Category: Parenting

The Family Rule that Ticks People Off

The Bearded Man and I have a rule in our home that ticks a lot of people off. You know what? I don’t care. In light of my newsfeed being filled with a sickening news story of a woman being raped, and the joke of a sentence the man received-I realize more than ever that we’re right to implement this rule. 

What’s the rule? 

Our kids don’t have to give hugs. 


No matter how much a well meaning friend or family member begs. 

They don’t have to put up with tickling and unwanted touch- even if playful. 

You wouldn’t believe the looks and snide comments I’ve received because I won’t make my child give a grown up, “One little hug.” Mainly because their pride and sense of entitlement gets hurt. 

What does this have to do with a rape case?

I’m teaching my kids that, “No means NO!” 

It goes both ways, for both genders. 

Nobody “earns” their right to touch another human being without their consent. 

Nobody owes another person a hug, a kiss, a tickle. 

Never.

Can I ask you a favor before you go begging my child (or any other) for a hug? 

Let them hug you first. My kids aren’t denied affection. They aren’t weird. When they’re in the right frame of mind, and comfortable with you; they’ll come running up and put their pudgy little arms around you. You won’t have to beg or bribe. 


When my daughter is on a date(you know, when she’s 30), I don’t want her to feel as if she “owes” her date physical affection because he bought her flowers. 

I would never want my sons to believe they have the right to force a horrific act on a woman because she was wearing a short skirt, or because they have never grasped “no” and that none of us are entitled to anything. 

Maybe you think I’m being dramatic. I don’t care. This stuff is serious business, and it starts when they’re young. 


My son is going through a “big boy” stage where he doesn’t want Mommy to kiss him goodnight. 

Does it make me sad? 

Yes. 

Am I going to force him to allow me a kiss goodnight just because I’m his Mom? 

No. 

I don’t care that he’s only 3. I don’t care that I’m his Mother. It’s his body. Besides…I would never want to force physical touch on someone that didn’t want it. The thought of that just makes my skin crawl. What makes other adults think it’s ok to force hugs and kisses on a child that clearly doesn’t feel comfortable? 

Entitlement. 

Do me a favor. 

Before you buy my child a toy, an ice cream cone, or anything kid related, and do it with the intent of receiving a hug or kiss…put the stupid toy back. I’ve taught my children to say “thank you” and write a note, or make a card. But that’s it. They don’t “owe” you physical affection.

If you start in on our kids, begging for hugs, or giving unwanted tickles, we will kindly remind you of our family rules. If you continue after they decline, we tend to get a little hot headed .

It’s my job to protect my children, not to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 


No means no. 

Maybe the other person isn’t vocally saying “no” out of fear, intoxication, mental challenge, or simply being 2 years old and unable to speak. But their body language certainly isn’t saying “yes.” That still means no. 

How sad that we live in a world where the lines of things that should be so obvious are constantly being blurred. Where “no means yes” and where even Christians justify wrong so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. 

To end my rant, in case I didn’t say it enough…

Whether you’re 3 or 23. 

No means no. 

Whether someone says it with their voice, their face, or their parents are about to slap you six different ways to Sunday. 

No means no. 

I’m a bad blogger, so here’s some randomness. 

I’ve been a terrible blogger lately. All I can say is, my kids have needed me. For the past week and half, I’ve had at least 1 sick kid in the house. We’ve dealt with fevers and puke buckets, and rainy day after rainy day. We somehow trudged though. 

Finally

The sun finally came out too. Hallelujah. I try not to whine about the weather too much, because the weather isn’t up to me, it’s up to God. I’m glad that rain spurt seems to be over though. That’s not whiny, is it? 

My kids did manage to be well enough to be in Mom’s wedding last week. Once she has seen all her pics, I want to do a whole post with tons of pictures about the wedding. It was absolutely beautiful! Here are a few pics of my family from the big day.

My little family!
Beautiful Babies!
My sister(Sara),Keira, and me!
It wasnt’t our wedding,but we sneaked in a few kisses!

We finished school for the year! Keira is a second grader! We will be doing some light review and fun reading this summer, but other than that, our mornings will be laid back and fun. Keira needs a break. Mama really needs a break. 

I was able to enjoy coffee on the porch this morning with my kiddos, without stressing about starting school. The kids watched our neighbors bale hay. It was my kind of morning. I stepped inside to grab something, and turned around to this;


Keira has a copy of “Pride and Prejudice” she’s been carrying around and “reading” for a couple days. She’s been trying to put together sentences and finding Mr. Darcy’s name. Funny, I always look for him in the movie. ❤️


Speaking of movies…to pass the time while Keira was sick, we watched the Anne of Green Gables movies. She has been listening to the audio books, and was tickled to see what the characters are supposed to look like. I’m going to get really corny, but there is so much wisdom in those movies. I seriously might do a blog post on all the awesome lessons I overlooked from Anne Shirley in the past. 

Elijah has decided he hates his crib, and the floor is the place to be. I stuck a clean, unused wash tub in the living room, and he loves it! It keeps him off the floor, and reduces the risk of getting trampled. When he gets sleepy, he climbs on up in there and falls asleep. He’s a quirky little fella!


Hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend! I’m working on a list of recipes I want to post next week! I’m hoping for a productive weekend and healthy children! 

This year, like every year, we talked big about how we hate Air Conditioning, and we weren’t going to put it in this year. It only took a couple days of it hitting 86 degrees in the house to change our tunes. We always crack by Memorial Day. It’s like a Sours Memorial Day tradition now. Looks like tomorrow we’ll be dragging AC units out of the building. We know how to party. 

Sorry for the randomness! If you know me, you’re used to it. If you don’t know me, get used to it! 

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Mother’s Day blessings for an imperfect Mom. 

Mother’s Day blessings for an imperfect Mom. 

I hope everyone had an awesome Mothers Day! The Bearded Man really outdid himself this year! I noticed early last week, that he was doing a lot of texting. I kept asking what was going on, and he would just ignore me or tell me not to worry about it. The thing about me is, I don’t let stuff go. I kept on prying, until I got it out of him. He and my friend Christine’s husband, were planning to send us out for Mothers Day. 

We ended up going to get pedicures. We are some of the most cheap and practical women on the planet, so spending 30 dollars on our feet doesn’t happen often. I hadn’t had a pedicure in over 7 years. It was a fun, semi-embarrassing experience! I realized later on, that we spent most of the time talking about our kids. Anyone else do that when you finally get out? 

After our feet were finished, we left and went to a festival going on in town. Walking around without the kids sounded exciting. Once I got there though, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. I’m so used to pushing a stroller, or lugging a baby on my hip. We kept pointing out things that our kids would like. We were in line to get ice cream, and saw a man walking around with a pet monkey on his shoulder. That’s when we decided to call the Dad’s. We just needed our kids to come see the monkey. 

Once the Dads and kids arrived, we were comfortable and in our elements again. We came to the conclusion, that life is so much more fun when you view things through the eyes of a child. Kids make things even more fun than they already are. So I finally got my hour away, and that was just enough to make me realize how much I enjoy my kids. They know we love them, but they also need to know that we enjoy their company. That’s something this sometimes grumpy Mama doesn’t convey well. 

We had dinner at McDonald’s, because sometimes you just need some of their awesome french fries. Somehow I never realized that the kiddy cones are free? Can I just get 10 kiddy comes, please? 



Sunday morning, I was greeted with doughnuts for breakfast, and a card made by Keira. What I loved the most about this card, is that she utilized the cursive we’ve been working so hard on this year! That was the best Mother’s Day present of all. She even made a pocket to slide her baby picture in, and included a piece of candy. I love seeing their little love languages come out as they grow! 


We went to Church and then came home to do some landscaping. We laid down newspaper in the flower beds to hopefully prevent weeds?! We’Il see 😉 We then planted flowers and mulched. The kids used their gator to haul mulch to us. It was a fun and tiring afternoon. 

When we were cleaning up the yard, Matthew hopped in the truck with Rich and I could see him looking out the window, grinning from ear to ear. Just sitting in the truck with his Daddy made him the happiest kid in the world. I got a little teary eyed watching the two of them. Sometimes when I watch my kids play, I get overwhelmed at how incredibly blessed we are. 

Before I had kids, I imagined being the perfect Mom. I wanted to do and be so many things. Here we are, fighting the battles of sleep, eating vegetables, and chores. I go to bed so many nights feeling like I failed my kids. God knew I wasn’t perfect when He blessed me with them. He did it anyway, and I’m so grateful. 💜

Fancy Day 

Fancy Day 

My little girl is turning 7 tomorrow! It’s unbelievable to me! I remember being on the way to the hospital 7 years ago today, and I was a complete bundle of nerves! Here she is, all grown up and such a sweet girl! 

We have a Fancy Nancy book, where they have “Fancy Day” at school. We decided that we would try that when it was our turn to host Homeschool Group. Her Birthday was the perfect excuse to give it a go! I was out of my comfort zone, as I tend to be a bull in a china shop, but I made it work! 

We broke out the beautiful tea set my Mom gave Keira for Christmas a couple years ago. 


Our menu included mint tea, sausage cheese bites, pizza rolls and pink goldfish crackers, because we’re refined like that. 


We did have some little pink miniature cupcakes! Perfect for a fancy afternoon of tea drinking! We sang Happy Birthday, and Keira was gifted with two new lovely dresses and an adorable pocket book. 


We had an amazing time, as we always do with these special families. 

Pride and Parenting

Would you believe I’m a month into my blogging adventure, and I haven’t received any hate mail yet? Well, after today, I may get some. That’s ok, because my friend Christine said she loves hate mail, and can’t wait to read mine. We are kindred spirits, that’s for sure. Christine, any hate mail I receive, will be forwarded to your inbox for your viewing pleasure 😀 *

So here goes. Every afternoon, I watch Stacy Myers on Periscope. She’s a funny, Godly woman, but she doesn’t take any crap. People can get a little offended at her approach. People love to be offended. Today, she did an entire scope on why she doesn’t let her kids watch Periscope. If you’ve ever watched a scope, you know that there are lots of trolls with no lives. They liked to type in random F bombs and nasty comments. Stacy doesn’t want her children viewing that stuff. Some people were concerned, because her kids are going to be exposed to garbage and obscenities one day anyway…why not let them see it and just “explain” it to them now? Thats when my blood started boiling. I’m serious, my neck is red at this very minute. First off, they are HER children, so no explanation was needed. Second of all, I am about tired of hearing how we need to “expose” our kids to stuff, and just explain to them what’s going on. We are living in a world where wrong doesn’t repulse people anymore. We’d rather accept it, and then cram it down our kids throats. 

In the evenings, the Bearded Man likes to watch “Person of Interest” while I answer work messages, or conk out in the recliner. I’ve seen enough to know that there is a lot of violence and killing. Should I let my kids stay up and watch it because there is plenty of violence and killing running rampant in the world anyway? Absolutely not. Am I a hypocrite because I watch it, and don’t let them? No. Here’s why. I’m almost 30 years old. They are 6, 3, and 1. Their little minds don’t work like an adult mind does. They can’t fully grasp right/wrong and cope with scary situations like an adult. Should I let them watch explicit shows because they are going to learn the wonders of sex one day? Ummmm…no. They are little. Now whether you agree with me or not, is your business. That’s cool. I’m going to protect my children’s innocence as long as I can. I’m not going to compromise my views and beliefs, or what I feel in my heart is best for my children to spare your feelings. We do discuss what we feel is necessary with our kids, but it’s never followed up with, “Go ahead and take a gander at this filth.”

It’s amazing how once we procreate, we all become experts on other people’s children *insert sarcasm*. When parents see other parents dealing with their own children differently, they will go into fits of rage and borderline harassment. I’ve been there. It’s ugly. I don’t get it. If we’re quite honest, it’s not even about concern over the child. It’s about pride. Ugly, stinkin, pride. All because someone disagreed with you, you went Into a hissy fit fueled by pride. 

There are certain things I don’t agree with, but I move on. You’ll never see my kids playing with electronics for hours on end. In fact, my daughter’s tablet has been sitting with the battery dead for over a month. That’s just how we roll. But I’m not going to get up in your grill because your kid is always playing a game or has their nose in a screen. I have friends whose kids aren’t allowed to watch most Disney movies, or eat a lot of sugar. I’m a little more relaxed in those areas. I don’t lose sleep over what they do, because I like sleep, and what they do is none of my business. 

Can I make some suggestions? If you find yourself constantly bad mouthing and worrying other parents(or even me) about how they handle their children and what they choose to “expose” them to, here are some better options:

1. Take a walk.

2. Read a book.

3. Cook a healthy meal. 

4. Fold laundry.

5. Take up a hobby.

6. Clean your house. 

7. Worry about your own kids.

After all that, you won’t have the time or energy to worry about other peoples parenting choices, or send nasty emails, because you were so busy being fulfilled in your own life. You’re welcome.**

The Bearded Man and I love our children dearly. We pray about our choices. We have many Godly friends we seek parenting advice from. Once we have made a decision, it’s our decision. Not yours. Not the trolls on the Internet. Not the UPS man, or the old lady in the grocery store. Ours. We answer to God for what we decide to expose our kids too. I’ve had people debate with me over the “What ifs” and “What if they see this or hear such and such.” Well then I’ll have to pray that God gives me the grace I need to handle those situations. I could come up with 1,000 scenarios of things that “could” happen to my kids. That doesn’t mean I will purposely expose them to garbage for “just in case.” If you’re offended by this…good. You’re probably a repeat offender and should re-read the above list of better things to do with your time. I hope you sleep ok tonight, because I sure will. 

*I will be answering hate mail after the hours of 9 p.m. and before 7 a.m. Please know that all hate messages will also be read by my friend, Christine. Any emails with terrible spelling and or grammar will be trashed before I finish reading to avoid a headache on my part. Thanks for your understanding. 

**If the above list doesn’t keep you busy enough from meddling in other people’s affairs, I can email you a complete list of things I need done at my house. I will provide the mower and cleaning supplies. 

Stacy, if you’re reading this, keep being your awesome self and doing what you do! 

  
On a totally unrelated note, we ended up getting this ball pit out of the attic and passed it off as a Birthday present for Elijah. He loves it!! 

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Losing the Martyr Mom Mentality 

I’ve done it. You’ve done it.

There are articles and sitcoms devoted to it. 

We Moms like to play the “woe is me” card from time to time. I call it, the “Martyr Mom Mentality.” 

For me, it starts early in the morning; “Poor me, the kids got up before I got my coffee…I really need coffee, because they woke me up a lot last night.” 

“I just cleaned this house last night, now look at it!” 

“I’m tired of changing diapers.”

And then when the Bearded Man gets home, I really like to put on the theatrics. 

“You wouldn’t believe what went on here today!”

“I don’t get any time alone.”

“I have to do everything myself.”

“I’m so tired.”

I’m proud to be a Stay at Home Mom, but I like to complain sometimes. Actually, our culture seems to enjoy complaining about motherhood. How did we get here? Do we think we’re above taking care of our kids? I know there are bad days, and I’m not trying to downplay that. But when did we get the mindset that taking care of our kids, in a warm cozy home, should earn us a metal? 

This has been heavy on my heart, because I had a huge reality check last week. My good friend, Stephanie was over and we were talking about child rearing. I made a comment about messes, and she shared with me how her mindset had changed over the years. You see, 11 years ago, Stephanie lost her beautiful 5 year old daughter, Mattie, to Meningitis. Her story is heartbreaking and amazing. She gently reminded me that waking up to a quiet home, isn’t the bliss that Moms dream of. When we talked last week, what really struck me, is how fast it could all be over. We talk about having “18 years” with our kids, when in reality, we aren’t promised that. We are blessed…so incredibly blessed and privileged to raise these little ones. It must break God’s heart when we complain and act like we’re “imprisoned” by caring for our families. One day, sooner than we think, it could all be over. Those little bedrooms will empty. 

How sad that we are wasting precious time feeling sorry for ourselves. Do our little ones pick up on it? That we feel like Martyrs simply for caring for them? Does it break the woman’s heart who has lost a child too early? Who struggles with infertility? 

Stephanie, I don’t know if you realize the impact you had on me last week, but I am so grateful. That very night, I was tempted to complain about a pile of books my kids left in the living room. Instead I decided to be grateful to have little ones in my home to read books. The Bearded Man and I realized that there are people out there praying to have messes like ours. 

We are put on this Earth to work and serve in one way or another. How blessed I am that God allowed me to serve by being a Mother. 

This job isn’t glamorous, but I’m not above it. 

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. 

Target can wait.

Coffee with friends can wait. 

The phone can wait. 

These babies aren’t promised to us forever.

I’m not a Martyr for being tired, or missing out on social gatherings to care for a sick child.

I’m not a Martyr for cleaning the kitchen or folding piles and piles of laundry.

I’m not a Martyr for changing diapers, or staying up at night to soothe a fussy baby. My own flesh and blood. 

Don’t feel sorry for me. 

Don’t let me feel sorry for myself. 

Don’t let me act like Martyr.

Pray for me. 

Pray that I can, as Stephanie said, “Stop, take a breather, say a prayer, and thank the Lord for my chaos.”

Psalm 127:3

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.

I’m gong to take a take breath and thank God for another morning like this one…