Sunday, October 21, 2012

challenges of parenthood

i always squeem when i hear people say, "being a stay at home mom is the hardest job in the world."  don't get me wrong--staying at home can be very difficult in an emotionally frustrating way that is different than work stress.  however, elevating stay at home moms to the place of doing the hardest work in the world unintentionally puts down dads and working moms. 

i've worked and stayed at home, and in my experience, staying at home is much easier for me overall.  everyone's situation is different (some people's husbands, families, friends, etc. play a huge role in helping raise their children, and others have husbands who travel or are deployed and are virtually raising their kids as single parents), so i don't think it's right to make a generalization either way that working moms or stay at home moms have it harder.  most of the challenges i've experienced as a stay at home mom i also experienced as a working mom--it is just seems to never end when you are with your kids 24/7.
all that to say--being a mom (make that a parent) is hard!!  as much as love my two rowdy boys, i've found myself losing my patience all too much recently.  it culminated at qdoba today when neither of my boys were listening at all.  parker kept hiding under the table, being loud, running around and doing everything but eat his burrito.  the restaurant was packed (including several casual friends at other tables) and as i was trying to pack up our half eaten lunches to take home to avoid any more embarrassment, paxton fell off the bench he and parker were using as a race track and hit his head on the ground.  crying ensued and i could just feel everyone staring at the frazzled mom trying to wrangle two disobedient children to the car.

i felt like a failure as a mom.  maybe i should give myself more credit for being brave enough to take two kids to church and out to lunch by myself (james was working), but ugghh.  as much i would like to say this too shall pass, avoiding eating out for a few weeks does not teach my kids respect and obedience.  in constantly working on molding my boys, there will be struggles and frustrations.  all i can control is my reaction.  my prayer for today (and every day) is that God gives me the grace, patience and love to respond in a way that shapes Parker and Paxton's hearts and actions to be more Christlike.  we all are still definitely a work in progress but thankfully we serve a God who is bigger than all of our shortcomings!  love yall.
(this pic was after baths tonight...still just as rowdy as at lunch!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

on teaching

this fall i had the opportunity to teach finance to adults finishing their degree at JBU.  when i decided to stay home, i knew if i worked again it would be doing something i was truly passionate about like education.  reflecting on my previous jobs, the ones i enjoyed most were co-teaching/tutoring at JBU and being a summer camp counselor.  i enjoy building relationships and encouraging others in subjects they may dislike (i.e. math), so when asked to teach (very part time) at JBU i knew it was something i wanted to pursue.

i just finished my first class and definitely will teach more if asked.  i've been praying for my students for a couple of months and even though i only got five weeks in the classroom with them, i hope their lives were positively impacted.  today i received an email from a student affirming my decision to teach (sorry for tooting my own horn but i want to document important life events).


I just checked my grades.  Are you kidding me?  Did I really pass this class?  And an A, OMG!

Thank you for your patience and engaging presentation of the ridiculously intimidating material.  I have a CFO that is kind of arrogant about his understanding of financial principals and my lack thereof.  I had him look at my practice exam, kind of looking for his approval/acknowledgement of my effort to learn.  He actually said, "Oh, you're actually taking real classes?"

I just wanted to let you know, that while I certainly did not learn everything there is to know about finances and financial math, I gained confidence in my ability to comprehend and understand the basics.  I will build on the fundamentals you helped me to learn. I will no longer allow him to bully me (not sure that is really what he intends, but it is how I let myself feel when dealing with him) into thinking I do not have something valuable to contribute to financial decisions about the organization I am ultimately responsible for, that by the way has an 8 million dollar operating budget.

Sorry this is late.  I felt compelled to let you know personally that you were instrumental in probably one of the most uplifting and valuable educational opportunities of my career.

Thank you!

sweet words.  love you all and hope you get the opportunity to do something you love!!