My (not so great) Balancing Act

My (not so great) balancing act

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I have been out of commission for a while now. Why? You may ask. Well, to be completely honest, it is because I am terrible at balancing everything. In September I started homeschooling Kindergarten with my oldest, Preschool with my Niece, and Middle School with my Sister. On top of that, I have been trying to figure out how to balance homeschooling with being a wife, mother, household duties, My Usborne Business, babysitting my nieces, writing a book and so much more. Naturally my writing on this blog got pushed to the back burner.

Now that we are a few months into this homeschooling gig, I feel as though I am starting to get my grips on all the many things my plate is balancing. Therefore, I am going to throw writing back into it and see how well I hold up my (not so great) balancing act!

to be honest…

I have really enjoyed these last few months. Homeschooling is not easy. Homeschooling three separate grades with a toddler and infant under foot makes it that much harder. To all of you that have been doing it for years and years, with multiple grades and children, I commend you! I also will take any advice you have to offer. But, I am blessed to be able to offer this opportunity to my children, my sister and my niece. The reasons we chose to home school are many. If you would like me to do a post on these reasons I would be happy to share. However, I am glad we made this decision and we plan on continuing it all through both of our children’s education.

 

I know that life has seasons. Every season looks different and everyone has different seasons in their lives. Right now my season looks a little bit like this:

 

If your season is looking a bit like this, I want you to be encouraged! Eventually, your season will become more relaxed and less chaotic. You may look back on this memory of your life with fondness. (Or not!) We can all agree that many lessons are learned in chaotic seasons, when we are trying to figure out how to balance everything. Here are a few lessons I have learned over the last few months.

  1. Don’t forget that I am married too.

Yes, I am a mother and aunt who is homeschooling.  I am a sister who is doing what she can to help her sister succeed in her education. Yes, I am a daughter, a writer, a sales person, but I am something else as well. I am a wife. Before I was any of those things, I was his wife. When life is chaotic, take a minute and remember that you are a wife and your husband should not be put on the back burner, ever.

      2. God is my refuge and my strength.

Sometimes when life feels chaotic or too busy, it’s easy to forget that we have a safe place to run to. God. He is our refuge and our strength. It is necessary to retreat into the Lord. Set time aside to spend with him. Let him refresh you every day and every night by delving into His word.

      3. It won’t be like this for long.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my child will be in a stage where I am begging for them to get a little bit older. A little bit easier. But the truth is when their current stage is gone, there is no getting it back. That is it. They are older, and so are you. I know that the old saying “enjoy the stage you are in because you won’t get it back” sounds so cliche. However, It is so true. I feel like every time I turn around my children have gotten taller, wiser, bigger, smarter, and time does not slow down for anyone. So, enjoy the time you are in. But rest assured, if you are struggling with this current stage “It won’t be like this for long.”

Here were my babies not to long ago:

 

B

S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here they are now:

B

 

4. Lean on your family and friends.

I am blessed to have such a wonderful, supportive and loving family and friends. If you are blessed like me, I encourage you to take advantage of that blessing! When you feel like something is just to much right now, lean on your family. Give them a call if something is on your mind. Or even a quick text if you need encouragement or prayer. If you need rest, call one and see if they can watch the kids for you. Especially if you are in the new baby or young children stage. Don’t be so prideful in your parenting and “doing it all” that you stretch yourself to thin. God gave us family and friends for a reason!

My family and support system. We are missing a few, including my hubby!

 

Now that I have figured out my (not so great) balancing act, I plan on being back, writing as much as I can! I hope you all are glad I am back 🙂

 

Sincerely,

Jenna

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Why I Stay Home With My Children.

Over the weekend I had someone ask me if I have ever worked outside of my home. I had previously listed all I do and used to do during our conversation: hair bow business, Usborne consultant, blogger, homeschooling mom, I babysit my nieces. I also added that I used to babysit inside my home and had done that since before I was married. I wasn’t thrown by her question. I knew she didn’t mean it in a judgy way. (At least I hope not!) I answered her with of course I have. When I was in college and a teenager. I worked several different places. But I didn’t quite understand why whether I ever had mattered. As if all I do now on top of raising my children was not enough.

This statement got me thinking how normal it is for people to assume that both parents need to work outside of the home and the child needs to be in some sort of daycare/childcare or school. It is the “norm” and if you aren’t in the norm or don’t fit that mold then here come the side glances and the questioning of “what do you do all day” or “are you sure you made the right decision for your family.”

Here’s the thing. I have never had any desire to work outside my home. I have never felt like I needed a career or an outside job. Yes we have financial needs. Yes my husband works hard to provide for us and meet our financial needs. I also help where I can by taking opportunities that allow me to stay home with my children while also providing a bit of income. But even if I didn’t have those opportunities, I would still just stay home with my children and my husband and we would make do with what God has blessed us with. We would (and do) sacrifice what we don’t necessarily need in order for me to stay home with our children.

You see, when my son was 6 days old he passed away. Then my daughter was born early. 5 weeks I was on hospital bed rest. 5 weeks she was in the NICU. The stark reality that we could have lost her too was and still is ever-present in my mind. God gave me my three blessings. While he took one home earlier than I wanted, I still have two amazing blessings with me every single day. I want that time. I want those moments with them. I couldn’t imagine giving that time up to a stranger every day or even a loved family member. We never know when my last day on earth will be.

I also chose to stay-home with my children because time flies. They say the days are long but the years are short. That statement is so true. My oldest daughter is almost 5. My preemie. The one that was only 4 pounds when I brought her home. Before I know it she will be loading up her car to head to college or wherever her dreams and aspirations take her. I don’t want to look back on her and her sister’s childhood and have memories of being stuck in an office or factory working for money that I no longer have. I don’t want my children to have memories of being stuck in a daycare all day long. I want memories of me and them. Being together. Learning together. I want happy well-adjusted kids who grow up to be happy well-adjusted adults.

Please understand that this is MINE and MY HUSBAND”S desire for our children. I understand not everyone has the same desires. Not everyone can afford to stay home. Not everyone wants to. I respect that and I understand it. Nor do I pass judgment on anyone who makes different choices for their families than I do. I know I am in the minority. I know that children can be happy and well-adjusted when they have both parents who work. But not always. it’s not worth the risk for me.

I’m simply stating why I, and I’m sure most stay-at-home mom’s, decide to stay home and invest their time into their children and family instead of a job or making money. I say this because like most stay-at-home mom’s I hate being judged for the decision I made for my family to be ever-present. I hate the stigma that we do nothing all day and that in order to be a contributing member of society I need to work outside my home and make tons of money. When in fact the most important job anyone can do is what I am doing right now. Raising children who are decent, wonderful, well-rounded and will grow up to be contributing members of society. No amount of money or luxuries can replace that.

That is why I stay home.

Until Next Time,

Jenna

Lies we tell ourselves: You need to justify your parenting decisions.

“You’re Failing as a Mommy” and other lies we tell ourselves.

Part 3: You need to justify your parenting decisions

While I was pregnant with S I allowed B to watch way to much television. I had really bad morning sickness and I was constantly in the bathroom. She was two and I found trying to entertain her was a nightmare while I was running to and from the bathroom. So on came the television. I also felt extremely guilty for it. I remember texting my mom several times a week telling her I felt like a horrible mother because of the amount of screen time B was consuming. I reasoned with myself and justified my decision to anyone who would listen, many of whom did not even ask nor did they care.

Then I thought “Why am I trying to justify my decisions?”

Does it honestly matter what someone else thinks about my parenting? That’s what it all boils down to. In today’s culture we have become so accustomed to people voicing their opinions in matters that aren’t any of their business. So as a reflex we automatically justify them. That’s where the term “mommy wars” comes into play. People want to tell your their opinion on your decisions when they know nothing about them, most of the time. However, they could care less about the reason behind your decisions, most of the time.

When B was around 2.5 she started wanting to pick out what she was going to wear for the day. I let her because, well it’s to adorable and also I believe children should have opportunities to express themselves. One day she decided she wanted to wear a pair of stripped pink pants with a blue polka-dotted shirt and leopard dress shoes.. We were going shopping that day. However, I honestly didn’t care if she wanted to wear something that didn’t match because who was she hurting? We were walking in JcPenny’s when a younger girl, who looked to be about 16 or 17, and a woman walked past us. The younger girl said loudly “When I have children I am going to make sure they ALWAYS match.” while giving me side eye. I just giggled to myself and thought “yea you have no idea what having children is even like.”

People like to make snap judgements without all the information.

Instead of shrugging off these judgements we as mommy’s take them personally. We want to justify our decisions because we don’t want anyone judging us and our parenting. But who really cares if the stranger on the street judges your parenting? They don’t know you and your children. You know you and your children.

B playing dressup

B at age 2 playing dress up

B at age 2

B at age 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the thing. I do not need to explain to you or the stranger on the street why I had three c-sections. I often find myself offering the explanation anyway.

I do not have to explain to anyone why I stopped breastfeeding my children. Or why I choose to be a stay at home mom and why I am homeschooling my children.

There is no reason for me to offer an explanation to the stranger giving me side eye about why my child is not wearing matching clothes, is extremely vocal in public or why she hasn’t touched a single bite of dinner.

“Well she’s a light eater.”

“She is excited.”

“She dressed herself”

“My milk supply is extremely low”

“I believe home school education is the best option for children and trumps public school education.”

“My children need me at home. I couldn’t imagine sending them to a sitter every day for 8 hours or more a day.”

“I had to have two emergency c-sections and consequently every pregnancy afterwards has to be a c-section.”

I find myself saying. constantly. Justifying to others who show way to much interest in my parenting decisions.

BUT it doesn’t matter. It’s none of their business.

Quit justifying your decisions guys!

Are your children safe? Are they loved? Do your children have their needs met? If you answered yes to all of those questions then every other question doesn’t warrant an answer.

We need to be confident in our decisions that we make for our children. We are their parents. We know them the best. We know what works for our family. We also know what doesn’t work for our family.

So the next time a person asks you a question that you don’t think warrants an answer tell them just that!

As long as your children are loved, safe, and taken care of you don’t have to justify your parenting decisions to anyone.

Until next time,

Jenna

 

looking out at rain

“You’re failing as a Mommy” and other lies we tell ourselves

Welcome to The Peaceful Nest’s series: “You’re failing as a Mommy” and other lies we tell ourselves. This is the first post in a 5 part series. Please come back throughout the next few weeks for new posts in this series!

“You’re failing as a Mommy” and Other Lies we tell ourselves Part 1

I heard the subtle voice in my head as though it was a bee buzzing around my ear and simply would not leave.

“You’re a bad mother. Your daughter is going to resent you when she’s older” I heard it loud and clear as I walked down the steps. I had just put my oldest to bed. We did her normal bedtime routine. She put on her jammies, brushed her teeth, then it was into the bed so I could read her one of her favorite bedtime stories. Afterwards, she asked me tell her a story, per our nightly ritual, so I did. I painted a beautiful picture of a little girl who lived in the forest with her pet Monkey. They played everyday with their best friends (subsequently named after her cousins and sister). 15 minutes later the story was over and I said “okay kiddo time for bed”. “No, mommy, I want to tell you a story. As usual her story, always follows up mine with very similar aspects. These are moments I treasure.

forty minutes after the start of her bedtime routine I tell her “okay B it’s time for bed. You need rest so you have plenty of energy tomorrow.”

“But mommy, can you please tell me just one more story.”

“No kiddo, that is all the stories we have time for tonight.” I say as I kiss her head and walk out her door. She turns over without complaint and nestles further under her covers.

But there is was, that nagging voice inside my head that said “You’re a bad mother. She’s going to resent you when she grows up.”

How ridiculous. I thought to myself.

However, that is not the first or last lie that has crept into my mind since having children. I know I am not alone. Do they ever creep into your mind while making parenting decisions, in your everyday activities, or maybe while disciplining your children?

“You’re being too hard on her when you discipline her.”

“You’re not disciplining her enough.”

“She doesn’t eat enough”

“She eats too much”

“Why can’t you make better parenting decisions?”

“You’re failing them.”

“You’re a terrible mother.”

“You don’t do enough activities with them”

“You don’t play with them enough”

Do you ever hear those thoughts in your own mind?

Granted I do not hear them all the time. But they always seem to sneak in when I’m feeling the most vulnerable about my parenting decisions or when my children are in the middle of epic meltdowns.

Why do we listen to these lies? Are we bombarded with them daily in today’s society? Do we compare ourselves to other Mommy’s? Do we let the outside world tell us what type of parent we are? Are we not listening to what God says about us?

I want to tell you today that those thoughts that sneak in your head are lies.

Do not listen to them. The ones that sneak in when you are starting to doubt your parenting skills. When you start to feel discouraged in this parenting journey try remembering what God tells us about ourselves instead!

A kindhearted woman gains respect. -Proverbs 11:16

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. -Proverbs 14:1

How happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways! You will be happy, and it will go well for you… You…will see your children’s children. -Psalms 128:1-2, 5-6

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. – Proverbs 31:30

And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. – Galatians 6:9

When you are feeling down or as though you are failing as a Mommy, remember these verses!

Remember that God created you in your mother’s womb. He knew you before you were born. He knew your children before they were born because he created them too! God gave you the children you have because he knew YOU could raise them!

You are not failing as a Mommy!

You are dong the best you can.

Every child is different.

You know your child the best.

Momma, you know know what your child needs.

You are human and as long as you are loving your child and providing for their needs you are doing great!

YOU ARE A GREAT MOMMY!

and I am sure if you asked your child right now they would say the same thing.

You are a rock star sweet Momma and don’t you forget it!

Have a beautiful day!

Jenna

To the mom who feels as though her job is not important..

adventure-babies-beach-1157399.jpg
To the mom who feels as though her job is not important….

Please let me remind you it is.

There has been quite a bit of talk lately about equal rights for women. Though I steer clear of politics  on my page and on my blog all this buzz has gotten me thinking. It seems to be easy for some to get swept up in the “who is more valuable” debate. However, amidst all the debating about who is better at their jobs, or simply in general, I feel as though there is a category among women that has gotten lost.

That is the woman who has made the choice that being a mom is their most important job. It is the woman who has made the decision that staying home with her children is what she needs to do. The woman who supports her husband and doesn’t try to outdo, outsmart, or compare her abilities to his. It is the woman who instead comes along side him as a helpmate. The one who prides herself in partnering with her husband in raising their children and creating a life for their family. The homemaker, the stay at home mom, the helpmate, or the woman who is all this and holds down a full time job, I am writing to you.

It may seem as though you are invaluable. The work you do isn’t important.

That is simply not true. Those are lies. Your work as a mother and a wife is one of the most valuable jobs a woman can have.

You may take a look around the messy house and wonder why should I even attempt to clean again it’s just going to get messed up tomorrow. True. But you have the ability to teach your children the value of taking care of the things we own.

Maybe you are tired of trying to teach your children. If you’re child is anything like mine are, maybe they are digging their heels in and refusing new ideas that you see as fun. But you have the ability to introduce new concepts and ideas while helping grow their confidence and love for learning. Don’t give up.

Dinner may seem as though it’s another obstacle to get through and it becomes mundane. Make it anyway. Show your family that you will always provide for their needs by making them healthy meals. Or maybe take a break and go out to eat. Use it as an opportunity to show your children that sometimes mommy’s need breaks too.

Remind yourself daily…

You have the ability to shape and mold your child’s day and your husband’s day. I used to not believe it. Surely my mood and how I greeted them didn’t affect the outcome of their day. But it is true. The old saying “If momma’s not happy ain’t nobody happy” often rings true. I don’t think that should give us an excuse to ruin our family’s day just because we are having a rough time, though. Instead use it as a reminder that your attitude affects those around you, so maybe you should check it.

Maybe you are asking yourself if raising a family is truly that important. Today’s society today puts very little emphasis on what we do as mothers. Sometimes even downplaying our job as though it is not necessary. But I beg to differ. As parents we are responsible for how our children turn out the majority of the time. Teaching them how to be decent and contributing members of society may seem as though it isn’t important. Maybe it feels mundane and inadequate to the amazing things so many women are doing these days. But take a look around at today’s society and ask yourself “when my child becomes an adult are they going to be helping the society we live in or are they going to be contributing to the problems?”

Your children are the most precious gifts God has given you.

But that doesn’t mean motherhood isn’t difficult. It is also true that being a wife can be difficult. Though it is very much worth it in my opinion. If you are feeling down today, invaluable, or unimportant, please remember that those are lies. You ARE valuable and important. The job you have as a wife and mother is important. You have the ability to mold your children. To teach them. You have the ability to build up your husband. To come alongside him as a helpmate and tackle obstacles together. Much of what you do as a wife and a mother can be considered the foundation of your family. I don’t know about you but I consider the foundation to be the most important part of a building. Just something to think about.

Until next time,

Jenna Jury

 

 

How can I stay peaceful as a mom?


The past couple of weeks I have taken a short break from writing. I had decided to not spend as much time on social media actually and not writing was consequential of that. The reason I decided to take my social media accounts off my phone was because I had been complaining about how I couldn’t find any time to get everything that NEEDED done, done. Then I realized “Jenna you are being so foolish. There are 24 hours in a day and you work from home. You waste away your time when you could be more productive.” So that is when I decided to take a break. My social media accounts are still off my phone but I will be checking more often and of course writing more now too! Since becoming a wife and mom I have been on a discovery on how to create and maintain a peaceful home. I have talked about having a peaceful marriage and having peaceful children. You can also find more posts in my Peaceful Home. Peaceful Family. Peaceful Life. category. I have touched briefly on how we cannot achieve peace in our homes and with our families until we have peace with ourselves. It’s easy to say but is it really that easy to achieve? I believe that if you want peace in your life you have to put it in the forefront of your mind. Are you doing all you can to reach peace? If you have it are you doing all you can to protect it and maintain it? Peace in today’s society can be difficult to come by. There are so many different things pulling at us. Mom’s have several thoughts bouncing around in their heads. Jobs, education, our kids education, marriage, finances, devotional lives, extra curricular activities for our kids, to name just a few. There are so many others out there. I don’t believe that peace within yourself, your home, your family, or your life is something that just falls into your lap. You must really want it and you must work at it. But it is possible to grasp and very much worth it. So how do you reach this peace that I keep talking about? Does it really exist? Is it really important? Yes it does exist. Yes it is important. I have found several ways that I maintain peace within my home and family that I will share with you.

SPEND TIME BY YOURSELF

This one is tough. As a mom when do you ever get time by yourself? If you are anything like me your children and dog follow you straight into the bathroom and stare at you while you are trying to use the restroom. Or if you shut the door they bang on it. Motherhood doesn’t offer much time alone. That is why you have to make time. Get up earlier than your children. Spend time with the Lord. Get your exercise done for the day. Meditate. Eat a healthy breakfast. Or just sit in the silence of your home before it becomes chaotic. This is one that I typically struggle with. I like my sleep. I am not a morning person. But I make a concrete effort to get up before my children. Most days I can. When I do, I feel more prepared for the day. If getting up is a struggle for you but you can catch some time to yourself at nap time or after bed time, do it. Instead of worrying about what needs to get done at nap time, spend that time alone by yourself. Doing this will do more for your inner peace than you may realize.

KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES.

In today’s society, especially as women, there is a lot of pressure to do it all. But we cannot do it all. And when we become so focused on all we have to do it is then when you can feel your inner peace slipping. A few weeks ago I took a look around at my messy house, my schedule, the unprepared dinner on the counter, and I had a breakdown. I beat myself up about how I couldn’t do it all. It was just too much. There were piles of laundry. A dinner I didn’t have time to cook, bills that needed paid, and so much more. Then I realized I was getting my priorities mixed up and putting too much pressure on myself to do it all. My priorities will always be God, my husband, and my children in that order. Now, your priorities may look different than mine and that is okay. My husband and children come before any job I have or anything else, that is why I made the decision to stop working recently and also why I decided to home school my children. Money is great, it buys many things, but the time I have with my children I can never get back. We decided we could live on less if it meant my entire household was at peace. It is important to know your priorities. So ask yourself. What is important to you? Are you trying to do too much? When you decide what is important and what isn’t it gets easier to shrug the things that aren’t important off.

GIVE YOURSELF GRACE.

This goes along with knowing your priorities. Give yourself grace sweet mom. You do not have to do everything. Remind yourself of this when you start to feel overwhelmed. I tell myself often “we live in our home” when I start feeling stressed about the messiness around me. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Allow yourself a break. Allow yourself to forget about cooking dinner and just pop in a pizza instead. Allow yourself to have fun and give yourself grace when you don’t feel up to par. Is anyone perfect? No they aren’t. That is okay. What is perfect anyway if you don’t have peace to go with it? Your inner peace and your family’s peace is more important than a neat and tidy house every single day.

DO WHAT YOU LOVE.

What is it that you love? Do you love being a stay at home mom? Is it possible for you to do it? Then do it. Do you love working? Then work. Do you love to write? Then don’t waste another day and start writing. Do what you love to do. Being stuck in a career, or place, or area that you feel miserable at does not help you feel peaceful. I have heard that your “feelings don’t pay the bills” and that is true. However, staying at a job that you hate will add no value to your life. All it will do is make you more miserable. I understand that it’s not possible for everyone to do something they absolutely love but a concrete effort should be made. If you have to work try to work somewhere you like. If you can’t then try to at least find a hobby that you enjoy. Something that you love to do that will bring you happiness and joy.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

As mothers we put everyone above ourselves most of the time. But taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally is so important to your children and to the state of your household. Taking care of your physical health and making it a priority should be important for a few reasons. You are showing your children that health is important and they should be healthy too. Also, although accidents happen and you never know how long you will be on earth, when you are taking care of yourself you are doing your part in striving for a long and healthy life. Emotional health is also important. That is why I have been talking so much about peace lately. Taking care of yourself can help you achieve peace within yourself.

GIVE GRACE TO OTHERS.

Give those you love grace. Give grace to your children. Did your child spill her milk? Before you chastise her for being clumsy remember that accidents do happen to everyone and the likelihood of her doing it on purpose was probably slim to none. Give grace to your husband. Did he load the dishwasher in a way that you hate? Instead of nagging him try doing it yourself. Give grace to your family members. Do you not see eye to eye with your siblings or parents? Let them have their opinions and you have yours. You are different people after all. Give grace to your friends. Did your friend say something offensive? Instead of jumping to conclusions think about what your friend actually meant. Along with giving grace to those we love, we should give grace to everyone else. That person that cut in front of you while you were driving, give them grace. You never know, they may have just had the worst day of their lives. Maybe they lost someone they loved, or a job, or maybe they are rushing to the hospital. Give grace to the person who hurt you whether intentionally or unintentionally. Don’t hold grudges against them. Instead forgive. Every one of us are just humans. Everyone of us think differently, act differently, and have different opinions and thoughts. Give grace, give forgiveness, let the grudges fall away and you will start to see that you feel more peaceful and less irritated.

DON’T INDULGE IN GOSSIP.

Gossip is a nasty time waster in my opinion. It is a way people kill time and make themselves feel better. Do yourself a favor and stay away from gossip. Don’t indulge in it. Don’t hang around people who gossip. I always tell my youngest sister, if they are gossiping to you, chances are they are gossiping about you. What gossip does is takes someone’s reputation and tarnishes it, creates lies and exaggerations and steals your inner peace. Whether the gossip is true or not ask yourself this “is it any of my business?” When you indulge in gossip about other people your mind is taken off of your priorities and is put on a story about someone else that may or may not be true. Frankly, what a person that is not living under my roof does or doesn’t do is none of my business. When you steer away from this quicksand your life becomes much more drama free and more peaceful.  It is well worth it.

SPEND TIME WITH GOD.

I wake up every morning and spend time with God. I enjoy this quiet time in his presence. I am reminded of his love for me and the sacrifice that he made when he gave his only son on the cross. I pray for many things but especially for the day ahead of me. This time with him resets me. It gets my mind ready for the day. It is a vital part of my day.

REMEMBER IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO.

Sometimes I think that we start to feel stressed out and lose our inner peace when we say yes to too many things. It is easy to feel pressured to say yes to everything that is asked of us but sometimes we just have to say no. That is okay. Your peace and the peace of your family is just that important. I am a homebody. There’s nothing I love more than staying home with my family and doing nothing except spending time alone with them. I try not to make mine and my family’s schedule too full because this time together is precious as well as important. My kids enjoy the down time and the time alone with me and my husband. My husband enjoys it. This is why I limit activities for my daughters. My 4 year old is currently doing two activities. She wanted to add gymnastics back in with the other two activities as well. Although I was tempted to let her, I said no she had to wait until she was done with one other activity. This is because I want her to understand the importance of down time and also because it is my job to make sure my daughter’s life is peaceful. What are some ways you can protect that peace for your family? Are you saying yes to much? Are your kids running ragged in too many activities? Remember it is always okay to say no.

Peace is so important. You cannot reach peace in your marriage or with your children until you have inner peace. I hope that you have found something helpful in today’s post that you can take away with you to help achieve a peaceful life and protect it.

Until next time!

Jenna Jury

4 Things Your Child Must Have Right Now

Children are a lot of work. They are expensive. They need a lot! Many people these days put so much thought and preparation into having children. And I honestly believe they should. I think that everyone should think about what children need and how much they require before they venture into parenthood. I mean, you have the countless diapers, baby food, and clothes. Not to mention all the toys and books they will need as they grow older. You have to think about sports and activities they may want to join. What about their schooling? It’s so much to think about! It can also be so overwhelming. So if you are considering becoming a parent or even if you are one now, I thought I would break it down for you and give you the top four things that your child must have right now!

YOUR PRESENCE

Children need the people who love them the most, their parents, grandparents, etc. to be present in their everyday lives. They need to know that mommy and daddy will be at this activity or sport cheering me on, more than they need to BE DOING that activity or sport. They need you to be there for dinners and tuck-ins. They need you to be there when they get hurt or when they make something amazing. They need YOU. They need YOUR PRESENCE. 



YOUR PARTICIPATION 

Children not only need your presence but they also need your participation. They need you to participate in the happenings of their life. They need you to know what is going on with them even if they don’t volunteer information. Pick up on clues. Participate in their every day activities. Get down on the floor and play with them. Ask them questions. Eat meals with them. Even if you are tired and you don’t feel like doing it, participate anyway. There will come a day when they will be grown and gone. When that day comes your chances to participate in their every day will be fewer. So do it now.

YOUR ATTENTION

Give your attention to your children. They crave it. They need it. Talk to them. Play with them. Put the phone down. Turn the television off. Get out of your head and focus on what your children are telling you. I read a great quote once before. It was “listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff”(Catherine M. Wallace.) So, forget about the things that don’t matter while your children are talking to you. You can always pick that phone back up when they are done. But your child needs your attention now. Don’t overlook it.

YOUR LOVE 

Every child is born with a need to be loved. This need cannot be replaced with materialistic items. Neither should it. So many children go without this need. So many parents don’t understand it. Love your child. Meet their needs. Meeting their needs do not mean always meeting their wants. There is a difference. Loving your children mean meeting their basic needs. Caring about what they have to say. Showing them love. Loving them unconditionally. Guiding them and raising them to be contributing and decent members of society. Love your children.

I know that in today’s society it is easy to worry about all the “things” children need. The new electronics, the cool shoes and clothes, the latest toys to entertain them for hours. But to be honest children don’t “need” all those things. They are simply a distraction from what our children truly need from us. Our love, attention, presence, and participation. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that what society tells us our children need isn’t always the truth. If you are meeting their basics needs and also giving your children the four things I mentioned above, I would say you are rocking it as a parent!

Until Next Time!

Jenna Jury