Monday, November 24

When Parenting Doesn't Go Exactly As Planned

Joining my friend Amelia over on her blog this week for a super cool project that she has been working on called Pray A-Z. Read more about the project and download the free A-Z prayer cards over on her site. Let's join her in praying for people in our communities in very specific ways.  

You can read the beginning of my honest post on parenting here...and then head on over to her site to read the rest (; 
Pray A to Z

A few nights ago, my husband and I stood in the kitchen tired and a feeling a little bit wrung out. It was 9:45 p.m., and we were still cleaning dishes and picking up toys. All we wanted to do was crash on the couch and read a book or watch a few minutes of television, but there would be no time for that. It had been a busy day in the way that days are busy with young children (you can have absolutely nothing planned and still feel like you ran a marathon by bedtime!).
“I never pictured it to be like this,” my husband said.
“I know babe, I’m tired too. It’s never-ending. It’s really hard. It’s a season. We’ll get through it,” was my response.
He knew that. I knew that. But we’ve hit a rough patch recently, a string of days and weeks that simply leave you tired and discouraged.
I had been pretty emotional earlier in the day because I was feeling disheartened by the sheer magnitude of it all and we ended up in a tense discussion about why, even after 18 months of being parents to three children, I was still feeling utterly overwhelmed almost every day.
While the answer to that question may be a whole other story all together, I share this moment with you because it is a picture of parenthood that is often not included in those books you read during pregnancy. It is the part of parenthood that you don’t expect—the relentless flurry of demands on your time, energy, and resources and how it can, in all of its normalcy, become hard and overwhelming at times.
If parenting (an experience begun with that first set of tiny blue lines) has taught me one thing it is that I need Jesus way more than I ever knew (and trust me, I knew I needed him deeply before becoming a mom!). I’ve come to the conclusion that parenting is actually an integral part of the cosmic plan for our own spiritual transformation and reconciliation.

Monday, November 17

Sleepless Nights and Thankfulness (But Not Always At the Same Time!)

I have written six blog posts in the last several weeks and have not posted one of them.

That's right...I've sat, and thought and spent upwards of six plus hours writing a combined total of more than 5,000 words and have not posted a single one of them on my blog. 

I just perused them all in my blog post manager tool in hopes that one of them might be fodder for  nice snowy November day like today.

Not so much.

Every time I read through one of them I think...Ugh...too dreary, too boring, too blah, blah, blah...

Maybe this is what they call writers block. Or maybe I'm not wanting to be completely transparent about all of the things that are making parenting life feel a little bit crazy right now.

The lack of sleep hasn't helped.

Did I mention I'm tired?

We've had coughs, and teething and bad dreams and runny noses. When one things seems to resolve itself the entire rotation starts all over agin. All night. For weeks on end.

I once heard a friend of a friend say that after they had their third child sleeping at night started to feel like a game of Whack A Mole (that silly arcade game where you use a mallet to keep bopping the mole heads back down into their little circle!).  I know it's a bit of an aggressive comparison, but hey...if the shoe fits...and oh it does...use the comparison!

It does feel a  little bit like a Whack A Mole game, if I'm honest. You hear one child cry, get up, settle them down (or give them cough medicine or assure them there will be no more bad dreams or that there are no monsters in the house) and just about the time you settle back into your bed and begin to doze off...POP! Someone else starts to cry.

You spend 15 minutes settling that little one down, tuck yourself back into bed under the heavy warmth of your down comforter with your even heavier eyelids closing quickly and then...POP!

You get the picture.

 I wish I were joking about how our nighttimes are going lately, but I'm not. At all.

Therefore, when I sit down to write a blog post these days this is what comes out...I'm tired. I'm tired. I'm tired. What are we having for dinner tonight? Shoot, that permission slip needs to be sent in and book orders are due tomorrow. I'm tired. I'm tired. No one has socks in their drawers. I guess that's better than no underwear. I'm tired.

I wish I were exaggerating...even a wee little bit.

So anyways, instead of lamenting the fact that I have writers blocks and am tired and that it's all building up into large amounts of  un-inspiration in regards to my blogging efforts I figured I'd at last share the titles of those six un posted, half drafted, tired sounding blog posts. After reading the titles myself I realized they will give you a enough insight into life lately without bogging you down with all of the daily details...

So, without further are my unposted posts summarized by their titles:
1. It's Been Another Crazy Week in the Littlewood Household 
2. Wanting to Get It Right- The Mommy Thing 
3. Motherhood: The School of Hard Knocks 
4. Helping Your Hope to Fly 
5. Survival Mode Isn't for the Faint of Heart 
6. Working on my Long-Term view 
There you have it. My life in a nutshell of titles.

In other news...the more upbeat kind...I do love thanksgiving and the added opportunity to talk to the girls about being thankful and grateful for the many things that we have. We created our annual "Thanksgiving Tree" on Saturday. I almost purchased a pre-made one from Pottery Barn with some coupons I had, but then realized I love the community effort of making our own.

Plus, as we write our notes of thanks onto leaves and post them on the tree you wind up seeing all of the notes and are able to re-read them throughout the month- unlike some of the pre-made trees I've seen where you stick them inside a pocket and then don't have the benefit of seeing your collective wall of thanks.

Here is a photo of our handmade tree hanging next to the kitchen table on the sliding glass door...

And the girls first "thankfulness" leaves...

Yes, my sweet little Ava wrote down that she was thankful that Jesus had died on the cross...Yes, my dear, me too. And so thankful that that is one of the first things she would think to write down (; 

Blessings to you all from one tired, but thankful momma.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Here's to hoping my blogging inspiration returns with some much needed sleep in the weeks to come (;