain that I will not go out without my hair and makeup done, however I will not go out to dinner or on a date without being dolled up.  Especially now, as a mid thirties lady, I’d like to be a little bit of a milf. Plus if I make my husband feel proud to have me and confident in having me by his side when others look my way it does a lot for my self-esteem.  I do not want to have a lack of self-esteem, but it is something that I have struggled with and so doing these things do help me to feel a little better about myself.  Especially because he prefers the natural me anyway.

A story of marriage adventure

Staying home to focus on raising children, becoming the wife God meant for me to be in my marriage, and learning and growing in my spiritual journey.  This has been very difficult to accept at time in this season. I am constantly tested and tempted to leave this position and give up on the long-suffering job that I have been given at this time in my life.  I want to change my generational curses, and habits.  I want to change my children’s future and mine through work and healing and guidance from God.  My goals are ever growing and evolving as I learn how to do what God has taught me.

So as a girl who has had a tough childhood and a lot of self inflicted pain through young adulthood, I have had to refocus and learn how to find the path that God has lit for me.  I have been so distracted through earlier life by temptations and spirits of fear, self doubt, hate and lies from satan about who I am and who I am going to be.

A modern housewife and mother, I crave a simpler and more traditional time in history.  I’ve always been that way.  Admiring old traditions and high cultures.  However, as I am a very strong willed and independent women it has taken me time and intention to learn some of the past culture of a good mother and housewife.  I do not mean that I have given up my strength but rather refocused it in areas of success in my relationship with my husband and my children.  I have not lowered my own station but rather raised my husbands to be the knight that I wish him to be.  He is already a quiet man, and even a bit sacrificial so I have made it a goal in our marriage to lift him up and encourage his place in a leadership role, and king of our home.  I always say to those who listen, how can I require him to treat me like a queen if I do not treat him like a king. So I have made it a goal and intention to learn what that means.  To find a healthy relationship where he is my king, and he desires to treat me like his queen. Being sacrificial is an admirable character that he has, but I could have taken advantage of this and been a domineering wife, who is in charge.  But that is not what I want.  I want a man who is sacrificial and yet also strong, loving, and  keeps me grounded and feeling safe.  I have struggled to find that balance.

The way I grew up I learned nothing of respect for the opposite sex, and nothing of roles in a relationship.  It was all supposed to be equal in every way.  The problem I find with this is that I get saddle with a lot more than I want if it is so called equal.  I have to do things I do not want nor do well.  So as I grew and learned what true balance and equality in a relationship was, I learned that a good role for one women is not always the best for another.  We all have strengths and especially in relationships we tend to find those who balance our weaknesses.  This is why I believe opposites attract.  Our God ordained purposes in a relationship are not the same for everyone in everyday, but I do believe there is a sort of template. That is to say, I believe a man is meant to be a servant leader, and a women is supposed to be a helper lover, these are taken from a wonderful book we read called “Rocking the Roles: Building a win-win marriage”  Honestly out of many books we’ve read this explained a biblical marriage the best.  We are not supposed to be what the modern marriage is, and we are not meant to be the old fashioned black and white television husband and wife either.  Rather God designed it somewhere in the middle.

We’ve struggled in our beginning as do most, and we’ve had our share of mistakes as well.  But as the strong willed girl I am I do not give up easily and I do not let a fall keep me from getting back up.  If anything it motivates and challenges me to work harder to prove I can achieve what God wants me to be and wants us to have.

Learning to meet them…

One thing Ive learned from the few years as a parent is that though I want to force or push my children into a place of success, I have to learn to meet them where they are to teach them and lead them to where I hope they will end up.   I chose to stay home for a while when my daughter was ready for school, because I was going to homeschool her.

It started as a means to begin her education with a program that was bible based and would give us flexibility in our schedules because of our nomad lifestyle.  Because my husband is in the military,  we were scheduled to move shortly after she was to start her first year in school.  This was another part of our reason for homeschooling the first year.  As I began with the new curriculum having no experience or knowledge of how to do any of it, we sort of jumped in to learn how to swim.  Over the first year it was very unorganized and stressful. We had many trials and errors with methods and manners of how and when she would do her school.   I learned through practice how to go through our days and how to teach her.  I also figured out after much struggle that I needed to apply what I learned in college about learning styles to her schooling.  After many tears and failed attempts to help her, I realized that I was trying to teach her the way I would learn.  After testing a few methods to learn where she would learn best, I came to find that I had to teach her on her turf.  She was very specifically visual in her learning style and this meant I had to make sure when I was explaining concepts to her I had to draw or give a visual example of something she could see.  Then the lights came on.

I know from my own evaluations during college that I am more kinesthetic and I learned best when discussing concepts and hands-on. This did not work with her, and only caused both of us a lot of frustration.  Teaching to a child’s learning style is something I felt should be done more often after learning this through trial and error with my 0wn.  I only wish they would have done this with me as a child, I would have been so much more productive and successful in learning during school.  Now however I know I love research and doing things will help me to understand and learn.

My son is now approaching the school age and I’ve begun teaching him preschool basics and it has been much different.  My daughter was so easy to teach at 4 because I was showing here everything through visual means.  My son I gather is different in his learning style so I’ll need to test and figure out how he learns best.  So far just being a boy has a huge effect on how I think to teach him.  Not to mention his strong will and stubborn character has a lot to do with how he’s taught me to teach him.  Even as an infant he would show me that I was doing it wrong for him, when I fed him food.  He was so much more tentative with everything that we’ve done with him, and I see now I have to be a bit more patient with him when learning new things.  I’ve found that he gets into things if they are game oriented much faster and learns very quickly by doing things like myself.  Which may turn out to be an easier task for me as guide.  I’ve not decided yet if I will homeschool him for the first year, because I believe he’s going to need a little bit more time with me one on one to learn the self control skills that school will expect of him. I feel that is what he needs and that God is telling me its not quite time for me to turn my focus completely to ventures of another nature.

My daughter will be returning to school next year.  She homeschooled for 5 years and then went to a private school for 1.  We removed her for this year, to try and help her through the emotional roller coaster of adolescence and now my husband and I have both agreed that she needs to be in a class with more accountability now than she used to be which is why she will return to school next year.  She is excelling academically and I am so thankful God has allowed me to be a part of helping her to succeed and teaching her the value of hard work in her academics.

I do believe raising them up in the way they should go for me means more than just teaching them morals, and faith, but also in this season meant to teach them to learn primary education and teach me to be a mom that is involved in a way I have never learned a mom can be involved for a season of my own daughters life.  I love to listen to broadcasts about parenting from focus on the family and it has helped me especially when I was learning about learning styles and it has helped me also to realize where I was failed as a child and how I can change and rise out of the ashes of my past and become what I want to be rather than a product of my childhood.

Parenting a strong willed child

First of all I was a strong willed child!

(confession: I still am) So I know it when I see it.  I have a strong willed son, and believe me it is hard to understand what that means unless you have a strong willed child of your own.  Being an aunt since 7 with twenty three nieces and nephews, I saw my share of different temperaments and personality.  Passive, compliant, rambunctious, prone to anger, prone to sensitivity… and on…and on.  I read the New Dare to discipline when my daughter was 4.  It helped me so much in regards to a process of using punishment as a guide and teaching and the process of discipline with a child when they are wayward.  I believe being an involved and consistent parent take a ton of work, and when you don’t have any experience or examples it is even tougher.  Since my daughter was very young, I have searched tirelessly for information to teach me wise parenting.  I look at the results of others and take from the ones who are successfully producing mature, strong, honest, loving, and respectful children, not from the gurus, or popular society. I don’t listen to people who do not have children.  I glean from tons of great books and broadcasts on my focus on the family app and Family Talk on Satellite XM radio and those I find when looking for other mentors around me.I do this because of my lack of example in my own child hood and with my own mother, and because I am so determined I will not settle for good enough.  I’m glad that by guidance and prayer I have found wonderful resources because I never wanted to have children before I had my first, and probably because of my own experience as a strong willed child and a parent who was narcissistic, controlling, and abusive in many ways.  I figured what was the point? I’m too selfish and I wouldn’t do well anyway because I had a poor example.  God had other plans, so I was given a wonderful blessing in my two children and they have taught me so much in humility and even my own growth as an individual.   If you have one or are suspicious you may have one, because they seemed to have come into the world with their dukes up, then you must read or listen to The New strong willed child, by Dr. James Dobson.  It is a life saver to encourage and support parents of strong willed children.  I do admit I was probably very difficult because I remember being a fighter inside from a very young age.  So I think my battle of the wills with my son is definitely a pretty equal match.  Although he is a boy, and from my observations as an aunt and mother boys are definitely the more wild ones even if they are mild mannered.

Imperfection?

We are programmed to see the mom across the street or at the store, or even on social media and compare ourselves to them.  The worst part is that we are all trying like dogs paddling in a swimming pool to look our best to everyone else, so it is a worthless comparison.  (Don’t worry I’m guilty of it too)  The best example I ever saw of this was on a Youtube video by the “Whats up moms” – Elle|Dear Cool Looking Mom in the Park.  Though I do not go to the park much (shameful I know), I totally get it.  You see a mom with her adorable child, and you wish you could be more like her.  All put together so effortlessly with a calm and controlled schedule.  But the reality is, she’s just as normal as you, spill stained shirt, unwilling to go home for a change of clothes and just to keep the day rolling.  Remember we are all different yet so similar in our imperfections because we all have them.  We don’t want to advertise them, but we have to be ok with having them.  Humility, laugh about it to yourself, and know that most of the rest of us appreciate each others honest imperfection.

The beginning

My personal experience as a housewife has been a plethora of striving and failing and a sprinkle of some successes.  I know now that this is normal, and it is also the life of an entrepreneur.  So I’m hoping this job and season of my life will be great learning and preparation for the next season and pursuit  as I’ve learned that is often how each season of my life has been defined.

I love my husband and children, I do not regret doing what I’m doing, however there are times when other desires and goals I have compete for my mental attention.

I am a very driven and strong willed women, I always have been.  I was the eldest of my mothers children, but the 5th daughter of my father.  So though I spent most of my childhood as a first born, I always had an awareness since an age of understanding that I was not the oldest.  I do carry some of the typical traits of a first born though.

  • Pre-disposed to leadership
  • Somewhat perfectionist
  • People pleaser

And so on…however I also had many experiences that molded me and changed my natural tendencies towards confidence in myself.

This is where I live out my somewhat mature stage of life.  Now in my thirties and married with kids.

My opinion is that myself and my American peers and the culture on average does not mature until we hit thirty-ish.  I thought I knew it all as a kid, and still tend toward an attitude of a know-it-all.  However I have learned to control my thoughts and mouth a little more than I used to, and this is an ongoing process of learning.

The great thing is that I’ve always been someone of inner humility though I’ve not always exemplified it, so I am always willing to grow, change, and admit when I’m wrong and learn from my mistakes.  One of the best things I ever learned about being a housewife is that your own goals are your most important achievements.

Confessions of a Housewife and full-time Mom:

I hope I don’t screw these kids up too horribly.
I am by definition a housewife.
This word has changed in meaning over the years. Though it may have once been a very normal and common and even respectable thing for a women to become once married, in the last 50 or so years it has gone through waves of positive and negative connotations.  I personally find it to be coming back to a state of positive or at least acceptable reputation as a title.
I call myself:
Housewife
Stay-at-home Mom
Home-school Coach
Entrepreneur (loosely interpreted)
Homemaker
Zoo-keeper 😛
Among other titles.  But simply I am a housewife.  I’m not sure yet how I feel about it, though it has been six years since I began this job.  I never dreamed this is where I would be when I was younger, though it seems providence would have never let me do anything else during this season of my life.  I do not say that lightly, because I have fought it over the years and keep coming back to a question of why I am here. Why did God put me in this position?
I am a first generation Housewife.  I have no role models or examples to which I have gleaned know-how from.  I have had to search for answers, read books and ask those who I viewed may have done it well and become wise and experienced.
So here I am, a mother of two unique children and wife to a good man learning as I go.

My goals in life have not changed but definitely been added too as I’ve become a mother, and a housewife.  This is not where I saw myself, but I’m learning to appreciate the season and experience I am acquiring.