Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Embarrassed in Public

Happy Hump Day Mama’s! Let’s get right down to the nitty gritty. No one likes to be embarrassed, especially in public. As a Mama of 4 I can tell you that I have had my fair share of public embarrassment. I felt like I wanted to crawl into a cave and leave my child on the outside. I was not only embarrassed, but I was fuming. In my head I was thinking, “These people must think I’m a bad parent because of how my child is behaving, so let me show them I’m not”. As a child I was always told wherever you do it (act crazy), is where you get it. No if’s and’s or but’s about it. I really didn’t act out too often so I had nothing to worry about. When I had kids of my own I adopted that same philosophy because that’s what I was taught and it worked because it was very rare that I was chastised in public by my mother. As a mother of 4 I do my very best to keep it all together. Sometimes I’m successful and other times I’m not. If you read my blog post last week I told you that I have been attending this parenting class at my church and it has really opened my eyes to new ways of parenting and using different strategies to make parenting fun and less stressful. While in class there was a point that spoke on not embarrassing your kids in public. In my head all I could think of was what I’d been taught (where you do it, is where you get it). However I was told something that was strange to me, but I listened anyway. Our facilitators told us not to embarrass our kids in public…SAY WHAT?! I was waiting to hear their justification for this. They gave an example about being a working adult and what if you did something in front of your boss that they did not like and instead of pulling you into their office they embarrassed you in front of all your coworkers. How would that make you feel? Mama’s I had an “Ah-ha” moment! It clicked for me and made sense. We teach our kids to show respect and treat others that way you want them to treat you, but how can we teach that principle if we embarrass them in public, but we do not want to be embarrassed in public.
I came home and I was still wrapping my head around this new concept of delayed chastisement. On Monday I asked my kids how it makes them feel when I handled situations in public on the spot and I got two responses. One of my kids said it made them feel like a failure and the other said it made them feel like an idiot. I asked them why and they said because it was not everyone’s business to know what they had done and they felt like other people viewed them as bad kids because of their mishap. Mama’s these answers made my heart ache and my stomach turn because as a mother I am there to nurture my kids, not make them feel worthless. I asked them “how do they think I feel when they embarrass me in public?” They paused and said, “bad”. It was at that moment we both touched and agreed that we would try our very best not to embarrass each other in public.
For those Mama’s wondering let me clarify what embarrassment is for me. When I ask my kids not to do or say something in public and they do it. When we go into the store and I have made it perfectly clear what we are purchasing and when we get inside they get the “I wants”. For them it is embarrassing for me to lecture them in public, reminding them of what we’d already discussed and wanting an explanation as to why they deviated from it. Now Mama’s some of you are reading this and thinking I may be trying to be my children’s friend instead of their parent. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I want there to be mutual respect between my kids and I. They know I am the parent and what I say goes, but I want them to respect me, not fear me…That’s another topic for another day. I just wanted to share with you another helpful tip that I got from the parenting class. It’s never too late to change your approach to parenting. You can always learn something new that can help you grow as a Mama. Always be willing to learn, change and grow. If you don’t already do it, take a moment to talk about your parenting with your kids. Try this exercise as a family. Get a sheet of paper and pencil for everyone. Write your name at the top and make 3 columns, Start, Continue, Stop. Each family member will tell the other 3 things they want them to start doing, continue doing and stop doing. You’ll be surprised at the things you already do well, the things your family members want you to do and the things you may be doing to hurt someone without even realizing it. In order for this exercise to be successful there must be a safe atmosphere without punishment. Each person has to feel respected in order for honesty to take place. My family does this 3-4 times each year and we pull our lists out to see how we’ve improved. When you try it let me know by leaving a comment below!

Don’t wait, Live your best life now!

                       Nicole

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Parental Failure

“Don’t buy the lie that you’re failing as parents”
                                                                                        -Pastor Holly Farver


Happy Hump Day Mama’s! I had the great pleasure of attending a parenting class at my church (Potential Church in Cooper City, FL http://potentialchurch.com/) this past Sunday. Now let me be honest I initially was not going to attend because it felt weird to me. I came into the room and sat at the back table still deciding if I’d made the right decision to come. Another young lady came and sat beside me and I felt a bit better. Before the class started we were all asked to come up front so that we could connect. I immediately thought “Oh boy” here we go. Well as I’m sitting at my table surrounded by parents it donned on me that no matter how you may struggle through parenting your kids there are other parents who are facing the same challenges. As Mama’s when we face the same challenges over and over with our kids it can make us feel like failures. We think we must be doing something wrong because if we were doing it right our children would listen and obey us. I tell my kids every single day to listen and obey the first time and it feels like it goes in one ear and out of the other. I get exhausted trying to get them to listen the first time. It makes me feel guilty as a parent when I’m trying to get my kids to do something and they just won’t. While at the parenting class our teach Pastor Holly Farver spoke these words, “Don’t buy into the lie that you’re failing as parents”. I wanted to get up from my table and run around the room shouting, seriously. Mama’s you have no idea how I needed to hear that affirmation from a mother who has raised 2 children into adulthood.
How many times are we going to beat ourselves up because we feel like parental failures? I know I am guilty of doing it and so are you. Some of you feel guilty for going to work every day and leaving your kid's at daycare. Others of you feel guilty because you are raising your children alone without the help or support of the child’s father. Sometimes we try to compensate by letting our kids get away with things they should not in an effort to make ourselves feel better. Right now I say to you that you are NOT a failure! God chose you to parent your kids. Let that marinate….Out of all the Mama’s in the world he chose you because you have everything it takes to raise them into the person God has called them to be. Don’t ever forget that. I know the daily struggles of parenting can be overwhelming, but you are the chosen one. I never imagined how sitting in that parenting class on Sunday would give me such high hopes about parenting my kids. I was able to talk with other parents, laugh about our struggles with our kids, focus on ways we can improve and connect as a support system for each other. No matter how long you’ve been a parent on how many kids you have we can all learn something new that can aid us in this journey called parenting. If you’re ever offered the opportunity to attend a parenting class, do so. If your church does not offer one seek out other parents who may be interested in attending one. Our class runs for 4 weeks. I missed week one but I will be at weeks 3 and 4. Mama’s bookmark this page or at the very least write down the quote at the beginning of this post so in those moments when you feel like you’re failing you can find comfort in knowing that you are not.

Don’t wait, Live your best life now!

                    Nicole


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

She's Back!!


I'm back!!! Well Mama's it's been 3 long months and I am finally back. I took a break to get myself together. I hadn't been feeling too well and I could not figure out why. My family and I took a trip Memorial Day weekend and I got sick on the trip but I mustered through it and kept quiet...Yeah, yeah I know I should have said something but I didn't. On that Monday night I had the worst pain ever which landed me in the ER that morning. I figured I had a stomach bug and I'd be out in no time. Imagine my surprise when the doctors told me they would be keeping me and I'd be in surgery within 24 hours. SAY WHAT!!! Wait a minute Dr. I have things I have to do...cook dinner, pick the kids up from school, wash clothes, help with homework, prepare teacher treats and unpack from our trip. I panicked and asked if they could simply patch my insides up and let me go home and I promise I'd schedule surgery. They smiled and told me no. I looked at my hubby and wanted to cry. Within 24 hours I had my gallbladder removed and an umbilical hernia repaired. I was not prepared for this to say the least, but here I am 7 weeks post op and I'm better now. During my recovery I had to go back to the hospital for having a fever and being diagnosed with the flu and having a 103.4 fever. Let me just tell you I was in a bad head space. Here I am trying to recover from my surgery and now I have the flu! I was a good girl and took my meds and now I'm much better. Thank God.

This last month has taught me that I'm not super woman and I need my "village". In case you're wondering what a "village" is, it's your support system. Those people who will come to your side in good and bad times. Those people you can count on to be there physically and emotionally. I 'm proud to say that my "village" was amazing. My husband took everything in stride. He was "Super Dad" and "Mr. Amazing" while I was down for the count. My mom, aunts and cousins helped me out with the kids, cooking, cleaning and entertaining. My church family and friends prayed for me, checked on me and lifted my spirits. I thank God for my "village" because without them I could not have made it.

Mama's do you have a "village" that you can count on, have you built a support system of people who can be there for you in good times and bad? Are you a part of a village? If not I highly suggest that you form one. Sometimes as Mama's we think we can do it all by ourselves and truth is we need help. You will burn yourself out if you try to parent alone. Regardless of your marital status you need help with the kids, even if it's just to have a date night. There is nothing wrong with asking for and receiving help. I encourage you to take the leap and surround yourself with positive people you can trust to be there for you and vice versa. There is strength in numbers and you'd be surprised how being around other like minded people can have a positive impact on your life and overall well being.

Trust me I know how hard it can be to ask for help. In my head I believe I am "Super Woman" and that I can do it all. It was extremely hard for me to receive help because I am used to doing everything for myself and my family. To be placed in a position where I could not laugh (for fear of ripping sutures) and literally having to walk one step at a time was very humbling. It made me never take for granted all of the things I am able to do. It also helped me to assess situations before complaining. So Mama's please take my advice and build your "village". If you already have a village please never take it for granted and let them know how much you value and appreciate them. Happy Hump Day Mama's!



Don't wait, Live your best life now!

                  Nicole

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Are you that busy?



Mama’s I know some of you who were accustomed to reading my blogs weekly may feel some kind of way about my sporadic posts and that’s cool, but let me tell you why they’ve become so sporadic. On February 25, 2014 I started journaling and meditating/praying in the mornings at 5:30 a.m. I wanted to have a better prayer life and really be connected to my power source (Jesus Christ) so that I could really grow as a wife, mother, daughter and friend. For those who know me I am not a morning person so this was a big task for me. Did I wake up every morning at 5:30 a.m., nope, but I did not quit, get down on myself or give up on my journey. I stayed the course.

I know as Mama’s we become so consumed with our daily lives, being a wife, Mama, coworker, friend, etc. It is so important to take time out of your day to “plug in” to your power source. I don’t mean the “quickie” prayer that you say every morning, although some prayer is better than no prayer. I am talking about taking a small chunk of time to be still, no phone, TV, kids, husband, noise, NOTHING, but you and God. It amazes me how much lighter I feel and how I can really hear God speaking to me throughout the day, when I am interacting with my kids he gives me the right words. If my husband and I are having an issue he tells me how to handle it his way and not my way.

Mama’s I can’t tell you how to live your life, but trust me when I say you are not that busy. We make time for anything we “want” to do, shopping, trips, concerts, etc. But its strange how we can’t make the sacrifice to take time out to seek God’s will and plan for our life. I like writing so for me journaling was easy and it also allowed me to reflect on my growth, which is awesome. When it’s time for me to rise and shine I’m not all pansies and butterflies, but I know that this is a chance to “plug in” so I get the armor I need to handle my day.

Mama’s I started this blog to encourage mothers, like me who felt overwhelmed at times, who were frustrated with their husbands and kids at times and life in general. Please do not feel I have abandoned you by not posting weekly. I am now posting what I am led to post, not just posting to have something on my blog. I challenge you to start your day off by getting “plugged in”. You may have to start small, but that’s ok, the first step is always the hardest to make. I encourage you to start and stay the course; you’ll find the reward is so worth it. Happy Hump Day!


Don’t just live your life, Enjoy it!


                    Nicole

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What’s In Your Heart?



Mama’s as kids most of our families told us that we were pretty and how nice we looked. For the most part we believed them. Fast forward to adulthood, now you’re a Mama. You’ve had a child, or two, maybe 3 (well in my case 4) and you have the hips, belly bulge and tiger stripes (stretch marks) to prove it. Some of us look at our bodies and we do not recognize what it has become. Others of us take every precaution necessary to make sure we stay fit & trim. We obsess over our weight, our dress size and compare our bodies to others. Now I am all about taking care of your temple, but are you taking care of your heart? Mama’s I’m not talking about heart disease, but I’m talking about the spiritual contents of your heart.
While journaling this morning I came across 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV) “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” So I ask you what’s in your heart. Mama’s are you just as concerned with what you put in your body as what you allow into your heart? The bible tells us that God is not concerned with how fine you are, how much money is in your account, how many frequent flyer miles you’ve accumulated or your latest handbag purchase. He is concerned with your heart. Are you the Mama who has a pretty face, nice clothes, car and house, but you hold anger in your heart? Sit back and take a moment to assess the condition of your heart. What are you harboring, feelings of joy or jealousy, happiness or hurt? I don’t know your heart, but God does and he sees all and knows all. You may be able to fool people, but not God. So I encourage you to have a spiritually healthy heart, I guarantee you’ll feel a lot better when you do. It’s hard to claim joy every day and treat others kindly when you don’t have joy in your heart. Happy Hump Day Mama’s!

Don’t just live life, Enjoy it!

Nicole