I have come to the conclusion that if I lack sleep I am a better mom. I know that you are thinking that I’m nutzo or off my rocker or too sleep deprived to have sound judgement.
This realization came to me last week. I didn’t sleep well one night, then the very next night I had to get up at 5 am to take my mom for a procedure. One of those once-you-turn-50-scope-where-the-sun-doesn’t-shine-procedures. So two nights in a row, I had less than 6 hours of sleep. I returned home that same day to take the kiddos from my hubby who had to get to work. I was exhausted. I tried the “stick a movie in and see if that would keep them entertained so I could nap” thing.
That lasted 10 minutes then my kids decided to play Thunder.
The game involves jumping from the couch and landing on the ground to make a loud noise, hence, thunder. So my attempt at a nap was a fail. I was completely spent. Normally, I could try and make it to their nap-time, and then, well, nap. But not this day. Nope, I had a meeting for Vacation Bible school, so a nap was out.
All during this time of extreme fatigue I noticed something strange. I was super duper calm. I was mellow. I was too tired to really care about anything probably, but my mood was better than when I had 7 hours of sleep. When kids were freakin’ out, I was hippie-like and would say “Dudes, chill, no worries.” Okay, I didn’t say that, but I had absolutely no temper and never raised my tone. I was calm and loving towards my kids no matter how they acted.
The secret to my awesome parenting day wasn’t the lack of sleep, however. It was….drum roll….lots and lots and lots of PRAYER. I prayed that day more than I have in a long time. I said stuff like “God, I literally can’t keep my eyes open, I need you to help me”, or just a simple “God I need you.”
The truth I learned that day was that my best parenting days aren’t after a well-rested 8 hours of sleep, well-balanced breakfast, and a jog by the ocean (I don’t even live near an ocean). I’m at the top, when I’m at my lowest. I’m a better mom when I give my parenting to God to live through me. So lack of sleep does equal better mom, but only if prayer is added.
Prayer + my realized weakness + dependency on Jesus = Best mom
2 Corinthians 12:10 “…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” And verse 9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Connected Families Blog is one of my most favorite-st websites! They give Christian, Bible-based parenting advice. It’s not a get-your-kids-to-mind-without-losing-yours sort of help. Because while your child might mind you, their heart might be far from you. Our church hosted one of the Connected Families speakers for a workshop and it was one of the best things I’ve heard in a long time. But be forewarned, the main person that needs work is not your child– it is you. I learned how a lot of my anger at my kids while in public was because I didn’t want to appear like a mess. I wanted the perfect, well-behaved, little angels. Well, they don’t exist because our children are not raised by perfect, well-behaved, angel parents. They are raised by imperfect, sinners. But there is hope. And I love that this blog gives me hope. Not that I’m going to do everything right and then my child will do everything right, but that I’m going to mess up, and I need to be willing to change and apologize for it.
Here are my favorite Connected Families blog articles:
3) Consequences That Actually Work:
The image above
is off their website and it is what the parenting workshop went through. Building a Foundation first with your kids, then connecting with them, etc.
Great blog post. My son’s complaint about church is that “daddy talks too long”. His daddy is the pastor. :)
Originally posted on TruthNotes:
My parents forced me to eat three times a day growing up. No joke. Three times. Every. Single. Day. And it wasn’t always stuff I liked, either. Matter of fact, I complained a lot about what my mom made. “Ewww, gross! Sauteed zucchini? Seriously? Mom, you know we hate this stuff!” So as I approached adulthood I made an important decision. Since my parents forced me to eat while I was growing up, I decided I was done with meals. Oh, here and there I’ll eat out of obligation. I mean, family traditions like Thanksgiving and Christmas, yeah, I’m there. But daily eating? No way. I’m done.
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Nurse Mom Tips:
I’m a mom first, but I’ve been a nurse for 10 years.
I work at a doctor’s office one day a week so I wanted to share some helpful tips.
1. Write expiration dates on the box or bottle in big permanent marker.
2. Keep the following medications on hand at all times if you have kids:
1. Acetaminophen (Tylenol): infant or children’s depending on ages.
2. Ibuprofen (Motrin): infant or children’s depending on ages.
3. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)
*In case of allergic reactions
4. Pedialyte (or any other generic rehydration)
*Check expiration dates at the store, sometimes the Pedialyte freezer pops or the mix packets will last longer than the bottles.
5. Vicks VapoRub
6. Vaseline: to use in place of triple antibiotic ointment.
*Many kids and adults have allergic reactions with triple antibiotic so use Vaseline instead.
7. Artificial tears
1. Saline Nasal Spray/Drops: For stuffy noses and colds
2. Gas drops: Some babies need this more than others. When breastfeeding some foods you eat can make baby get a gas tummy ache.
3. Keep the kids medications in a container to be accessed easily by you, not them.
-I’m sure you can label yours with a prettier label.
- Rectal thermometers: are most accurate for infants
-Temporal Thermometers: are what we use at our doctor’s office and at our house.
-Keep extra batteries on hand for thermometers also.
5. Have the phone number for Poison Control entered into your cellphone or written next to the land-line phone.
* 1-800-222-1222 *
(I’ve had to call them many times: 9 month old ate a bite of dirt with miracle grow in it, 2 year old ate Vaseline, 2 1/2 year old ate 5 halls cough drops, and mommy inhaled quikrete concrete mix. I truly appreciate the Poison Control nurses!)
6. Try to keep an updated record of how much your child weighs. This is needed for most medications.
7. Keep an updated records of vaccinations and illnesses.
8. Vaccinate your child, and yourself
- A shot is a small amount of pain, getting illnesses such as measles, pertussis, etc. causes a great amount of pain.
- Babies can die from pertussis so make sure you are updated on your Tdap vaccine.
9. Make sure and do Wellchild check-ups with your Doctor.
- I’m not sure what other clinics do, but ours has babies check up at: 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24 months, then yearly after 2 years.
-This helps to make sure babies are developing normally, you can discuss concerns with your physician, helps keep vaccines updated, etc.
10. Bring the medications listed above if you travel anywhere.
-If you want to make a run to Walmart at midnight for Tylenol be my guest :)
11. Better safe than sorry
- You are the mom, you know your child, if you think something is wrong, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. Always check with your doctor before giving your child any medications, even OTC (over the counter) ones.
Here is a Medication Packing/Shopping List to print off:
What to do on a cold, blizzard-y day?
Make construction sites of course.
Rice Construction Site:
I used a cake pan and a cookie sheet with raised sides to contain the building materials a.k.a rice. I colored the rice blue and another bag green, then mixed them.
Tip: Play with rice on a non-carpeted floor since sweeping is easier than vacuuming in my opinion. I vacuumed for quite a few minutes one evening, but still kept hearing the clinking and rattle of rice hitting the plastic of the vacuum container.
Cloud Dough Construction Site: from PBS
I didn’t have baby oil this time, but I did have Neutrogena Body Oil so I used that instead. I’m sure any body type oil would work. I’ve made this with baby oil before and it smells very nice.
Notice the plastic table cloth on the floor to catch the construction debris. I also used a lid from a big Rubbermaid container as the fence.
Sometimes it is easy to read Bible verses over and over and miss something important. Common verses become common. This can be true when teaching kids about Creation. There are many cute coloring pages, story books, and activity pages about God creating the heavens and earth. But don’t leave out the most important part.
I was reading about Creation in Genesis 1 for the millionth time (exaggerated estimate) of how God said, “Let there be light…Let the earth sprout vegetation…Let the waters swarm with living creatures…”
He spoke a word, and it was. His very words brought about the universe.
But what about us? Mankind.
God said, “Let there be man…”
God said, “Let there be woman…”
Genesis 2:7 “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”
Genesis 2:21-22 “So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib he made into a woman…”
God didn’t sit at a distance and say “Let there be man…”
The God of heaven personally formed the man from the earth. And woman, he personally formed from man.
In a hands-on, intimate way, he gave us life.
After sin, and the fall, we separated ourselves from the God who breathed life into us.
But the God of heaven stepped down again to earth.
Jesus, in a hands-on (nailed to a cross), intimate (dying in our place) way–gave us life.
Driving in the dark with kiddos that don’t need to sleep yet can be hard, especially if they need to eat supper.Eating in the dark is extremely difficult.
We’ve tried flashlights, but they think it’s funny to shine light at the driver, or they just forget and don’t realize they are shining it up front. Which is too dangerous.
So during our latest road trip I had an epiphany. (Various epiphany pictures)
They are bright enough for the kids to see their stuff, but it doesn’t distract the driver. As for distracting the passing cars, I’m sure they are trying to figure out what kind of party is going on in the backseat.
Oriental trading sells all sorts of them also.
I keep the bag of them in the car so they are right where I need them since they last for one use only.
Oreo Moon Phases using Oreo’s is my most favoritest (not a real word) Science Activities. There are so many awesome blogs that have used the glorious cookie and they would be useful for older kiddos. Since mine are 5 years and under I had to simplify the phases by only teaching 4 of them. Full moon (not the backside form), Last Quarter, First Quarter, and New Moon.
Additional Moon Info:
Moon monster gobbling up the moon.
Junior moon monster eating the cream part of the moon.
Another way to learn about moon phases is using a flashlight and balls. Here is a NASA link for another way to show moon phases as well.
Non-edible Moon Phases Activity
The earth: Big blue ball
The moon: Small white ball
The Sun: flashlight.
Space: Dark room
I started by asking questions to my son like:
1) Why is the moon so bright? (The light from the sun)
2) Why does the moon change? (Orbiting around the earth, earth orbiting the sun)
If you hold the moon (white ball) around the other side of the earth (blue ball) you can get a shadow to cast on the white ball. How the picture is below technically shows a Solar ellipse because the moon is lined up with the earth and sun and the moon is blocking the light. To show moon phases move the moon (white ball) behind the earth to cast a shadow on the moon.
One of the favorites at our house is the book:
The Adventures of the McClimb Brothers.
The author is yours truly and it is a handmade, glued, made-up story using my son’s pictures.
One thing I know for sure is that kids love hearing about themselves and looking at pictures of themselves. They are kind of mini-narcissists.
The idea came to me when I was playing with the kids at a park and they were climbing up a slide. I started calling them the McClimb brothers and making up a story about enormous mountains, deep rivers, and different adventures. They loved it. When I got home I started looking through their pictures and seeing what stories I could write using the photos I had. So the McClimb brothers book was born.
I have a picture of us in a paddle boat, but then I added a pic of real rafting as well just for fun. There are lots of pics on clipart that you can add too. I used Microsoft Word and added (copy/paste) photos and typed the story. I printed it on cardstock paper to be stronger and then hole-punched the pages and looped yarn to bind them. You could also use a small binder, stapler, or other creative ideas. I glued some pics from a magazine to the front because my sons love trains.
What is the going to be the title of your story?
Tape 4 squares on the floor and add the uppercase and lowercase b’s and d’s. We used colorful duct tape.
Parent: Yells out “Lowercase d, Uppercase B, etc.”
Child jumps on the letter the parent calls out.
Good times. :)