One day, when I was nine months pregnant, my husband desperately needed parts that could only be purchased at our local mall. I couldn’t find a babysitter, so I ended up taking my one, three, and five-year-old daughters to the mall with me. Shopping while nine months pregnant was one of my least favorite activities. People seemed to feel that they had a right to come up to me and pat my belly. It made me very uncomfortable. Pushing a two-seat stroller and holding the hand of a young child while pregnant drew many unwanted stares.
Within a matter of minutes after entering the mall, a man approached and exclaimed, “I know what you want.” Within the next several minutes, two more shoppers passed by, offering similarly ambiguous comments. I was totally confused and frustrated. When the next person stopped me, laughed, and commented that she knew what I wanted, I was about to explode. When I inquired as to her remark, she replied that I wanted “A son, of course.”
Now it was my turn to laugh. They had no idea that I had four sons working with my husband at home.
Things are not always as they seem. It’s VERY hard work being a mom. Try not to become discouraged or weary!
The last chapter of your life has not yet been written!
The only ‘normal’ that our young children know is what they see, feel and live out in our care. I was challenged several weeks ago when our pastor asked the congregation how involved we were with people who hadn’t been told about’ the secret of eternal life and the news of a Savior who came to offer that life with Him in Heaven. He asked if we were raising our children to be responsive to the hurting world around us? It’s easy around Christmas time to share God’s love and our wealth and time, but how about February 29th? It reminded me of a time, years ago, when my 4 sons were 5 years old and younger. I was too tired to even think about adding any extra activities to share the good news. Looking back, I’m not sure why I thought it would take activities outside of my house to evangelize. In that season of my life, leaving my home would not have been best for my family. But, we did make some changes! One of the things that we incorporated into our daily lives was to pray for the people in the 10/40 window. We used a wonderful book called Window on the World by Daphne Spraggett and Jill Johnstone. Each week we prayed for a country, and then learned more about it. We colored flags and pinned them on a world map. It became a geography lesson, and SO much more! We can preach to our children until we are blue in the face about making a difference, and sharing the good news of Jesus, but if they don’t see it carried out in their own home, they will not be fooled. I’ve shared in an earlier post that my brother and I thought that every child went on vacation with one or both sets of grandparents, and that every family went out of their way to help those with mental and physical challenges, and that everyone spent hours and hours a year helping to raise money for the local volunteer ambulance and fire company. My parents never said a word about it, they lived it. As I heard my pastor’s words, I felt convicted to do more. I’ve become too comfortable! Maybe God has been trying to get my attention and I’ve been too out of tune to hear. Tomorrow I’ll share some other things that we did as a family when our children were very young! I’m linking to: http://womenlivingwell.org/ http://raisinghomemakers.com/
I’ve been receiving interesting emails about my recent posts on potty training and thought I’d share some in a post!
I’d first like to congratulate Josie and Sara who both emailed me to let me know that they each have had great success potty training their sons!!!!! Woo-Hoo! Great!
A mom who works 4 days a week asked what she should do to potty train her daughter, since she is not home 3 days in a row. That’s a tough one. Does anyone have a suggestion for her?
Another asked for ideas for rewards. My firstborn received new, little children’s books. My second was given new Matchbox cars. My third also received Matchbox cars. Then, I got tired and lazy. I won’t apologize for it. I know that it sound’s like an excuse, but every 13 or 14 months I’d be pregnant, and with each pregnancy I was sick for longer periods of time…..so…….mini M+M’s worked very well!!
A mom of a 27 month old son asked if she was waiting too long to start training him. She was told by friends to wait until summer because her son could roam outside and just…well you know. I do agree that it is easier to train a child in the summer because they have less and lighter weight clothing on, but if he is ready, I’m not sure I’d wait. I’m not comfortable with my sons roaming outside and letting it ‘rip’ either. What happens if they are walking into church or in a park, or anywhere in public, and feel the need? Maybe, it’s not a problem! I just used a different technique!
Does it really only take 3 days?? Two moms were skeptical. The children may not be 100% trained, but diapers are replaced with pull-ups JUST fir naps and bedtime, and there is no turning back!
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce (demanding) as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM4RjgRyieQ
I think one of the best ways to achieve successful potty training is for mom to ‘play the role’ of a mother who walks around with a smile on her face, no matter what is going on around her, never raises her voice, and effortlessly finds words of affirmation rolling off her tongue. I mean academy award role playing!! Those attributes might come easily for you, but it is role playing for me. Potty training does not happen automatically for our children, like crawling or walking. It must be taught, and it involves physiological functions and feelings that are new for our children.
So, I do not reprimand my child during this training time, and I show no frustration or disappointment. I may feel it, but my smile doesn’t fade. I keep pumping out words of encouragement and affirmation. Potty training can easily become a battle of the wills, and I do NOT want to enter into that battle with my toddler!
At nap time and bedtime, I use a diaper or a pull-up.
For three days I keep this up. By the fourth day, 4 of mine were potty trained. Four of them took about a week. But, I still HAD to take them to the bathroom every hour or so during the day, for the first week or two. I DID NOT ASK THEM IF THEY HAD TO GO, I smiled and took their hand and chatted away as I led them to the potty. I don’t consider this process to be democratic. Call me any name that you’d like to, but we’re talking survival here!!
Bed wetting at night is common. Three of mine wet their bed for years!!! I have been told it can be hereditary, and that seems to be true. They had no problems at nap time or during the day, so I just purchased a lot of pull-ups.
I’ve already received lots of emails with questions, like ideas for rewards, and how about working moms. I’ll answer them on Monday. I LOVE your emails and comments!
It’s time for my Friday’s Finds. Her are some sites thai I LOVED this week!
This is a thought provoking post. What should we talk to our tween and teen daughters about their future mates?
My son was 21 months old, and although I felt huge as a whale, grouchy,and frumpy, I was excited on one beautiful fall Saturday, because my cousin and his wife, Marvin and Robin, were coming to spend the whole day with us. My second child was due to be born in two weeks, and the company would keep my mind occupied with adult talk…Woo-hoo! We enjoyed a breakfast together, and then my cousin asked if my 21 month old son, Ben, was potty trained. I replied that he wasn’t. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I didn’t know where to start, so it had never happened. Robin said the she would be happy to start the process for me, and that at the end of the day, the ‘worst’ would be over. She walked me through the process, and within 3 days, Ben was potty trained.
The same process worked for all of my children, along with other people’s children that I have helped along the way.
Pick a three day period that you know you’re going to be captive in your home. Put in on your calendar.
Talk to your child a few weeks in advance about the special event that’s about to happen in his life. You can say things like how much fun it’s going to be to wear big boy pants. Or, explain that he will use the potty and be just like daddy, or Uncle Mike. REALLY talk it up!!!!!!!!!
Buy a small potty or contraption, and purchase rewards that would be special for THAT child.
Pray for wisdom and success!
When the special day arrives, take off the diaper. Tell them how important this day is, and explain that there will be rewards for obeying and trying really hard. Every 30 minutes put your child on the potty. Only have him sit for 3-4 minutes, and repeat the process until bedtime.
My firstborn LOVED having me read books to him more than anything! While he was on the potty, I read to him. When he successfully used the potty, he received a brand new book. EVERY time he was successful for those 3 days, he received a book.
I think that one of the secrets to potty training is mom’s attitude. (Doesn’t it seem like it’s always up to us!!!!!??????)
I’ll share about ‘that’ attitude, more of the nitty-gritty, and nap and bedtime potty training tomorrow!
I’ll also share my Friday Finds!
I’m often asked, when I speak to mothers of pre-schooler groups, if I have any secrets to potty training. My answer is generally prefaced by a disclaimer. Although I have a Bachelors Degree in Science, it is not in physiology or anything related to children! My degree is in landscaping and flower-arranging. So, the advice that I give is strictly based on what has worked with my eight children, and other children that I have helped along the way.
I have found the easiest time to potty train a child is between 18-24 months. I think they have to have a basic understanding of what is going to happen, but waiting to start until they are 3 years old and older can be dangerous because it can EASILY become a ‘Battle of the Wills’. The process will take at least three full, tiring days. Mom has to be willing to give up 72 hours of her life pretty much non-stop. BUT, it’s so worth it!!!
Tomorrow, I’ll share the nitty gritty. Make sure you have those big girl and big boy underpants ready, grab some rewards, ( for BOTH of you), and pull-ups for night time and naps!
Here is one of my new 🙂 favorite verses:
” David had done the will of God in his generation…” Acts 13:36
I want that to be me. I want that to be each of my children’s desire. I believe
that I was born for this generation, and that I am meant to make a difference,
as are each of you!
Here is a meaningful prayer written by Max Lucado, taken from his book, Out Live Your Life. I am making it MY prayer!
Heavenly Father, I want to make a difference for You in the world. I don’t want
future generations to look back on my life and wonder why I did nothing to help.
Inspire my heart. Show me how to get involved in a practical way, reveal to me
opportunities to serve, and give me the courage and dedication to pursue those
opportunities with passion. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen
I have some exciting news about this blog! There are some changes coming, and
some wonderful giveaways for products from Focus on the Family! I’ll keep you
posted!! Ha….I just got that…I’ll keep you post-ed!