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We are hoping to join!
I am so sorry about your mom’s passing. My heart truly goes out to you. I’m sure it has made the grief so much more complex with not being able to be there. And we are such physical beings who need the hugs and last embraces, and yet can’t in the same way during this pandemic. As a suggestion (for a time and place that maybe it would be helpful), there is a great book called “Praying our goodbyes” by Joyce Rupp that may help with your healing journey. I read / prayed through it a number of years ago for a loss in my own life, and I really appreciated some of the prayers and exercises from the book. Healing is such a journey, but seems like God wants to really work on your heart by this all being brought up last night. Thanks for opening up and sharing with us! I will keep you in my prayers!
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Julia, that’s great you have kept such a great track record with the nap date times! That’s a great idea! We still attempt at-home-date nights, but are often too tired for it to last long or for us to be at our best selves. We’ll have to try out a different time of the day!
Marie, I agree it makes such a difference having some regular sitters (and therefore regular dates)! We just navigated some of that over the past year with having a few consistent sitters…though now trying to figure that out while still being in the midst of Covid-19 and still having limited contact with others. Congrats on #5 as well!! 😊
Just as an overall question for anyone who would like to chime in, how have any of you implemented quiet time once kiddos are no longer napping? Ours are all still nappers, but I know it will be really important for me to still have a little time in the afternoons so that I continue to survive as a Mom lol! Just curious what has worked for others.
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Hi Ladies! Thanks for getting this started Alicia! Haha I think I’ve been through a whirlwind of emotions the last few months, though am mostly landed in a place of peace at this time. We had our third baby in April, so while we would have been home a bit anyway with a newborn, the biggest stressor was not having physical contact (i.e. extra support of someone else helping with our kids) for a long while. My husband Jimmy was off work less than 2 weeks and then I was solo w the kids after that. I had a lot of fear and anxiety that I would lose my cool with my two toddlers (ages 2 and 3) while trying to care for a newborn. And I did sometimes. But God also has really stretched, strengthened, and blessed me these past months (and thankfully, we are seeing a few others now) and it has given me a chance to have more of a love for being home and for making our house truly our home. I realized how often I would just be out of the house with the kids before quarantine because of my fear of going stir crazy or being bored or frustrated with being home. It really had ended up (most days) being an empowering time for me as a Mom because of God helping me to recognize some of my own “stuff” that sets me off with my kids and starting to take control of my emotions rather than being reactive to them. I’ve also learned more about how I can set the tone in our home (for good or for bad) and how to respond in better ways to my kids (who are very different in personality, so it has meant learning how to cater my response to each child individually).
I think two areas that have really worked for me has been having a good (and yet flexible) structure for the day and having a set morning prayer time. Obviously structure is a key thing for kids, so it’s been helpful to implement that as much as possible. With prayer, I had been trying to get up before the kids to have morning prayer time, but that doesn’t work well at this phase in our family. And I would end up frustrated if one of the kids woke up earlier than I thought they would. So instead I have been having “kitchen timer prayer” where I set the kitchen time for 10-12 min and sit at our little prayer table (that we started as part of Cana 90 and have left it up!) to do the daily readings and morning prayer. It’s been a learning curve with the kids…they would interrupt me a lot at first, but most days now (after doing it the past couple months) they will say “Mommy doing prayers” and usually play on their own (the huge win is when they go in one of their rooms together and do “God bless” which means they sing some songs from our Making Music Praying Twice class and pray for everyone in our family. ♥️♥️♥️). It’s made such a huge difference having that consistent morning prayer and for the kids to see me doing it. And this past week or two, I’ll have them join for the last minute where we will say a little prayer together and offer our day to God.
Gosh, this is a long post! Thanks for sticking with me (if you read this far)! I look forward to hearing if anyone else has been aware of ways that God has worked in your family during this time, and maybe how to transform challenges into opportunities for growth and deeper faith.
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Emily, we will be praying for you here, for healing for your son in the womb, and also for whatever peace and trust you and your husband need most at this time. Congrats on your growing family of boys!!</p>
Monica, to add to what Allegra shared (if you are looking for more podcasts), I love Do Something Beautiful, The Modern Lady podcast (great topics by two Catholic moms from Canada), Coffee & Pearls, Bible Study Evangelista (I’ve learned so much from her!), and I’ve just been starting to check out Called and Caffeinated, and Sinner, Saint, Sister. I love throwing on a podcast while I’m cooking, folding laundry etc., makes the time more intentional.
Thanks for sharing about the preschool program. I’m not thinking too much about anything yet, but I know having some structure helps me a lot, something I’ve learned a lot about these past months of being home! And yes, similar age gap..15 months and 23 months apart. It’s fun and crazy all at once, but makes it totally worth it to see the relationships that are already being formed among them! And I’m banking on what I’ve heard Mike and Alicia talk about in their podcasts (I think it was the one on family culture) about the flywheel momentum as you have more kiddos! 😉
Hi Alyssa! Congrats on your almost due date, how exciting! We just had our third baby in April and thankfully was a quick in and out in the midst of this pandemic! Praying it is a smooth and easy process for you as well! We are also in the Pittsburgh area–out near the airport. What part of town are you from? What have been some of your favorite restaurants in the area? Look forward to getting to know you! 😊
Ann, our backgrounds seem a bit similar in terms of growing up in a small “you won’t know where I’m talking about” town and ending up in our wonderful city of Pittsburgh! How did you end up here? What part of town do you guys live in? Yes, I love cross-country skiing, though haven’t been able to do it much in our area because of there not often being enough snow to make it work!
Haha, we do have a tent, and had it set up a couple weekends ago but didn’t actually sleep in it with the kids yet. Baby steps lol.
That’s great, how far are you from Steubenville? That’s my alma mater, and I still go out there often. Yes, the camping will be an ongoing activity to develop with our family as the kids get older and can do a little more. For now, working on getting dressed (and staying dressed lol!) is a big accomplishment! So most of our outdoor activities are pretty simple at this point, with the hope of instilling in them a love for the outdoors like me and my husband have. Did you grow up on the farm you live at now? How do your kids enjoy the farm life?
Lisa, that’s a good point about wanting kids to remember a big trip like that, and not falling off the side of anything! I think as much as I’m looking forward to a lot of things for when our kids are older, God is often reminding me to be present to the ages and stages they are right now. They already have changed so much during their little lives, as have I in the process! Look forward to getting to know more about your family as we go along here! 😊
Haha, I can totally relate to loving nap / quiet time!! It’s like the biggest parent win when all are napping at the same time!! 😁 We have a 3yr old, 2 yr old and 2 month old, and also closed on our first house very soon after our first was born…though that’s very different than it being mid-pandemic with 4 kids! How has your homeschool preschool experience been? We might be navigating something similar with our oldest soon. What area do you live in?
That’s so neat that you have explored so many National Parks! That’s a dream of mine for our family (our kids are all really little now, so haven’t figured out how to navigate bigger trips with them yet). My husband and I did a bit of a road trip honeymoon (in 2015) and visited Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and ended in Albuquerque for their hot air balloon festival. It was such a fun trip!! Any tips for traveling cross-country as a family?