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You’re Doing Enough

We have all fallen into the trap of feeling like, even when we manage to check off all of the things on our list of things we need or want to do, it’s just not enough. Okay, so the house is pristine but we haven’t “engaged or played” with our children. Yes, dinner is ready but laundry has piled up like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Or just maybe we managed to navigate appointments, have a successful playdate, get everyone fed and down for naps on schedule, all chores completed and we looked cute conquering the day but forget to return a call and our coffee wears off before bedtime and “mean mommy” shows up…the day feels like a total loss.

Friend, I feel like I am stuck in that cycle of ridiculous personal expectation sometimes and have to be conscious to step back and say, “Girl, cut it out.” And it’s not always easy to get myself in check but here is the truth, you…me…WE are doing enough! It is funny how I came about this realization as it relates to our homeschool days. With a second grader and toddler under foot, I often felt like we weren’t doing enough. To help instill independence in work and initiative, I ordered a student planner from Not Consumed ministries (check below for link) and it’s great! It requires that each week the student write in activities they have and list their subjects so they can check off daily as they complete them. Great personal accountability tool for our seven year old. Y’all, when I started preparing the list of lessons we do for her to copy into her planner I had a WHOLE reality check. WE. DO. A LOT! I mean, look for yourself:

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in what our immediate surroundings or results look like and the measuring stick we have isn’t properly calibrated. If we are gonna be totally honest, that last part may be the biggest issue. Where are we drawing our expectations and truth is a lot of it comes pressure to perform and compete. Whether we admit it or even recognize it, we are heavily influenced by what we see. And IG and Facebook don’t make being who we are seem acceptable. Instead it feels like living in our own strengths and personalities feels like being mediocre and one thing this girl has been taught her WHOLE life was “be better, work twice as hard, average is not acceptable.” So, as I am unlearning, redefining and building blocks for a foundation to a life I love, I am giving myself permission to live in my “enough.” Some days that means dinner isn’t mostly fried carbs and sometimes it’s checking off every box.

As we curate our own versions of unconditional lives, that also includes unconditionally accepting who we are and allowing that to guide how we move in this world. Give yourself permission to be greatly average so that you can ensure you are available to do your best work with and for those within your home first and foremost. Now, I gotta go get started on the list of lessons at hand because while we are doing enough, I’m ready to get it done and out of the way for today!

Much Love,

Q

**http://store.notconsumed.com?aff=51

I will only recommend products I use in real life and enjoy. That said, if you choose to purchase an item using the link above, I will receive a commission as an affiliate. No pressure to purchase, I promise, and as we begin to grow you will see affiliate links to products I find useful. Purchasing from these links helps support the mission of bringing encouragement to more mamas!

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Almost Made It…Again

Hey Y’all!

So listen, how many of my fellow parents (cause I’m sure there is a father or two out there who might feel this deep down to the ankles like I do) have managed to harness the urge to yell and swallowed the words before they escape your lips all day, only to fall short at bedtime? Anyone? I know I’m not alone. I hope I’m not alone. Can we just have a moment of silence for all that follows our epic tantrums though? *bows head, le sigh*

But for real though, today I missed it and it wasn’t the first time. I hope it’s the last but I know deep down it may just happen again. Why you ask? Because, foolishness is bound in the heart of a child (that’s what God said, so I know it’s true) and if you’re like me, parenting the younger version of yourself, the potential for your nerves to be tap-danced on like an encore performance by Savion Glover can happen at any moment. I acknowledge and accept this truth and while I am working on myself to lower expectations (the goal is to remove them completely, but baby steps) of how situations should go, I fall short sometimes. It is nights like those that make me thankful for grace. So what happened that set me on the course of a Cruella De’Vil-esque meltdown at bedtime? Pull up a seat.

So, after a LOOOOOONG (rather hectic and HOT) day, the girls were fed, bathed and in bed. I read aloud for almost 30 minutes from a chapter book a we recently started. I did voices, inflections, the WHOLE NINE Bruh. All was well aside from the occasional attempt of the Little Child to roll out of bed. We were smooth sailing. So, I’m reading and again, not a complaint to be heard. As SOON as I turn off the light and start the tucking-in process, my Big Girl says, “Ughhhh, my nose feels funny and I keep trying to blow it but nothing comes out!” Not only was she loud but the wording of her complaint caught me off guard because for 30 minutes she has been laying in her bed…CHILLING! You hear me? She wasn’t reading. Moving. Running back and forth for tissue. No mention of this sudden nasal emergency. So, I gathered myself and moved in close to whisper to her since the Little was quiet in her bed. Y’all, then she started to cry. For those who don’t know me, I can be sensitive but “unwarranted tears” by anyone confound me.At this point, I lean in close to her to speak. Now, in hindsight she probably thought she as about to get snatched but I was merely trying to keep the noise level to a minimum. I start to whisper and she starts to wail. Full. On. Hollering (insert palm over face)

I. LOST. IT…no other way to put it. I turned on the light that illuminates the entire room and start yelling. Now, the Husband who had fallen asleep on the floor next to me as I read was woken up, the Little got out of her bed, the dog was making noise and I was livid. Why? Because I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel that said I can complete a thought or just sit down for a bit and the blatant attempt to block that in the moment with this “scratchy nose” complaint felt like a personal attack. Ever been there? Now, I grabbed nasal spray (which the kid loathes by the way) and administer it as the only means of resolution to her new nasalitis symptoms and walk (okay, storm) out. I felt so bad by the time i made it to my room. I mean, who can rest after being yelled at? Was she faking? Maybe. Was she trying to get my attention? Clearly. Did I model how to respond instead of react? Absolutely not.

I’m not above apologizing to the Kid and after some processing will sit down with her. Let me tell ya though, tonight, I was done. Want to hear the funny part? About an hour later (yea, like a full hour after bedtime), she walks out of her room whining that her tooth fell out. I just so happened to be sitting on the couch because I am sleep training myself (another convo for another day) and out she walks, wide-eyed until she saw me in the darkness. A little preface to this new announcement, the tooth was loose but not ready to depart just yet. So, that tells me, all that time AFTER the original shenanigans, she basically pulled a tooth out and then said, “I don’t know if I will be able to sleep with this pain from my tooth.” HUH?!? Oh, little did she know not only was she going to sleep but her peace and potentially my freedom needed her to do so ASAP-tually. But all I could do was laugh. I laughed at the barely-bloody tooth, the gap in her mouth and the reality that this season of life is but a moment.

So, I will apologize. I will try to do better next time. Most importantly, I will forgive myself, again, for spewing the pent up frustrations of the day out on my kiddo because she was being human and foolish a child. Grace is given to weak and I can admit that is me, weak. We all want the chance to try again but the important thing is to recognize when we are wrong and being willing to change (see, therapy works, but that’s yet another conversation). Maybe you’ve missed it all day long or perhaps every day this week, been there and done that too. All we can do in the aftermath is stop, assess and ask forgiveness of ourselves and from our babies. Let’s show them how to comeback from mistakes in relationships while we work on ourselves in the process. And now, I gotta go ’cause we don’t do the tooth fairy but we are big on “growing up giftage” and I need check my stash so we can celebrate this latest lost tooth. Until next time!

Much Love,

Q

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Intent vs. Impact

Hey Y’all!

So yesterday as I was sitting in evening service at church waiting expectantly for my afternoon dose of caffeine to kick in, I was struck by the phrase, “…as parents we have to balance intent versus impact. Because the old way of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ doesn’t work…” Needless to say my attention was peaked and I was all ears at this point. I was reminded how great our witness and lifestyle in our own lives can affect how our children make choices.

Growing up, I remember all too well the frustration of being told not to make certain choices but then witnessing those very things being done under the guide of “I’m grown…I’m an adult…do what I say, not what I do.” The only seed those nuggets planted in my heart was the desire to grow up faster so that I could get to adulthood and make those choices. So now, as a parent I was struck that our actions not only have an impact but that the impact we create may not be what we intended. WOW, WOW, WOW! Granted, children will have to understand that there are some things they are just not able to do because they are children. But it made me question what I am modeling adulthood to look like.

Am I showing our girls that being an adult means just being able to stay up late, have money and do things they constantly get told no when they inquire about (ya know, like staying up late, eating candy whenever you want or watch movies we as adults save until after their bedtime)? Or, do our girls see adulthood as a time of misery filled with endless days at work, complaints about people and the heaviness or daily life and obligations? My hope is that neither of those are so but rather that we are modeling adulthood as enjoyable and intriguing while offering plenty of opportunities for failure, growth and accountability.

Even as I sit here and type this out next to the the Firstborn who is engulfed in a learning app on her tablet I can see that my influence and impact are in full swing. Which begs the question, how does one balance this concept in other areas of life and are we mindful of it? I don’t know about y’all but it definitely hit close to home yesterday and as made me more aware of my interactions with the Little People in our home. I pray my intentions lead to a positive everlasting impact most importantly in our home but also in the relationships I have and will build outside of my full-time jobs (motherhood, homeschooling and homemaking). Until we meet again on the couch, take a minute and ask yourself whether your intentions are matching your impact!

Much Love,

Q

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No More Pressure To Perform

Hey Y’all!

Long time no write! I could give the standard, “life happens” motto or apologize for the ghosting and ask that you ride with me once more as I begin again (again). But this time around I just want to get some words out in my space. A space I originally created to speak to and encourage others while serving as an outlet for the thoughts in my brain and lack of adult conversation. Truth is, the pressure to perform: to post at regular intervals while feeling like I didn’t know what to say, not being able to narrow down who my target audience was and trying to convert my words into earning an income was EXHAUSTING! And it was defeating because I lost my vision somewhere along the way.

I went from wanting to use my words to inspire, encourage and lead people closer to Christ to trying to build a brand that somehow earned five figure a year income and made me feel “accomplished.” And when we walk out of step with God and try to manifest our vision without being diligent with the tools and timing He has given, the way gets cloudy and the destination further away. So, with that said, for those of you who subscribed many moons ago and who actually read the words I put together in these posts, lets get on down the road. The way is narrow and the people few when you are choosing to follow Christ and the direction God has prepared. I am no longer focused on following the footsteps that lead to financial gain or followers but rather just going to embark on the journey and let those things be added in time.

I’ve missed this space, y’all and our time together. Oh, and one more thing. I have decided to officially rename the blog “Mommy Couch Confessions.” While I am working to curate my unconditional life, and want to encourage y’all as you do the same, the reality is that motherhood is where I live and sometimes my address is 411 Make It To Bedtime Lane. I may not touch everyone but I desire to create a place of respite for women who know all too well the struggles of motherhood, life and all-the-things. Hope to have you with me again on the couch soon. Be sure to wear your comfy clothes ’cause I will probably still be in my pjs from the night before!

Much Love,

Q

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A is for Acceptance

Hey Y’all!

Every new season comes with changes and shifts that we may be familiar but still require more from us than we anticipated. Case in point, summer brings warm days, water activities and in the South, light bills that rival some car note payments. While some are on fixed incomes and the weight of higher bills is impossible to bear, for those of us who can and prefer not to save on energy for the sake of the bill have to make those payments and be thankful that we can. Now, don’t leave me yet, I won’t be long but this is on my like mosquitos and standing water. I am not just referring to seasons in the natural sense but also those in the spiritual and personal realms. We have all heard “some people come in our lives for a season,” but the reality to that is we are not always able to recognize the changes in such seasons as clearly.

Why does this all matter you ask? The short answer is, because who wants to wear shorts and get caught in a snowstorm? Recognizing the changes helps us not only prepare but also make the necessary adjustments in our life to accommodate the season we are in. Preparation is key but we will not always be afforded the opportunity to acquire all that we need and shed that which will soon be unnecessary. Regardless, we are able to thrive once we accept that which is to come or may already be upon us. Acceptance is the first step in taking authority and ownership. If we are in denial, nothing productive will be done because there is no acknowledgement of a need.

Acceptance beings forth a call to action. We truly, what we “do” says just as much about what we believe than what we verbally declare. So, as our Crew enters into this new season of family fellowship, homeschooling, thriving as a unit and focusing on mastery and service over perfection and completion, join us! It won’t be easy everyday (and today is basically one of those days) but the alternative is to merely exist through the transition and be at the mercy of reacting. Accept the end of that relationship. Accept not being selected for that job. Accept that your wardrobe may not fit the body you have today. Accept that death of a loved one that has felt like an un-fillable void. Because on the other side of accepting is the strength and perseverance needed to keep going and growing. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6).

Much Love,

Q

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Are You Going Back to Work?

Hey Y’all! Have you ever been in the midst of conversation about careers, goals and the future? Sure, we all have. Maybe you, like me, have even discussed aspirations and things you still hope to accomplish with friends, family members or like-minded acquaintances. But, as a SAHM (Stay-at-Home-Mom), there is a question/statement that comes in a couple different forms that used to chap my lips like a salt scrub while you’re dehydrated on a Southern summer day. They go a little something like this:

“Are you going back to work?”

“So, you don’t have a job?”

“It must be nice to be able to stay home and not work.”

“Is that all you do?”

“I could never see myself being with my kids all the time.”

Listen, I get it. Most of us never saw it in our futures either! For those who have never and/or don’t stay at home with their children, it may seem like an odd concept but the reality is people have been doing it for centuries. And while I don’t mind having actual, unbiased and non-judgmental conversations about my career of choice, I had to learn where to draw the line internally. Truly, there are working mothers who would love to be home and those who choose to work. Whatever your reason or choice, it’s okay but that is what works for you. Yet, after years of trying to convince myself that being a mother was “enough” of a job, I still had to deal with the criticisms and sly remarks from others.

In case no other SAHM has said it, eventually those seeds of disdain that are planted by snarky (and let’s call a spade a spade, hella rude) remarks will take root if we don’t do the immediate mental work of plucking them up. But as any of us will tell you, trying to manage the day-to-day operations of children with a variety of personalities and skill-sets (like climbing from the floor onto the marble dining room table in a matter of minutes while you are across the room and scared to death) just don’t have the attention span in that moment. And a few weeks later when the house is a mess, kids have been on level 100 since breakfast and you’ve had to spank someone for the second time…those small sprouts start to bloom. We doubt, we question and I’ll speak for myself on this one…we cry. See, staying at home means we are solely responsible for our children. Not just their safety and well-being but their personalities, education, skills, and everything else that molds a person. What if we are doing it wrong? What if our family would be in a better financial position if we went back into the workforce? What if I didn’t have all these student loans from earning degrees that aren’t as heavily utilized because “all I do is stay home?” Maybe that last one doesn’t apply to everyone, but we’re being real here and Navient knows my name all too well!

For the SAHMs out there, sister, lift your head! We have all been there before but the reality is you accepted a calling that isn’t for the faint of heart or weary of spirit. Those Little Human(s) in your care will flourish even in your weakest moments because they will see humanity, forgiveness and grace worked out before their very eyes. YOU GOT THIS! And for my working mothers out there, I salute you! I could not imagine dealing with adults all day and then having to mediate the personalities and attitudes of my children. But you do it, and that too teaches perseverance and work ethic to the Littles who call you Mom. So, before you shell out judgement attempted to be delivered as curiosity, do us (or me, no need to be passive aggressive)…don’t!

My point is, regardless of what we have accomplished, certifications or diplomas earned or level of education completed…choosing to be a SAHM isn’t the easy life of every day is Saturday that some think it is. And even if you don’t understand it, remember that the Mom who is living it may not be able to comprehend it at that moment either. Seriously, we all quit in our minds like 18 times a day and search for jobs online at least once a year when our level of Fed Up hits a peak. But Homemaking is the career of choice in the season of life we are in and the worst thing anyone can do to the other is belittle the calling we’ve chosen. So, next time you see a Mom in the store with her Kiddos during lunchtime trying to grocery shop between nap times and you know you are headed back to work to eat lunch alone, ride in your car alone and take a bathroom break alone…shoot her a smile and encouraging word instead of glares and stares. I’m sure she probably hasn’t sleep since the previous year and if she’s like me, she’s waiting on bedtime like a kid on Christmas Eve!

Much Love,

Q