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Motherhood: A wild and incredibly blessed ride!

Wild and blessed, two words that can describe exactly where I am right now.

I am always shocked when I hear the words: ” I do not know how you do it” or “how do you get anything done in a day?” Honestly, I never feel like I hit the mark, I rarely feel like I have gotten anything done in a day and sometimes the only gage I have that I’ve accomplished something is by my husband’s reaction when he come in the door.

Seriously, as a stay at home mom to an 8, 4 and 1 year old my time feels like it is spent assessing risk factors from wild toddler antics, throwing snacks out like candy at a parade and refereeing disputes over claims of “bad words being said, walking passed someone too fast or slow, and simply not agreeing on the next show to watch on Netflix.” And yes, my children watch Netflix, I mean yeah, I could totally parent without screen time – I could also churn my own butter but let’s not get too crazy now.

Friends have told me how I seem to have it all together and that my kids are so lucky. I am here to tell you, looks are deceiving. There are days when I get up before my children, make the coffee and have laundry and dishes running before 9:00 am. Those days are rare. To be honest that happened once last week. The rest of the week looked more like me walking out of the bathroom to my two oldest using a half a stick of butter in each hand from the fridge to butter their toast because there was not any softened butter available. No kidding, this was last Wednesday and I chose to look at the fact that not only did they make their own snack, but they did as a team! Yay, MOM WIN!!! Another day I turn around from loading the dishwasher to my one year old eating a burnt waffle he took from the garbage. Perfection?! NO WAY, but like I said I am wildly blessed by this.

In my days as a stay at home mom I have learned to let go and let live. My children are growing so fast, right before my eyes and if I do not stop all of my busyness I will miss on theirs. My house is not always tidy, some days my sink of full of dishes and there have even been times that we have run out of clean laundry; but my kids are loved, happy, fed and safe. Those four elements are a language of love for this mama’s heart, and perspective is everything. My home may be messy but we have a place to live, my sink may have dishes but we have food to eat and laundry may be dirty but we have clothes to wear. My kids may be loud but they have a voice, they may be busy but their have a love of life to live. Pretty soon, in a blink, my kids will be on their own; the house will be perfectly clean and too quiet, and I will miss these wild and blessed days.

I know that I am in no way a perfect mom, but I know I have been made perfectly by God to grow these tiny humans He has given me. I hope that when I fall short I can give them an opportunity to see humility and compassion; when I make mistakes I can help them learn to forgive; and when I hold them, they feel what true love is. I am mothering the best way I know how, I know that the best of me as imperfect as I am is exactly what they need. By this mere fact, I am able to forgive myself the moments when they eat from the trash or use way too much butter, and find joy no matter what. This is us, this is our little life and our little home is massive in love, for truly we are wildly blessed.

Mamas, no matter what season you are in, please know you are perfect just as you are. I love the saying “to the world you are just a mom, but to your children you are the world.” Our little ones have this amazing God-given power to love us mamas unconditionally, let us too start loving ourselves unconditionally too. Doing our best everyday is the best we can for them, and even when we totally fail, guess what?! They will be right there, still loving us.

You are seen, you are loved and you are everything to those little eyes that look to you every morning. You are just what your family needs. Be wild and blessed, the days are long but the years are short.

x. earnest mom.

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But I Don’t Like It! Earnest Mom Chats about Picky Eating.

But I Don’t Like It! Earnest Mom Chats about Picky Eating.

If you don’t have one…you’re bound to one day encounter the ‘picky eater’ and when you do, your parental patience will be put to the test. As a recovered picky eater, I earnestly look for new ways to prevent or tackle this issue. I was recently a part of a Twitter Party discussion, hosted by Happy Family Brands and featuring the expertise of Dietician and food lover, Amy Marlow. Here are some tips that were featured during this chat, which have helped in the earnest household and I hope can help in yours.  Just remember that according to Ms. Marlow, picky eating is 50% biology and 50% experience.

1. Infancy is prime time for introducing a food, just be sure to never pressure baby to eat and look for signs of solid food readiness (such as showing interest in table food or mommy’s food, baby is willing to chew and baby no longer pushes food out of their mouth). Remember this is the best time to offer a variety of colors, flavors and textures!

2.  Don’t give up.  Most of us give up offering a refused food after three or four times and we decide that they do not like the food.  Food refusal can depend on many factors, temperature, mood of child and even the time of day.  Be sure to offer foods ten to fifteen times before deciding your child does not like it.  Just keep trying!

3.  Have children (toddler and older) assist in grocery shopping such as choosing fruits and vegetables, that way when they are home they will be more prone to eating the foods they have chosen.  If this method is successful maybe do a challenge of one new fruit or vegetable that the family tries together each week.  That way your child will be exposed to more flavors and textures (healthy ones if they are fruits or veggies), and mom and dad will be trying them too so it’s a communal effort from the whole family.

4.  If your child is showing tendencies toward being a picky eater, do not offer high sugar, high calorie and low nutrient options.  If you are going to offer alternatives stick to healthy ones.  It will be better and healthier for both parents and child in the long run.

5.  Have a rule at the dinner table, often times “I don’t like it” is heard before a child even tries their meal.  Make a rule that everyone must try one bite of everything on their plate before they decide they do not like it.  As hard as it may be, be patient during this process and support your child if they are at least trying the foods you are offering.

6.  Never do any of these:

  • Use foods as a reward, using sweets or other unhealthy treats as a reward for finishing dinner or eating something they do not care for can actually undermine the healthy examples that you are working so hard to have for your child.
  • Label your child a picky eater.  One hundred percent of the time, children who are told they are picky, will be picky.
  • Never hide vegetables in your food.  I mean, go ahead and disguise them or make them taste better, but never intentionally “trick” your child into eating something.  Even though they do not know that a food may be present in their food, be honest with your child, tell them what they are eating.  This approach allows children to recognize and appreciate the many forms and flavors that foods can bring to a variety of dishes.  On a whole, earnest mom would insist that we do not lie to our children.

Like I said, as a recovered picky child and I would earnestly urge parents to not give up! There are still some foods that I am just not a fan of (corn or peas on their own, oh and Jello) but I once read that our taste buds actually change all of the time.  So I am always willing to try, and we do the same with earnest boy (he has inherited my texture dislikes like Jello) and we get him to try foods he does not like about every month or so.  Slowly but surely his palette is growing quite rapidly.  So all you earnest moms and dads out there, be patient, set the example and help your children enjoy food!  Below I have also attached a great nutrition guide link from Happy Family Brands to help!

x.

earnest mom

Happy Family Nutrition Guides