I am the decisive element


I have long had this quote in my homeschool planning binder.  It always convicts me to never give up trying to be a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better person no matter how many times I fall flat on my face.  May you carry these words with you this week:

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.

It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather.

I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.

I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.

In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized.

If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

― Haim G. Ginott, Teacher and Child: A Book for Parents and Teachers

Joining with The Better Mom, Hip Homeschool Moms, Mom’s the Word, Momma NotesTitus 2 Tuesdays, The Homeschool Village, Thriving Thursday, Fellowship Friday.


*photo creditCreative Commons License Camdiluv ♥ via Compfight

No More Perfect Kids


It was a complete meltdown.  I had asked one simple question.  Her little 5-year-old body flung onto the floor.   I was instantly irritated as my voice kept rising higher while trying to remain calm.  My first instinct was, are you kidding me?!  My second instinct was that I needed to get this kid to bed.  Quickly, my question turned into a demand.

After 3 kids, countless tantrums (from the kids and myself), and 13 years of motherhood, why do I still let these meltdowns get to me?


It’s an ugly word.

I expect too much from my kids.  I ignore the cues. I knew that my little girl had been outside swimming, pretending, eating, and laughing all day long with the neighbor kids.  I knew that she was only a few days off of an ear infection and sore throat.  I knew she had not been sleeping well.  I knew she was exhausted.

Under all these circumstances, I still expected her to cooperate. Without argument. Once I realized what I was doing I backed off my demand. We cuddled.  She stopped crying and a compromise was reached.  We began again.

I’m not a perfect mom.  I don’t have perfect kids.  We get by with grace and forgiveness and lessons learned.

Don’t be too hard on your kids.

Pay attention to their cues.



What can you do today to extend grace to your kids?

Joining with Hearts At Home for the Third Thursday Blog Hop.  Head over to Jill’s blog to  read more on our topic this month which is also the title of Jill’s newest book (coming March 2014)!

Also sharing with The Weekend Brew,  Mom’s the Word, and The Better Mom



on being brave and afraid

We were waiting to meet the princesses.  Ellie, at 5, was bouncing with excitement.  Then she saw Aladdin working his way through the line. “Mommy, I don’t want to meet Aladdin.”  She watched him slowly moving our way as she held my hand a little bit tighter the closer he came.  I assured her he was very nice (I mean, look at that smile!).   When he arrived to us at line, Ellie was still scared but started answering his questions quietly.  When I told Aladdin that we had met him at Disney World a couple years ago, he told Ellie that she did look familiar and he remembered she was just a little bit smaller at the time (this guy knows how to work the part!).   That helped a bit so she agreed to this picture.  She was still not quite sure but she put her fear aside just for a moment.  She was still afraid yet she was brave enough to move forward.

Most of us are brave and afraid in the same moment, all day long. ~Brene Brown

This quote strikes me most as a homeschooling mother.

I feel confident yet insecure most of the time.  Have I made the right choice in homeschooling?  Is it because of me that Matt still struggles with reading?  Would Claire actually be grasping math better if she was in school?  On the other hand, would Matt be teased for his struggles?  Would his innocence and goofiness already be lost? Would Claire feel like a total failure because she doesn’t grasp certain math functions?  Would her struggle with anxiety be worse?  Would Ellie spend her days afraid without me there to hold her hand?

Looking at those questions, I know I have my answer.  I am doing what is right for my family at this moment in time.  Being brave and afraid at the same time is a good thing.  I think it’s a healthy tension to live in.  It does not allow life to become stagnant.

The homeschooling life is chaotic, loud, messy, at times frustrating, and at other times full of laughter.  Good and bad,  I know I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In what ways are you brave and afraid at the same time?

Joining with Hip Homeschool Moms, and The Homeschool Village