Life can be as messy as a stinky diaper

high tech diaper pailIn the early stages of parenting, a stinky diaper is the worst thing that can happen. As your kids get older, other stinky things occur.

  • You’re not quite sure if the friend your child is hanging with is a good influence.
  • You’ve overcommitted and now you and your spouse are supposed to be at four different events at the same time.
  • You’ve stretched the checking account so far you could make a lethal slingshot out of it.

Yes, life gets complicated and smelly. You change one set of problems for another. But take heart in knowing all these problems are temporary. Stinky diapers, full calendars and rubbery checkbooks eventually fade away.

Seven keys to tell if you’re pushing your kids too hard

Cartoon of someone stuck in a tree. A swing is moving. A guy below shouts, "Am I pushing too hard?"

There’s plenty of pressure when it comes to being the perfect parent. If you’re not having your kid involved in that sport, she’s missing out, right? What about the science fair? And then you must be sure every minute is filled with meaningful activities, right? How do you know when you’ve pushed your child too far?

  1. In kindergarten, your child has participated in enough sports to earn his letter jacket.
  2. When you watch a movie together, your child whines, “You won’t make me write a review about this, will you?
  3. Your Twitter followers complain they haven’t received a recent update about your soccer mom exploits.
  4. You look into getting your child a special license so she can drive herself to softball practice.
  5. Your kids refer to the playground as a basic training obstacle course.
  6. Your family sits  down for dinner and your child asks why everyone is eating at his study desk.
  7. Your child’s science fair project attracts the attention of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

There is a lot of pressure to measure up. There is even more pressure to make sure your child isn’t missing out on something. Parents, relax a little! You and the kids need some down time. If they’re involved in too many activities, kids will begin to think they can never measure up to expectations.

Kids need downtime in order to be kids. They’ll have to compete as adults soon enough. Let them have a little of their childhood back! It will give you a chance to exhale too.

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Do you find the slop to your liking?

Featured image of three pigs. One is a waiter and two are at a trough
“If you two find the slop to your liking, I will bring the check.”

I feel for my mom. With four kids to feed, she probably felt there were many a time when she was slopping the hogs. It didn’t matter if it was the finest cuisine or leftovers.  We ate like little piggies and barely grunted a thank you without Dad’s direction.

Now I realize how well she took care of us. I couldn’t have been easy to keep four kids fed, clean and out of trouble while holding a job. But Mom and Dad did it well and with style. Today, I see how much I had to be thankful for.

You may be a Mom or Dad that is tired of slopping your little piggies. But you can know that one day, the kids will realize how well you really took care of them. The realization happens about the time they have to take care of little piggies of their own.

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Happy Memorial Day

Cartoon of dad and son at grave site: Memorial Day
Cartoon of a dad and son at a gravesite. The dad says, “You would have like him. Grandma says he loved to read the funny paper.”

 

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

On this Memorial Day, I think about my relatives and ancestors that have served my country. To my knowledge, none of them paid the ultimate price on the battlefield. But all of them saw things they undoubtedly never forgot.

Thank you to the men and women who have defended our freedom yesterday as well as today.  You are not forgotten.

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Why is it so hard to find a good babysitter?

Cartoon of two teen girls

 

It can be quite difficult to find a good babysitter. You want someone who is good with kids, but doesn’t act like one of the kids. At least, you don’t want to wonder if the babysitter needs a babysitter to watch her and the kids!

You want someone who takes initiative and maybe has some activities for the kids. But you don’t want someone who leaves a mess. You don’t want to vacuum glitter for the next forty days and forty nights!

You want someone who will be in charge, but you don’t want someone who will act like a prison guard. At the same time, you don’t want someone so mousey that the kids take over and your home becomes a scene from Lord of the Flies.

How can you find a good babysitter? Here are some tips that worked for our family.

  • If you attend a church, religious institution or a social club, ask around. A church usually has a youth group. It doesn’t hurt to ask the youth pastor and get to know an available student.
  • Form a co-op with friends that have kids your age. You can either use the network to find qualified babysitters or parents can take turns watching everyone’s kids while the other couples go out.

While this may make things more difficult, please use background checks. Careforhire.com has good tips on how to conduct a background check and what are appropriate and inappropriate ways to do it.

Best of luck!

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