As a Stay At Home Mom God’s Grace is My Super Power

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2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

As a stay at home mom (SAHM) of three children four and under, God’s grace is definitely my super power. The scripture above is one of my favorites because when I’m feeling overwhelmed and tired, I quote this verse and keep it moving. I know Jesus is my help. He blessed us with our babies and He has given us the grace needed to care for them.

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Our four year old, Elyssa, is a super energetic, happy, inquisitive,creative, helpful and talkative girl. She keeps me on my toes for sure.

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Our 22 month old, Elaina, is a nurturer, she’s also sensitive, observant, affectionate and a joyful girl.

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Our soon to be 9 month old son, Eddie VI, is busy speed crawling and discovering the world around him. He’s active, inquisitive and loving.

Eddie is doing a great job nursing, he has since the day he was born. He’s always latched great and my supply has always been high. I’m grateful to God that I had successful nursing relationships with all of my children.

As a SAHM, I where many hats and my job is never done. Some days are happy and productive. Other days are draining and completely unproductive. Some days the children are cooperative and happy and other days they struggle to listen, fight over every toy and whine about everything. My relationship with God keeps me going on the good and bad days. I can talk to him, mediate on his word, play some praise and worship music and know that He is with me and His grace is sufficient for me. I was created to be a great mom, not of my own strenth but of His!! It’s a great feeling to know that my Heavenly Daddy has my back. Hes leading and guiding my husband and I as we raise godly children. My husband and I are a great team and he’s a awesome hands on father.

So be encouraged mommies!!! You’re doing an awesome job. No one is perfect and no child is perfect but we serve a perfect, all knowing God, who promised to never leave us or forsake us. Rest in His peace and His promises!! And the next time the children do things to drive you up the wall, take a second to thank God that he blessed you with your children and ask him for a extra dose of His grace!! He’s faithful, he will give it to you!!!

Breastfeeding, Pregnancy and Housework OH MY! My SAHM Update

SAHM
I’ve had the privilege of staying at home with my girls full time for the last four months. While life has been busy, it truly has been rewarding and lots of fun. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to have my family and home be my main focus and responsibility. Many people believe the myth that being a SAHM means you get to lounge around all day, talk on the phone and eat snacks; where anyone would get such a ridiculous idea I have no clue!! For me being a SAHM means serving my husband and my children and taking care of home full time without the responsibility of full time outside work. Being a SAHM is work that I LOVE and ADORE doing most of the time but don’t get it twisted, it IS WORK.

Our girls are 2 1/2 and 8 months and it’s so cool to watch them grow and learn new things right before my eyes. Of course there is the constant challenge of learning to balance time with my husband, playing, teaching and disciplining the girls and getting things done around the house. Some days the laundry or the dishes don’t get done and I have to learn to be okay with that.

MOM

To ensure that I get rest and stay sane, I wake my girls up early so that they can be tired at a decent time for a nap and have an early bed time. There’s lots of cooking, cleaning, bathing, playing, disciplining, teaching, cuddling, bathing, tickling, reading and arts and crafts going on throughout the day. I start my day running and by the end of some days I haven’t eaten much, my hair never left my scarf and my body is aching but I go to bed still grateful for the chance to be at home and not in the work force.

BOY

Last November, my husband and I were surprised and overjoyed to find out that we were expecting another baby. Our youngest daughter was four months at that time. In the midst of my shock and mixed emotions, my awesome husband was happy and very encouraging. My husband reminded me that God was with us, we were a great team and everything would be fine. Now I am almost five months pregnant and everything with baby and I has been great. This week we found out that we’re expecting a baby boy!! We’re over the moon excited to welcome our son into our family this July.

To many people’s surprise, Elaina and I still have a great nursing relationship. It IS possible to nurse while pregnant. For me, nursing while pregnant hasn’t been any different from when I nursed my oldest daughter Elyssa. Many people, including one doctor, told that me that my milk would dry up soon after pregnancy and Elaina would refuse my milk but so far neither of those things have happened thank God. I believe that God will give me peace about when to wean her. My prayer is that she and I will both be okay with weaning when the time comes and it will be a smooth transition before our son is born.

The everyday challenges of being a SAHM plus being pregnant, nursing a baby and chasing a toddler makes for some very interesting, tiring days. But I most say that it hasn’t been as challenging as I thought it would be and I give all glory to God for that. God continues to give me the grace, energy, joy and wisdom needed to care for the girls and stay rested and healthy for myself and my son. The days that I have energy I pick different projects to do like cooking multiple meals, clean the house, do laundry etc, and the days that I don’t have energy, I care for the girls and make sure we’re all feed and safe lol. My husband is a great cook and has lots of patience so when I’m tired and short tempered, he steps in, cooks and cares for the girls while I rest. It’s a HUGE blessing to have a spouse who is helpful and selfless with a kind heart. I love you Eddie Willis III and I thank God for you!!!!!

As moms we go through different seasons in life, sometimes we work inside the home and sometimes we work outside the home; there isn’t a right or a wrong regarding this in my opinion. Being a SAHM is not for everyone and I would never say that all women should stay home with their children. Being at home full time requires a certain amount of grace and patience that I believe only God can give and it’s not for everyone! I have my Masters in Counseling and I know that my career days are not over. I love counseling others, helping them overcome obstacles and reach their goals. Let me just say that I loved my job. I was a Social Worker for nine years and I believed in the work that we did to help our community. The last year that I was working, I felt that the time was drawing near for me to close that chapter of my life for a period and start a new one. Now instead of heading to meetings and conducting sessions with families, I’m watching the clock to keep my girls on their schedule, helping them grow, learn and conducting playdates and I LOVE IT!

I’m finding that I have more time and energy for my husband which is awesome. On his off days, we spend time together with our children and without them. As I mentioned earlier, my hubby is a hands on husband and dad and he makes sure he helps around the house and with the girls. (He’s always fixing something to save us money. It pays to have a husband whose good with his hands!) He also pushes me to go out and take some “me time” or hang out with my girlfriends often. As you can imagine with me not having to deal with the stress and politics that come with working outside the home and him helping around the house, things have been pretty hott in the bedroom!!! That’s evident by our current bun in the oven! We’re a young happily married couple and we make time to enjoy one another! We’re determined not to get caught up in work and children and never take time to talk, laugh or love on one another. I desire him and he desires me. Team Willis all the way baby!!

I love photography and this past December I started my own business called J. Victoria Photography. I’ve worked with some amazing people and children and I’m having lots of fun! I’m still developing my skill and learning the business but I’m enjoying the process! I created a studio inside my home so I get to work from home doing a few sessions a week and it’s something I love doing so that’s really cool! I want my clients to have a great experience and receive good quality pictures at an affordable price. I’d love for my readers to “like” my J. Victoria Photography Facebook page and if you’re in Michigan, message me about our promotions and packages, please visit https://www.facebook.com/Jvictoriaphotography

If you’re a stay at home mom please be encouraged. I know some days you may not feel appreciated, hubby may not say thank you and the children may behave like wild animals, but tomorrow will be better. We must continue to seek our Heavenly Father and thank Him for providing us the chance to be home for this season and ask Him to continue to equipt us with everything we need while we are in it. Remember, you ARE a great mom and you ARE doing an awesome job!!!

20 Things Parents of Angels Wish You Would Remember

I found this article last night and could relate to some of it and thought it would be helpful to share. Unless you’ve experienced the loss of a child, sometimes it can uncomfortable and challenging to know what to say or do when it comes to your loved one whose gone through it. Read this list and Id love to hear your thoughts as a survivor of loss or as a supporter to a loved one. Was it helpful? Accurate?
20 Things Parents of Angels Wish You Would Remember

By Jennifer Marohn in I Am A Mother To An Angel


1. I wish you would not be afraid to mention my baby. The truth is just because you never saw my baby doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t deserve your recognition

2. I wish that if we did talk about my baby and I cried you didn’t think it was because you have hurt me by mentioning my baby. The truth is I need to cry and talk about my baby with you. Crying and emotional outbursts help me heal

3. I wish that you could talk about my baby more than once. The truth is if you do, it reassures me that you haven’t forgotten and that you do care and understand.

4. I wish you wouldn’t think that I don’t want to talk about my baby. The truth is I love my baby and need to talk about him or her.

5. I wish you could tell me you are sorry my baby has died and that you are thinking of me. The truth is that it tells me you care.

6. I wish you wouldn’t think what has happened is one big bad memory for me. The truth is the memory of my baby, the love I feel for my baby, the dreams I had and the memories I have created for my baby are all loving memories. Yes there are bad memories too but please understand that it’s not all like that.

7. I wish you wouldn’t pretend that my baby never existed. The truth is we both know I had a baby growing inside me.

8. I wish you wouldn’t judge me because I am not acting the way you think I should be. The truth is grief is a very personal thing and we are all different people who deal with things differently.

9. I wish you wouldn’t think if I have a good day I’m “over it” or if I have a bad day I am being unreasonable because you think I should be over it. The truth is there is no “normal” way for me to act.

10. I wish you wouldn’t stay away from me. The truth is loosing my baby doesn’t mean I’m contagious. By staying away you make me feel isolated, confused and like it is my fault.

11. I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be “over and done with” in a few weeks, months, or years for that matter. The truth is it may get easier with time but I will never be “over” this.

12. I wish you wouldn’t think that my baby wasn’t really a baby and it was blood and tissue or a fetus. The truth is my baby was a human life. My baby had a soul, heart, body, legs, arms and a face. I have seen my baby’s body and face. My baby was a real person.

13. My babies due date, Mothers Day, celebration times, the day my baby died and the day I lost my baby are all important and sad days for me. The truth is I wish you could tell me by words or by letter you are thinking of me on these days.

14. I wish you understood that losing my baby has changed me. The truth is I am not the same person I was before and will never be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to get back to “”normal” you will stay frustrated. I am a new person with new thoughts, dreams, beliefs, and values. Please try to get to know the real me-maybe you’ll still like me.

15. I wish you wouldn’t tell me I could have another baby. The truth is I want the baby I lost and no other baby can replace this baby. Babies aren’t interchangeable. Besides, you do not know whether we have fertility problems too.

16. I wish you wouldn’t feel awkward or uncomfortable talking about my baby or being near me. When you do, I can see it. The truth is it’s not fair to make me feel uncomfortable just because you are.

17. I wish you wouldn’t think that you’ll keep away because all my friends and family will be there for me. The truth is, everyone thinks the same thing and I am often left with no one.

18. I wish you would understand that being around pregnant women is uncomfortable for me. The truth is I feel jealous.

19. I wish you wouldn’t say that it’s natures way of telling me something was wrong with my baby. The truth is my baby was perfect to me no matter what you think nature is saying.

20. I wish you would understand what you are really saying when you say “next time things will be okay”. The truth is how do you know? What will you say if it happens to me again?

http://mommyangelbaby.blogspot.com/p/angel-baby-poems.html

Here is the link to my Christian support group for moms who’ve experience the loss of a child. Everyone is welcome to join. Hope and Healing for Mommies of Angel Babies

https://www.facebook.com/groups/312074525543437/#!/groups/312074525543437/permalink/317738488310374/

A Year Ago Today The Test Said YES!

A year ago today the test said yes!! I’ll never forget how excited we were as we walked down the isles of the store looking for the pregnancy test or the joy we felt when we discovered that it was positive!! I rolled on the floor in our living room! We thanked God and sat there grinning at each other because our desire to start a family was coming to pass!!

We went to the store and created a surprise gift for my parents. We went to their house and I told my mom to look at the gift I had gotten for my girlfriend’s baby shower. When she opened the pretty blue and yellow box inside was my 2 tests, a poem from the baby to them and a baby musical toy. My mom screamed, my dad laughed and they both congratulated us! We ate dinner together and talked about baby stuff. I will never forget that day, how excited Eddie and I were but more importantly how faithful God was. I have always wanted to be a wife and a mother ever since I was a little girl. We had only been trying to conceive for a short time and God had given us the desire of our hearts!! Many ladies were telling me all types of methods to try to get pregnant and I was researching the topic weekly but my husband told me to calm down, enjoy trying and trust God and he was right!

I want to encourage people today to trust God and the plans that He has for you. He knows what you need and when you need it. He hears your prayers, He sees your effort to live right and please Him. When the time is right and He knows your ready, He will grant you your desire if they are in line with His will. (Psalms 37:4) I sit here typing this with my precious, healthy, blessed baby girl right now and I’m encouraging myself, reminding myself that if God did it on 7/30/10 He CAN AND WILL DO IT AGAIN! I have things that I’m believing God for my family right now and I know God hears me and I know He’s able and faithful! I will walk in peace and trust Him just as I learned to do last year when trying to conceive. Thank you Jesus for your love, mercy, faithfulness and goodness!!

Benefits & Myths of Breastfeeding, What Every Sista Should Know

Black women’s health.com posted a very informative article about the benefits of breastfeeding. The post also addresses some of the myths about breastfeeding.  I found the article to be very informative and I wanted to share it with my readers. It’s completely ok if a woman decides not to breastfeed her baby but I believe that she should make an informed decision before deciding not to do so. In many cases, women don’t breastfeed because of lack of knowledge and support. Please read this post and know that breastfeeding is beautiful, natural and beneficial to mommy and baby. I posted the link below so that you can read the article in full and also review their website.

Breastfeeding Has Many Benefits

Says breastfeeding mother of three sons, Karen Harris, “my children are a lot healthier than their playmates and I know that’s because of the nursing.” Breastfed babies tend to have fewer cases of Chiron’s disease, ear infections, diarrhea, meningitis, tooth decay and childhood diabetes. Studies show that breast milk is important in developing the facial structure, oral make-up and brain growth of babies. Premature infants who are breastfed tend to have a higher IQ than premature babies who are fed infant formula. In addition to the nutritional benefits of breast milk, there is an added emotional benefit as well. Eye and skin contact maintained while nursing gives babies the same sense of security felt in the womb, creating a loving transition into their new world.

Breastfeeding has important societal benefits too. Namely, breast milk is very cost-effective. One of its biggest conveniences is that it is absolutely free. Study after study has shown that if more infants were breastfed, millions of government and HMO dollars would be saved each year. Formula fed infants average $200 more a year in medical expenses than breastfed infants. If an additional one million babies a year were fed breast milk instead of formula, the U.S. could save over a billion dollars in healthcare costs. Imagine the money saved by families whose children are breastfed. Parents spend hundreds of dollars a year buying formula, money that could be put into a college or trust fund. Breastfeeding mothers have fewer cases of being absent from work due to child related illness, which saves companies money in healthcare costs as well.

Dispelling The Myths About Breastfeeding

Myth 1: Breastfeeding is too painful:

While there may be some initial pain as mother and infant get used to the process of breastfeeding, after a week or two, if mother is nursing properly, there should be little if any pain resulting from breastfeeding. Often, women experience pain because the baby is not latched on properly.

Myth 2: Breastfeeding will make the baby too dependent on its mother:

Babies who breastfeed are no more dependant on their mothers than any other baby. They do, however, enjoy the added closeness and security felt only through breastfeeding. In fact, breastfed babies tend to be independent and social.

Myth 3: Breastfeeding is unclean:

Breast milk is very sanitary and is the most perfectly balanced form of nourishment for babies. Moreover, its composition changes with the nutritional needs of infants and toddlers, something that does not occur with formula. Many pediatricians agree that as long as a child is receiving calcium from some source, cow’s milk is not an absolute necessity.

Myth 4: Breastfeeding is not possible for a woman with small breasts:

The size of a woman’s breasts have nothing to do with her ability to produce milk. Breast milk is produced by stimulation of the nipples from infant suckling, regardless of breast size.

Myth 5: Breastfeeding is too time consuming:

Women who nurse agree that breastfeeding is much more timesaving than consuming. There are no formulas to mix, nor any bottles to sanitize, clean and heat. Breast milk is always ready, the right temperature and the perfect amount the baby needs at any given moment. Mothers don’t even have to leave the bed for those nighttime feedings.

Myth 6: Breastfeeding has to stop when a woman returns to work:

Many women enjoy the continued benefits of breastfeeding after they return to work. They can purchase or rent quality breast pumps to pump their milk during the workday. Expressed breast milk can be stored in a refrigerator or cooler (and for months in a freezer) for baby while mom is working. An added benefit of continued breastfeeding upon return to the workplace is that mother and baby have a special bonding time at the beginning and especially at the end of the day.

Kathi Barber, CLEC and Jenise Fonville-Noels, CLEC

 http://www.blackwomenshealth.com/2006/articles.php?id=1

She’s Here! Nursing, Burping & Changing Oh My

Hello World!

I know it’s been a little while since I’ve published a post. Last Friday, April 1, our daughter Elyssa Janee’ was born. She was 7 lbs, 14 oz and 20 inches. The last few weeks of my pregnancy were challenging at times but my faith and relationship with God as well as my husband, family and friends helped me to get through. All in all I enjoyed my pregnancy and was very ready to meet our baby girl!

I’ll never forget the first time I heard Elyssa cry, held her skin to skin or the first time we looked into each others eyes. My husband, our loved ones and I were in love with her the moment we laid eyes on her! Now, eight days after her birth, we’re adjusting well to parenthood and I to motherhood.

Being a dedicated, nurturing and compassionate mother is a serious job! Mothers need to be selfless and give their time, attention and love to their children. I take my role as a mother seriously and though I am far from perfect, I am trying my best to learn how to be better for her everyday. God blessed us with Elyssa; she is our answer to prayer. It is only right that I try my best to be patient and put her needs before mine. Here are some of the joys I’ve experienced this far and some of the challenges.

Joys of motherhood so far:

1. Being able to nurse Ms. Elyssa, knowing that I’m providing her with the best form of nutrition. I love being able to meet her needs and have bonding time with her. Also, nursing is something that only I can provide her with.

2. Her looking into my eyes during the precious moments when she’s wide awake and quiet (newborns sleep majority of the day)

3. The times when my husband and I watch her sleep and sit and amazement that God blessed us to create such a beautiful sweet baby. My husband and I have grown closer throughout this pregnancy and Elyssa’s birth. We make an awesome team. It has been a joy to have him by my side.

4. Being able to kiss and hold Elyssa and tell her how much I love her. 

5. Having so many family and friends come by to meet her and bring us meals and words of love and wisdom. The support means a lot and we don’t take it for granted.

Challenges of motherhood so far:

1. Trying to nurse Ms. Elyssa when she is tired, frustrated and struggling to latch. I try my  best to stay calm and help her get comfortable and ready to receive me. We are both learning each other and this process. She’s very well with it!

2. The crying spells that occur at night sometimes, where we try our best to discover what she needs so that we can provide it for her. My husband has a lot of patience and helps me handle the crying spells without panicking.

3. The lack of sleep or naps on some busy days. God has truly helped me to adjust to fewer hours of sleep and on most days I am able to function just fine. I will take care of myself by learning to sleep when she sleeps but during the day that can be very challenging.

Ladies, if you desire to get pregnant, know that with God all things are possible and He has not forgotten you. Keep praying and believing, if it’s God’s will it will happen. Ladies who are currently pregnant, on the rough days when your emotional and tired, remember that God is on your side and soon you will meet your little blessing. Remember to ask for help when you need it. Ladies who are moms, let’s try to remember that we are not superwomen, as much as we want to be. We must eat right, get sleep when we can and take time out for ourselves and time with our husbands. Let us never get so caught up with our children that we repeatedly reject or neglect our husbands. They are our life partners and desire our love and attention also.

3 Reasons To Be Married Before Starting Your Family

I’m typing this post from our new nursery. My husband Eddie had to build a wall for the nursery because the previous owner knocked it down to expand the livingroom. Now the wall is up, the room is painted, the furniture has been purchased and put together and the decorations are done. God has been so good to us!! He is forever faithful!

I wanted to share three reasons why starting my family after I was married has been a blessing to me. Before I get into it however, I wanted to say that I believe that ALL children are a blessing from God, no matter how they were conceived. The bible teaches us that we are to be holy and abstain from sex until we are married. Read 1 Cor 6:18-20 & 1 Cor 7:1-8 The bible is what I try everyday to live my life by and the teachings in the bible are where I get my views from.

3 Reasons to Be Married Before Starting Your Family

1. Marriage is committment.

When my husband and I said “I Do” to one another, we made a committment that we would be married in sickness, healthy, richer or poor, till death do we part. We made a decision that divorce was not an option and no matter how hard things got, we would continue to seek God and He would get us through. We were blessed to be able to plan when we wanted to start our family and God honored that request. My husband has always desired to be a husband and a father and therefore he has been very involved throughout my pregnancy. He’s attended all my doctor’s appointments, helps me research baby stuff online, reads pregnancy books with me etc. Because we are committed to Christ, our marriage and each other, we are committed to our soon coming daughter together as well. No matter how challenging life may get, we know that God is on outside and we have no reason to fear.

2. Marriage is the ultimate form of team work.

My husband and I are committed to working together as a team. In marriage, you are supposed to be able to count on your spouse to be a helpmate to you. Husbands and wives should try their best to serve one another with a willing attitude and a loving heart. My husband and I work together to get the house work done, grocery shopping, pay the bills and get the meals prepared. I don’t have to worry about having to prepare for the child inside of me alone because I’m not sure if her father will stick around. Because we are committed to Christ, each other and working together as a team, there is NOTHING that we can’t do! We are unstoppable!

Often times when the couple is not married, the mother has to take care of herself during the challenging moments of her pregnancy. When the baby arrives, if  her partner does not live with her, she has no choice but to operate as a single parent, handling late night feedings etc on her own. During pregnancy, women deserve and need to be nurtured, pampered and assisted with every day task, esp towards the end of pregnancy. Right now I can’t tie my shoes, stand on my feet for long periods of time or even have the energy to complete simple daily tasks. I NEED my husband to serve me with a good attitude and help me. The good thing is, he desires to take care of me, he always has, but esp now that I am doing the important job of growing his child safe inside of me.

3. You have someone to love, laugh and learn with throughout this new season of life.

My pregnancy has been enjoyable. I haven’t experienced any complications and have hardly ever gotten sick. God is good!! One things for sure, my body and hormones continue to change but through it all, I’ve had my husband by my side the entire time. He continues to helping me laugh off the awkward pregnancy moments, google things and learn about pregnancy when I have questions or concerns and love me even though my body is growing and my emotions are sometimes out of wack.

No woman should have to go through pregnancy alone. Women need a loving support system to help them go through each stage of pregnancy and into parenthood. It hurts me to see pregnant women neglected, lonely and sad that the person who promised to love them hit the door as soon as the baby was conceived.

Ladies to help avoid the possibility of being a single mother, try not to give up the goods for free, know your worth. If a man truly loves you, he will propose to you and wait to have sex with you until you two have become on before God. First comes love, then comes marriage, THEN comes the baby in the baby carriage!!