The nurturing of children from the deepest places of your heart, rooting for them to be their best selves while allowing grace when they (or you) fall short; tired, proud, overwhelmed, joyful, amused and busy—often simultaneously 

Alarmist Mom: How to Fight The Urge to Freak

Alarmist Mom: How to Fight the Urge to Freak

I have a new hobby in my middle age. I am an alarmist. I wonder if this is something new or if I’m just now realizing it. When they were little, I did a decent job shielding our boys from my tendency to warn them about impending doom. I vowed to never say things like, “Get down from there, you’ll fall,” or “Put that knife away, you’ll put someone’s eye out.” By not saying these things, I hope I communicated something like, “You are such a refined amalgam of balance and skill and strength and grace that I trust you will rarely fall.” And, by golly, they didn’t … very much. I wonder if I’m already losing my filter. We have a […]

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Remember This When Your Baby is Growing Up

Remember This When Your Baby is Growing Up

My husband and I are incredibly thrilled to be pregnant with our third baby. We recently had one of those trendy “gender reveal” parties and found out it’s a little girl. But then something happened that I didn’t expect. I felt sad. It’s not that I’m disappointed—I’m very excited to have another girl—but she might be our last baby. As soon as I realized it was a girl, the phrase popped into my head, “and they had three daughters,” past tense, and rather final. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for the future, but a piece of me doesn’t want this childbearing phase of life to end. I think whoever invented the idea of cherubs must have felt this same way, because babies

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Your Teenage Boy Will Break Your Heart, and You’ll Be Better for It

Your Teenage Boy Will Break Your Heart, and You’ll Be Better for It

What is it about teenage boys? I’ve been in love with them since I was about twelve. They are, in general, insensitive, inarticulate, clunky, and smelly (even when they discover deodorant and cologne, because they don’t discover moderation until later). But they are all those things with a seemingly endless supply of charm. I’m in love with them. Good thing, since we raised four. And, at one time or another, all of them broke my heart. I mended, though. A Mama’s Boy Let’s be honest; most moms secretly want a mama’s boy. A boy who will engage us, prefer us, unburden his very soul to us. All things teenage boys hardly ever do, in part because they don’t know how and in

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Do You Have Core Values in Your Parenting?

Great parenting requires a great foundation. Being intentional and consistent in your parenting choices takes more grit than you can imagine if you don’t have children, and more than we can muster some days for those of us who have kids! It also takes a fair amount of grace—for your children and for yourself. A component of consistent parenting is developing the core values by which you will raise your family. Whether you are aware of it or not, most of us have already developed core values and practice them. Your experiences as a child, your parents (or lack thereof), the places you’ve lived, your education, friends, and beliefs have all influenced your core values. Thankfully, they are not always set in stone,

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5 Simple Ways to Balance Mom Life

Friends ask me all the time, “How in the world do you find the time to run your own business and write articles?” It is not like I am some superwoman! In fact, if you ask my family, they will inform you that I am far from possessing any powers! I cannot do all things and do them well. So yeah, I am running my own home business, but my laundry pile is competing with Mt. Everest as we speak. I have also had to make sacrifices along the way in order to find the time to do the things that I love, and I have some tools that help me get things done! 1. Community. I am involved in a few communities of people who hold me accountable to goals. We were not

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16 Recommended Games for Special Needs Children

16 Recommended Games for Special Needs Children

I belong to a game-playing family, a love that is especially exercised around the holidays when looking for gift ideas and spending wintery nights at home with the family. With our oldest son in the middle of elementary school, we are just beginning to play more strategic and complicated games. However, our younger, kindergarten-age daughter has special needs that affect her gross and fine motor skills, as well as cognitive and verbal abilities. None the less, we are determined to involve her in our board game binges. No more sitting to the side watching the rest of us; therefore, my newest mission involves finding games that will include and challenge her at the appropriate level. This has required a decent amount of research

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How to Handle Little Boys Who Think They Know It All

How to Handle Little Boys Who Think They Know It All

Little boys are know-it-alls. At first I loved that about them. Tell a little boy he is handsome or strong or smart and, likely, he’ll say, “I know.” And when he stands with his buddies on the doorstep of his prom date’s house, they will say something like, “All the girls want me,” while the girls are inside saying, “I wish my hair looked like yours,” to each other or, sadly, “I look fat in this dress.” And then you realize that knowing it all, for a boy, hides insecurities and doubt. But a boy’s know-it-allness isn’t always so transparent or endearing. It can wear you down, commencing as it does on the heels of the “why?” stage (that one doesn’t last

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10 Tips for Soon-to-Be Moms

10 Tips for Soon-to-Be Moms

I’ve had a few friends who are expecting their first baby ask for a little advice on how to prepare for the bundle of joy. So here are a few things that I figured out or know because a wise woman told me so. 1. Nursery Placement and Planning. When placing your nursery furniture, it’s important to make it look nice. It’s also important to make it convenient for you to use each of the pieces in the room. For instance, when you wake up to the cry of your newborn at 3:00am, walk in the nursery, and immediately smell something … terrible … you know that you’re gonna need to change a diaper, and probably clothes, blankets, and maybe sheets. You

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Are You Believing These 7 Lies About Your Son?

Are You Believing These 7 Lies About Your Son?

The origin of this post is a mystery. Does this list come from my observation of our granddaughters and my recent speculation about what my life might have been like had I had a girl, just one? (FYI: I never really wanted a daughter, but these precious girls make me wonder why not.) Or does it spring from my wonderment these days at how utterly different my husband—classic boy—is from me? We’ve been married 35 years, and I am discovering that the divide between us is wider than I ever dreamed it was. The divide, that is, between how we think and feel and process the world around us. The divide that has been there all along, covered in fog like Cloudland

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Helping Your Child Develop Their Own Voice

Words and how we use them have a special emphasis in our family. Our son, a chatterbox, expresses himself to anyone who will listen. He formulates every thought that comes into his head aloud. An engaging storyteller, words effortlessly fall out of his mouth, creative and abundant. Yet for our daughter, who is nonverbal due to a genetic disorder, it takes great effort and concentration to communicate even the simplest of thoughts. We usually try to decipher her needs and desires from a mixture of gestures, signs, and utterances. Our children, ages four and seven, are completely different individuals beginning to engage uniquely with the world around them. Words or no words, they each have a valuable voice. And when I say

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10 Ways to Help Your Daughters Accept Their Bodies

When my daughter was a little girl we had a storybook that explained all of the different parts of her body and how each one had a unique and special job to do. It was a cool book with great pictures and it gave her a sense of awe that we all should have about the unique and complex functions of our bodies. As she got older, our discussions morphed into talking about the exteriors of our bodies. You know, about our shape (all wrong) and our hair (again, all wrong). How my body needed more exercise, how hers wasn’t functioning as well as the other girls at certain sports. How the cutest-ever clothes didn’t look right on us. Toss in our

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Using the Halloween Season to Teach Life Lessons

I love October, but admit I don’t get into all the spooky and haunted hype around Halloween. When my husband and I first had our children, we discussed what level, if any, our involvement would be in the holiday. He grew up the son of a pastor who did not take any part in it. I grew up having the fun of dressing up, trick-or-treating, and going to parties, even though I was never attracted to the darker side of the celebrations. Our solution? We landed on the choice to allow our family to take part, but with a certain perspective and set of guidelines in place. Many houses in our neighborhood go above and beyond with Halloween décor, incorporating gory scenes,

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6 Halloween Survival Tips for Moms

The Grit and Grace Project ladies banded together to share some of their best Halloween tips for you and the kids… 1. Buy candy you don’t like. Then if there’s any leftover it won’t land in your mouth. 2. Don’t break the bank on kid’s costumes. Make something from what you have—and it doesn’t have to be “Pinterest worthy”—just have fun! Plus it will create great photos for future teenage embarrassment. 3. Leave the family pet at home. Chasing your pet who is chasing the kids in costumes is never fun. 4. Buy your candy early, during candy sales or use coupons. 5. Avoid opening said candy bag before October 31—unless you were smart enough to follow tip one! 6. If your

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4 Don'ts of Great Parenting For Moms

4 Don’ts of Great Parenting For Moms

What not to do for your child: 1. Don’t fight all their battles. They won’t learn to fight for themselves. 2. Don’t fix all their mistakes. Consequences are one of life’s best teachers. 3. Don’t give them everything they want. What they want may not be what they need. 4. Don’t keep them from all hurt. They will never learn how to heal. Remember, while you’re protecting your child you must also learn to prepare them. The goal is not to only protect them from harm, but to prepare them for life. — For more articles with encouragement in parenting, start here: How to Be a #Girlmom Teaching Your Daughter How to Stand Out from the Crowd Parenting Adult Children—The Great Shift of Motherhood Raising

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When You #PinterestFail and Feel Like a Bad Mom

Life is messy … especially when baking is involved. My daughter’s birthday was quickly approaching—as it seems to do every year—and I only had a week to plan her party. Oops. (I guess in all reality I had a whole year.) After scrolling through Pinterest for ideas, I began to feel like an inadequate mother. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make an ice sculpture for a Frozen themed birthday, like Martha Stewart on crack, so I decided to at least make her that rainbow cake she had been talking about … the one she saw at her friend’s birthday party because some other mom’s got skills. I generally stick to buying cakes from the local bakery. However, this time I was feeling

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