hannah's blog

How much work is being a parent? If your answer was, "An infinite amount" you're probably right. The thing about parenting work is that it's never done. Raoul just went "back to work" today, and I'm sure it seems like a bit of a holiday for him to get out of the house and away from THIS work. One of the things that irritated him about the work here at home is that you do the same things. Over. And over. And over. You wash the same dishes. You change yet another dirty nappy.

When I think about rest, one of the first thing that comes to mind (and probably for most parents) is sleep. Sleep is a major concern for all parents of young children. As soon as your baby arrives, people start asking you about how they're sleeping. It usually goes something like this- "How are things going? Is he/she a good baby? Are they sleeping through yet?" All of that is lumped together into one thought: How things are going is supposed to depend on how good your baby is, which is determined by how well they sleep. If your baby sleeps, they're a good baby, and things are going well. If not...?

It's funny how sometimes you teach your children something, only to have them teach you more about it themselves. As Christian parents, one of the things we want to teach our children is that a relationship with God is important. The outward religious trappings- going to church, following traditions, etc, can at times fall by the wayside, but we need to maintain that relationship with Christ. So one of the ways we teach that is to model prayer- that's how we talk to God.

Generally speaking, it's the Mommy's job to do most of the day-to-day care for the family- the housework, the endless nappy changes, the cooking, etc. And when Mommy is sick, or has a new baby, sometimes there's not anyone who can take care of her, especially if her mother can't make it out!

This week has been International Babywearing Week, so when I saw the prompt word, I knew I had to talk about babywearing and the ways it's helped us GO!

Living in Cape Town, South Africa, there are a lot of places it's a bit difficult to take a stroller or pram. There are cobbled streets in the city center, shops with narrow aisles, sandy beaches, boardwalks, etc. All places we've happily gone while babywearing, but have often seen other parents struggle with while using prams. I've been on a few walks with friends where I've helped carry their pram (toddler inside) while wearing my own baby.

So you're a mom now? Join the club! Or maybe the mommy Bible study or moms and tots group, baby music class, baby gym class, etc? I'm part of a couple moms groups. One moms Bible study, one "hippie" mom group, and one facebook moms group for Christian mothers. Yes, I've joined a few clubs! But just because you join something doesn't mean that you feel like you belong. In so many ways, we feel a bit like misfits as parents. We're "attachment parents" except for...? "Hippie parents" except for..."Christian parents", but...

What words do you say the most when it comes to your children? What words do you say the most TO them, and what words do you say the most ABOUT them? I bet a lot of people with young children like mine would probably have to admit that "No!" is one of the main words they say to their children. I'm sure that's the case in our home as well, though I wish it weren't! What about the words you say ABOUT your children? How do you describe them to others? Do you find yourself complaining about your kids or building them up in the presence of others?

Getting to know you,
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you,
Getting to hope you like me...

The King and I

One of the things I tell my babies while they're still in the womb is that I can't wait to get to KNOW them. Not just seeing what they look like, or what gender they are, but really getting to know them and understand them. Know what will comfort them, make them happy, what will make them sad or afraid, what will make them laugh, cry, etc. When your child is a newborn, there's nothing better than when you realise you KNOW what's wrong and you can solve it, and nothing worse than NOT knowing.

This post is part of my 31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes. See my first post if you haven't heard of 5 minute free writes.

Sometimes you just get STUCK. Usually, by the grace of God, it's with one child at a time (at least in my limited experience), but there are times when a situation arises and you've just tried EVERYTHING, but nothing is changing. Maybe it's sleeping through the night- I know a lot of parents come up against that one first. (We didn't- we simply didn't expect our kids to sleep.) Maybe it's potty training. We were stuck on that one for almost 2 years. We tried EVERYTHING. Seriously. Everything. "But have you...?" Offered rewards? Made him clean up? Made no big deal of it? Made a huge deal of it? Charted? I promise you- YES.

This post is part of my 31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes. See my first post if you haven't heard of 5 minute free writes.

As parents we must be constantly learning and growing. From the time our children are babies in the womb through the rest of our lives, really, we can help our children (and ourselves of course) with what we learn. So much of parenting is subjective. It's hard to say what's "right" when it comes to so many areas! What works well for one child may not work well for another, even in the same family, and that applies to sleeping, feeding, discipline, education, and so much more! However, if I were to pick the two things I've learned that have made things easier in these Little years, I'd have to say breastfeeding and babywearing probably top the list.