Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Gentle Mothering Support Group


Blog reader and MN friend, Kristin, mentioned that it's too bad we don't live near each other so that we can have a "Gentle Mothering Support Group." So, I thought I would turn my posts on this subject into an online support group. When I post on this area I'm working on, please feel free to leave comments about how God is working on you in this area and any tips you might have for me.


I have had a couple of weeks where I was doing SO WELL at being a gentle mother. I'm not sure what flipped the switch but all of a sudden, I find myself back to being a pirahna Mama this week! Hence the reason I felt the need to check this book out of the library! Ali goes through spurts of being really sweet and seeming like she has left all the defiance of toddlerhood behind and then she'll have weeks like this week where she challenges me, sasses me, and tests all the limits she possibly can (while making all the messes she possibly can). Gentle Jeremiah doesn't usually involke Mommy's anger but if he's fussy all day long due to not feeling good or is whiny and wants to be held all the time it can cause my nerves to fray and me to be very easily irritated.


To those of you who want to join this informal online support group: Please join me in praying this week for God's help in having patience and gentleness with the continual demands of little ones.


My tips of the week: I notice I am sooooooo much gentler when I make sleep a priority and go to bed early or take time to nap. Also, a balance of fresh air, exercise, and activities is great when it is balanced with plenty of time at home and not too much running around.

4 comments:

Kristin said...

Oh Lindsey! You KNOW I will join this support group! :-)

I also find that when I am more sleep deprived than usual, I am a mess. Madison and Noah have been waking up much earlier than usual these past couple weeks, and that has been really hard for me to get used to. In fact, last Sunday I had an incredibly rough day. The kids were up really early and I was so tired and just an emotional wreck. Noah was so cranky all day and finally I just put him in his crib crying and screaming, put Madison down for a nap, put some earplugs in my ears, and crawled under the covers in my bed. When I woke up, the house was empty. My dear hubby had taken the kids into town while I napped.

That day I was really doubting my abilities as a mother. Nate and I had a good talk that night, and being the wonderful husband that he is, he gave me the encouragement and assurance that I really needed. However, I'll throw a question out to all of you reading this, as I did to him.

Do you think mothering should come naturally? Because lately I feel like I have to work SO hard at it! Should I, as a mother, have endless love, patience, gentleness, creativity, etc. to give? Because (most days) I feel like I never have enough. My mom made it look so easy and I honestly do not feel like I am living up to her incredible example.

Madison also goes in spurts, like Ali, and thankfully today she is being an angel! :-)

One thing that I have been doing so much lately, besides continually praying for patience and gentleness, is reciting the Fruits of the Spirit to myself. Over and over. And over. It's such a good reminder for me.

Let me know what you think of that book you posted about here, or if you have any other book recommendations!

The Three 22nds said...

Being a mother certainly is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

2 years ago I started doing something I never thought I would- leaving my boys in the YMCA daycare while I worked out. Having that time to myself makes me more able to focus on everybody else the other 23 hours of my day.
I started uploading fiction books onto my ipod so I can work out and "read" at the same time. It really is just about the only time that is only about me, and I need it. It is expensive, and it is not for everybody, but it is the space that I need. I am not a really affectionate or touch oriented person- I like my space. With 3 little kids and a husband, I desperately need that time to myself!
It is not in my nature to be gentle. I need to work on that and spend some time praying about it. Thanks for the encouraging post to show me I am not alone!

SamAndHisGirls said...

Can I please be a lifetime member of this support group?????

Mrs. Jo said...

Well, Kristin, I haven't started Scream Free Parenting yet, but I'll let you know how it goes when I read it. Thanks for sharing your own struggles here. I've been thinking over the ? you asked and wanted to say that while I definitely think some parts of mothering come naturally (like loving your baby immediately and being willing to kill to protect them) I think some aspects like patience and endurance and selflessness are NOT natural to any human being and mothering is really hard because it is physically, emotionally, and even spiritually exhausting! It pushes one to the limits! It really is a learning process!

I've recently been reading THE BEST book ever (this one is so good I would recommend all mothers of preschoolers read it) called Mommy, Teach Me! I'm only a few chapters in but I can already tell that this book will inspire me perhaps more than any other (besides the Bible) in the area of gentle mothering. In it something that stood out to me was this: "A teaching home is not built in a day. Neither is a child. Nor is a mother. Things that are worthwhile take time to grow and develop. You are at the beginning of a process, a process that will continue for the rest of your life." Page 35. Author: Barbara Curtis (she has 12 kids of her own and 10 grandkids, and is a former preschool teacher so she has lots of experience with kids!)

The 3 22nds,
I like your idea of putting the kids in the YMCA so you can work out for an hour a day. Too bad our town doesn't have one!

Lesley,
You crack me up!

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