Mothering

Inspiration on parenting

You’re Doing It!

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Funny, isn’t it, that society isn’t sending you {Mama} messages that what you are doing in your every day life is exactly what the world needs most? There should be capes for people like you who are elbow deep in taking care of the needs of the next generation day in and day out, not to mention: All. Those. Sleepless. Nights.

We hear about tragedies and war and crazy weather and shootings and chaos here and abroad…but almost never do we hear about the people who are making all of the daily living happen, or even making it possible at all! And sadly, that also means that there isn’t a lot of attention or adulation for the great work you are doing at home. So I wonder if you at times wonder if you should be doing something else, something that seems to count more socially or give you more of a sense of accomplishment by paying you or promoting you? To that I ask: if you aren’t present to fill the mothering role for your children, who will be?

On a broader scale I would ask: Do we as a society need more gun control? More laws, or restrictions and tighter controls? Do we need broader media coverage or more options for jobs or greater representation for women?

To these questions and many like them, I would say, what we really need is more of you.

I think that you are the secret weapon we need to make the biggest positive impact on the future socially, spiritually and even economically!

When I read a scary news story about someone who has been in the criminal justice system since they were a teen and now are on trial for murder, or see enraged young people who are completely out of control and looking back, we can see that they have been screaming for help, I think– that person badly needed something they didn’t get. Whether that was kindness, good food to eat, a safe place to live or in some cases medical care, there were deep holes in the fabric of their upbringing.

So, if you have given a child a safe space in your home and in your heart, the time to be carefree and childlike; fed and clothed them and given them a smile and affection, then today you have positively impacted the world. And if you are doing the jobs of both mother and father by yourself, I pray that God will bless you and strengthen you!

Today, you have contributed to a safer, brighter future for your family and community.

You have elevated happiness and learning and endless possibilities for you, your children and for society.

You have stretched yourself, finding needed patience and courage, and come out stronger.

Yes, just by doing the normal everyday parenting things, I believe that you are making the difference we need the most.

Thank you!!!

Love,

Jacque

P.S. An awesome quote by a psychological performance expert, Steve Siebold:

“Over the past 34 years, I conducted interviews with  more than 1,200 parents. While the focus of my interactions with them was to study how they handed down their beliefs about money to their kids, one thing always stood out: the closest, most successful, best behaved and smartest kids are the ones whose parents made it a priority to really be involved in every aspect of their children’s lives.
Mothers, fathers and children sat down to eat dinner together, or simply have together time every day. They talked about their days, discussed any big wins, their struggles and whatever else was on anyone’s mind.
I also talked to a few children of various ages in my studies, and all across the board deep down there were only two things they wanted from their parents: love and attention. The ones who got it typically were more fulfilled and stayed out of trouble.
The bottom line: get involved in every way you possibly can. You are a parent and it’s your responsibility. The more involved you become in your children’s lives, the better off they’re going to be and the safer our schools will be.”

 

Break It Up

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How many different ways can you think of to give your mind and body a rest?

The saying goes that a change can be as good as a rest, so at times simply changing the order or composition of your day might be a good idea!

But there are also times when you really need to be away for awhile! I’m referring to the times, minutes or hours or days, when you need to rest from the constant concerns and challenges that are about you each day. {They creep up don’t they, even when you don’t realize it!}

Here are a few ideas for you to consider. See if any of them might inspire you to schedule some down time in the next little while!

Spend an afternoon in the library
Schedule a massage and then keep the sitter long enough for a nap too
Plan an overnight getaway with your spouse at a location in your town or close by
Go to a place of worship and spend time elevating your thoughts
Go for a drive and see the signs of spring
Paint or draw or write about the things you are learning as a parent
Take a dance class
Go to a park with a friend to swing and talk
Take a class on something that interests you- feed your curiosity
Trade baby sitting regularly with a friend and know that each week you will have time to catch up or do nothing at all
Read a biography about someone who accomplished something great for humanity- take notes about what obstacles they faced and overcame

Being refreshed and renewed makes us so much more capable of dealing with life!

Don’t hesitate to create and take breaks regularly! This parenting gig isn’t a sprint, it’s a long, long run, so give yourself permission to rest at regular intervals.

Love to you!

Jacque

 

Remember Her?

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Do you remember the girl you were?

When hopefully, life was simpler and there were childlike joys to be found?

 

For some, even for many, there were also wounding times during childhood that, over time, can plague even the most stalwart, driven and loving heart.

And somewhere in all of the complexity of our minds and bodies, there can be lodged the untruths that may have accompanied those wounds.

No matter if you can relate to what I am saying or not, would you take a little challenge today?

I challenge you to write on a piece of paper the words, “I forgive” and slip it into your pocket.

Every time you are aware of that hidden note throughout the day, would you rehearse in your mind those two powerful words? “I forgive.”

And, during those rehearsals, at times add, “I forgive myself.”

This is one of the most powerful declarations I know. How much pain can be alleviated, sorrows forgot and truth revealed through claiming the power to forgive oneself {especially of the ill-placed blame that children sometimes carry with them into adulthood!}?

I pray for you. You who are carrying the weight and responsibility of nurturing the next generation. It is a great and blessed calling and a massive challenge that requires your health!

For you, for your marriage and for your children’s sake, please take good care of yourself today, inside and out.

Much love,

Jacque

P.S. Having our minds in a space of forgiveness, openness, gratitude and humility calls down the blessings of heaven. And we all need heaven’s help. Maybe this exercise will simply make way for inspiration to come concerning the next step you can take on your healing path! Love you!

 

Inspiration

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I have this book on the table beside my reading chair, because, even though I have read it several times over the past twenty years, I just read it again and have been studying it over the last few weeks. {This time I underlined and highlighted sentences and whole paragraphs that were meaningful to me! Can’t believe I haven’t done that before!}

It chronicles an experience of the author when he was a young man in 1943, long before, as far as I know, the onslaught of near death experience books became a thing.

Whether you believe that what he tells is truth or not, this story shares some incredible wisdom about life and some great counsel about perspective and what is important in our day to day living.

Such as the perspective on Richie’s self-criticism in this paragraph:

“If I’d suspected before that there was mirth in the Presence beside me, now I was sure of it: the brightness seemed to vibrate and shimmer with a kind of holy laughter–not at me and my silliness, not a mocking laughter, but a mirth that seemed to say that in spite of all error and tragedy, joy was more lasting still.”

And later, this penetrating question is asked:

“How much have you loved with your life?” Not, what have you done with your life that has glorified you…but what have you done to contribute to the success of others?

Also, a description Dr. Richie gives of seeing disembodied spirits is quite poignant. He describes that they are still trying to control others or to feed the physical addictions they acquired in life. In terms of the rules of validation {the great anti-drug} how would we see this ‘still trying to control’? Still thinking everyone else’s problems were theirs to fix? Still codependent and frustrated at not being able to direct others, but more frustratingly still, not able to control one’s self! {See what I mean about wisdom?}

This book puts one in mind of Steven Covey’s First Things First, when the reader is asked to write out their own funeral! {Who do you want to speak? What would you like them to feel to say?} It’s called, starting with the end in mind and the questions are meant to inform current decisions now, so that the hoped for outcome actually evolves over time! Really, anything that offers us perspective is extremely valuable, isn’t it?

So, I throw this little gem out to you. If you haven’t already read it, I’d recommend it. It’s a very quick read, partly because it is well-written, short and sweet, but also because the story is compelling and you just want to know what happens next!

My love to you on this spring evening!

Jacque

 

A Portrait of Self-Care

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Do you ever wonder what real, sustaining self-care looks like?

Last week I got to visit with a woman that I’ve known for most of my life, who is now in her 80’s and living alone after being widowed a few years ago. It was so nice to see her and hear about how she is getting along. But what has stuck with me since then is how she looked.

She looked cared for- and, even though she lives alone, she seems to be doing very well.

She said that she has people who come to help her around the house to keep things clean and in good repair.

But more important than her house being cared for, she looks well. Her hair is “done” {nicely tinted and has a lovely back-combed style}, she wore a little make-up and she was certainly wearing her trademark smile!

Since our visit, I’ve been thinking about what continuous habits she must have had throughout her years of young adulthood, raising a large family and now to being a grandma. In my memory, all through those years, she was having her hair done, I’d guess a weekly trip to a salon. As I think back, I don’t remember her being harried much or over-taxed. It seems that she tended to things and planned and worked and enjoyed her family. I’m sure she had her difficulties, but she seems to have fashioned and maintained a great outlook on life that has kept her going strong.

Part of what I’m describing, I’d say, was the fruits of an era when ladies were pretty much at home caring for their families, and when they were focused on the maintenance and care of their homes. But it seems that along with that mindset came caring for self in a way that might feel exorbitant to us today. Resting, getting to bed at a decent time. Eating regularly and well. Not being pulled {in a major way} in four directions at once, they just seemed to have a kind of contentedness that permeated their lives. {Wait, isn’t that what our computers and appliances and prepared foods are supposed to give us…less work / more time and contentedness and even connected-ness?}

I’d guess too that the ladies who lived on her street were doing much of the same thing and were a support to one another, as they were socializing and working together in the neighborhood.

Do you think that the wisdom of their era is lost? I have experienced something like it in some neighborhoods where we have lived and I loved it so much!

I wonder if it could be alive and well for those who seek to create it?

I hope that wherever you are today, that you have women who are your friends and neighbors with which you can build friendships and support systems. Particularly those who will support you in caring for yourself!

Be well.

Love,

Jacque