Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Parenting Quotes

One my fav things about Facebook is that I can steal all these great quotes.  Now sometimes I don't know who the authors are and I have to go Google (or Swagbucks) them. ;)  Here are some parenting ones I've enjoyed lately.

"Babies needs haven't changed much over the past thousands of years, but cultural practices of meeting those needs change every generation." ~ Judy Arnall

“Parenting is 10% what our child does -- and 90% how we react to it.” - Dr. Laura Markham

“Parenting is difficult. What separates great parents from poor ones is their ability to fully accept this truth, even embrace it. That way they can stop themselves whenever they’re tempted to get whiny. Every behavior challenge with our kids is a direct invitation for our own growth; they are, in their own immature way, asking us to provide them with leadership.” ~ Hal Runkel

“It is the nature of the child to be dependent, and it is the nature of dependence to be outgrown. Begrudging dependency because it is not independence is like begrudging winter because it is not yet spring. Dependency blossoms into independence in its own time.” ~ Peggy O'Mara

"I really am your gift. I am not just a little person who needs to be "raised" and taught, and taken to activities....I came to the people in my life to bring a message: slow down. Feel. Be. Over and over again. When you do, you will notice immediately, that I am not an obstacle to your work, or… inconvenient to your daily life. Instead, you will come to appreciate my honesty, humor, presence and love."-Bruce Scott

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Frugal Life

No doubt about it, times are hard. It is harder for some than it is for others.
It seems like most young families I know are really feeling the pinch.
We are no exception.  While we have tried to live frugally and budget our resources carefully, the facts are that our income has decreased while our living expenses have gone up dramatically.  Some of this is the result of our choices, namely to start a family.  Most of it has been a direct result of our national economy.

Needless to say, I have been thinking about finances a lot lately. Susie Orman had a presentation on PBS the other week that I really got sucked into. I want to read her new book now.

I recently pulled out The Complete Tightwad Gazette from my shelf again. I have had it forever. My mom actually had a copy of the original book when I was growing up. While some of the ideas are dated and a little quirky, the message is good.  I am seeing it with new perspective now.  Having a mindset of frugality is the way to go. Instead of focusing on all you don't have, you are focusing on what to do with the resources you do have.  I can't possibly touch on all that is in there, so I will just recommend that you skim through a copy.

I have a few frugal living blogs and sites that often provide inspiration too.
Simple Mom
Living Rich With Coupons
Keeper of The Home

I don't have much hope that the economy will improve dramatically while I still have little ones at home.  So we will have to do the best we can focus on what is really important.  Anyone have any other resources to share?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day

Oh Mother's Day. 

My existence has been eternally altered.

First by this guy:

Then by this guy:
My heart has grown a million times bigger to hold all the love that resides there.  I never knew my tolerance for dealing with human excrement could be so high.  Or that I could survive, and (almost) function on so little sleep.  I didn't realize how hard it would be to be on-on-on 24/7... sharing my body, my food, my time, my stuff, pretty much everything.  Being a mom has been the hardest, most selfless thing I've had to face.  Not gonna lie, I have had some really terrible days (and nights) thus far. I have been disappointed, doubted myself and wondered what I got myself into.
Then you get to see a glimpse of all your hard work paying off. A child spontaneously says please and thank you.  Or a little one comes up to comfort me when I stub my toe.  Or I catch a drive-by hug or "I love you, Mommy."  Or I witness my boys showing each other some small gesture of kindness.
And I think, "Wow, I am really doing this, raising a decent human being.  They see all the love and grace I try to show.  They are going to contribute something positive to this world." 

I really liked this post on Mother's Day my friend linked up on FB, Mother's Day - Reality vs Idealism.  Especially these lines:
Mother’s Day isn’t about me.  It’s about the calling God has placed on my life when He blessed me with children.  It’s about my love for Him.  It’s about my service for Him.  It’s about my mission.
I completely agree. 
It's about service.  It's about giving when even only God sees.
It is about relationships.  It is about loving people who aren't 100% "lovable" all the time.
It is about humility.  It's realizing that I am far from perfect or easy to live with myself. 
It is about contentment.  After all, I chose this life.  I have to embrace it.  When I do, it gets easier to enjoy.  Then I can start to see the big picture.

And mostly, I think it is about unconditional love...  God is giving me just a little bit of insight into what that really means.