Browsing Category: Motherhood

Pride and Poopie Diapers

Pride and Poopie Diapers How God Convicted Me About My Own Stinkiness @JessicaMWhite.com

Amidst all of the changes we’ve been going through, since vacating our home and moving in with the in-laws one of them is that we are no longer using cloth diapers. My in laws have a front load HE washer and radiant floor heating {making diapers not easy to wash and dry} and, quite frankly, I didn’t want to possibly destroy my diapers or, even more horrific, their machines. It’s been tough. I genuinely LOVE cloth diapering and its kind of been bugging me that I’m not doing it.

Here we are…spending a $100 a month {that we really don’t have} on using ‘sposies on our triplets. It’s killing me. Kill.ing.Me. Not because I feel like a failure or a fraud about this passion for cloth, but because I genuinely love cloth diapering and saving money. Even though I was to the point of being beyond done with the wash-dry-stuff-repeat of diapers times three, and the kids bladders wetting through them in one go, I really did not want to stop. I really do enjoy cloth diapers, but I had to admit to myself that a home renovation warrants some liberties.

See…I have this thing about doing cloth diapers. I clothed diapered 4 kids at once; I really don’t understand when people can’t be bothered to cloth diaper even one kid. I don’t get it when they say it’s just too much work. It seems really ridiculous to me when they just can’t deal with that extra load of laundry.

Pride and Poopie Diapers How God Convicted Me About My Own Stinkiness @JessicaMWhite.com

And that…those feelings and thoughts…are absolutely wrong.

For me, my being able to cloth diaper 4 kids, then 3 kids at once for the past few years, is a huge source of pride. I am proud that we managed to do that. I patted myself on the back when others were impressed when they heard that. I take secret pleasure in having other moms call me supermom.

And that’s wrong.

I wasn’t able to breastfeed my kids exclusively and I tend to get “upset” {on the inside} when someone says that they don’t get why moms can’t breastfeed their kids, that it’s so much better for them, and all those other things that I completely agree with. But then, in my mind, I turn around and make those same comments and have those same prideful thoughts about people who don’t cloth diaper.

I had never really thought of this before, that I was being prideful about cloth diapering my kids, until I entered the rabbit hole of the internet and through a series of links found this post. While reading it, I kept thinking to myself, “This is ridiculous. So what, you had twins, what’s the big deal with cloth diapering 2 at once?”

Throughout the whole piece I kept defending, to myself, the validity of cloth diapering. I wanted to type a ridiculous comment, “I managed to cloth diaper 4 kids at once, it really wasn’t that big of a deal.” But there was absolutely no benefit to posting that comment.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful
for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29

Here was a mom saying that she was struggling with PPD and deciding to not continue cloth diapering helped, and all I could think of was a comment that would certainly not be helpful and would be very hurtful. Even hours later, I kept huffily thinking, “Well I managed to do 4!” Because I had been convicted in my own thoughts.

It’s pride. Plain and simple, and boy does that hurt to say.

Pride, which is one of the seven deadly sins, and considered by some to be the worst of them. We are all guilty of it, on some topic, on some level we feel that others should be able to do what we do, simply because we do it, and that they are somehow not on par with us because they don’t.

Pride, is no good. It doesn’t do anyone any good. It makes other’s feel less worthy and makes the prideful put themselves on a pedestal. It’s destructive, it’s hurtful, it pushes others away from us. It’s physically impossible for us to be full of pride and to love and embrace those around us.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:4

I don’t think I’ve ever actually said anything hurtful to anyone about cloth diapering. I knew I didn’t want to make someone feel bad, but I know the thoughts were there, and for that I’m sorry. That even though I didn’t say it, I was thinking it: That in my thoughts I am just as guilty as the other moms who champion their mom-battles, thinking less of others, and making others feel less of a mom.

Pride is a tough pill to swallow.

This post was originally published on my other blog on May 5, 2014.

Mamas…it’s OK to Not Love the Things of Mommyhood

Mamas it's ok @JessicaMWhite.com

Maybe you’ve spent years and thousands of dollars to have that little one your holding, maybe you just wanted to be a mom and it happened, maybe you weren’t planning on being a mom, but it happened anyways. No matter, I want to tell you something…it’s OK to get tired of it sometimes. To get tired of the demands, the discipline, the whining, the not being able to just do “whatever” for dinner. It’s OK.

Just because we CHOSE, or were chosen for, this life of mommyhood doesn’t mean that we have to love, or even like, every minute of it. Just because we may have been through hell and back in the getting and having of these little people doesn’t mean that we’re NOT beyond grateful for them in spite of the tough times. Or that we’re not allowed to struggle with all of it.

Mamas it's ok @JessicaMWhite.comI remember going through infertility and thinking “I will never complain about anything, because I will just be beyond ecstatic to FINALLY have a child”.

Sometimes I still feel guilty complaining, then chuckle to myself about it, because, honestly, no one knows just how motherhood will be. Nothing and no one can prepare you for what’s ahead.

No other mom, even your mom, can tell you what it will be like, because no one is doing what you’ve done before. No one has mixed your personality with those of your little ones. This is more than once in a lifetime.

Just because someone else makes it look like a cake-walk with their own kids, doesn’t mean that your life should too. Or that their life even looks like that all the time. There are moms with more {and less} kids than us that I look at and think, “Boy, I couldn’t do that”, and I know others look at us and think the same thing.

I love my kids, but I don’t always love the stuff that came along with them. Our children, while a package deal {every child comes with poopie diapers, sleepless nights, and tantrums etc}, doesn’t mean we have to love the THINGS. Because, honestly, all those other things are just that, things.  And it’s OK to not love things. It’s more important that we love them, our children; the little people they are, the big people they are becoming.

You’re not less of a mom because you don’t appreciate every iota of baggage these little ones come with, because if we were all honesty with each other, none of us do. Yes, some of us handle different things better than others {honestly vomit, poopie diapers and poop-splosions don’t bother me in the least, but pull my hair or whine without ceasing and WATCH OUT!}, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate the little people we’ve been blessed with.

We’re not meant to do this mommy thing alone.

In what other “job” do you receive zero training, zero support, zero breaks, zero pay, and be expected to love every single stinkin’ second of it, with a maniacal smile on your face? It doesn’t exist. It’s OK Mamas, to be weary; to be tired of the endless pointlessness of picking up toys and clothes, dirty dishes and dirty diapers: It is OKAY! But this job is still so, SO worth it.  And your value of it isn’t determined by the tough minutes, but by the sweet moments. In the choosing of doing, day after day.

We’re not meant to do this alone, to keep our frustrations all bottled up inside. We’re meant to do this with God, in community with Him, our spouses, and other moms and dads. Even Jesus wasn’t too keen at times on the job He was called to do! But he sought God when he needed Him most. Mamas, it’s OK to be overwhelmed and frustrated, as long as we remember to draw near to the One from which we will always get our strength, the one who loved us first.

This post was first published on June 5, 2013 on my original blog.

The End of Year One of Homeschooling

The end is in sight people! We have nearly completed (successfully) our first year of homeschooling! Pardon me while I take a moment to do my happy dance. In the Fall I was seriously questioning whether we would continue past the first year. It was daunting, there were arguments and fights, and it was not looking good.IMG_9389

Then sometime this spring it just clicked. We had figured out what worked for us and what didn’t and how and when to do what we needed to do. Just the other day, we had to do school in the afternoon, rather than the morning. Ave realized that she was still done with school before the kids were walking past our house leaving the high school. I was floored when she said to me how glad she was that she got to do school at home.

Hands down this girl’s favorite subjects this year have been Math and Science! I always ask what should be start with, and the answer is always science! She loves learning how things work and why things happen. Math I think she loved, because for the most part it came really easy to her this year. A lot easier than reading and writing.

We’re planning on continuing Read, Writing, and Arithmetic through the summer. I’m not going to be all crazy about it, but I do think she will benefit from the extra work, as well as being fresh when we start in the Fall. There won’t be a ton of time wasted covering things we’ve already learned.

I asked Avie about some of her favorite things about this past school year. Her favorite books were Mr. Popper’s Penguins and Owls in the Family, she loved our field trip to the Museum of Natural History. She didn’t like math so much because it got harder over the year.

I really loved Sonlight’s curriculum. Being that this was our first year, I really felt prepared each day. If you are not into reading and really don’t like reading aloud, then it’s not for you. I love books and I can stand reading aloud. We still haven’t finished all of the books that were assigned as part of the curriculum, but, again, I figure we’ll work through them over the summer.

I think going into Sonlight and KNOWING that we wouldn’t read every single book during the year helped me. That was part of our struggle,  I felt a lot of pressure to READ EVERYTHING and then realized I don’t have to. If it’s not working for us, move on. There were a couple of books that were really hard to get through, so we got them on audible and listened when we were in the car. Some of them, became ones that we read at bedtime. It works. That’s the wonderful thing about homeschooling, you figure out and do what works best for you and your kiddos.

While Matthew and I were away, we had given the grandparents a list of things to read. My father in law spent quite a bit of time with Avie doing her world history reading and he was blown away by how intense and substantial the readings were. I never felt that what we were doing was a waste of time or frou-frou. I have to say, that with everything subject we covered it was always meaningful.

I’ve put together an Amazon store of some of our favorites from this year! I’m hoping to keep adding every year to our library.

Our Favorite Homeschool Books

 

One More Step {a Review}

There are days, weeks when taking another step makes me want to scream into a pillow. The very thought of another sibling fight, another meal to be cooked, another life issue to be dealt with makes me want to leave my life at the kitchen table and walk out the front door, never to return.

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Life is hard. Sometimes, the thought of taking another step is daunting, another step in faith feels impossible. Because why did God call me to THIS mess, when someone else’s seems so much tidier?

A couple of months ago I requested to review Rachel Wojo‘s One More Step: Finding Strength When You Feel Like Giving Up, and then it sat on the shelf, because life was becoming too much and reading a book was impossible. With the new year I was determined to clean up the book reviews remaining from the old. I planned on just “getting through this” as best I could.

Sitting on a last minute flight I managed to read over half of One More Step; I sipped tentatively at it’s pages, before taking life giving gulps from it. Logically we know that other people “get it” that we’re not the only ones struggling through life, but we need that reminder so often. One More Step is that reminder.

Rachel Wojo shares about her struggles as a single mom to a terminally ill little girl and her journey to and through marriage and becoming a mom of many, while struggling through the loss of her own mother. She talks candidly about her frustrations, her anger with God, and her continual struggle to deal with life and releasing it to God over and over again.

At the end of each chapter Rachel shares a few Bible verses, Pillars of Truth, as well as a Stepping Stones…questions for you to think about and record in a prayer journal. Rachel does a fantastic job of sharing her knowledge and giving you the tools you need to discover for yourself how to take that next step.

Whether you feel like you’re lost at a dead end or just looking for how to avoid burning out, this book is book will help you unravel the rats’ nest of chaos that’s presiding in your life.

*I received this book for free from BloggingforBooks.com in exchange for my honest opinion. You can find my disclosure policy here.

Playing Catch-Up

Phew! I keep thinking that there will soon be a day that I can breath. It’s been a whirlwind!

First off WELCOME to all of you that are here from my Write31Days series! A quick-bit about me: I’ve been blogging since November 2007, when I first started sharing about our infertility struggles, which then, by God’s grace, morphed into a mommy blog. My husband Matthew and I have been married for almost 10 years {the end of this month} and we have 5 kids {a 6 year old, 3-3.5 year olds, and a 5 month old}.

We live in rural upstate NY in a really old house {either 130 years old or 92 years old…it’s up for debate. I think it’s closer to the 130 years old}, in the town that we both grew up in. I’m originally from Ridgewood, Queens, NY, moved here when I was almost 4. My husband is obsessed with homesteading and is intent on doing that despite our 1/4 acre in the middle of town. This is our first year of homeschooling our oldest {more on that later}.

Last weekend I wrapped up #Write31Days of Pursuing Your Husband. I seriously hope that some of my ramblings helped you to be better equipped at pursuing your husband…I’d love to hear from you. It’s a learn processing, because we are constantly changing individuals. I’m not done writing about husbands and marriage. I don’t think I’ll ever be completely DONE with that topic.

During the end of October I also headed to Rochester, NY for the Raising Generations Today conference, which was fantastic! I’ve been writing for their blog for the past year or so {find those posts here}, which has been intimidating and wonderful all at once. It was pure joy hearing all of the fantastic speakers {Lisa-Jo Baker, Lisha Epperson, and Kate Battistelli were a few of my favorites}. Traci Michele did a great job of covering the highlights in a post on her blog.

RGT COllage
I went with my mom, my neighbor-friend, a friend from our mom group, and Sweet Pickle Peter! We had quite a bit of fun. Peter was perfect and loved meeting all the people. We even made friends with another momma who was there with her 6 month old little boy {also her 5th baby}. There was even an Ellie Holcomb concert {she was the 2014 Dove New Artist of the Year}.

It was a great couple of days away! There was so much to take away from the entire conference, September and her family have done an incredible job and have such a beautiful heart for motherhood. And of course, there is always the incredible swag bag and sponsor gifts that you get to take home too!

Swag Bag RGT

If you live in the north-east, or anywhere for that mother, and are looking for a christian conference that speaks to the hearts of mothers looking to not only raise their children, but to raise their child and grand children through the generations.  It’s about living in community with moms in all seasons, embracing each other on this life journey; then Raising Generations Today is for you! I’d love to see you there next year!

Then there was also Halloween and our oldest’s 6 birthday. Halloween was fun. I’ve been thinking about this year’s costume since before the triplets were born! Thanks to the magic that is my mother in law, we had an awesome costume theme going on! Peter was my flying monkey, but I never got around to wings or a vest {Avie wore that costume at a year old!}.

Halloween 2015I feel like I’m finally back into this blogging game! No promises on how often it will happen. How are you doing? I’d love to hear about what you’re family has been up to and how life is going! Leave me a comment or drop me an email :-)

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