Bits of Sweetness: 6 years into this parenting craziness & how we are surviving!

6 years into this parenting craziness & how we are surviving!

Andrew turns six on Saturday.

Noo way!
Hold that bus.
It hardly seems possible!!!!!

I am thankful for the parents we are now, and the many many memories he has.
This kid knows he is loved.
He is overflowing with sweetness and joy and shares it with anyone he meets.
I love that.

It hasn't always been easy though!
Sometimes parenting leaves you wondering why in the world God picked you to be the parent
of  your child. Or else, why God decided to "bless" you with such a bundle of...
energy? exuberance? strong will? sensitivity?
Whatever it is for you, I totally hear you!

Parenting is amazing and hard and wonderful and puzzling all in one.
I've come to realize that some days you have it together, and some days you don't.
That's ok. (After all, we have to give our kids some great stories, right?!)
Through the years I have come back time and time again to some things that have been a lifesaver.
If you ever find yourself googling things like, "how to get your kids to not draw on their legs with blue sharpie" (TRUE STORY by the way!) , "how to stay sane through the toddler years", "how to get my kid to listen" , "how to raise a kid who will eat more than two things", "how long are kids this dang strong willed" or even "awesome things about parenting" and "I love my kids!" then this list is for you!
Also? Free printable at the end!

see above: Andrew plugging his ears, telling me he hated me, and didn't want to see me again.
(I told him he needed to have dinner before candy.)
Five minutes later? He said I was awesome and he loved me (pre-candy!).

Best go to on any day- crazy, sweet, terrible, or good this book is a great pick-me-up
whether you only have 2 minutes or have 10. I love that you can start anywhere and pick it back up anywhere.

For the times you are fed up with counting to 3

File this one under: best laugh for your year.

Wisdom for going beyond "getting your child to listen" to caring about their heart in parenting

Youversion Bible app

This app is, in short, amazing.There are a ton of free daily devotionals.
TONS of great versions (Message and NCV are my fave. Easy to understand).
If you're thinking this book is just a bunch of rules or it's been a few years,
maybe it's time to get plugged into to some daily encouragement (plus, it's FREE!)
I love that you can add bookmarks, highlight (in any color), see it in many languages,
and see user comments on it.  You can also download
versions to have offline for any time you don't have internet.
You can find it in the Google Play store here or in the iTunes store here.

The "My kids never listen to me & I have no idea what to say that will work" solution

Seriously. Good stuff. Kids need affirmed just like us.
Amazing how much conflict it can resolve just knowing how to approach them.
Kindle & Paperback here

So about now I am apologizing for all the Amazon previews but, hey I love my Kindle versions there!!
Anyways, carrying on :)

The "I am sick and tired of yelling to get them to do anything" solution

All I have to say is, calm is good. Did you know kids can listen
to a mouse whisper? Yeah I didn't know either til this.
Our days aren't perfect by any means but they are sure better. At least for five minutes!
Kindle & Paperback here.

File this under "Pinterest is down & I need rainy day ideas stat!!"
365 ideas? Dude! They're less Martha Stewart, more I can do it.
Find it here. Also the preschool version here.

For the parents who are ten days without sleep (or something like that?!!)
This. Recommended by a nanny friend. She's pretty cool.

If you have a newer baby, or know someone who does, this video is a lifesaver.
Lastly- find yourself a village. You're going to need it. Even with the perfect kid a time will come when you need someone to take them for an hour of peace and quiet and no mess. MOPS mom group has been a lifesaver for me. Just having other moms to connect with who "get it" for two hours, not to mention playdate (and momdate) buddies? YES! Community can be anywhere- church, library, park. It might mean putting yourself out there to say hi past the whole "Oh I have this sippy cup. What kind do you have?" convo, but I love the friends we have made from a little effort.

Six years into this I have to say, there is no miracle cure.
Awesome, I know. Ok let me back up. For a time, kids might apply to a part of a book or two.
There might be something you find some chapters and go "aha!!"
But no book will be your child to a t (unless you write one!)
That is just the nature of the beast I guess! I will say this though. You can never have a shortage
or good ideas to pull out of your hat when you need one. Find a few good go-to books.
Don't despair when the books tell you that there is something "wrong" if your child is not inside a neat checklist. (Honestly, we all probably have something just a little wacky, off the charts, am I right?!)
Mostly though, after these short and long six years, I have come to realize that kids will always keep us on our toes, there isn't always a clean cut answer but to keep on keeping on, it's ok to feel like you can't do it as a parent (an awesome day is likely just around the next corner!), sometimes it really does take a village to get through some phases, nailing the polite smile and nod is essential, realizing that people genuinely do care even through their snobbish, well-meaning but inapplicable advice, and taking some time to make sure you are ok is really important.

Look, I still don't have it all down! Not even close! Right when I feel like I have this thing DOWN, something happens, usually to the tune of every toy thrown on the floor, or not listening over the tiniest thing I thought we had conquered two years ago, to being fifteen minutes late because he just HAD to wear the orange coat that he could not find, or finding myself in tears with both boys. But, we are making it. Just hold onto hope that it WILL be ok, because it will! It really will! (Payback just might be really sweet :) )

These two have my heart. And my sanity too!

Oh? And along the lines of awesome parenting.
This book. Get it. SO FUNNY!
Twill satisfy every star nerd there was.

How have you contemplated paying your kids back(even just jokingly)? 
What humorous parenting thoughts or ideas have crossed your mind?!
For me? coloring all over HIS walls with marker someday! (not permanent though)

And for you? a free printable.
Just right-click to save and print.
(Please leave a comment if you did. Thanks :) )

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