Babies and Tots

From newborns and babies to toddlers and tots, these articles help you navigate and find encouragement during pregnancy and the early years of motherhood.

Toddlers, Tantrums & Time Out: How To Deal with Discipline

Toddlers, Tantrums & Time Out: How To Deal with Discipline

Fresh out of the Terrible Two’s and headed straight toward the Threenage year, I’m realizing what I have gotten myself into. How little I knew (and still fail to know) about parenting, namely in the area of discipline … the essential task of guiding these little, wandering souls. The phrase, “You just don’t know ’til you know,” is a phrase tirelessly uttered many times in my mom groups. We chat about our toddlers’ most recent mischievous habits and how the rugs were once again pulled out from under us, right as we were thinking we had it figured out. Recognizing that each toddler is unique in their personalities, and each mom has their own set of parenting skills, I’ve found that we […]

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Want-to-Get-Your-Child-Interested-in-Books-Try-this

Want to Get Your Child Interested in Books? Try This.

Since the birth of my first son 11 years ago, I have been keenly aware of the benefits of reading to a child. I knew that I wanted to implement reading aloud as part of our everyday routine because the statistics prove that even when newborns are exposed to oral language, it helps them with many different skills later in life. When our youngest son was diagnosed with autism at two years of age, I was already experiencing the reality of having a child that flat out refused to listen to a story of any kind. I would attempt to read to him from many different angles. I would go as far as joining him inside his netted indoor trampoline as he

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29 Easy Steps for Grocery Shopping With Kids

29 Easy Steps for Grocery Shopping With Kids

You’re the mother of two or three small children and you need to make a quick run to the grocery store. This isn’t something you do on a whim. You start planning in the wee hours of the morning before the kids are awake. Or maybe even the night before. Step 1: Assemble outfits. You dig through the laundry basket that’s been sitting on your dresser for three days and find clothing, which basically matches. You also set aside any articles of clothing you come across that your children grew out of 6 months ago. Step 2: Locate matching shoes and socks. You may or may not be successful on this one. Keep in mind that socks don’t technically have to match.

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This Grit and Grace Life Podcast

These Strategies Will Help You Raise Great Kids – 063

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | More It doesn’t take a perfect mom to raise great kids. It takes intentionality, grit, and grace! Author and Co-Host, Darlene Brock, shares her hindsight and offers practical tips from her new book, Raising Great Girls: Help for Moms to Raise Confident, Capable Daughters (perfection not required), that will apply to moms of both genders. As a single boy mom, Julie asks honest questions and explores how Darlene navigated the tricky parenting situations in which most parents find themselves. Darlene explains how being your child’s coach, creative counselor, and professor of gender studies (three of the jobs she unpacks in her book) makes all the

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To the Mom Who Feels Guilty for Sitting on the Job

To the Mom Who Feels Guilty for Sitting on the Job

Last week I found myself in a unique predicament. It was a typical weekday afternoon. Nothing special or noteworthy, and if I’m completely honest I’ll admit that I don’t even remember what day it actually was—could have been Tuesday or Thursday. I have no idea. Regardless, on this afternoon the kids were all home, homework and chores were done, and the messy after-school routine (and the whining that goes along with it) was long over. My daughter was happily jumping away on the trampoline, my son was playing basketball outside, and my oldest had gone to a friend’s house. They didn’t need me. My house was quiet. My pressing daily chores finished long before, and there was still an hour or so before dinner

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To the SAHM Who Struggles Because Her Man Works a Lot

To the SAHM Who Struggles Because Her Man Works a Lot

For the SAHM whose man travels frequently or has long hours at the office, the days can feel monotonous or lonely and isolating. She may feel as though she’s lost a part of her identity or be overwhelmed, worn down, and even battle jealousy of his time with adults (okay, maybe that last part is just me). My husband and I have spent almost half of our 10 years of marriage away from one another due to his intense traveling schedule: 10 months after we married, he left for a one-year deployment before shifting out of the military into a private sector job. His new job requires weekly travel; every Monday morning at 5 am, he’ll kiss me goodbye and won’t return until

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10 ways to make the most of your maternity leave

10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Maternity Leave

I just completed my third maternity leave, and I wish I could tell you that I’ve got it all figured out. I feel like I should be able to create some Pin on Pinterest that charts the course for the best maternity leave, but all three maternity leave experiences were very different. I believe maternity leave can be one of those transitions in life where we look back and say, “I wish,” or, “I miss,” or, “If I only could’ve.” Parenting, in general, is full of those “if” moments (and even regrets), and maternity leave often falls under the same umbrella.  Most of the time you’re just surviving, and that’s okay. For several weeks you walk around in a fog and then

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Why-i-decided-to-pick-up-my-son-for-the-last-time

Why I Decided to Pick up My Son for the Last Time

“…There is a last time for everything. There will come a time when you will feed your baby for the very last time. They will fall asleep on you after a long day And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child. One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down, 
 And never pick them up that way again…”  —Author Unknown Every mom hears of how their child’s youth will slip through their fingers in no time. They are often told of how they are to cherish every moment with their babes because those days will soon be but a memory. A wrinkle in time. A Different Child Because I am a mother

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Reality: Behind the Scenes of the Happy Adoption Photo

Reality: Behind the Scenes of the Happy Adoption Photo

There are a whole lot of orphans in the world, and there is a big push for more parents to adopt. Adoption is a great thing and a worthy cause, but in our passion and desperation to find homes for children, I feel that we often tread closely to manipulation. Look at this happy adoptive family photo! You could do this for a child! Yes, you! All they need is a home and a family to love them! And yes, so many need homes and they all need love, but how often do we gloss over everything else that they need—an exorbitant amount of patience and a ridiculous amount of grace? They don’t trust adults; they don’t feel worthy of love; they test limits; they tell

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To-the-Mom-Who-Has-Postpartum-Depression

To the Mom Who Has Postpartum Depression

When I was young, I had this grand picture of what my life would be as an adult. This vision included a thin, fit woman wearing a professional suit to work on a daily basis, owning every room she walked into. She was happy, confident, powerful, financially comfortable, a great wife and an awesome mom who balanced everything happily and gracefully. Her house was always clean, and laundry was done. Making love with her husband was a priority. She always cooked and had hot meals ready for her family. And her faith was untouchable.  She didn’t understand those other women who couldn’t balance. Why couldn’t they balance – life wasn’t that hard…right!? Then I got married, and real life started. I married

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You-Are-the-Biggest-Influence-on-Your-Child’s-Faith

You Are the Biggest Influence on Your Child’s Faith

Having a newborn in your home is a marvelous thing. To look into that tiny face and realize that you have been given this gift is nearly overwhelming. Just a few short months ago this person wasn’t on the planet, and now he is in your arms. The weight of the responsibility far exceeds the little bit of effort it takes to lift him from his crib. Everything about him is life, newness, and precious. For parents who choose to raise their children to follow the teachings of their faith, it is no small undertaking. Our society is often referred to as “postmodern,” meaning, in an extremely simplified definition, that much of our world has stepped away from formerly traditional values of

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Children’s Books That Your Child Will Treasure Now and Later

One of my happiest early memories is of reading with my mother. She didn’t send me to kindergarten, but instead taught me to read and write at home with the children’s books we had in every corner of the house. I specifically remember reading Alice in Wonderland with her, and it’s a memory I will always treasure. My mother instilled in me a love for reading that I thankfully passed on to my daughters. Children should be encouraged to read as early as possible. Parents and caregivers can do this by reading to them when they are very young and helping them learn to read as they become ready. Reading should be made exciting and fun, not just a homework chore to

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Don’t Judge Me—Freedom from Guilt in Motherhood

Stop Judging Me—Freedom From Guilt in Motherhood

I was an insane mother. I worked full-time building our businesses, which required quite a bit of travel, while raising two daughters. So, overcompensation for this personality type was a must! If my girls were going to be subjected to seasons of a busy, pop-in, pop-out mother, then I determined that when I was home I would be over the top. I sewed their Halloween costumes (yeah don’t follow my lead, store-bought is great), baked and decorated their birthday cakes, and spent hours with them handcrafting Christmas ornaments on two hours of sleep. I’m not recommending this; I’m just sharing the details of my guilt-ridden, crazy mothering and overcompensating life. The year I made a portable doll bed (large enough for a small

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Should You Train Or Discipline Your Child?

I have been wrestling with the word “discipline” lately. The actual dictionary definition is, “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.” Really? When I think of discipline, I guess I think of being disciplined as doing what is expected, not being out of line. But using punishment is not exactly how I feel we should teach our kids to behave. I like to think of the word “train” instead. We set the example, we encourage the positive behavior, and we teach and point out consequences of negative behavior. Modeling the behavior that you expect sounds so obvious, but it isn’t easy. Here’s an example of how this awareness played out in our

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You-Don’t-Have-to-Be-Perfect-to-Be-a-Great-Mom

You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Be a Great Mom

We don’t believe in superhero capes here at The Grit and Grace Project. That’s not to say we aren’t ever superheroes; we absolutely are. We do everything; Earn the paycheck, dry the tears, mow the lawn, balance the budget, cook the meals, and even fix the toilet. But one thing we don’t need to do is to be perfect! It’s something many of us expect from ourselves, but I’m telling you from first-hand knowledge, it is absolutely not necessary. So be encouraged, Mama! One of the worst places to feel this perfection pressure is in the role of mom. We become quite convinced that if we do not meet every need our child has, prevent all cuts, bruises, or hurt of any kind, and keep them

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To-First-Time-Moms-to-Be-From-7-week-old-Mom

To First-Time Moms-to-Be, From a 7-Week Mom

I did it, y’all. I survived the first six weeks… I choose the word survive because that’s exactly what you will do for the first six weeks of your very first child’s infant life. I sit here and look at my son, Wyatt, who turns seven weeks old tomorrow and tear up a little bit. For one, I found out today that he has his first cold. Poor buddy, he’s so small. Somehow though, I have found strength from having survived these first few weeks and feel confident to battle this first cold by his side. I think of other firsts that we’ve shared so far… The first time I held him in my arms. I was shaking like a leaf on a tree

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A Helpful Tool for When Your Kids Are Frustrating You

What are some things that bother you about your kids? Things that get on your nerves, things that scare you, things that embarrass you? What is the first thing that comes to mind? I have to admit, for me it is often the petty things. I just mopped (for the first time in a month) and they spill milk all over the floor. They unintentionally break the new toy the day after they receive it, or maybe even the same day if we’re talking about one of mine. They are a block away from home in their underwear, pushing a beach cart. They do not know how to talk at a normal volume. These things are annoying, sometimes embarrassing, but they are

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