Monday, August 5, 2013

Growing as a Mommy

I knew nothing. I came home from the hospital thinking I could ride on the coattails of my babysitting experience and quickly learned that I really knew nothing about being a mom. For a perfectionist, this was maybe one of the scariest realizations I've ever had. Since I didn't know what I was doing, I would likely screw up, and I didn't want to screw up my most important job. I became the googling queen. Anything Mckenna did was googled to make sure it didn't deviate too far from the norm. If it did, I googled solutions. It was overwhelming. As Mckenna got older I became more comfortable in my skin as a mom. I learned her and she learned me. But as she evolved into her own little person, I began to realize that the challenges of being a mom were not going to get easier, they were simply evolving; each stage bringing new challenges. I like a good challenge, so don't get me wrong, it is a bit energizing, but it also makes me fearful of failure.

We kicked off a new sermon series at church that couldn't have come at a better time. Mckenna is making her way into the "terrible twos" and I think we are going to need all the tools we can get our hands on with this little spark plug. I should back up and say that we have already found a "parenting style" that we like and have been using, so we haven't been going blind, but the series seems like it will be the perfect complement. We have been really drawn to the Love and Logic philosophies. We first heard about Love and Logic through a colleague and dear friend, Lisa C. Greene, the author of Parenting Children with Health Issues - a great book for CF parents. Lisa has two kids with CF. Love and Logic is a parenting method that really resonates with us. If you want more info about it, you can check it out HERE. I'll spare you from lengthy explanations, though, since I still haven't gotten to my point in this blog!

Anyways, everything that was in yesterday's sermon sounds eerily similar to Love and Logic principles, but the best part is, the sermon was based on how GOD parents us. I'm not sure why it didn't dawn on me to take this approach, and simply look into scripture to see how God parents his earthly children to learn how to be a parent, but it didn't, so I'm thankful for the series we started. I will share the three big principles that were covered because I thought they were really interesting and really resonated with me. You can take or leave them!

Insulating Vs Isolating - In other words, we should teach our kids how to protect themselves in bad surroundings, instead of removing all of the bad from their lives. I love this one. As a mommy I find it really easy to want to eliminate all struggle, pain and heartache from Mckenna's life. In some situations it takes everything in me not to remove her from certain situations. But as the pastor said yesterday, and as I know in my heart, I can't protect her from everything all the time, so instead, he suggested, I should teach her how to handle negative situations in littler, easier things, so when she faces bigger things on her own, she's ready.

Deep End Learning - For this concept the pastor gave an example of a kid who went through swimming lessons and at the end "only hung onto the side." The dad was mad and went to ask for a refund because he thought his kid didn't learn what he should. The teacher said, "he does know how to swim, he just doesn't want to." So when the dad got home, he took his kid in the backyard and threw him into the deep end of their pool. The kid swam out of the pool. But the remarkable thing was, the first thing he did was run into the house and exclaim to his mom, "I SWAM." The point was sometimes kids just need to be pushed (lovingly) to grow. Ronnie all the time says to me, "She'll figure it out" when I want to rush in to help or save Mckenna in the midst of something. But 10/10 times he's right, she figures it out.

Exposing But Not Overwhelming - This one seems like a fine line and one of those things that takes practice as a parent, but it's the concept that we should expose our kiddos to things, but at the appropriate times and in a way that isn't overwhelming. This one I know will take practice for me, but I'm hoping to get it down because I think it's a really important concept in the midst of the other two. Learning opportunities are crucial, but they need to come at an appropriate time and place so Mckenna can actually learn from the lesson.

Anyways, I dig it. I can't wait for next week. I checked our church's website and the video of the sermon isn't up yet, but you can watch for it HERE if you're interested.