Archives For parenthood

Parenthood. Nothing could be more rewarding and nothing could be more tiring. Every child is different and they don’t come with an instructional manual. Some days having three kids all ages four and under makes me want to scream, cry, laugh, and well go insane. These little miracles that my wife and I had prayed for can wear the snot out of you. Sometimes there is a feeling of guilt when you don’t know whether you are dead or alive and you think what was I thinking?! I’m here to say it’s normal and ignore the parents that look like they’re not exhausted because they are.They are little miracles and I love being a dad! I also say it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Parents almost feel guilt to say that it is a hard adjustment. Well, it is hard and fun. These 4 things help to keep me sane.

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1. Date night. Rachel and I need reminders that we are a couple first and parents second. Find someone you trust with your kids even for thirty minutes if leaving them is hard for you. Dream with your spouse again. Look into his or her eyes without the little angels fighting you for attention. As I write this I’m thinking we need to put a date night on the calendar!

2. Clean the house. We make sure all of the toys are cleaned up and the dishes done before we sit down after the kids go to sleep. I cannot fully relax as much as I can when the whole house is clean. I can feel the undone hovering over me like a cloud. Putting it off is just trying to avoid the pain in the rear of cleaning when I’m tired. I always feel better when tomorrow starts with a clean slate, so we push through.

3. Find a point to be alone. I rise early to be alone. Just like date nights help to reconnect as a couple, having time alone will remind you that you are an individual. This may sound like common sense but it’s not. You are God’s son or daughter first. Not a dad or a mom, but an individual. When I make the time to be alone, I find that I have more patience and energy to be a better dad. I need to be reminded of this so I wake up early to be alone with God.

4. This too shall pass. Sometimes I need to be reminded of this when my three year old doesn’t listen for a week or one of the kids is waking up a lot because they are teething. This too shall pass and it will get easier. When we are really exhausted we say this often to each other. This is a snapshot, not the whole story. It is one really tiring phase, not a lifetime.

In the end, parenting is awesome! Remember to be proactive and intentional and your energy will be much higher to enjoy the ride. They will only be this age once. It is a good reminder to enjoy this stage and also remember that this stage will be over. Enjoy your kids, but have wisdom and schedule time for your spouse as well as yourself.

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Today is my son, Luke’s third birthday. He is the little light in our family as his name means “Light of God.” He says hi to everyone as long as they don’t look at him first, takes command before meals to be the first to pray, and loves being with his family. Oh and how he gets into everything, enjoys eating chicken food every once in a while, and jumps off the highest things he can find. There are a lot of things we could learn from our children if we just open our eyes. After all Jesus said in Mathew 18:3, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” I have learned these 5 lessons from my son.

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” ~Mother Teresa

1. Hugs should be full. None of this side hug garbage. When my son hugs me it is an all out tackle. You can just feel the warmth and love coming through the little guy. We should love each other like that.

“The soul is healed by being with children.” ~English Proverb

2. Everyone gets greeted. He says hi and smiles to everyone that doesn’t look at him. It doesn’t matter what you look like, he will say hi. If he is feeling comfortable he will  start talking. A warm smile and acknowledgement is all it takes to brighten someone’s day.

3. Unafraid. Sometimes this makes me nervous, but he is not afraid of much. He jumps off everything arms wide open. This is how we should be. Not tipping the toe in the water but rather jumping in arms wide open giving all of ourselves into the new adventure.

“Nothing that you have not given away will ever truly be yours.” ~C.S. Lewis

4. Why. He is a why machine. Anyone who has kids is familiar with this time of childhood. It can be challenging, but we all need to be asking why. If you don’t know the why, you just don’t know. (Tweet that)

5. He asks for help. Heaven forbid us adults show a little humility and ask each other for help. After all we have to keep up with the game and pretend that we are perfect and need no one. You and I are flawed. When we need help let’s just ask for it.

“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” ~Lady Bird Johnson, former U.S. first lady

Happy birthday, Luke. Thank you for teaching your dad how to live a life that is a light to the world.

What things do your children or other peoples’ kids teach you?

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