Bits of Sweetness: This baby boy...

This baby boy...

Yes, this baby boy.

He has my heart.

And he makes me smile, often.


I am greatly grieved to hear about this news article. I try to just focus on the positive and ignore the bad in the world because there is enough for everyone and then some more. Sometimes though, things just grab a hold of my heart and don't let go.

So many thoughts run through my head with this.

How could someone do something as horrible as hurt a child, let alone a toddler (or a baby?) This boy was just barely over a year old.

How could you let yourself get to that point?

How could you find it ok to do something like that?

How?!?!


Life is so incredibly precious. Letting my heart be honest though, there have been times I just had to take a break because whatever moment it was felt so incredibly overwhelming, I felt like I might lose it. Like every single tiny annoying thing was rolling into one huge weight that just would not stop, and I felt crushed under its weight. Like a balloon over filled with air. Like something had to change or... or what? Thankfully I've never been past that point, but still, I get it. I do. This parenting this is no joke hard. I applaud you parents who do it single-handedly, whatever the reason. I have no idea how manage. I applaud you parents who do it with a spouse or someone who can help. It's still hard. I know you get what I mean.





 We have all had those times, those moments, where we know we love our kids but we seriously cannot stand them any longer in this moment. And you know what? That's ok. We are just human too. What matters is what we do with those feelings. We need community, so desperately. Isolation is such a major cause of abuse, in any form. And it never starts big. It's always small and usually doesn't seem like that big a deal. The thing is, it's so easy to justify the times we yell, or lose our cool. I mean it takes some serious guns to be a good parent. My question is, how much justifying is being done? Where is the line between "Oh I'm just a yeller. My dad was like that and I'm so much like him, I guess I just am too" or "Oh we all have our moments as parents, but it's ok, it will be balanced out. Our kids will be fine!" and the horrific abuse stories we hear of in the news? It's like we are feeding ourselves this lie that losing it as a parent is fine, I mean it's pretty much expected, in fact, why not commiserate about the lousy parents we are but you know what, it's ok because we balance it out with love. Wait though. How do you balance losing it with anything? Since when did losing it become a trend and become something we nonchalantly give a sympathetic nod to?? I am all for honesty. It's important. But there needs to be a balance. There needs to be a little more encouraging each other to be better parents than just nodding to being a bad one, even if "bad" doesn't seem like such a huge deal.

. My encouragement today? Be honest with how much justifying is going on.  I am doing the Orange Rhino challenge here. It is one mom's challenge to not yell for 365 days and tomorrow will mark 500 day.(Go check it out!) Have I failed some days? Yes. But I am determined to make changes. Just because there is a history of yelling in my family does not mean that I have to carry on the tradition. Another reason I wanted to change the course? I was realizing that yelling was a little power high for me. It honestly felt kindof good to just let it out... payback, so to speak. But after the fact? Oh man I felt like crud. And to see Andrew's eyes... it killed me. One day, he told me, "Mama you need a time out so you don't have to yell at me so much." It hit me right in the heart. It was completely true that he had been very mischievous and was like, dead set on doing as many things as he could to misbehave, however, it didn't make my reaction ok. And, ironically through yelling at him, I was teaching him the very thing my words were speaking against. Ironic eh? Know what else I noticed? As the yelling has ceased, the behavior has greatly improved. Like drastically so. He still has a ways to go (and, will never be perfect. No kid is.) But overall? It has done a total renovation on the atmosphere at home. Instead of yelling we try to do grace. Instead of yelling we try to do understanding. Instead of yelling we try to do love. (note that I said try to do not do. Work in progress, people. Work in progress.)

I posted this as my status today- -Parenting trick #592: The next time you are tempted to yell at your kids (or, just be annoyed in general),try giving them a hug & compassion instead. Talking low or even whispering is 100x more powerful than yelling, and establishes a sense of security and love. It takes hard work to show love, especially when they just tossed their spaghetti on your freshly cleaned floors, or intentionally hit their sibling (or you!), or are late for curfew for the millionth time this week.. but believe me, the payoff is huge and will come in an enriched relationship through the teen years and down the road. No one is perfect, but it's never too late to turn the day (or the years) around. Let failure motivate you.

I don't write this post to make you feel like crap as a parent or to guilt trip you,  or for any other reason than to just maybe inspire positive change to happen. It's tough. There are so many times I feel like the actions deserve to be reacted to with a good yell, but I'm realizing it is killing his little heart. I am still all about the payback- paying back with love. Paying back with compassion. Paying back with graciousness. And, need I say it again? I'm a total complete work in progress. It is only through remembering the same love and grace and compassion God has for me. He doesn't yell at me when I screw up. He doesn't rub it in. He only has arms open, waiting to help me turn around. That's all.



I love all these great ideas to help the urge to hurt with words or by volume.

My favorite quote today?


Be the change you wish to see in the world. 

(or, in your home. In your family. In your workplace. Go. Do. Be.)


As for me? I am going to be showering our boys with a few more kisses and determined to love them a little bit more and a little bit better. It is so worth the extra work.



If you are finding yourself overwhelmed to the point of hurting or thinking of anyone, or yourself, find a way to be set free. Find a community. Find someone to encourage you. Find someone to talk honestly to. Find an outlet for your stress. It's not too late, but please do something before it is!


So, tell me. What is your favorite way to de-stress?
Mine lately? Zumba. Lavendar Epsom salt baths. Candy Crush. 
Dancing in the Rain.
And of course, sneaking Oreo balls :)





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