Friday, April 16, 2010

Large Family Bloggers - a call to stand in the gap!

I really love to read about large family logistics. I love reading blogs by moms of many! I have, however, noticed a discouraging gap in support for those who, like me, are the first generation to even think about letting God plan their family and are at the stage of only having toddlers, newborns, and buns in the oven. ;) It's so discouraging to go to large family blogs and find a few that seem to have this condescending air toward moms that don't yet have more than 4 or 5 kids as though they are not serious or are so pathetic for being so lost with so few kids. Or to blogs by moms who are purposely done with having kids by the 2nd or 3rd child and some have this attitude like 'Hey, if you were dumb enough to get pregnant again then you deserve to be run ragged.' There are many more blogs by women who seem to love the Lord than I had thought, and was again surprised to find that among all those there is surprisingly so little compassion and advice for the young growing family. Nobody tells you when you have 2 or 3 toddlers hanging off your ankles and are 6 months pregnant what you could be doing to help things go more smoothly or validates that there are unique challenges when you don't have any older kids or relatives to help out. You hear the "Give the older ones chores and have them help with the littles!" or "Let your family help you!" or "Combine preplannable tasks with friends!" but what if you don't have any of those options? What if there are no nearby likeminded people, no close family, and no older kids?
Speaking as a mom of a 1.5 year old, 3.5 year old and a bun in the oven, I feel like how can I hope for God to bless us with more children when I feel like I fail so very much in being organized and together with the ones I've got? I can't keep the house clean and have to start getting everyone ready 2-3 hours in advance to get anywhere on time. I try so hard and my kids are such sweethearts but they are toddlers (therefore messy, loud, and needy) and I have no family nearby, we have tried countless churches and left disheartened at the overwhelmingness of a church so large that you never see the same person twice, let alone fellowship! Or in smaller churches by the blatant sin and lack of love for the Lord. My nearest friend who doesn't work outside the home lives an hour away and has 3 kids 3 and under herself. I'm the only woman I know who wears a headcovering. I get dirty looks from strangers and aquaintances if my kids so much as step one toe out of line, and I have no mentors to turn to. For those in my boat it would be SO heartening if someone who has been there would validate that it's not supposed to be a smooth cakewalk when you are raising only babies and toddlers. That this is a stage of life and it has it's unique challenges, and that those challenges will get easier later as new ones begin- rather than it just getting more and more impossible and out of control with each child. That of course when you have 2 kids in diapers and one potty training and you're the only adult home to change or remind them it is going to take time and patience. That it's not a failure when you have a child going through a phase and your days are spent teaching and character training so your carpets don't get vaccumed as much and the sink is full of dirty dishes. It is the most heartbreakingly discouraging thing to be pouring your heart and soul into praying for your husband and children and loving, teaching, training, disciplining, and building up your children and then to have someone who seems so together and perfect come along and make you feel like you're going to hell (and pointing your babies that way) because you didn't wash dishes before bed between nursing sick kids and being "morning sick" yourself and listening to hubby tell about his day, or dinner last night came out of a box or can instead of made from fresh produce from the garden and wheat you ground yourself, or your living room looks like the toybox exploded. When that happens it really does so much for Satan's cause to discourage a young family from continuing to leave it up to God, out of fear of somehow wronging the babies they already have. Nothing says, "You won't make it. You aren't a fit parent. You should just give up now. We don't want you in our club. God doesn't want parents like you reproducing. You're dragging your kids down. You're a bad example to other parents." like someone who has been there and should be helpful and compassionate instead showing disgust for those problems that are so "beneath them" now.

So to those who are in the same boat as I am, with having only toddlers and under (whether you feel called to have more or not- it's still a tough age!), keep your eyes on Jesus! It may seem like things can only get crazier, and there is little Godly advice for us specifically, I know, but remember they don't stay little forever! As much as your overwhelmed tears are crying out that things are out of control and you can't do it, please keep in mind that no, we can't do it, but we can ask for the strength and wisdom from the One who can! We are not here to please other mothers, we are here to please our Creator. He won't give us blessings that He won't help us raise for Him if we keep our eyes on the goal! **HUGS**

And to my friends and acquaintances who are mom-of-many bloggers, this post is NOT an accusation! This is not to call someone out or make you think I'm pouting about being done wrong. Of the bloggers whom I have noticed the condescending trend among and I don't think any of them know I exist, let alone read my blog. The purpose of this post is to show a need and ask for help. If you have any advice or encouragement for those of us in this gap, then please share it! Please write blog posts that contain tips for young families too! Please encourage us and build us up! This can be such a fragile stage and you can be such a tool of God for encouragement and hope. Your words can make or break a newly budding conviction to leave the family planning to God. You have experience and even though I'm sure you don't have a magic formula written down somewhere for raising perfect kids, what you DO have is the chance to point the flashlight in the right direction for someone who is standing in the dark. So keep up the great work posting about large family logistics, and, if next time you're writing about meal planning you think of something that could help those with only toddlers, please mention it! It's wonderful to share big family meal strategies, but if you want to mention something you used to do that took stress off Mom and pleased both the hardworking hubby and the toothless tot crowd, please share! :) I look so forward to reading your posts about large family living, and would look forward to it even moreso (if that's possible! ;) ) if I thought there might be a tip in there that applies my budding family too.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Realistic Art - Toddler Tales Tuesday

4/8 Trying to keep her quiet and occupied during Buggie's nap, I asked Chicklet (3 1/2 years) to draw a picture of the new baby sister or brother that is growing in Mommy's belly. She drew a little stick person and beside it she drew a circle with a tiny circle in the middle and squiggley lines all over it. It took me a minute to decypher the circle with squiggley lines until she told me that the circle was my belly and the stick person was the new baby. It was then that it dawned on me that the squigley lines looked an awful lot like stretch marks... Lol!

If you have a sweet, cute, or funny Toddler (or kid) story, I'd love it if you'd share it! :)
If you would like to post a Toddler Tales Tuesday on your blog, please leave a link to your post in my Linky below, AND post the code for this blog hop in your Toddler Tales Tuesday post! ;) The linky will remain open for 2 weeks following the date of this post.
If you don't have a blog or would prefer it, you may share your toddler tales here in the comments.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ultrasound results are in!

Yesterday morning I had my ultrasound and I am pleased to announce that our newest addition looks to be a GIRL! :) Chicklet and Bug are so excited to be getting a new baby sister! Okay Bug really couldn't care less, but Chicklet was absolutely adamant that the baby NOT be a boy so I'm sure she's relieved that it's a girl ;)

A few months before I became pregnant I had a dream that I gave birth to another baby - a girl with a beautiful name. When I woke up I told my husband that we would have another baby and her name would be this name from the dream. He kind of scoffed at both the name (he wasn't fond of the name) and the idea that we would be having another child. Well when I became pregnant I reminded him of the dream. :) I think the name must have grown on him because he proudly announced it to his friends and family when he called them following the ultrasound to share the good news of the baby being a girl! Either that or he decided that when the wife has a dream that comes true, ya don't argue with the details. ;)

When I was 5 years old and my little sister was 2, my mom and dad told us that Mom was pregnant. They kept it a secret for a long time so Mom was pretty far along by this time. I immediately insisted the baby would be a boy. My parents tried to impress on me the importance of enjoying the blessing of a new baby no matter it's gender. I staunchly replied that God knew I already HAD a sister and needed a brother so I was SURE it was the missing brother. Lol! Well no matter what my parents said I was not to be swayed. And sure enough it was my longed for baby brother! I think I'd have been quite dissappointed if I hadn't gotten a brother.

Chicklet reminds me of myself so much sometimes. She is 3 1/2 years old now. When I first told her there was a baby growing in Mommy's tummy, she didn't care about the gender of it, just rejoiced in the wonder of it with me. She likes to help me rub my stretch mark oil on my belly- "to make it SOFT for the baby" she says! She kisses my belly and talks to the baby inside. Pretty soon she became aware that the baby would have to be a boy or a girl and became curious. I asked her which one SHE thought it was and she immediately declared the baby to be a girl. I didn't try too hard to dissuade her, remembering myself insisting even harder to my parents that my unborn brother was indeed a boy. Besides, I had reasons to think she was probably right. I was severely sick with Chicklet herself when pregnant, but not with Buggie. This time I have been severely sick again. I had mother's intuition telling me Chicklet was a girl before I knew she was, and telling me Buggie was a boy before the ultrasound proved he was, and this time around I felt I was carrying another girl, but I didn't want to get too set on that idea in case it was just wishful thinking from that dream I'd had before I got pregnant. Or perhaps I was fooling myself due to the similarity of this pregnancy to my first. But I still felt so strongly that it was a girl that I told people my hunch, and didn't try to convince Chicklet otherwise.

Every time the conversation of gender came up, Chicklet would declare louder and louder that the baby is a GIRL. At first calm and serene, if asked too many times in a row she would get downright frustrated that you weren't paying attention by the 3rd or 4th time she repeated that it's a GIRL baby. I began to wonder what we would do with Chicklet if the baby was not a girl! She would obviously be upset. Friday, I was telling Chicklet that "tomorrow we get to go see if the baby is a girl, or a boy!" She glared at me as I said the word boy and went, "Uh!"
I said, "If it's a girl her name will be ___ but what if it's a boy? What should we name him?"
Chicklet looked happy until I got to the word BOY and then looked terribly upset. Her reply was, "A boy?! A BOY?! Ma-mAAA!!! It's a baby GIRL!" She was very upset at the thought that it might be a boy.

We were thrilled to find out yesterday that the baby is indeed a girl! For Chicklet's sake of course, but especially because we love to know ahead of time and get very excited about getting to know our new blessing by name! :)