When our first daughter was born almost six years ago, I was the better parent. By a mile. Not to brag, but I was more prepared, more excited, and more skilled. That’s just the truth. But somewhere along the way, either before or after our second daughter was born, Olive caught up and then passed me. This is less of a story of what makes a “better” parent, and more of a story about how grit and effort beat out talent and skill.
Archives For Parenting
“What are the toddler years like? I’ve heard they’re really challenging.” I was recently asked this question. My response was that yes, they are challenging, but there are resources and ways of thinking about this season that can empower you as you navigate it. As I write this, we have an almost 6-year-old and a 3-year-old. So we’ve weathered one stormy toddlerhood and are currently in the midst of the second.
For a long time I hadn’t really understood what the big deal was about potty training. It was simple! At least it was for my first child. But when we were a month into training my second-born and still having regular accidents, I could see how potty training earned it’s reputation as “dreaded.”
As I reflected on this particular experience of potty training, I learned several things about myself. They weren’t new discoveries – more like patterns I’d already known about myself that surfaced in a new context.
I considered it a grand experiment. How would a mother of two young kids and wife to an entrepreneur manage to take a whole month off to rest? That was the big question.
There were many difficult things about the first year with two children. There was the adjustment of trying to split our attention to meet the needs of both kids. There was the challenge of trying to get sufficient rest when they’d take turns being awake during the day and then take turns waking us up at night. There was the strain on our marriage and trying to stay connected when each of us barely coped with our own responsibilities. There was the seemingly futile fight against germs as colds got passed around and around in the winter months. But as I thought about it, I realized that the hardest part of the transition for me wasn’t something external. It was asking for and accepting help.
If there’s one lesson I am constantly learning and re-learning in my life with God, it’s how to rest. Every time I think I’ve got it, I am confronted with another application, another dimension, another depth or angle to which I need to learn to apply the lesson.
Father’s Day is officially two weeks away and many people are thinking of gifts to get their fathers (or husbands, if their kids are too young to get gifts). What makes a good gift for a father? As I was thinking about what I’d like, I came up with three factors that make a gift superb.
No, I’m not Jesus. But I am practicing resurrection. Before I explain, let me give you a bit of backstory.
About a month ago, I had the fortune of attending a one-day retreat facilitated by a former professor of mine. It was the first time I was away from Kayla (who was almost 8 months old) and I was nervous about how she would do. I knew, however, that I needed to go to this retreat because my soul was in desperate need of care. Kayla did great. And I was refreshed and inspired.
Choosing a home birth was not an easy decision, but I’m glad we gave it a try.
“Redemption” is probably not the first word that comes to mind when you think about childbirth. But for me, it was. The moment I realized I was pregnant with our second child, I wanted redemption. My experience of birthing my first baby was pretty tame as far as birth stories go, but there were elements that made it a traumatic experience for me.
I gave birth to my first baby in a hospital and I came out of that experience feeling unheard, disempowered and simply run through the system. I wanted to do it differently the second time. I wanted to actually experience birthing my child the way I was built for it.
When your toddler gets sick
It feels like the world will end
It’s stupid and relentless