Tag Archive | single parent

Guest Blog by Jeanette Hanscome

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I invited Jeanette Hanscome to guest blog this week. She is the author of six books, including Suddenly Single Mom: 52 Messages of Hope, Grace, and Promise, published by Worthy Inspired. Jeanette has also contributed to Kathy Ide’s Fiction Lover’s Devotionals, 21 Days of Grace and 21 Days of Love. Jeanette lives in the Bay Area where she sings at her church and enjoys being the mom of two amazing sons. Please welcome Jeanette!

Blessings, Rebecca

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The Cure for Advice Overload
Five years ago I became a single mom. Along with great support, I got lots of parenting advice. Some was helpful; other times it left me feeling like a failure. Often, one friend’s “You need to…” contradicted another’s “Whatever you do, don’t…” All of this was compounded by my tendency to believe the strongest opinion in the room.
After one upsetting encounter, I had a bold thought: Wait, Christian and Nathan are my sons! I’m the one who really knows them. Maybe it was time to shut some of those voices out. I was doing my best in a unique situation. My sons didn’t have every recommended chore, but they certainly contributed. I’m visually impaired and can’t drive; that came with extra helpfulness requirements (like lugging bags home after walking to the store). I called on Christian to babysit Nathan (they’re 11 ½ years apart). Christian had a job and paid rent; not a lot, but enough considering that he cooked dinner weekly and occasionally bought groceries. Nathan was getting through this crisis with good grades and a good attitude. If he misbehaved, there were consequences; not always the same as his friends, and I didn’t feel the need to share details at the next luncheon, but they were still consequences. I probably could be firmer, but my sons’ world had been rocked. I needed to be sensitive to that.
If I wanted to thrive as a single mom, I needed to stop allowing opinions to override my instincts and good judgement.
Maybe you’re suffering from advice overload. Here are a few things I learned to consider:
How God parents – Does God set limits and expect everyone to contribute? Yes. Does He discipline His kids? The Bible is clear that He does. He also created each of us uniquely and deals with us according to our needs, which only He fully knows.
“In my house . . .” A friend reprimanded Nathan for reacting to a disappointment with “Aw, man.” She didn’t allow that in her house. Did it mean I needed to forbid, “Aw, man” too? Probably not, considering how often I said it. I held onto this memory as a reminder that every household has its own rules and mine were just as valid as the next parent’s.
The source – Is the advice coming from someone I trust? Did she take time to understand the situation? Do I admire her parenting skills? Are the suggestions based on truly-biblical wisdom and common sense, the latest trend, “When I was a kid,” or “In our house…”? Did I ask for the advice or did it come out of nowhere? Was it given gently and respectfully, or in a way that left me feeling stupid?
I should warn you that the above limits your pool of advice, but it also reduces resentment. Sometimes our only advice comes from God in a moment of “Help me know what to do.” What could be better than that?

Website: http://jeanettehanscome.com/
Amazon page for SSM: http://www.amazon.com/Suddenly-Single-Mom-Messages-Promise/dp/1617956678

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Blog by Christy Shults

My goal is to share insightful parenting/children blogs Monday evenings. This week’s schedule was interrupted by a respiratory infection. Thank God I am on the road to recovery!

Enough about me. I am delighted to introduce you to Christy. I met her shortly after moving into her father’s neighborhood in Ben Lomond, California. Even though both her dad and I have moved away, it’s such a small mountain community that I see her frequently. In fact, her son is one of my pre-school students.

Christy is an amazing woman, mother, businesswoman, artist and student! She’s the mastermind behind the illustrations of Am I Pretty which she designed from scratch as well as other books she’s illustrated for me.

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If you are in the market for unique handcraft gifts, head on over to her on line stores Hilde Hauc and Zelzi Belle. I asked her to share her thoughts with on parenting two young children. Please welcome Christy Shults!

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My name is Christy and I am a single mommy of two awesome kiddos, Mikayla ten and Zachy five. I am a full time student and I have many little jobs entertaining my creative side. I can imagine that the perfect mother with the perfect kids never raises her voice to her children nor do they give her a reason to do so. However, here on God’s green earth, my children and I were created with free will, so there are many days we irritate each other.

Lately mornings in my house have been filled with whining and crying children and my voice carrying through every room with aggravation. We make it to the car, I apologize for yelling, feel the guilt multiply and repeat the next day. But today I had a parenting win! I told Zach to get dressed, and he needed to be done by the time I got out of the shower. I get out, look at his pile of clothes, look at him and see he has only put on his shirt. My temperature starts to rise, and then I see Mikayla looking at me with the uh oh here it comes look. So I calmly call Zach into my room, get down on his level and ask him, “Zachy, what did I ask you to do?” He starts to respond, “Mommy I was going to die on my game so I couldn’t finish getting dressed.” Deep breathe…”Zachy, did I ask you to get dressed or win your game?” “You asked me to get dressed.” Wow, he got it. “So do you think you should finish getting dressed before you play?” “Okay Mommy.” I look over at Mikayla and she is smiling taking it all in. I don’t know how tomorrow will go, but this morning was a Mommy win.

Those kind of mornings make me feel like, okay, I got this. Then there are some days where I just cannot hold onto the calm. I am human, it is natural. What I can do though, is let my children know that I am sorry.  That I should not have yelled. If I own my faults then I will be setting an example to them. This has really worked in my household. My ten year old is going into her pre-teens and I am so proud of her when she comes to me and explains that she was feeling overwhelmed and that is why she may have slammed the door. Or even my five year old son told me that even when he is mad and he says he doesn’t love me, he still does, he is just mad right then.

We have to remember that we are forgiven, and to forgive ourselves too, and offer our apologies.