Nanny to the Rescue
America's nanny offers a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced babies and toddlers.
Babies don't come with instructions. And since today's parents are so overwhelmed with schedules and demands, they have little time to bone up on their parenting skills. Often removed from grandparents and relatives who in times past lived next door or just down the street, they have no one to guide them through the disorienting world of raising children. Enter Nanny to the Rescue! Michelle LaRowe, 2004 International Nanny Association "Nanny of the Year," gives her tried and true solutions to childcare. Her expertise with chapters titled "Who's the boss?" and "Discipline is not a four letter word" gives confidence to parents who need specific ideas for real day-to-day problems. A proud member of Christian Nannies, Michelle offers foundational truths sure to help encourage moms and dads.
Nanny To the Rescue Again
Faced with multiple choices regarding school, friends, and activities coupled with the ever-widening influence of the outside world, parents of 6-12 year olds need help. America's nanny is back to offer a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced children.
|Parenting Books That Work! By Sharon Scott |
Revering the Crayon Marks
"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be
extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired."
'Twas one of those days when my husband left promising to
return home a little early, and to bring with him a pizza.
I had started the day, even, in one of those relatively rare but still
very real moods in which the best I was going to be able to do in
my role as a stay-at-home mom would be to fake a smile and turn my back,
when necessary, to count to ten.
It was on this particular day that the girls and I were
heading to a distant store to pick out just the right
gift for someone. My 3-year-old, who is much
less adept (thankfully) at reading her mommy's moods than
her daddy is, was passing the time by speaking every thought
that occurred to her. Right now, those thoughts revolved
around the time of day.
"If you get up early enough, it's night," she announced.
"Callie gets earbubble," (that would be "irritable") "right
before her nap."
"Daddy comes home when it gets dark."
I answered yes to all of these things, only half-listening.
Then, making conversation in the distracted way I do on days like
this, I sputtered a question: "What's your favorite time of the day?"
Silence. Had I stumped her?
"What did you ask me, mommy?"
So I repeated the question. "What's your favorite time
of the day?"
I looked in the rear view mirror. Her blank stare told
me she thought my question was absurd. After a time, she
Now Cassie does enjoy a good long car ride, so I asked
her the question again as she was getting ready for bed
"Cassie, what's your favorite time of day?"
The answer was the same: "This one."
Ah. This one. And so should it be for me.
How I wish it were.
How I wish I could recognize the peace and joy in every
single moment with my kids.
You see, my daughter is better than me at something I
long to be good at. It's what Richard Foster, author of
Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, calls the
Prayer of the Ordinary.
"We are Praying the Ordinary," he writes, "when we see
God in the ordinary experiences of life. Can we find
meaning in the crayon marks on the wall made by the kids?
Are they somehow the finger of God writing on the wall
of our hearts?" In the same chapter, he writes: "It is
in the everyday and the commonplace that we learn
patience, acceptance, and contentment."
That, I'm sure, is true. Particularly that patience part.
My fear is that, like everyone with adult children
tells me, the time will go too quickly, I fear that
I'll wish for it back, even those mealtimes interrupted
by the whisper "Mommy, I pooped." Even those whines
for another Go-gurt. Even the stray Legos I nail with
my bare feet. I fear that I'll soon pine for all the
time I've ever wished away.
And yet, though I'm infinitely conscious of trying to
freeze those moments the good and the bad in my
memory for some distant future, it's hard. It's hard
to see Foster's crayon marks on the wall as anything
but crayon marks. Crayon marks that I will have to scrub.
I'm experiencing a crayon mark of sorts right now.
As I jot notes for this column at the kitchen table,
my 3-year old is sitting on my lap, trying to push my pen
along the page with her Three Little Pigs book. She has
just dragged her grape lollipop through my hair and
wiped her nose on my sleeve. "Mommy, make your pen go
ALL the way along the page," she orders, scooting it
along and making my thoughts an illegible mess of ink.
For a moment, I have an unbecoming and out-of-the-blue
urge to chuck her beloved book across the room.
And it is precisely times like these when I need to
indeed see the crayon marks as something left by the
finger of God. To feel a sense of reverence for my
every moment of my life as a mom. To once again
find meaning and glory in my daughter's cherubic
yet filthy face.
But for this, I need some kind of tool, some trick
for the heat of the moment. A trick to bring myself
back in an instant to the kind of mother I long to be,
the kind of mother I sometimes know myself to be, and
the kind of mother I want my daughters to remember me
At this moment, I have a little talk with myself.
My daugher and and I end up tucking our feet under a blanket
on the couch and reading the very book that I wanted
to hurl. And I enjoy it. I always do if can just sink
into the moment and remember what a little miracle
I have here on my lap.
Perhaps that tool, then, is surrender.
Or maybe it's distraction. The same trick that all
moms learn when their youngest is about 18 months
old. When Cassie was that age, and she'd get angry
and frustrated, distraction worked wonders. When
she was 2 ½, distraction worked wonders on MY anger
and frustration. Sometimes, the best tool for me
is to change my scenery--to get my mind on
Perhaps that tool is compassion. Compassion for
our children and a conscious understanding of what
they must be feeling at certain times in their
precious and sometimes bewildering lives.
And compassion to ourselves, which we can show by
not over-scheduling our lives to the point where it's
impossible to get down on the floor and play for
20 minutes, if that's what it takes. Or to call your
own mommy just to chat for 20 minutes, if that's
what it takes.
Perhaps that tool lies in the realization that our
lives are long and full and that there will be
plenty of time to do what we need to do when we no
longer have little ones pulling on our pant legs.
Perhaps it is the tool of single-tasking. So we
don't feel distracted all the time. This is the
tool that involves downshifting out of overdrive,
because it's in overdrive that we talk too much,
eat too much, think too much. Enjoy too little.
Perhaps it is the tool of shifting your awareness.
A conscious committing to memory of the ripe physical
sensations of motherhood: The feel of your baby's
marvelous, heavy head on your chest. The smell of
Cheerios on her breath. This is how we bring ourselves
back--gently--to the gifts that are under our fingers
and, oftentimes, directly underfoot.
Perhaps it is the tool of solitude. So that, by
enjoying the pursuit of something, solo, we may
return to them renewed--and without resentment.
Perhaps it is the tool of being honest and talking
it out with other moms. It helps me to remember that
we're all in this together. Most days we are genuinely
loving it. Some days we are genuinely faking it, just
as generations of good moms before us have done.
There is a certain solace in this story told by my
mother-in-law, whose three grown children would describe
an ideal, involved, committed, and very loving mother.
There were days, she says, when her face hurt at the
end of the day from smiling. A clear and present sign
that her smile was, for days at a time, forced.
But her kids didn't know. With grace, neither will mine.
And tomorrow will be a different kind of a day, with
new tools to look upon those crayon marks with the
reverence they deserve.
Susie Cortright is the founder of http://www.momscape.com - an online magazine devoted to helping parents celebrate life with children. She is also the creator of Momscape's Scrapbooking Playground: http://www.momscape.com/scrapbooking
Visit her site today to subscribe to Susie's free weekly newsletters and to learn more about her scrapbook club and her work-at-home scrapbooking business.
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