By Diana Duke, Secretary on Momivate's MotherBoard
They say that patience is a virtue. Sometimes I wonder if it's a virtue I once mastered and then lost somewhere along the way. I think back to a time before I was a mother, when I had all of the patience in the world. I worked at a group home for children with disabilities and quickly found how much I loved it. As time moved on, I started a family and found myself venturing into other fields. However, at the top of my priorities was being a mother to my children. I had an amazing husband and, although we had our struggles, life was good.
I wish I’d had more time to be the wife I always wanted to be, but things took a turn for the worse and I found myself widowed at thirty-one. I completely fell apart for a while. I lost my sense of self, and that patience I’d had was now something that I was searching for. I feel that it is something I am really struggling with, yet all of the time everyone around me is telling me, “You have so much patience—I don't know how you do it!” I am constantly being told what a good mother I am and, though I am grateful for their kind comments, it leads me to wonder who I am.
I don't feel patient. I don't feel so wonderful all the time. I think we as mothers are often our own hardest critics. However, I am pretty competitive, so I have to believe that the bar that I set long ago for myself has to be attainable or I wouldn't have set it in the first place. I want to be happy, and I want my children to be happy. I find that getting back to the basics makes life so much easier. Being patient with ourselves, patient with our children, and being patient with those around us makes us kinder and more gentle.
I know that it can be hard when you don't know where to start. But you just have to start where you are. So that is what I'm doing--jumping in and starting where I am. Even as I write this, I have found myself worrying; not knowing what to write about; stressing out that nobody wants to hear about my chaotic struggles. But we are human and we all have our own challenges. We need to be patient with ourselves.
Right now one of my challenges is the never-ending laundry pile--I never get to cross it off my to-do list, so I never get the satisfaction of completion. However, what I can do is set a goal for how many loads I can do today. That way I am able to cross something off my to-do list with satisfaction. I can go on and on about the steps I have to take to be patient with myself. We are all different; what works for me isn't going to work for everyone else. But each of us can do something to quiet those negative, self-defeating thoughts in our heads. What are some things you can do to be patient with yourself?
Less Screen Time, More Green Time!
By Cindy Thomsen, Momivate's Leader over Schedules & Systems and blogger at ResilientMotherhood.net
Summer break is here and it seems when kids are bored they spend their free time on a screen? There are so many fun electronic resources as well as so many distractions! What do your kids like? Youtube, streaming movies, playing games all day! How do we stop that from happening and help our kids get the most out of their Summer?
I started researching ways to help my kids put down their electronics and find more productive ways to spend their time. There are so many great ideas out there. Here were a few that stood out to me. Hopefully these can help you too to have a fun-filled Summer together with fun activities and a more focused and planned screen time.
... to read the rest of Cindy's post, visit her blog at: resilientmotherhood.net/tips-to-reduce-screen-time-this-summer/
The Value of...
If you want to know the value of...
ask a teenager who's been grounded.
ask a student with a research paper due.
ask a substitute teacher.
ask a guy getting bombarded with questions by the parents of the girl who is still upstairs getting ready for their date.
ask a basketball player, down by 1, in possession of the ball.
ask a gymnast.
ask a running back at a football game.
ask a bungee jumper.
ask a teenager who buys his own gasoline.
...a phone call...
ask the person who just put in a job application.
What would you add??
Are you convinced that screens are hurting our children's brains?
I am. Not just in theory but based on personal experience! Maybe not the way you think -- my case is a counter-example.
When I was 12 or so, my mom cut the cord off the TV because we weren't keeping the rules -- and so I enjoyed a very *rich* teen time frame despite being raised by a single mom, well within poverty level.
I was *rich* in my zeal for living a real life! I wasn't weighed down by expectations put into my brain by watching TV shows or seeing commercials about everything I couldn't afford and being convinced that I needed those things. I had free time to find out what was important to me and then do it!
I rarely felt "left out" when conversations about TV shows seemed irrelevant to my life. In contrast, my friends often felt left out when I described how I spent my time discovering and developing various hobbies, enjoying real-life social fun like impromptu pizza parties, long drives to interesting destinations, and long talks with my on-again-off-again boyfriend (our relationship was not defined by TV's examples). Yes, I still watched TV at friends' houses sometimes -- I wasn't against it altogether -- but those exposures solidified my philosophy that TV's pressurized influence would have greatly clouded my vision, and likely was blinding my peers from seeing their potential.
Nowadays, it's no longer TV alone trying to program our children's behavior and thought processes. It comes through so many screens that cutting one cord wouldn't make much of a difference! How can we help our children navigate this territory that's also new territory to us as parents? Is it really possible and plausible to keep them away from such a pervasive influence -- or is keeping them away the goal anymore? Despite my past that I'm proud of, I'm parenting in extremely different circumstances, and I've determined that the goal is not to avoid screens altogether, but to build the ability to manage screen time effectively, and ultimately flourish with screens.
Our family has a Family Technology Plan that is consistently being reviewed and sometimes revised as we encounter new situations that may not have been covered by previous drafts. As parents, we are straightforward with our children about how screen time (even educational screen time!) can be detrimental to our brains. Yes, we restrict the amount of time, redirecting repeatedly, and with the responsibility placed incrementally more on the child according to their age. Our goal is to help our children develop their own healthy habits, with a strong desire to be actively architecting their own lives rather than just watching someone else's scripted life through a screen.
If you haven't gained a conviction yet of the necessity for parents to be pro-active in their children's journey to safe screen use, please watch this documentary! Yes, the struggle is real, and so worth every effort!
The following is copied and pasted from the YouTube page:
For the first time in history, mental illness and suicide have become one of the greatest threats to school-aged children. Many parents still view dangers as primarily physical and external, but they’re missing the real danger: kids spending more time online and less time engaging in real life, free play, and autonomy.
What are the effects on the next generation's mental, physical, and spiritual health?
Childhood was more or less unchanged for millennia, but this is CHILDHOOD 2.0. For more resources and to download a community discussion guide and share with your community, please visit: https://bit.ly/32voKpY.
NOTE: Bark is proud to sponsor the free release of this film because we believe every family should have access to such a crucial, powerful resource.
Run Time: 88 Minutes
A Film by: Jamin Winans, Robert Muratore, and Kiowa Winans
Music by: Jamin Winans
A Perfect Christmas
Written by Cindy Thomsen, Momivate's Director of Schedules & Systems
(Note: Cindy wrote this BEFORE Christmas, and unfortunately I (the webmother) am only getting it posted today, on New Year's Day. Cindy's writing is always worth reading, though, so go ahead and indulge yourself! There's always a mindset to learn and apply even if outside the holiday season.)
WOW! This is has been a crazy year! Covid has changed all of our usual Christmas traditions. Now we find ourselves wondering what we should do as a family and focusing on those things that are most important for us. Is it possible to have a great Christmas this year? How about a perfect one? Click here to learn more about how to add more peace and joy to your home this holiday season.
Link to my blog post…
First things first!
By Leigha Westover, Momivate Director of Income & Outgo
When a child is learning to recognize shapes, they may attempt to put a round block in the square hole, or the square block in the triangle hole. They may become frustrated and believe it won’t work, therefore giving up. We love our children and we want to help them understand that placing the circle block in the circle hole will fit. We take a moment to exhibit how this is done and we explain the process as we perform the action. Our child observes us putting the right block in the right hole and that it does work and so they model after us. They try and try until they begin to recognize and understand the shape matches the hole it fits into. Rarely will it be the first time. It takes practice and learning the skill of matching the block to the correct hole.
Even as adults, we sometimes believe things won’t work -- until our perspective becomes clearer as we learn from watching others succeed. Budgeting is like fitting the right piece in the right place. It CAN work for us, too!
Pay God first (tithing, or other charitable donation to an organization of your choice)
“I can not afford to donate -- there is not enough money!”
A common phrase we all have heard from others and maybe even from ourselves!
As we do our best to make ends meet, sometimes it doesn't seem to be enough. Many people go year to year living paycheck to paycheck. When writing our budget, the total sometimes ends with a negative balance. This is a very common lifestyle for many. It has taken me many years to change my understanding of how to manage the outgo of our family finance.
We are correct in our thinking when we spend our money on the bills and wants first, that leaves nothing for God and selfless giving. We need shelter, food and clothes so that goes to the top of our list. No one wants to go hungry, naked or be out in the cold. So it is natural to rationalize why that would be our first expense.
Let’s take a step back and recognize that we rely on the earth for the food at our table; our clothes and our homes are made from the very substance of the earth. Our Creator made all things possible through all he created on this earth. When we honor Him and show faith in Him by giving to Him through channels such as church or charity, He can show His hand in our lives. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God" (Romans 8:28).
I would like to use the example in the Personal Finances Self Reliance Manual page 41 (published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints).
Picture that we have a glass jar which represents our income (a resource of limited size), a big rock representing our debt to the Lord, pebbles representing our savings for our future selves, and sand, representing our current needs and wants..
Take the empty jar and fill it with the sand first, then place the pebbles, in and finally try to put in the big rock. By following these instructions there is no room for the big rock. It appears that it will not all fit in the jar. This is the most common way we arrange our budget!
But what if we put the bigger rock first, add the pebbles, then pour in the sand? You will be amazed to find that everything really CAN fit in the jar!
“Because God gives to me, I have enough to give and to live!” This can be your new phrase!
Our family has chosen to put God first by paying our tithing and a fast offering. We have discovered that the money leftover has always been sufficient for our needs and beyond.
Look to those around you who are successful at managing their money, and ask what works for them. Search different ideas on budgeting. You don’t have to pay anyone to tell you how. But keep looking and find what works for you.
Put the circle block in the circle hole as you recognize that giving back to your Creator is your bigger rock and all the pebbles and sand will have room by taking this step first in your budget.
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