One of our dearest. lifelong friends…
(You have some of those, don’t you?
If not, you need to start cultivating some!
They come in handy later on!)
…has a saying when it comes to raising their second crop of kiddos…
This ain’t our first rodeo.
It makes me laugh every time I hear it, and now I’m finding
that Hubby and I spit it out every once in a while, especially when we’re feeling pretty confident and experienced about being a mom and dad!
But sometimes it still sort of feels like the first time we climbed on the back of that bucking bronco called parenting. Because they’re all different kids who have their own unique personalities. Because they don’t come with an instruction manual. Because the first two were girls and now there are a LOT of Matchbox cars around here. Because I’m not twenty-something this time around. Because how in the world do you fold up this stroller ?!?!? Because foster care and adoption can change your family dynamics for a day… a weekend… a few months… or forever!
Really loving that forever part!
Getting back in the saddle, though, has forced me to put into use all those one-liners I randomly toss at my girls about being a mom so I can practice what I preach. It has put me back on my knees daily… especially when I get bucked off and land on my backside. (This might be taken literally as well as figuratively. You are welcome to donate Tylenol and Icy Hot.) It has made me realize just how wise our parents and grandparents were, and made me ashamed for the many times I brushed off their wisdom as “old fashioned.” It has forced Hubby and I to go searching through our own dusty-attic-brains for the timeless truths and ancient wisdom we finally learned about parenting, and then packed up neatly into storage bins.
I have always admired the moms with 3 or 4… or 6… or a dozen kids, who slowly build their arsenal of child-raising techniques. They are truly experts at their craft, able to come up with an activity out of their heads that will entertain both toddlers and teens for an entire afternoon, while simultaneously handling housework, cooking dinner, and running a home business. I want to be that mom. However, when you raise two closely spaced kiddos and then jump off the saddle for a decade or two, you can expect a few bruises when you climb back on. (You mean you’d like dinner AND clean socks?) So, I thought maybe it would help someone else if we made a list of parenting wisdom as it comes back to us!
In no certain order…
- Take naps. (One of those “old fashioned ideas” I brushed off as a young mom. Seriously. Do this.)
- A package of Dollar Store pom-poms and a muffin tin go a long way.
- Strong, sturdy, sippy cups with non-removable lids. (No explanation needed.)
- Consistency, consistency, consistency. Be consistent about this.
- Pray. A lot. Get friends to pray for you too.
- Be Present.
- Pick your battles wisely.
- Make friends with “Boy Moms.” They are Very Very Wise.
- Limit the toy stash… Rotate if needed.
- It’s okay to be “old school.”
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him,
and He shall bring it to pass.