Raising Babies

10 Tips To Help Siblings Welcome A New Baby

I am thrilled to be doing a guest post over at the Life of Faith today! Go check it out…

Be Still

Today I am going to be still and know that He is God. Let me tell ya, I have been running around lately full of anxiety. From potty training, getting home school curriculum, loosing baby weight, and constant housework. I fear that my babies will only have memories of their momma’s back as I run from one task to the next.

 

I want to be PRESENT today. I want to REMEMBER today. I want to read to them, laugh with them, play a game with them, and pull them on my lap. The mess, the dishes, the shoes on the floor can all stay a bit longer. It’s time for BALANCE. It’s time to place my cares at the throne of Jesus. It’s time to be still and let Him work it out while I love and teach these little blessings!

 

A little love from my heart today:)

My Sweet Number 4

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My Easton Taylor has stolen our hearts. Although it has only been three months it feels like he has always been part of our family, actually in God’s eyes he has always been:) This little boy reminds me everyday what a blessing it is to follow God’s will. He was our first baby that we didn’t try to control the timing of when he was born, we let it to God as it should be. He was also our first home birth. I call him our adventure baby. The Lord has used him in so many ways to grow us deeper to Him and to trust in His sovereignty.

 

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His brother and sisters absolutely adore him. He loves them as well! He wakes up typically once a night to eat (sometimes twice) and goes right back to sleep. He is super laid back and LOVES the attention from his older siblings. He is even starting to protest when no one is talking to him. I find myself lingering in his smuggles longer, kissing him more, and carrying on my hip all over the house with me more. The more children I have the more I see how quickly this time passes. The waking up at night doesn’t bother the way it used to, the inconvenient feedings are welcomed as chance to hold him and just be.

 

His babyhood is so precious…

 

Thank you Jesus for fresh perspective on the sanctity of life. Thank you for the privilege of raising another soul for you.

 

trim.uQB1aD   His sweet laugh:)

When Your Kids Make You Bananas

The conversation of kids driving their mammas crazy has been a common trend this week in my circle of friends. Let me tell ya, I’ve been chiming in right along with them. The kids have had Vacation Bible School all week so we are a bit out of our ordinary routine. The two sleepy boys and I pick up the rambunctious older girls at lunch time. When we walk in the door at home…WOW… is all I can say. Hungry and tired don’t mix well.  Some of the other moms and I have been discussing and trying to figure out what we are doing wrong to have those days when we want to pull our hair out.

 

Through out all of my usual deep thinking and mumblings through the day I came to a conclusion. -I don’t care what anybody thinks, but I choose to believe it was from the Holy Spirit:) THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO MAKE US BANANAS! They are supposed to take up our time, our resources, our brain cells, and our sanity. You know why? None of it is ours to begin with! I would venture to say that most of you reading this post have at some point whispered this prayer, “Use me Jesus, make me like you.” The goal in child rearing for the parent is refinement. We do everything we can to raise them up for God, He then uses all that effort and aggravation to refine us and make us more like Him.

 

From the beginning of time children have all been the same no matter their personality. They are all precious in God’s eyes and have all at some point drove their mammas crazy. That’s just how it is. In part of my conclusion I have decided to stop resisting it. THEY WILL DRIVE ME BANANAS no matter their age or what kind of mood I am in! Thank God for that because He is at work! I am called to give myself up for His sake. Isn’t that what motherhood is truly all about?

 

Ladies, let’s not be so hard on ourselves when we have had one of those days, or in my case one of those weeks. Its normal. God is behind every mess, every temper tantrum, and behind every quiet moment you thought you were going to have. He is in the midst molding us and giving us opportunity to become more like Him. How blessed we are to have daily work on our hearts.

 

As you start your day and that little one cries for breakfast, remember you are doing God’s work today. Smile like it is your first day on the job until your heart follows. Don’t miss out…

How I Grocery Shop With 4 Kiddos Under 5

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I don’t know about y’all, but I love hearing people’s stories about how they do what they do. It seems that everyone has a certain secret that helps them be more efficient at a certain task. Well, here is my attempt at that. I am often asked questions on how I manage the little kids doing daily task. The one question that gets asked the most often is, “How do you grocery shop with them?” and “Why don’t you wait until your husband’s home?” These are my tried and true strategies for making it out of the store with everything on my list, no extras, and no tantrums.

 

-I’m telling ya, it all starts with parking. I always park in the spot closest to the rack of shopping carts in the middle of the parking lot. I do this for two reasons. 1) I get the “runner” strapped in before we cross the parking lot 2) At the end of the shopping trip I can buckle everyone in the car then return the cart to the rack while being only a few steps away from the car for safety purposes.

 

-Before I start getting everyone out of the car I go ahead and place my money, list, and grocery card in my back pocket. I do this so I’m not digging through my purse at the checkout counter.

 

– As for where all of the kids go…The 4 and 5-year-old walk beside me. The 2-year-old goes in the front seat. The 2 month old goes in my little carrier pouch I wear.

 

-I go in the same pattern every week and I try to go fast.

 

-If they are behaving I will occasionally give them some of the samples of fruit. If the behave the entire time then they get one of the free cookies that our grocery store offers.

 

-Once everyone is in the car and buckled and I have returned the cart they get a lot of praise for obedience and for helping me. I also try to remember to tell their daddy when they are around for extra positive reinforcement.

 

I would rather do all of this by myself because it encourages me to get in and out with no impulse buying.  I never want to feel that my kids are too rowdy to take somewhere. The only way they will learn is by going, doing, and seeing how to appropriately act. By the same token I can’t expect them to stay in  the store for an hour while I browse around. I must be quick and proficient.

 

What tips can y’all add? Is there something that you do and people are always asking how? Please share!

 

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Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/ Freedigitalphotos

 

Sharing this with: The Prairie Homestead A Mama’s story, Raising Arrows, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Growing Home, Time Warp Wife, Thankful Homemaker, Mamal Diane, Teaching What is Good,  Mom’s the word, conerstone cofessions, A proverbs 31 wife, Some of the best things in life are mistakes, Let this mind be in you, A Wise Woman Builds her home, Deep Roots at Home, Graced Simplicity, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Hope in Every Season, Jill’s Home remedies, Little Natural Cottage, Our simple country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, The Purposeful Mom, Happy and Blessed Home, Homemaker by Choice, Your Thriving Family, My Joy Filled Life. New Life Steward, Hometead simple, Let this Mind Be in You,

Why I Would Love More Children…

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I understand that the concept of wanting more children baffles people. I can accept that some may think I am crazy. After all, most people only want something when it is easy and gives immediate satisfaction. – and yes I want those kind of things too…

 

The reasons I would love more children are so  much deeper than that. First and foremost, I feel it is my calling to have a big group of youngins. Not that any of it is easy, but there is a sense of peace when you feel like you are doing what you were created to do. I is kinda like finding your niche. Some days you may think, “Oh man I want a different niche!” But in the bottom of your soul you would never change a thing.

 

Secondly, I am a much better person today than I was before my first was born. Ya see, whatever God has called you to do, He will turn it around to glorify Him in some way. These children have tested my patience in more ways than I could have ever imagined, but through all that they have taught me perseverance, the power of self-control, and endless love.

 

Of course I have a list of purely “selfish” reasons why I would LOVE more children…

1. Newborn smell.

2.They entertain each other.

3. Lots of people to take care of us when we are old.

4. Always crazy stories to tell.

5. Lots of birthday celebrations.

6. Always someone to make you laugh.

7. Always a time you have to think “Help me jesus!” 🙂

8. Leftovers all get eaten.

9. More hands to clean the kitchen…Not quite helpful yet, but will be.

10. Always someone to cuddle.

 

So lets face it, that “selfish list” of wanting more children goes right on the window at the crazy moments of the day. If I am having children for my self fulfilment I will become frustrated very easy when MY needs aren’t being meant. The above list is all just a bonus to the calling. Some days we get the bonus others we don’t.

 

Here are my reasons of why I would LOVE more children from an eternal perspective…

1. It is apart of God’s original design.

2. More hands to help others in need.

3. More voices to spread God’s word.

4. A family legacy for generations.

5. A greater chance to impact the world.

6. More souls in heaven.

7. Eternal peace from doing God’s will in my life.

8. More feet to reach to the ends of the earth.

9. More ears to listen to the brokenhearted.

10. More hearts filled with the love of God.

 

So when asked if I want more children and I say “yes” it’s not because I’m really good at the whole momma thing or because I have angels for children or because I have the patience of Job. In fact, I get on to myself every single day for not being the momma I want to be, and often fuss at my kids because they aren’t behaving the way I want.

 

I would Love more because I strive to follow God’s will through the great days when my “selfish list” is getting fulfilled and even on the bad ones when I look around and think, “Yep  I’m crazy.”

 

The attitude of loving the thought of more children is about so much more than me. It is my impact on the world.  I am given the chance to fully invest in souls that can reach farther than I could have ever imagined. I believe big things can happen when you follow God’s voice and turn away from the world’s.

 

Subscribe and share your thoughts! I would love to hear from you!

 

Sharing this with: The Prairie Homestead A Mama’s story, Raising Arrows, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Growing Home, Time Warp Wife, Thankful Homemaker, Mamal Diane, Teaching What is Good,  Mom’s the word, conerstone cofessions, A proverbs 31 wife, Some of the best things in life are mistakes, Let this mind be in you, A Wise Woman Builds her home, Deep Roots at Home, Graced Simplicity, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Hope in Every Season, Jill’s Home remedies, Little Natural Cottage, Our simple country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, The Purposeful Mom, Happy and Blessed Home, Homemaker by Choice, Your Thriving Family, My Joy Filled Life. New Life Steward, Hometead simple, Let this Mind Be in You,

 

My Sweet Girl

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My little girl is four years old today. When her big brown eyes open, the very first thing she will say is , “Mom, what are you fixing for breakfast? Can I have three breakfast?”

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She will come cuddle on my lap with blanket in one hand and a thumb in her mouth. (She told me she would stop that when she turned five…maybe)

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She will ask about cake and ice cream probably a hundred times before we even get to lunch time…Oh how I love this crazy little girl!

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I have told multiple people that she is a hard one to describe, but sitting here thinking about her sweet smile… it suddenly becomes very easy.

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She is my different one. The one who keeps me on my toes and guessing. The one with a sense of humor that can turn any situation into a deep belly laugh. She marches to the beat of her own drum and makes no apologies for it. She is tough to get to know, but once you do get to know her, your instantly in love.  When she loves something, she is passionate about it. She will giggle at the most inappropriate times with a hand over her face trying to stop. She is a thinker, she doesn’t do things the hard way, but finds an easier way. She gives people nicknames like her brother Ty is “Buddyboo” and her brother Easton is “Easty E.” She adores her big sister Willow, who is referred to as “Sister.” She is one of a kind. She tells me she loves me ten times a day and promises she will always be my baby.

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My Zoe Bell…Where would our family be without you? You have bought out so many more good times and laughs then we ever could have imagined. God has amazing plans for you sweet girl.  I am so thankful to be your Momma. Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

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Random Tips For New Mommas

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As I share my top tips for new mammas I am literally typing this out for my own benefit as well. I am not always the best at following my own advice, but at this phase in my life it is a must. These are in no particular order but are coming straight from my heart as I attempt to tread through this motherhood journey…sigh…it’s just been one of those days.

 

Top five tips for new mammas. (and myself)

 

Stop Comparing yourself

Just the other week I took Willow to soccer practice. My husband was at the fire station. It was my first time taking her with all the kids by myself. When we got there, Willow went ahead and ran out onto the field. One of the other moms on the filed watched me walk up and said, “I don’t know how you do it, you always have everything together!” This is what she saw as I walked up… I had the baby in my little carrier pouch strapped to the front of me while carrying a picnic blanket and food for our supper. Zoe and Ty were walking peacefully behind me looking like sweet well-behaved children. She said I looked so pretty…

 

Here is what she missed, the reality… We were running late so Willow ran out of the car with anxiety beyond belief that she was missing practice. Our air conditioner was messed up so we were all red-faced and sweaty. When we pulled in, Zoe and Ty asked multiple times if they could eat their food I had planned for the picnic in the car. They cried when I told them no. The baby had to nurse when we pulled in the parking lot. Zoe said she had to poop when I started feeding the baby… In the midst I was praying for God to just get me to the other side of this LOONG day. ( Oh and I am wearing over sized jeans because I can’t squeeze in my own yet and my mammas shirt because I had just raided her closet. I still can’t fit in most of my clothes. The food was packed because we had run tons of errands and there was no time to eat supper at home.

 

The danger is that we compare. I could tell that she was thinking she wasn’t a good momma. She kept saying she needed to send her kids with me so they would be better behaved etc… I have done the same comparison game multiple times leaving me feeling inadequate. I encourage you to remember things are NEVER as they seem.

 

Know that you cant do it all.

A little background information. I take care of the bills and budgeting. I love it and I am a crazy person about it. I’m always trying to figure out a system and I pride myself on having our  money “figured out” and making our dollar stretch. To make a long story short I got a letter in the mail saying our power was going to be turned off tomorrow because we were past due. It said we owed a huge amount. We have the money automatically drafted from our account and it hadn’t been done since January. There was a glitch in the system and I never noticed we weren’t getting charged. They had our incorrect email address so we were never getting notifications. When I investigated further I  sat and cried. Why Can’t I do this??Why can’t keep it together?? Before I know it, the failure word is whispered in my ear and I start to feel overwhelmed. I want to cook healthy meals, take care of the finances, read endless stories, give cuddles all day, home school, and teach them all about God’s love. Then I think , “Good grief, when is the last time I read my Bible and didn’t fall asleep at night while praying?” I know I put a lot of pressure on myself. I’m pretty sure we all do it. The truth is, I can’t do it all perfect all the time.

 

The house will not be spotless.

I am not a clean freak but the sight of lots of clutter is enough to drive me crazy. Between baby swings, trucks, and pillows on the floor from playing, “Don’t touch the ground” I look and think again why can’t I keep it all together? The truth is, it will  never stay clean all the time. If it was, then it would be empty.

 

Remember who is able.

Throughout all of my trying to accomplish the world I am missing the one who can help me to do that.. GOD. His idea of conquering the world is a lot different from mine. His is about exemplifying love throughout all of the mundane task of the everyday life. If I am constantly in a rush thinking about how inadequate I am and comparing myself to others then how can love even be apart of the equation. This season of life seems so long  and tiresome but in reality I know it is fleeting. How will I spend the greatest moment of my life?

 

Make it count.

Look at the blessings around, enjoy them, and breathe them in. Live every day the best you can. Look for the good and beauty in the messy chaos around you. Love on your family and love on yourself a little too. This motherhood thing IS WORTH IT, it IS MESSY, it IS LOVELY. Let us always remind each other and encourage each other even if it is through our failures.

 

Here is to making today count…

 

Sharing this with: The Prairie Homestead A Mama’s story, Raising Arrows, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Growing Home, Time Warp Wife, Thankful Homemaker, Mamal Diane, Teaching What is Good,  Mom’s the word, conerstone cofessions, A proverbs 31 wife, Some of the best things in life are mistakes, Let this mind be in you, A Wise Woman Builds her home, Deep Roots at Home, Graced Simplicity, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Hope in Every Season, Jill’s Home remedies, Little Natural Cottage, Our simple country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, The Purposeful Mom, Happy and Blessed Home, Homemaker by Choice, Your Thriving Family, My Joy Filled Life. New Life Steward, Hometead simple, Let this Mind Be in You,

To Renew A Vision

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Photo courtesy of Dan/Freedigitalphotos

 

To renew a vision of the generation I’m raising is my goal each and every day. To look in little faces and see men and women as world changers and Christ followers. To resume, restart, to take up again, to come back to, to begin again, to start again, to recommence…yes, this is what I want for my vision.

 

I must not lose sight in the mundane and ordinary. I must look past the here and now and invest in the eternal. I must delay my gratification and sow the seeds carefully in order to reap the fruitful harvest of children well invested in….yes, I must renew my vision.

 

I have been entrusted with souls. I have been equipped through Him who called me.  I have been given a privilege to fight for them for a short while on this earth. I have been given the mighty job of raising warriors in a complacent world…yes, I must renew my vision.

 

The band aids, the sips of water, the diaper changes, the discipline, the breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, the songs, the tantrums, the books, the games, the fights, the crying,  the midnight feedings, the sickness, the sleep deprivation, are all pieces and tools to model patience and perseverance…yes, I must renew my vision.

 

The hugs, kisses, I love you’s, kindness, sharing, toothless grins, swing sets, walks, snuggles, first words, first steps, first laugh, the ride without training wheels, loose teeth, the nights slept through, the fever breaks, are all pieces and tools to model the gratitude and thankfulness…yes, I must renew my vision.

 

For it is in the little things of life my vision is blurry, focus gets shifted, my eyes get off the prize. However it IS in the little things of life where these little souls can catch their God-given visions when I stay focused on mine.

 

Let’s start today by renewing our minds and hearts and therefore the vision to keep at it. It starts with us.

 

What is your vision for the day? Subscribe and Share!

Expectations

Life has been a crazy, wonderful mess since welcoming our fourth child a month ago. I have come out of the little valley that most mammas of newborns go through and am starting to juggle again. The fog is clearing, and I am starting to once again feel the joys of a larger than average family and once again be reminded of my conviction to raise them for God.

 

Through this month a common theme has been ringing as I’m sure it will continue for a few more months. It is saying “Let go of any expectations!”

 

An expectation is a strong belief that something should happen a certain way. That is simply unrealistic in my stage of life right now…really in any stage of life. To assume we can expect a certain outcome because we have done this or that is foolish.

 

I am seeing now that all of my expectations I put on myself and those around me were all selfishly motivated. To have true freedom in this life takes dying to self every second of the day. It not about me and what I expect to happen. It is about God and His plans for that day. His Plans are not our plans…

 

The more and more I can grasp this concept the fuller my heart becomes. I am seeing that it’s not about how many things I can get checked off my to do list or how clean I got the house that day. If it were about that, then having kids wouldn’t be in the equation.

 

Instead it is about THEM. My husband and Children. Dying to self, serving them, and letting go of my expectations will be the key to my success.

 

What expectations are you letting go of today? Subscribe and share!

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Hey Y'all! My name is Brittany Styron. Sweet Country Roots is a place I hope to encourage, inspire, and bring a chuckle. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and join conversations about marriage, babies, homeschooling, frugal living, good food, and an old fashioned way of thinking.

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