Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Featured Article: Things They Don't Tell You About Motherhood

Things They Don't Tell You About Motherhood
By Sarah L.

Expecting your first baby is such an exciting time. You do everything possible to prepare for this new life you are responsible for. You read books about birth and parenting, you take classes, and you listen to advice from friends and relatives about parenthood. You prepare the nursery, do your research to find the best car seat, wash and put away all the tiny baby clothes, daydream about holding your sweetie, and you start feeling you are prepared and ready for motherhood.

The pregnancy goes by in a rush, the first few exhausting months of life with a newborn are a blur and somehow you recover and it dawns on you - there are things that they do not teach you in classes or books. They go way beyond the hospital, and happen when you are alone in the middle of the night or when no one is around.

Now you know they don’t tell you how hard babies can be or that they will most likely poo, pee, puke, and drool on what is left of your already limited postpartum wardrobe leaving you absolutely nothing decent to wear in public.  They don’t tell you that despite others’ efforts to help; you are the only one who can soothe your baby and get him to go to sleep because there is no place like a mother’s arms and quite possibly you are his food source.

They don’t tell you that your sweet innocent baby will turn into a defiant, angry toddler or that you will reach levels of exhaustion that you never knew existed.  Even more surprising you will continue to function as an almost normal human being for weeks, even months on end. No one will notice because they are all exhausted too.

One day you will be surprised to find that you will turn your back for a minuscule moment of time and then you will find that someone has quite proudly peed in your shoes OR unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper OR colored on your new ottoman with permanent marker OR given herself a haircut with scissors you could swear were well hidden.  You will also be surprised to find that because your toddler is so stinking cute, you won’t stay mad very long at all.

There are moments of embarrassment deeper than any other, not to mention the new levels of fatigue, pain, and loneliness that you didn’t think were possible. As you pick up the same toys, cook the same meals, clean the same toilets, and fold the same clothes over and over and over again you will realize your life has become quite dull and mundane.

BUT there are other moments they don’t tell you about too, like the joy of seeing your squirming, pink baby for the first time. The awe you feel of the miracle that you and your husband have created this tiny person that you are now totally responsible for. And at that moment you feel love deeper than any other you have ever felt. You find yourself staring at your child as she sleeps, whether they are 3 days old or 3 years old, thinking how angelic and beautiful they look and you make yourself resist grabbing her and squeezing her, so that you don’t disturb her sweet peacefulness.  

They don’t tell you how your heart feels like it will jump out of your chest when you see your toddler teetering at the top of a staircase or the pain you feel when you see him get hurt.  They never tell you about that day when your child comes home from school with his feelings hurt and you feel a new and scary urge to track that person down and explain to them, not so calmly, how wonderful your baby is and make them apologize and understand.  You will want to fix it and you will feel utterly out of control and helpless.

There is the first time you watch them do something they love and you won’t be able to stop the smile from spreading across your face. The moment when you realize they have grown up right before you and tears threaten to escape from your damp eyes before you can stop them. Suddenly you have a revelation - My Baby is a Kid!!

You will celebrate each new tooth and then celebrate a few years later as they fall out one by one, not even remembering how much pain, crying, crabbiness, and sleepless nights they caused as they broke through. The days drag and the years fly by almost without you even noticing. You wish them to pass and then wish them back again the next minute.  They just don’t tell you how awesome motherhood is in a strange combination of wonderful and exhausting and painful and rewarding and emotional and surprising. Or how fast it all goes.

So whether you are a mom of 1 child or 5 children, of a newborn or a 15 year old; you are in the know. You know the things they don’t tell you, the things they can’t tell you because they are just too hard to explain. Some things you just have to figure out on your own and do your own way.  It is something you have to experience to understand.

So, of all the things I have experienced as a mom these last 8 ½ years, in the blur of all the wonderful, horrible, and hilarious things, what would I tell a new mother so she would know? So she wouldn’t wait too long figure it out?

Enjoy these moments right now, whatever stage you are in, enjoy!  Don’t look back at times past. Don’t waste time wishing for chubby fingers and snugly babies. Don’t look forward to this stage passing because there is always a new and different stage that is just as challenging.

Live right now!  Enjoy it! Savor the small things like the giggles, the silliness, the messes, and then laugh about the things that don’t seem funny.  Cherish them, because even if you have only been a mother for a month, you already know how fast that month went by and how many things can change in such a short time. A month will turn into a year which turns into a decade in the blink of an eye.  Our children will grow and lose their chubby hands, their legs will get long and skinny and bruised, their attitudes will get big, they will push for independence, and they will become real grown up people with their own personalities and their own identities. They will make their own decisions both good and bad. Decisions we have no control over. Embrace it. Don’t hold them back by looking back at times past or wishing for the future and the hope of “easier” days. Accept and enjoy where they are right now.

Hug your preschooler and all your other kids too. Hug them tight and enjoy this moment. You won’t be sorry, because tomorrow this moment will be gone forever. These are the things they don’t tell you about motherhood. It’s not easy but it is worth it.

Originally published in the May 2014 Indian Creek MOPS Newsletter

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Favorite Things: Restaurants

Want to try a new restaurant but not sure where to go?
Are you pregnant and not sure what baby products you really need?
Are you unsure of what to cook on a busy weeknight?

What better place to turn than your fellow MOPS moms for ideas?

Our new feature My Favorite Things - will give you some ideas of where to start.
Each month we will feature a different question and recommendations will be listed by other MOPS moms in the group.

This month's feature:
What is your favorite restaurant?

  • Planet Sub - Melony S.
  • RA Sushi- Alisha D.
  • Olive Garden - Ashley C.
  • Oklahoma Joe's - Jessica F.
  • With kids Chick-Fil-A, Casual - Unforked, Fancy - J. Gilbert's - Jane H.
  • Burger King salad wraps - Stephanie H.
  • Bravo - Katie H.
  •  Mi Ranchito's - Heather J.
  • Red Lobster - Stephanie L
  • Jose Peppers- Alicia P.
  • Longhorn Steakhouse - Lindsay R
  • Mai Thai - Amy S.
  • Stix at the Legengs - Raychel V.
  • Chapala - Laura W.
  • Mongolian BBQ - Kelly R.
  • Kona Grill and Yard House - Erin B.
  • Ernesto's - Karla T.
  • Chapala - Julie K.
  • Jose Peppers - Jennifer P.
  • Chapala - Sara B
  • Bone Fish - Carrie M.
  • Justice Drugstore or American Restaurant - Nicki F.
  • Mexican - Hacienda - Sara K.
  • Chapala - Jessi C.
  • Minsky's, anything Mexican or Italian - Sarah L.
  • Bahama Breeze, Tijuana Flats - Nicole P.
  • Oklahoma Joe's or Spin Pizza - Lou Ann C.
  • Elephant Bar - Rachael K.

Want to contribute your ideas for our blog or newsletter? Check your MOPS folder for the My Favorite Things feature!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

What Your MOPPET is Learning: November

While we are enjoying some time with other mothers, the kids are busy in their classes as well. 

Each month we will post a sneak peak at the MOPPETS curriculum for the 2012-13 year.  

This year the kids will be studying the Fruit of the Spirit curriculum which has been a favorite in the past.

All kids in the Otters, Lions, Ostrich, and Giraffe classes will participate in a Bible lesson, craft, game, music, play time, short video related to the Bible lesson, (such as VeggieTales) and snack.

Your children will be performing a Christmas program at the first December meeting so start practicing those songs at home!  And don't forget your camera!

Here is a peek at the curriculum for the month:

November- Goodness
Song of the month- "God made me".  Practice "Away in a Manger" (for the Christmas Program)*
11/6-Lesson- God is good and makes good things.
Story- Creation
Verse- 1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the lord for he is good.
11/20-Lesson- Thank God for our blessings.
Story- The Leper who said thank you to Jesus.
Verse- 1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the lord for he is good.

For a list of the entire MOPPETS Curriculum for the year please check out the "About MOPPETS" tab.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Featured Article: "Savior Please"

"Savior Please"
By Jenni B.

During this Fall break I've enjoyed spending time with my family, attempting to savor every moment and lock it away in my internal picture file. But unfortunately since it's been extremely cold and snowy which means limited energy burning sessions outside, the kids are getting a bad case of cabin fever.

I finally had reached my last straw and my cup was on empty. As I was standing there I heard a song on the radio. And at that moment, I lost it. Standing in my kitchen bawling my eyes out. Those lyrics that touched me so I'd like to share with you. The song is by Josh Wilson called "Savior Please". 

"Savior, please take my hand. 
I work so hard, I live so fast. 
This life begins, then it ends. 
And then I do the best that I can,
but I don't know how long I'll last.
I try to be so tough,
but I'm just not strong enough.
I can't do this alone,
god I need you to hold on to me.
I try to be good enough,
but I'm nothing without your love.
Savior, please keep saving me.
Savior, please help me stand
I fall so hard, I fade so fast.
Will you begin right where I end?
And be the God of all I am because you're all I have.
Hallelujah! Everything you are to me is everything I'll ever need.
And I am learning to believe
'casue you're the one who's saving me"

Isn't this the ultimate "mom song"? As a mom, I try to be everything to everyone and do everything I can for the. Sometimes I push myself so hard so fast that I am left with nothing. This song reminds me that no matter how depleted , stressed out or unappreciated I may feel, our Savior never shifts.

Originally published in the October 2012 Indian Creek MOPS newsletter.