Tag Archive | parenting

Happy 40th to my first born.

This week I’m writing my story on Sunday because today is my son’s 40th birthday. We got to spend a wonderful weekend with him and my heart is overflowing with thankfulness to God for this precious gift to Greg and I. So, I thought I’d share a little about him with you.

Tim made me a mom.

Tim came along when I was 25. I thought I remembered how I felt during his pregnancy and birth, but after finding my handwritten journal notes from that time, I realize my memory had faded quite a bit.

Tim was our first. My only childcare experience came from having a much younger brother and doing a little babysitting as a teenager. So, I guess I felt ready and prepared. After all, back in those days, you took classes in “prepared childbirth.” Since I took the classes, I must have been ready. But it turns out I wasn’t at all prepared.

One journal entry a month before his birth mentions we had a crib and one or two onesies but that was it. There hadn’t yet been a baby shower and I hadn’t bought anything else including diapers. My notes mention wanting to meet this little one (didn’t know if the baby was a boy or girl in those days until out they came!), but they also mentioned we weren’t exactly set up for the new arrival.

And once he did arrive, the notes talk about being depressed and feeling inadequate. My heart aches for the 1979 me. I can’t remember how it was, but it must have been lonely. I know I was thoroughly in love with my new baby, but I also read about how much of a failure I felt.

Thankfully, the depression lifted and Greg and I fell into our new parental roles with great, great joy.

About Tim

Timmy, as we called him, was adventurous, fun-loving, a sweet friend and protector to his little sister, and a delight. He had his own sense of style and on any given day his over the knee sox were either pulled completely up or rolled perfectly down to his ankles.

As a man, he takes amazing care of his family, loves them fiercely, continues to enjoy a great sense of style (though his knee sox gave way to black no-see-um ones), thrives on workouts at the gym, probably knows the songs to every Disney movie as his own little princesses watch them over and over again, and all in all makes this mama very proud.

Don’t blink.

Really, don’t blink. The growing up years are so hard at times. You want to do everything right but often do it all wrong. As a mom, you lament your mistakes and hope and pray your kids will forgive you and turn out ok. Sometimes you wish ahead, wondering what they will be like in their teens or 20s. You imagine them finding a special someone to love, having a great job they like, and then having children of their own. But if you do too much of that, you can miss the special every day moments that are precious gifts from God.

So, to other young parents, be careful about wishing time away. Treasure “the now” each day. Love hard on your kids. Forgive yourself, knowing your kids have a great capacity to forgive, too. Enjoy their sticky hands and artwork…even on the walls. Be understanding and sympathetic. Enjoy silly times with them dancing like no one’s watching, telling stories in bed at night or making shadow shapes on the ceiling.

Go to their ball games and listen to them make music, even when they choose drums and play loudly! Smile at first dates and give plenty of limits when they learn to drive. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and have high expectations. But don’t let those expectations keep you from enjoying the smaller successes along the way.

There are no do-overs.

This mother, at times, wishes she could have raised her kids with the knowledge and experience she now possesses. But there are no do-overs…until you have grandkids. Then you have that opportunity to shower all your “I-love-you-no-matter-what” kind of love on them and on your adult kids as they navigate parenting.

Tim is one of my great joys in life and I’m cherishing the opportunity to spend his 40th birthday weekend with him. To hear about one of my other great joys, stay tuned…because my No. 2 turns 40 next year!

Love to all,

Mimi

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Don’t be Dumb!

This summer our church is doing a series called Don’t Be Dumb! The practical messages about how to do life are taken straight from the book of Proverbs. This past week’s message was on parenting.

As a grandmother now, I often think and remark to my husband that I’m glad my parenting days are over. I love having the little ones over but they are so full of energy and enthusiasm I often find myself a little weary after they’ve gone. Content and delighted that I got to spend time with them, but weary nonetheless. And that’s when I realize why God gave women the gift of menopause…because at some point it’s time to rest and leave the parenting to the younger crowd!

But though I’m not actively parenting children, I am grand parenting four and am still and always will be a parent to my two by birth and my two by marriage. And in that regard I still have quite a responsibility on my shoulders to portray godly character traits at all times and in all ways because…little AND big eyes are always watching.

Let me give you just a few brief phrases from Sunday that sum up the message, are easily remembered, and pack quite a punch.

  1. Start children off on the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6). A verse we all know, it contains great truths. Don’t put off being a good parent or grandparent. Attend to those responsibilities now. The Bible promises a good outcome if we do so while they’re young (and you have the energy), take the time to instill love, discipline, and a focus on God.
  2. Be intentional and deliberate in your parenting. Don’t be passive and assume all will be well. It takes diligence and consistency but the payoff is huge and worth it.
  3. What’s rewarded is repeated. Yes, there are times when we will negatively correct behavior but let’s spend even more time looking for the good behavior and rewarding it. Kids respond to that, see what’s required and what makes Mom or Dad happy, and then naturally repeat the behavior.
  4. We run into danger when our focus is on making children happy, rather than holy. So often we want to be the fun parent or grandma. We steer clear of investing in the training to make our kids holy and instead spend time just trying to make them happy. But all the toys in the world, all the special events or treats, all the lavish gifts, all the vacations hold no eternal value. The eternal value is in pointing our kids and grands toward Christ and Christ-like behavior.

We each need to find our own way but the above certainly provide some great starting points (taken from the June 21 parenting message from Real Life Church in Clermont, FL). You can watch the message here or get the message motes here.

Tough jobAs grandparents our time of hands-on parenting (typically) has ended but we always have influence. We can always pray, and we can always love. So let’s think about how we can assist our adult kids in training the little ones. Let’s be intentional and deliberate in our actions. Let’s reward great behavior from the children. Let’s lead by example. And let’s focus not on making others happy but in living holy lives and helping nurture our grands toward living holy lives as well.

For more on this message series or other practical, real-life messages, please visit the Real Life website.

Mimi