Life With Two What To Do?!

girls

On June 13, 2013, I became a mommy of two! Two car seats, two cribs, a double stroller and a house filled with toys and pink clothes and bows galore!! Our oldest daughter Elyssa, is now 28 months and she is smart, sweet, funny, full of energy and curious about everything. Our baby girl Elaina is now eight weeks and she holds her head up, laughs and loves to nurse. Our girls keep us on our toes but they keep us laughing and enjoying every moment.

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So the title of this post is a very valid question; life with two what to do!? How do you chase a toddler around the living room when you have a infant crying to nurse, a husband who has needs and a house that’s in desperate need of a cleaning?! For me the answer is simple, breathe, ask God for patience, wisdom and grace and let my love for my family keep me going. The word of the month for me is organization. I’m trying to stay on top of the housework and the laundry so that I don’t find myself overwhelmed. My helpful husband and I work opposite shifts so he cares for the girls while I’m away and I care for them while he’s away. He cooks sometimes, I cook sometimes. We try to keep the laundry from piling up and try to keep Elyssa’s toys from consuming the whole house. Some days I say forget it and I just enjoy my family and pretend as if I don’t see the piles of clutter lying around.

As mothers we’re usually the first ones up and the last to go to bed. The ones doing majority of the cooking but the last to get to sit down and eat. We work hard to make sure that the house is run smoothly and somehow have the courage to continue to add more children and more responsibility to our plate as the years go by. WHY do we do this to ourselves?! I know my answer, I love being a mom. I love nursing, serving, cuddling, teaching, playing and watching them grow. Being a wife and a mom is the hardest but funniest and most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I was made to do this! I don’t know what I will do when Elaina becomes mobile and I have two girls to chase around but you know what, God will give me the grace and the energy just like He continues to do now. Parenting a two year old is no joke and I don’t always get it right but I’m grateful to God for a hands on husband and the support system that we have around us.

Being a mother of two for this first 8 weeks has been lots of work and lots of fun. I will post about my mommy experiences as times goes by. Until then, stay strong mommies and know that you’re doing a great job!!

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How To Be a Super Mom, Love Machine, Career Woman, Chief & More

Phil 4:13 (KJV) I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Phil 1:2 (NIV) Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Shout out to all my hard working wives and mothers holding in down inside and outside the home, inside and outside the bedroom, kitchen, playground etc 🙂 As godly, diligent and productive wives and mothers we operate daily under God’s anointing to complete all the task needed.

Yesterday after church my husband had to work so Elyssa (16 months old now) and I had a mommy daughter day. We played in her kiddie pool and enjoyed blowing bubbles and taking pictures. I also did some major house work; I cooked a few meals, cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom (including scrubbing the floors) and did a few loads of laundry. I did some work for my job once Elyssa went to bed and I watched some TV. It was late when I turned in for the night but by God’s grace I still had energy to enjoy my honey and end our night right 🙂

When we submit our lives to Christ and ask Him to give us the strength, grace and wisdom needed to be all that He’s called us to be, He’s faithful to walk with us and help us. I know that I could not do anything successfully without my Heavenly Daddy’s help. He calms me when I feel anxious or frustrated, He heals me when I’m sick and He gives me patience when my love walk is tested. I don’t know how people operate day to day without the Lord.

Tips for Being Happy While You Do Your Daily Balancing Act

1. Spend time in prayer daily. In the Lord’s presence is peace and He will speak to us and give us direction on what to do and how to do it.

2. Organize your day and be realistic (don’t put too much on your to do list)

3. After the cooking, cleaning, phone calls and play time, be sure to save time and energy for your hubby. Remember that he needs attention and loving too. It’s important to keep the marriage bed hot and fresh!

4. Take time for yourself weekly. We feel refreshed when we take time either away from the house or just have alone time once everyone is gone to bed. Sometimes we need to take off our multipurpose hat and just breathe.

5. Keep a positive attitude. Phil 4:8 (NIV) Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Often times we can feel overwhelmed and tired because no matter how much we work we do, there’s always something else that needs to get done. Phil 4:8 reminds us to rehearse in our minds positive uplifting things, not negative, overwhelming things. We have to remember to adopt an attitude of gratitude.

A Prayer For Grace

Lord we thank you for our families, jobs, ministries etc. Thank you for giving us the grace needed to be Prov 31 woman. Thank you for helping us to love and respect our husbands always. Help us to serve them with good attitudes and kind, willing hearts. Help us to be to confident and free in and outside of the bedroom. Lord help us to be patient and loving towards our children. Help us to be present and playful with them but affective disciplinarians as well. Lord please take away anything in our lives that keep us from growing in you more. Thank you for loving us always and continuing to show yourself strong in our lives. In Jesus name amen!

My Journey To The Fab New Me & My 200th Blog Post!

Happy 200th blog post!! Thank you to everyone for reading, supporting and commenting! March 31 is my blogs 2 year anniversary. The blog has currently received over 60,000 hits! I love what God is doing through me to bless others! Please keep reading and I will continue to be led by the Holy Spirit regarding what to post!

My Journey To The Fabulous New Me

Recently, I went out on a date with my husband and to my surprise, it took me a minute to find my make up. I had to stop and ask myself how long it had been since I put anything besides lipstick on?? Then I wanted to wear my contacts (because I’ve been sporting my glasses for almost the last two years) but I didn’t have any contact solution in the house. I told myself that it was time to bring back the old me and step it up a notch! I missed the old me who wasn’t always running around the house grabbing diaper bags, packing baby food and combing her hair in the car. I love being a mom but I decided that I needed to make time for it all and be fabulous in the process!

Last Friday, I worked a half day then took 2hrs to do some shopping for myself, by myself. It was a warm winter day and the sun was shinning! For Michigan weather, this was a big deal! By the time I was done, I had purchased 3 pair of earrings, make up, contact solutions and other hair care and hygiene products. I also stopped to get my eyebrows arched; something that I never seem to do on a consistent basis but that’s about to change. My hair dresser was out-of-town so I asked my mom to come over and help me do my hair. I was tired of not slowing down and taking the time I needed for me. It’s no ones fault but my own. My husband is super helpful and he tries to get me to relax and not do so much but sometimes it’s hard for me to just sit down. I needed to make myself slow down and make myself a priority and over the last six days I’ve done just that!

Once my hair was washed, pressed and bouncy, I put on my contacts, make up and earrings.  I looked like a new woman! I felt confident;  like a million bucks! My husband and daughter came in the bathroom and both grinned from ear to ear. My husband told me how much he liked my look and how he missed looking into my eyes without my glasses. He of course told me I was beautiful before and he liked the changes I’d made. He wanted to take me out so we got dressed, went to dinner and had a fun family evening.

For the last six days, I’ve gotten up everyday in enough time to nurse my daughter, talk with my honey, get my lunch, coffee AND do my hair and make up. Before my daughter, I would wear make up on the weekends (Hey I’m a social worker don’t judge me 🙂 But now I’d like to wear light make up daily and take time to make sure that I have the look that I want before leaving the house.

Ladies, life is busy with school, work, children, church, house work etc BUT we must take time for ourselves. We won’t be able to effectively do all that we need to do if we don’t take care of our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. Here’s a list of ideas of things to do just for you: take a bubble bath, scrapbook, go to a movie, window shop, read a good book, work out, eat healthier and get more sleep. If you’ve been wearing the same hair style or make up, consider trying something new. When we feel comfortable, confident and rested, we’re at peace and much more happy. I’m sure our husbands, children, friends and coworkers were notice a change in our mood and will appreciate the new confident and relaxed us.  Take time this week and think about what you can do on a consistent basis just for you. Trust me you will be happy that you did!! Happy Wednesday!

You ARE Your Mama’s Child

This past weekend my mother celebrated another wonderful birthday. As I sat and thought about how blessed I am to have her, I began to think about all the things she’s taught me over the years. My mom showed me in word and actions what it meant to carry myself like a lady, to be a godly woman, wife and mother. She had a career, took care of home and served at our church for many years and she did it all with grace. She is a true Proverbs 31 woman and I am blessed to have her as my mommy and role model!

Now that I’m a mother and I can already see the influence that my husband and I have on our daughter Elyssa. She is a peaceful, joyful and talkative (baby talk of course) little lady at 5 1/2 months old. We make sure our home is peaceful and we’re always laughing together as a family and as a couple. Eddie and I love to talk and therefore Elyssa will often try to join our conversations with her own language. I see us in her and it’s so cool.

I believe that we as adults have a lot of characters like our parents and we know or don’t know different skills because of what our parents did or did not teach us. I work in the social work field and every day I see or hear of young people whose parents did not teach them the basics, the things that every child needs to know to be set up with success and it breaks my heart. A lot of family’s pass down the wrong things and don’t teach their children the right things.

This blog is a simple call to action for all the parents and future parents. Let’s love our children like we wanted to be loved as children. Let’s tell them how beautiful they are in the inside and out. Let’s remind them how much GOD loves them, which is why He died and rose from the dead for them. Let’s teach them God’s word and get them involved in a local church so they can have other positive children to spend time with and learn about Jesus. Let’s teach our children to love themselves and value their bodies enough not to allow others to misuse them. Let’s teach our children about sex and not leave them confused to learn from their friends or the TV. Let’s have open positive communication with our children and show them that we value their opinions. Let’s teach our boys and girls how to cook, clean, open a bank account and manage money. How will our children know anything else we teach them, unless we slow down our lives, cut off the TV, close the laptop, cancel some late night meetings and put down our smart phones and spend time with them. The world shows our children that they care by always being there to teach them negative things, the wrong things, so we as parents need to step up.

Proverbs 22:6 KJV

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it.

A prayer for the parents

Lord God, I come before you now thanking you for blessing us to be able to be parents. Thank you Lord for giving us the grace needed to care for our children they way you’ve called us to. Give us energy Lord when we will feel tired. Give us wisdom and guide us through our journey of parenthood. Send appropriate and safe people our way to help us with our children. Speak to us Lord and show us who should not have access to our children. Thank you Lord for providing us with all that we need to care for our children. Thank you Lord for time apart from them at times so we can get a break. Thank you Lord for all these things in your name amen.

*Question: What is something your grateful your parent’s taught you? What is something you wish they taught you that they didn’t?*

Tips On How NOT To Be a Secret Agent Christian At Work

Today I return to work from my 12 week maternity leave. I am not the woman I was when I left at 37 weeks pregnant. I have experienced the joys and challenges of child-birth and the joys and challenges of the first stages of motherhood. My husband and I are completely in love with our daughter and we’re forever grateful to God for blessing us with her.

Last Sunday, our Pastor, Pastor Andre Butler of Word of Faith Southfield, MI, preached the last sermon of his My So Called Christian Life series. A large portion of the message was about glorifying God in our work places. With me returning to work this week, I thought the message was right on time! Many women return from maternity leave angry and resentful about having to leave their precious little ones at home. I will miss Elyssa tremendously but I am determined to have a positive grateful attitude about returning to work. I thank God for a job that I love and being able to be a blessing to my agency until God calls me to do something else. I know that Elyssa is in great hands and this is just what I have to do for this season of my life. I will walk into work knowing that the Holy Ghost is walking with me. I’m praying for a joyful, peaceful and energetic first day back.

Pastor Butler’s message reminded me of the bigger picture about why Christians work and how we are to behave on the job. I’m blessed to attend a church that teaches the word of God plainly and helps us to apply it to our everyday lives. I want to continue to glorify God on my job and do my job with excellence! Checkout some of my notes from Sunday 6/5/11 My So Called Christian Life series. These helpful nuggets will help you to not be a secret agent Christian at work. Represent Christ everyday, every where you go and remember it’s a lifestyle!! To get a copy of the message please go to http://www.woficc.com

*God is a man of detail.
*Monday Ministry: wining people to Jesus (in the work place) by being a friend to them.
*Real Christians tell people about Jesus.
*When you live just like the world, you push people further from Jesus. (Don’t walk around with your big bible in the office and then curse people out and behave the opposite of the bible)
*What if God did your job’s yearly evaluation? (What rating would He give you?)
*When you please God, you please your boss. (Remember God sees what we’re doing even when our boss isn’t around)
*We go to work out of obedience to God.
*I’m an unidentified faith agent. (I’m sent to my job by God to be a blessing)
*Get out of the spiritual nursery and make room for the new Christians. (We need to continue to grow spiritually and not stay in the same place forever)
*I’m not a secret agent Christian. (I live a godly lifestyle openly for others to see)
*God’s the one signing your paycheck. (My trust is in God, not my job)
*Be a blessing to everyone in the work place. (Having a good attitude and holding my tongue when necessary is a must)
*Work like Jesus worked. (With excellence even when no one is looking)
*The place is blessed because you work there.
*Every Christian is in full-time service. (We should all spread the gospel)
*Why do you need the world’s approval when your apart of the largest Holy Ghost gang.

*When you serve God (and witness to others) it’s fulfilling.

Some Scriptures referenced:
1 John 4:19 Romans 12:1 2 Cor5:14 Mark 6:1-3 Col 3:23 Matt 6:33 John 12:9 Matt 5:13-14 Prov 11:30

6 Helpful Wife Tips On Sex, Parenting, Communication and More

I started thinking about marriage and a few things I have learned over the last two years and I felt lead to share a few tips with my readers. Whether you are married or desire to be married one day, I think you will find this post helpful.

We all know that marriage is lots of fun and lots of work! Like everything, it has its joys and challenges. As wives, how we handle situations and the attitude we maintain determine the outcome. Here are six helpful wife tips. Read them over and let me know what you think.

1)  With the summer time coming, try to find an outside sport or activity that you and your honey can do together. I know my husband likes to play tennis. We started playing tennis together last year and we had lots of fun. I am NOT a sports gal but I know that my husband likes to be outside and active so I am trying to adapt to being active also. Recreational companionship is vital in marriage. Find something that you both like to do, whether it’s walking on an outside trail, going to the park and jogging, tennis, basketball, golf etc. Doing this will help you all to become closer, spend time together having fun and burning calories. If we don’t do activities with our husbands, we may find that they will start spending more time hanging with the fellas. Time with our friends is very important but there needs to be a balance. Married couples should spend more time together than apart in my opinion.

2)   When your husband is quiet, it probably means that he’s thinking and does not feel like talking. If he’s sitting quietly, ask him if he’s okay and if he would like to talk. If he says nothings wrong but continues to sit in silence, ask him if you can get him anything or if he would just like some time alone. If he isn’t in a talkative mood or if he’s sort of snappy with you, just say a prayer for him and give him some space. I am taking my own advice on this one especially because I don’t like it when my husband is quiet because he’s naturally outgoing and talkative. I have to learn to respect his need to be quiet and let him have his space. I just continue to pray for him and check on him every now and then. This doesn’t happen often so when it does I let him have his moment.

Men have a lot of pressure to deal with on their jobs and regarding taking care of us and their homes. When things aren’t going right in their careers or with the finances, they may sit and think intensely for a while because their trying to find solutions to the problems. Thank God for men who care about the issues of the family and are seeking God on how to resolve them!

3) A lot of my friends are pregnant with their first babies now. One wise piece of advice that I received from a mother of two from our church was this: make sure you include your husband in the parenting, disciplining and bonding time with the children. What she was telling me was sometimes as mother’s we become so particular with how we want the children to be feed or bathed for example that we fuss at our husbands when they don’t do it correctly and this may disagree them from continuing to try. As long as the child is not being neglected or hurt, let your husband have his time with the children to bath, feed, read or dress them without you hovering over them.

My parents taught me growing up that husbands and wives should always remain a team when it comes to discipline. They were a great example for my brother and I regarding marriage, parenting and discipline. Here is what they taught me. We were all raised differently, we have different views on the correct way to discipline children. It is up to the parents to meet, away from the children, to discuss the children’s behaviors and what discipline is appropriate for the particular action. Never argue in front of the children about what their punishment should be and never go behind the other parent’s back and change the punishment. Always show a united front when it comes to the children and don’t let them divide you two. When the children are older and long gone, it will only be you two alone in the house again and you don’t want to hate each other by that point.

My parents are celebrating their 30th marriage anniversary this year. They’ve had an empty nest for a little over two years now and they are loving it! They’ve expanded their bedroom and redesigned other rooms in the house. They’re honeymooners again and I love to see them happy! They weren’t at each other’s throats constantly during the child rearing years and now they can reap the benefits of their labor!

4)  If you are overwhelmed, tired and need your husband to help out more more around the house, pray about the right time and words to share this with him. You may want to cook him a nice meal and at dinner tell him what areas you need his help in. We never get through to our husbands by nagging or yelling at them. If you can speak to him when he’s relaxed and not busy, that would be a great time to let him know what you need. Say something like this “baby I so appreciate everything you do for me and our family. I know you have a lot going on but you still take the time do to things like take out the trash and keep gas in the car. Lately I’ve been feelings a little overwhelmed with the house work and cooking everyday. I wanted to talk to you about ways you can help me a few times a month with certain things so that I can get a little more rest. You let me know what things you would be good at or have the time to do.” If you say this with a good attitude and open heart to receive his answer, hopefully he will respond correctly. If this does not work, just keep praying. God is faithful. He will soften his heart and open his eyes eventually. Keeping loving and respecting him in the mean time.

5) I am subscribed to a blog entitled Daily Generous Wife Tips. The author Lori sent this post out on 6/2/2010 and I found it to be very helpful. Here is the point that she spoke on that day. The post was titled “Receive with Grace.” Guys have a fascination for body parts (it’s the visual thing). It’s not meant to be a slight. It’s really just about how they are wired. That doesn’t mean that they don’t appreciate all of you or that they only want you for sex, it’s just when they are being sexual they will notice and want to touch body parts. I encourage y’all to understand that when your husband grabs for you, it’s just an expression of his sexuality and not a personal slight. Your husband just loves to touch what appeals to him. In a very real sense, if you reject his touch, you are rejecting him. If you receive with grace his little touches here and there you are accepting him and setting the stage for a more full expression of love at a later time. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird) Be generous! Lori http://www.the-generous-wife.com/

I could totally relate to this post because my husband often reaches to touch me in some way everyday. He loves my body and loves to be near me. This is a great thing in theory but sometimes I honestly don’t feel like being touched. Sometimes he says playfully, “baby don’t reject me,” with his handsome smile. He told me that he just loves to be near me and he’s trying to be affectionate with me. I learned to smile and feel honored when he reaches to touch me instead of pulling away of looking annoyed. I don’t want him touching or desiring anyone else and I want to meet his heads. When I go to lay my head on his chest or cuddle with him at night, he never pulls away from me. He meets my needs and I meet his. That is what marriage is about.

6. Never get to busy to pray! Often times we as women spend more time taking care of others then we do ourselves. Many of us are working full-time, serving at our churches, taking care of our husbands, children, family, friends, the house and the dog. No matter what we have going on in our outside lives, we MUST set aside quiet time to pray, seek God, rest in his peaceful presence and get wisdom and instruction from Him. He keeps us energized, not the coffee/tea that we drink each morning!! Seeking God’s face and His word keeps us from going off on our husbands when they start to frustrate us. We are all human but God is asking us to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh. We must continue to seek Him daily to make sure we stay in the spirit. When you mess up and step into the flesh, make sure you repent, turn in the opposite direction and keep going.

Superwoman:How to Balance Being a Wife and a Mother

I woke up this morning to the news that two more of my friends were expecting babies. We now know of 14 couples planning to expand their families this year. God is good and I’m so excited for them!! As I sat and thought about all of the joys of motherhood, I started to think about the extra responsibilities that motherhood/parenthood brings and how wives find the time to balance it all. This is not to take away from the husbands because they work hard also. In this post, I’m  speaking of some of the things wives typically take care of and how they come to balance it all.

In the last two years, I have discovered that being a wife is so much fun and also a lot of work. To be blessed to wake up next to the love of my life, my best friend, whom I love and trust everyday, is an awesome thing. Thank you Lord!! The reality is, as a wife, there are many added responsibilities that I did not have when I was single and living at home with my parents. (cooking everyday, cleaning an entire house, doing laundry for more than myself, sharing my time, money, body, ministry, career and dreams with my wonderful husband) My husband does help with the cooking and cleaning but it is my responsiblity to make sure they get done if he is unable to help. By no means am I complaining about being a wife, I absolutely love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I am simply stating the facts for those that think marriage is only about loving making and having fun with your spouse.

Now to think about adding a little one to the equation, in the future, presents me with a little anxiety. How does one balance it all? My mom worked full-time, took great care of my younger brother and I, along with the help of my father. My father also worked full-time and was a hands on parent. My parents also served in many different ministries at my childhood church. My parents also took in my cousin and raised her for a few years. My mom has always been a gracious Proverbs 31 woman. She has always supported my dad in his business ventures, pushed my brother and I to do well in school and she found time to take care of herself and enjoy her life also.  She’s currently in school to get her Masters. I am so proud of my mom and I am forever grateful for the sacrifices that she and my dad made to raise us.

Things I observed about being a wife and mother from watching my mom growing up:

1) Have good time management

2) Keep groceries in the house and cook healthy meals for your family

3) Spend time teaching your children about God and the bible. Put in your children, your values and beliefs. Don’t let the media teach your children. Also lead my example; live by what you preach.

4) Get a babysitter and go out on dates with your husband often

5) Give time to the ministry, serve in a department you love

6) Keep yourself up, always look nice for your husband and yourself

7) Let your husband be the head of your household

8 Remain a team when it comes to parenting the children

9) Stay firm and consistent with your discipline

10) Go on family trips together. Spend more time with your family then hanging out with your friends.

11) Invest in your children’s education.

 I googled “balance between being a wife and a mother,” and a short article by Dawn Hawkins popped up. The tips she mentioned are simple, but I found them to be helpful.

How to Balance Being a Wife and a Mother

By Dawn Hawkins

Parenting is a difficult job at times. Being a parent means that you have to put some things off in order to do what the children need from you. There are some things that shouldn’t be put off though. Being a wife is one of them. A woman needs to learn how to be a good wife and good mother at the same time. The two roles are completely different but sometimes we let our parenting role overshadow our married role.

Here are some ways to balance parenting with being a wife:

After Kids Are In Bed

After the kids go to bed, spend some time with your husband. Change from your old raggedy robe into a sexy nighty. Cuddle with your man and let him know that you are still very interested in him. It might be hard to do that sometimes. Being a mother can wear you out. Women have a habit of letting themselves go a little when they have children. Don’t let this happen. Keep yourself well groomed. Put some make-up on and be flirty with your husband, even if you don’t always feel like it.

Find a Sitter

One of the best ways to balance being a wife and being a parent is to have “dates” with your husband. Find a sitter and go out with your husband. Go to dinner and the movies or go to a party. It doesn’t matter where you go, just go with your husband and without your children. Every couple needs time away from their children to spend time alone together. Don’t talk about the kids while you are out either. This is a night to spend with your husband.

Be Respectful

Be respectful of your husband at all times. Your nerves can be really wound up if the kids have been going crazy. Don’t let this disturb your relationship with your husband. In other words, don’t take out your bad day on him. Give your husband respect and love even if your head is about to explode. Many couples’s problems start because they let the pressures of everyday life get to them. Don’t be a statistic.

Don’t Fight Over the Kids

One of the main rules for balancing parenting with a marriage is to never fight over the children. Sit down and talk about the children. Come to an agreement about what should happen when one of them gets out of line. Work together, not against each other.

It can be difficult, but you can do it. Learning how to balance being a parent and being a wife is one of the best lessons you will ever learn. It can save your marriage. Don’t let children come between what you have. You had children to enhance your life together, not to tear it apart.

http://www.helium.com/items/1713451-how-to-balance-between-parenting-and-being-a-wife

***QUESTION: Was anything on Dawn’s list helpful to you? If you are a wife and a mother, what tips do you have for wives that are pregnant or considering motherhood regarding balancing it all***