Mindset for Moms 2.0

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So after the nearly a year it has taken me to finish Jamie’s book, do I find myself transformed? That’s a hard question to answer. Yes, my mindset has changed due to many things. I’d like to give this book credit at one of those sources. In some ways taking so long to get through it has really helped. Trying to do one chapter a day (short as they are) would have been too emotionally draining. I needed to give myself time to really mull these things over and decide how I thought they fit into my life.

My life is different now from how it was a year ago, and will likely be very different this time next year, with a seven month old. But I hope I’ll carry many of these insights with me. Motherhood is meant to be a joy not a curse. This doesn’t mean every moment is magical and anyone who tells you that is either lying or has a poor memory. But we don’t have to focus on only the bad. Telling new moms horror stories won’t make those difficult days easier. But we can be there for them when the bad days come, encouraging them that there will be better days ahead. But we also owe it to them to rejoice in the wonderful moments and not bring the cloud of “Oh just wait until . . .”

I can’t control what happens to me, or how my day will go, but I can choose how I prepare and how I react. I hope that as I move forward my choice of preparation will be one of hopeful realism and my reactions more loving and filled with peace. Yes, I will fail. But that doesn’t mean I’m ready to stop trying. Because maybe this motherhood journey isn’t just about raising kids, but about transforming me into a better, stronger person, prepared for whatever else God has for me to do, in addition to my role as mom.

Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

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Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids: Mindset for Moms

Learn to Think Like Your Child: Mindset For Moms

Move! Mindset for Moms

It’s OK to be Down: Mindset for Moms

Get a Grasp on Gratitude: Mindset For Moms

Find the Emotional Rest You Need: Mindset for Moms

What Are You Putting In Your Mind? : Mindset for Moms

Write it Down: Mindset for Moms

Let It Go: Mindset for Moms

Do Only 6 Things Today: Mindset for Moms

Discover Your Mission

Tell Your Kids What You Want

Request a Do-Over

Move Away From Competition & Comparison

Give Your Time, Give Your Money, Give Your Stuff: Mindset for Moms

No Replays

Survive as an Introverted Mom

Surround Yourself by Great Thoughts from Great Minds

Conquer the Myth of Not Enough Time

Remember Kids Are People Too, Just Smaller Ones

Do What Comes Naturally

Live Above the Details

What Will You Remember in Your Nursing Home?

Live Above the Details: Mindset for Moms

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Last week, we talked about being more intentional about the things that come naturally to us as moms, but also being aware of which things drain us. This is a great chapter to follow that one. Because learning to live above the details is how we train ourselves to function during those times that drain us or things aren’t going according to plan. (In my own life, it often feels as though very little goes according to plan).

My first instinct when I face a challenge, isn’t usually to think “Oh goody, an opportunity to grow.” But perhaps it should be. One challenge I have had for myself is to try and let the small things go. I try not to stress over long lines, red lights or other annoyances that I have no control over. Yes, with an active toddler and whining five year old in tow, these can be very difficult sometimes. But I keep trying. Because I know that the frustration isn’t accomplishing anything. In fact it is wasting my energy along with my time.

When it comes to my kids I’m still working on this. Sometimes the whining, the screaming and generalized lack of gratitude is exhausting. But I try to keep a deep breath and try to keep moving forward without letting my mind run the possible future where my children are in their twenties, living at home and still believing I need to cook for and clean up after them. Because of course that isn’t going to happen. Someday they will do their own laundry, wipe their own noses and even prepare some of their own meals. It won’t always be like this and someday I may miss their yummy noises at the dinner table.

So what do I do? Try to let the little things go. Pick my battles carefully. Try to love the good things about where I am right now. (Even if it’s little things like seeing my three year old bopping to the music when I glance in my rear view mirror).

 

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Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids: Mindset for Moms

Learn to Think Like Your Child: Mindset For Moms

Move! Mindset for Moms

It’s OK to be Down: Mindset for Moms

Get a Grasp on Gratitude: Mindset For Moms

Find the Emotional Rest You Need: Mindset for Moms

What Are You Putting In Your Mind? : Mindset for Moms

Write it Down: Mindset for Moms

Let It Go: Mindset for Moms

Do Only 6 Things Today: Mindset for Moms

Discover Your Mission

Tell Your Kids What You Want

Request a Do-Over

Move Away From Competition & Comparison

Give Your Time, Give Your Money, Give Your Stuff: Mindset for Moms

No Replays

Survive as an Introverted Mom

Surround Yourself by Great Thoughts from Great Minds

Conquer the Myth of Not Enough Time

Remember Kids Are People Too, Just Smaller Ones

Do What Comes Naturally

Do What Comes Naturally: Mindset for Moms

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Photo Credit: Luana Campelo via Compfight cc

The premise of this chapter is great advice, at least on the surface. Part of managing life as a mom is figuring out what drains us and what fills us up. It’s OK to have likes and dislikes when it comes to parenting. I enjoy reading aloud to my kids, when they are real stories, not twaddle. (You know what I mean, books about TV characters with no real plot and poor writing and similar.) So I avoid bringing twaddle into our home, though somehow a few seem to find their way into our bag on library days.

I also know that time away from my kids is necessary for me to stay sane, but not just time away from, but time spent on something I enjoy. For a season this meant one night a week where I left the house as soon as my husband arrived home and didn’t return until after the children were in bed. I would go to a local café and eat dinner followed by time to read and write, preferably write. While we’ve had to take a break from that season for a while, I think we need to get back to it soon, because I notice a difference without it.

Yes, as Jamie points out, sometimes we have to do things that don’t come easily to us, this stretches us and we may find something new that we do, in fact, enjoy. Also, life and motherhood are full of lots of challenges that we must face. Housework drains me, but a clean house makes me feel calmer. So in that area it’s about balance. Clean enjoy to feel calm without being constantly drained from picking up and organizing. As my children are getting older, it also means that they need to begin the slow process of learning tasks and taking on responsibility in our home.

One thing that Jamie didn’t talk much about in this chapter that I feel is essential and balancing the needs of your children with your own. I am a firm believer in the idea that children do not run the household, but I also know that they have needs and wants too. As a mom, I try to be sensitive to this. Sometimes it means hosting playdates, even when I’d rather not because it’s messy, loud and cuts into my afternoon quiet time. My daughter requests and enjoys these events, and I try to honor that. I may mean a Sunday afternoon spent at the park or a morning in the backyard when I have so much to do because my children need this time to be healthy and get their pent up energy out.

But ultimately, knowing what works well for us, can allow us to better balance our days and avoid burnout. I may choose a busy week with many days out because of activities that we all enjoy. But I know it will mean needing time to recover at the end with a slower week to come. I’m still working through this process myself, but really accessing what energizes me, drains me and what I love and hate about parenting do make it easier in cases where I do have choices about how I spend my time.

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Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids: Mindset for Moms

Learn to Think Like Your Child: Mindset For Moms

Move! Mindset for Moms

It’s OK to be Down: Mindset for Moms

Get a Grasp on Gratitude: Mindset For Moms

Find the Emotional Rest You Need: Mindset for Moms

What Are You Putting In Your Mind? : Mindset for Moms

Write it Down: Mindset for Moms

Let It Go: Mindset for Moms

Do Only 6 Things Today: Mindset for Moms

Discover Your Mission

Tell Your Kids What You Want

Request a Do-Over

Move Away From Competition & Comparison

Give Your Time, Give Your Money, Give Your Stuff: Mindset for Moms

No Replays

Survive as an Introverted Mom

Surround Yourself by Great Thoughts from Great Minds

Conquer the Myth of Not Enough Time

Remember Kids Are People Too, Just Smaller Ones

Remember Kids Are People Too, Just Smaller Ones: Mindset for Moms

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This is such hard balance to strike for me. I agree that children are people too, and should be treated as such. But they also need guidance. I appreciate that Jamie highlights the importance and responsibility of parental authority. Discipline is often a struggle at our house. My children are what some term strong willed, hard to handle or another other number of terms. This means they are high energy, loud, adventurous. They are not compliant by nature. Trying to assign responsibilities is often more work than doing it myself. I find myself caught between not wanting to ruin or burden their childhood with chores and responsibilities and feeling the heavy weight of responsibility to prepare them for the future. Plus, chores equal fights at our house. I recognize that at three and almost six they need to be contributing to the running of our household. Is this cruel? I don’t think so. As Jamie points out in this chapter, children are people too. That means learning to take responsibility for some of their own needs and contributing to the household and society.

But how do I motive them without bruising their tiny spirits? I also recognize that as little humans they have the same sinful nature as the rest of us, and they are immature so they haven’t yet learned to control it. They would rather play than work, follow their own wills rather than acquiesce to someone else’s. This is natural, but it isn’t how we are meant to stay. As a parent, it is my job and guide and help them.

I’ve learned that there is no one right way or magic method of parenting. Family dynamic and the personality of each child plays a role in how successful a particular course of action may be. Which means a lot of trial and error. But if love remains the ultimate source of our actions, an equilibrium will eventually be found. I love my children too much to let them arrive in adulthood without any idea how to care for themselves and serve others in their lives and families. I love them too much to significantly set them back in life by babying them until the day they leave my house, totally unprepared to face the world.

Sometimes that love looks like chores, bedtimes and even consequences and punishments. The easier road for me, is to do things myself, ignore the constant challenges to my authority and allow them to do as they wish. There are days when my own resolve is weak and it seems simpler to give in and avoid the constant conflict. But I know that this is not for their best, nor mine. So we pick our battles, give them age appropriate choices and freedoms coupled with corresponding responsibilities. Honoring who they are while trying to help guide them into becoming who they are supposed to be.

 

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Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids: Mindset for Moms

Learn to Think Like Your Child: Mindset For Moms

Move! Mindset for Moms

It’s OK to be Down: Mindset for Moms

Get a Grasp on Gratitude: Mindset For Moms

Find the Emotional Rest You Need: Mindset for Moms

What Are You Putting In Your Mind? : Mindset for Moms

Write it Down: Mindset for Moms

Let It Go: Mindset for Moms

Do Only 6 Things Today: Mindset for Moms

Discover Your Mission

Tell Your Kids What You Want

Request a Do-Over

Move Away From Competition & Comparison

Give Your Time, Give Your Money, Give Your Stuff: Mindset for Moms

No Replays

Survive as an Introverted Mom

Surround Yourself by Great Thoughts from Great Minds

Conquer the Myth of Not Enough Time

Conquer the Myth of Not Enough Time: Mindset for Moms

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Yes, this is true.  We all have 24 hours in a day. I really struggled with this chapter. Because while I know I only have a certain number of hours a day, the same as everyone else, it doesn’t feel like. Because time and uninterrupted time are different things. Because doing 15 different tasks a day and finishing none of them doesn’t have the same satisfaction as one or two completed items. She doesn’t even begin to address urgency vs. importance in this chapter.

Jamie says that what gets done shows us our true priorities. If I look at my life that way, it makes me sad. Because playing with my children is rarely high on the list. I don’t mind reading (at least until I’m forced to read the same Thomas the Tank engine book too many times). But it’s hard for me to feel drawn into screaming play. It’s so loud and my head wants to explode. I remember in the summer making a real point to enjoy my kids at the park. It was great. But it’s winter now. Our little house feels like it gets smaller by the day. What gets done is meals, some laundry and occasionally dishes. Do these things really matter to me? NO! We could eat twice a week and pay someone else to do the laundry. But we can’t afford to. So instead these things that don’t really matter but must be done take over. The urgent outweighs the important.

There is also a significant different in the usefulness of my hours. I may have 24 hours a day, but I also require sleep. (How I wish I didn’t). Sometimes I require more sleep than usual. So I must sacrifice those hours or opt to sleep less and have fewer useful hours. You know what I mean. When you stay up that last extra hour but you are so tired you can’t focus and end up puttering on the internet or a ten minute task takes and hour because of fatigue. This is the law of diminishing returns. Sometimes it’s better to let it go. This is especially hard when I feel like I’m sacrificing me time. The time after my kids are in bed is the small amount of time I have for myself. Sometimes I blog or do other work. I prefer to relax and knit or crochet. Sometimes I do house work. But if I stay up too late, no matter how fun the activity, I usually pay for it in bad mood or inefficiency the next day.

This is one of those chapters where I don’t have any answers. Jamie says we should live more in the present moment instead of being constantly distracted, which I agree with. This will help us engage more fully in the one thing we are doing. But those of us with multiple kids who homeschool, work from home, etc. Sometimes doing one thing isn’t our choice. I sit down to do school with my daughter and my son wets his pants. Or I finally get a quiet moment to put down a few thoughts toward a blog posts and my kids begin fighting. The phone rings. And important work or ministry email needs an immediate response. It can be so difficult to maintain presence and focus on one thing. I guess what I need to work on is to be better about returning to the moment after the distraction has subsided.

For me, more interruption leads to less productivity. Hence why as a mom, I can work all day and still feel like I’ve accomplished nothing. (This is not specific to moms though. My husband says he feels like this at work some days too).

So no, I don’t have the magic solution to how to get it all done or even tips on how to make it better. Just make room to laugh and love no matter what you are doing. In the end, that’s probably all any of us can hope for.

 

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Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids: Mindset for Moms

Learn to Think Like Your Child: Mindset For Moms

Move! Mindset for Moms

It’s OK to be Down: Mindset for Moms

Get a Grasp on Gratitude: Mindset For Moms

Find the Emotional Rest You Need: Mindset for Moms

What Are You Putting In Your Mind? : Mindset for Moms

Write it Down: Mindset for Moms

Let It Go: Mindset for Moms

Do Only 6 Things Today: Mindset for Moms

Discover Your Mission

Tell Your Kids What You Want

Request a Do-Over

Move Away From Competition & Comparison

Give Your Time, Give Your Money, Give Your Stuff: Mindset for Moms

No Replays

Survive as an Introverted Mom

Surround Yourself by Great Thoughts from Great Minds

Surround Yourself by Great Thoughts from Great Minds

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In the age of the internet, it’s hard to tell the good writing from the twaddle. Truth is ill defined and thus everywhere and yet nowhere. But surrounding yourself with the thoughts of great minds, especially people faith, is hugely beneficial.

This doesn’t always mean reading the classics, though that doesn’t hurt. Sometimes my brain can only handle classic literature in small increments. That’s one reason why I really enjoyed this book in college.

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It was a text book in my Foundations of Christian Spirituality Class. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t finish the whole book. But every few years I try it again. It takes experts from great writers and thinkers of the faith and breaks them into digestible chunks. This will probably be the next book I tackle during my nighttime reading.

For a long time I felt guilty that at night I wanted to read something for pleasure rather than do an in depth Bible study. Yet, I found that reading before bed was crucial to helping my brain unwind. So I compromised. I am slowly working my way through books that I think will help me strengthen my faith, in addition to scripture. I’m currently almost done with Victory Over the Darkness: Realize the Power of Your Identity in Christ by Neil T. Anderson. I don’t read a whole chapter, sometimes just a few pages. Then I give myself some time to read a book for pleasure. I just finished Mobbed by Carol Higgins Clark. It’s easy, light fluffy mystery reading where there is usually a happy or at least satisfactory ending. Next I’m starting Stealing the Preacher which was a Christmas gift from my husband. I had an opportunity to review the first book in Witemyer’s series and I’m pleased to be able to follow the continuing saga, even though it isn’t my usual fare.

By having both a spiritual non-fiction and a fiction book going at the same time I’m able to nourish my soul and entertain my mind; all while helping my body relax enough to get a good night sleep. So please, make the time to read in your life. Even just a few pages here and there. When you feel overwhelmed by life or overloaded by opinions in the internet age, return to the wisdom of the past and find rest there.

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Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids: Mindset for Moms

Learn to Think Like Your Child: Mindset For Moms

Move! Mindset for Moms

It’s OK to be Down: Mindset for Moms

Get a Grasp on Gratitude: Mindset For Moms

Find the Emotional Rest You Need: Mindset for Moms

What Are You Putting In Your Mind? : Mindset for Moms

Write it Down: Mindset for Moms

Let It Go: Mindset for Moms

Do Only 6 Things Today: Mindset for Moms

Discover Your Mission

Tell Your Kids What You Want

Request a Do-Over

Move Away From Competition & Comparison

Give Your Time, Give Your Money, Give Your Stuff: Mindset for Moms

No Replays

Survive as an Introverted Mom

Survive as an Introverted Mom: Mindset for Moms

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I know this well. I am an introverted mom. There are days when I just want the whole world to go away and leave me alone. Childish giggles and squeals grate on my nerves, and ringing phones make my skin crawl. By the time my husband gets home I want to run screaming from the house. It’s tough to be a stay-at-home mom or homeschool mom when you are an introvert, because as an introvert, people drain you and your little people are with you all day long.

There are many good tips in this chapter, I won’t mention all of them. But I want to highlight three in particular. One I’m already doing and it makes a big difference and the other is something I’d like to do and another is my own unique tip that works well for me.

Naptime/Rest time

Institute a mandatory rest or nap time. This is a tip a learned from my mother (also an introvert) even before I had kids. My daughter is five, and still has naptime/quiet time. She can play in her room, listen to audiobooks or read stories. But she has to stay in her room. My son is almost three and still naps. I’m not sure how I’ll manage his semi/mostly potty trained status and quiet time. (Meaning preventing accidents but also discouraging too many assisted bathroom trips during quiet time) but I’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it. My daughter often resists this time, but I know we all need the break. Jamie mentions homeschool moms with teenagers who still have daily quiet time.

Write Everyday

This is something I want to and need to do. I’m working towards it but I’m not there yet. This is even more important for me I think, not just because I need to get my thoughts out, though journaling is fine. But as a writer I need to feel like I’m making progress on my work. It is a major way that I manage my mental health. When our finances allow, I would go to a local Panera and have dinner and write one night a week. That isn’t happening anymore, but nothing has taken it’s place yet. But it needs to, because I need that time.

Something You Enjoy

One more thing that works for me is handicrafts. Knitting and crocheting. They mostly involve my hands more than my brain, depending on the difficulty of the pattern. I’m learning to sew, but I’m not good enough for that to qualify, it requires too much concentration. At the end of a difficult day, especially if I’ve been slogging through painful phonics lessons or arguing through handwriting or math (or just spent the whole day trying to get the toddler to stop screaming) I need to do something fun, yet useful with my hands. This is what differentiates it from chores. I enjoy it, it’s beautiful and yet also has an aspect of practicality. I find it almost therapeutic.

So what do you do to help maintain your sanity as an introvert mom or an extrovert mom? We all love our kids, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need breaks.

 

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Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids: Mindset for Moms

Learn to Think Like Your Child: Mindset For Moms

Move! Mindset for Moms

It’s OK to be Down: Mindset for Moms

Get a Grasp on Gratitude: Mindset For Moms

Find the Emotional Rest You Need: Mindset for Moms

What Are You Putting In Your Mind? : Mindset for Moms

Write it Down: Mindset for Moms

Let It Go: Mindset for Moms

Do Only 6 Things Today: Mindset for Moms

Discover Your Mission

Tell Your Kids What You Want

Request a Do-Over

Move Away From Competition & Comparison

Give Your Time, Give Your Money, Give Your Stuff: Mindset for Moms

No Replays