This is what a normal day in our household looks like. Jonas wakes up, if I’m organised enough I will have woken up before him to shower and get myself ready. I put him on the potty (and continue to do so regularly for the rest of the day), get him dressed, we go downstairs, I make him breakfast. I wash up all the dummies and beakers he used last night. I empty the dishwasher, and then load it, whilst talking to Jonas as he has breakfast. I get him down from the table, he plays whilst I have breakfast. I quickly load the washing machine and prepare his changing bag. A neighbour might knock on the door and come in for a quick chat. We quickly rush out the door trying to get to a toddler group on time, but often running 30 minutes late. We stay there until lunch and then walk home super quickly to get back in time for Jonas to have a quick lunch and then nap. He wakes about 2 or 3pm, leaving me a couple of hours to spend some 1-1 time with him, do cleaning, hang the washing, prepare dinner and do any other chores around the house for which there always seem to be many.
Are you having a hard time right now? Maybe things are difficult? Maybe you have gone through something really tough. Maybe you’re scared, or disappointed. You wonder why you have gone through some things. You question, will things get better? Let me tell you right now, YES! God is a restoring God, and he never leaves us in difficult things, His purpose is always to lead us through things and on the way, use any hardships to change us for the better, to mould us to be more like him, and to further His purposes in your life.
Does your toddler wake up too early in the morning? Would you like them to sleep in an extra hour, or maybe two? Well, read on… here’s how we got Jonas to sleep in until somewhere between 7:30 – 9am every day.
Back in December Jonas was waking very early, often at 5.45am. Let me tell you in the Bellingham household, any time with a 5 at the start of it is most definitely not classed as morning time! But what could we do, if our boy woke then, surely we had to get him up then, right?
I was recently struck by something as I was disciplining my son. I asked Jonas to do something, he didn’t want to and refused. I asked him again, he refused again, and then what followed was a five-minute tantrum, kicking and screaming on the floor. I have learnt with my boy there is little point trying to reason with him whilst he is in the middle of a full-blown tantrum, so I give him space to get it out his system and then we talk. On this occasion he got particularly upset. When he eventually picked himself off the floor and came to me, I took him in my arms, giving him a big cuddle, saying ‘shhhh’ and kissing him. I did this for a couple of minutes, rocking him in my arms until he stopped crying completely and then I started talking to him about what had just happened.
As I always tell him, whatever I asked him to do, he still has to do after his tantrum and that it is not a way of avoiding it. As I kissed him and gave him a big cuddle I was reminded of this verse:
He will quiet you with His love.
Do you ever feel like you wish other ladies would look and you and think ‘she’s a great mummy’? Do you wish that your baby cried less around other mums? Or maybe you wish that, in the unlikely event (she types smiling!) your toddler would throw a tantrum, please oh please can it be when we are at home, or somewhere quiet, but not in the middle of a busy shopping centre or supermarket. Because you desperately don’t want others to see these difficult things, and make some sort of judgement on you. Perhaps you wish your husband, for just one day, would do every little thing you do at home, juggling the child care, cooking, cleaning, planning, maybe employment as well, because surely only then can he fully appreciate all that you do and see just how much work it really is! See what an amazing mummy you are.
I wonder if you have given much thought to what you want your children to be like when they are older. Have you considered the values that are important to you that you would like them to take on, have you thought through what you want your family to look like in 10 years. It’s very easy to amble through life, taking each day as it comes and responding to our children’s needs one day at a time, but unless we consider what we want them to be like, or act like, or what’s important to our family, it’s very unlikely we’ll see these things happening automatically.
For all those mummies out there that are feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and stuck forever, I know only too well how you are feeling but you need to know one thing, it’s a phase, and IT WILL PASS!
My boy suffered from colic and silent reflux when he was little, he slept awfully, waking 5 times a night until he was 8 months old, and during this time he slept very little in the day. In fact the only way I could get him to sleep in the day was to push him in a buggy, and the minute I stopped moving, he woke! So those pieces of amazing advice that tell you to sleep when your baby sleeps were of little help to me.
Jesus. I’m intrigued how many people click on this post! Will the title draw you in, intrigue you, or put you off reading? I guess I’ll see the answer when I see the number of readers! But one thing I know to be true, how ever many posts about parenting I have done so far, and how ever many I will do, it doesn’t matter whether they are about breastfeeding, bottle feeding, weaning, potty training, discipline, love, more important than any of these, is this name, this topic, this relationship: Jesus.
Why? Because no matter what the problem is, no matter what we are going through as parents, be it not knowing what to do, not knowing how to feed, or how to discipline. Maybe your toddler’s having tantrums,or you are experiencing emotional problems, or financial problems, there is one person that changes everything.
For some reason there is this part of me that wants to appear totally in control around health visitors, like they are judging every aspect of my parenting in that two-minute appointment and so everything needs to go smoothly! Well, not on this occasion! Jonas was about six months old and I had taken him to get weighed. I had accidentally ordered pull up nappies on the online shop and this was his first time wearing them. I took Jonas into the room, putting him on the changing mat and he emptied his bowels so much that it looked like three weeks worth had come out in one go! Well this new mummy did the only thing she could think of with nappies without the sticky bits, pull them down! Well, as I pulled them down the entire contents (I won’t go into too much detail for all those squeamish ladies) went everywhere! I’m talking on his hands, legs, feet, my hands and all over the changing mat kind of everywhere! I then started the difficult task of cleaning up this explosion, feeling incredibly flustered whilst the health visitor and her assistant watched me, standing silently. She then gave me one piece of wisdom which stands me in good stead to this day “you can tear the pull up nappies on the side so they come off easily.” I felt so embarrassed and so not looking like the in control, got it all covered, nothing phases me kinda mummy I wanted to look like!
If the relationship with our children is right, all else will follow!
A friend of mine recently made this comment when we were discussing discipline and raising children. Wow, how true. The more I thought about it, the more it challenged me.
I’m a stay at home mum, I basically spend 24-7 with my son, going to groups, playing with him, talking to him, raising him, but am I always connecting with him? Of course I must be, right? Well, I think it’s perfectly possible to spend all our time with someone, and still not connect with them.