The End of a Phase

IMG_6494I sold our infant car seat this week.  And then I had some strong emotions about the end of a phase of our lives.  I know that because I am writing this I will be pregnant next week, but I’m going to take my chances and write it anyway.  We MIGHT be done having kids.  I always said I would birth two babies and be done giving birth by the time I was 30 (I was married at 22 so this seemed reasonable).  Then I had a relatively pleasant 2nd pregnancy and a VBAC and I thought maybe I’m not really done.  In the beginning when you are high on “newborn perfume” and those nursing hormones have you feeling like you want to live in that forever I was definitely in the let’s just have ONE more mindset.  Then Vaughn became mobile and we moved across the country and we live in a house that’s too big to keep tidy and I took on 3 jobs and Ellery started preschool and I thought, oh my word I am not even a good mother of 2, how could I ever have MORE than two.  The thought just seemed completely laughable (and honestly still does).  So in my mind it’s like, yep, done, sell all the baby things, get rid of all those clothes you’ve been storing, savor every last kiss on those big baby cheeks that are living in your house right now because girlfriend your baby phase is coming to an end (I fight the tears just typing that).

And then Facebook, Oy Facebook.  So many of my friends on there are either posting their 3rd baby bumps or announcing their entry into parenthood and I think about the sheer JOY that comes with the birth of a baby, there is literally nothing I can compare it to.  It is at the same time insanely happy and terrifying.  I remember during my pregnancy with Vaughn I would literally lay in bed and bawl my eyes out at the thought of something happening to me in childbirth (they do a really great job of telling you that having a baby after a c-section is extremely dangerous and you might die or kill your baby, over and over again) and leaving Ellery without a mother.  So I would no doubt go through those intense emotions only multiplied at the thought of leaving Andrew to care for TWO little girls.

Then I hear stories about the THOUSANDS and thousands of children in the foster care system that would love to have a forever home and I think about our big house and our huge hearts with so much love to give and I think maybe that’s the path we are meant to take.  Whenever someone talks about foster care  I always have a tug on my heart and a pit in my stomach.  I’m also aware that now is not the right time for this phase of our lives and I honestly have no idea when it will feel like the right time.  With that being said I also never knew when the time was right to try to get pregnant, but God told me pretty clearly both times so no need to fret about this.

Changing the Question

Laura Transformation

Motivation Monday: This picture was taken when Vaughn was about 7 months old so this is actually pretty accurate, it’s not like I’m 42 weeks pregnant in this picture…… you too can change the way you look and feel!!

My last post on fitness had the second most clicks of any post I’ve ever written.  Clearly this is a topic a lot of people are interested in and I say, give the people what they want!  I want to write about why I think DIETS don’t really work and how to make a lifestyle change that actually sticks.

Why diets don’t work well (at least for me).  A diet tells you what you CANNOT eat and what you need to give up and how to restrict yourself.  No gluten, no dairy, no sugar, no fill in the blank (I do think there is a place for this sometimes, but not really to lose weight).  It also tells you how many calories you need to cut out in order to lose weight.  At the end of the day on a diet you ask yourself “was I good or bad”?  You start to view food as on plan or off plan instead of just fuel.  You use words like CHEAT when you are on a diet.

A lifestyle change is more about goals.  When I started eating the PiYo Get Lean plan the focus for me was how can I eat ENOUGH vegetables and protein and hit all my marks for the day?  At the end of the day I ate a salad almost every night for the first couple months because I just couldn’t eat enough vegetables in a day without it.

When I would be on a diet if I were to “cheat” it would immediately derail my day.  It was like, well, I can’t be perfect today so I might as well enjoy myself and eat whatever I want.  Then I’ll get back on track tomorrow.  Then the next day I would do the same and I would get no where with losing weight because I felt like I had to start over every day.

I encourage you to change your question from “how good was I today?” to “how well did I respect myself today?”  For me, respecting myself fully is: eating things that FUEL me, exercising, drinking half my body weight in ounces of water, getting enough sleep, and limiting my sugar.  I just kind of use a general sense of how well I did.  If I ate more sugar than reasonable then I respect myself by doing another short work out or taking a walk with the family after dinner.  If I didn’t fuel my body well I respect myself by either drinking a protein shake for dinner or eating a ton of vegetables at dinner time/or after dinner snack.  Your respect scale might look completely different from mine and that’s the beautiful thing about health and fitness it’s so customizable for each person and we all have such different goals.  You are worth the effort and God gave you this INCREDIBLE body, so work to respect yourself!!!

 

Because I Have a Reason

This picture has nothing to do with the post really, but here are the girls in their Easter dresses after our church egg hunt.

This picture has nothing to do with the post really, but here are the girls in their Easter dresses after our church egg hunt.

“Because I said so.”  Famous parent words.  If you are a parent there is a really good chance you have uttered this phrase and I completely understand why.  Kids are infuriating sometimes.  I almost swore at my kid the other day because I had asked her to please put her shoes on at least 5 times and the 6th time I JUST about used a rather offensive “descriptive” word to describe her shoes……

BUT as frustrating as they are I made a decision before my kids were born that I wouldn’t use the phrase, “because I said so.”  I can honestly say as far as I know I have never used it and because I have read a lot of good advice on the internet about parenting I thought I’d tell you the two reasons I have made this commitment.

  1.  If I don’t have a reason for something then I don’t expect my kids to do it.  I believe it can be any reason, but I have to have a reason.  Literally I have told my child, “you need to stop doing that because mama is really annoyed and I don’t want to completely lose it.”
  2. I don’t want my kids to blindly follow someone just “because they said so.”  I feel like my main job at home is to teach my kids how to function in the world outside our walls and I think it’s important for them to gather all the information about something before they make a decision.  So that is why I give them a reason for every why.

I don’t think it’s BAD if you use “because I said so.”  I get the rationale behind it, you are the authority and they need to respect that whatever you say goes.  I’m writing this to give you something to think about.  If you started only asking your kids to do something motivated by a reason or you only said no because you had a legitimate objection you may find that your home life becomes more pleasant.  I wrote this post two years ago today (total coincident) on why I try to be slow to say no and I really think it has helped us over the years to cut down on tantrums (we still have A LOT, but less than we could).

If you think this advice is garbage then throw it away, but if you and your kids are frustrated with each other I say give it a shot!