Some pleas for mama advice

It’s still raining here, and I finally changed the time setting at High Counties so my life will be recorded in the time that its lived and not 14 hours later.  Jones and I just had a lovely breakfast of yogurt, strawberries, banana bread, and coffee (just mom), and now he’s taking his toys and placing them in hideaways in our kitchen or ‘big’ room (what else do you call it when it’s living/dining combined?).  I’m trying to menu plan:  I’d like to make some salmon, but the last time I bought it, it was salted.. yes, salted, and awful.  I guess we won’t have salmon.  But as of tomorrow, our language study commences and I can ask my tutor the all-important question of what the kanji for “salted” is! 🙂

Anyway, I have a  few questions for fellow moms on my mind: 

1) How many of you rise in the morning before your children?  I have serious issues in this area, and since Jones’s naps have decreased to *ONE*,  I have significantly less time during the day to do things without him at my heels (and recently whining to be held — separation anxiety begins!).  Each night, I set my alarm to get up early, but when it goes off, I have no qualms about shutting it off and sleeping longer.. that is, until breakfast.  Then, while we eat, I go over my daily guilt-complex in my mind as I remind myself that I’m never going to have time in the Bible more than once a week if I don’t get up earlier than Jones.  I’ve become increasingly more convinced that I am a night-owl and not a morning person.  Any moms struggled with this?  Or struggle with guilt?  Am I just trying to be something I’m not, or is this a legitimate issue?  I’ve been thinking a lot about Proverbs 31 in respect to this:  “She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens … Her lamp does not go out at night …  She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

2)  For those of you who were able to breastfeed your babies, how did/do you feel about the weaning process?  I’m uncertain as to how I feel about this with Jones right now, though I know that most people wean at about one year.  On the one hand, he loves it and finds a lot of comfort in it, and I still enjoy it — at this point, it will be impossible to wean him without any frustration on his part.  But on the other hand, I’m sort of ready for the next stage and being “free” — not having to come home early to feed him before bed, being able to be gone overnight (though, where would I go?), etc.  Right now, he nurses between 2-4 times each day, at the very least at morning and at night.  In any case, I’ve found that I don’t take well to well-ordered suggestions of baby websites regarding these issues:  when we started solids, sometimes I’d feed him a tablespoon, sometimes three — I didn’t increase the food 1 teaspoon each time until we reached 4T.  When Jones could stay awake longer, we just made an automatic jump to being awake 3 hours or 4 hours or whatever it was — I didn’t increase his waketime by 15 minutes each day until we reached the desired time.  I just don’t work that way — and the same with substituting milk/whatever for a breastfeeding session.  Therefore, I’m at a complete loss.  I’ve found no advice in this realm that seems to fit my parenting style.

3)  Spanking:  yes or no?  If yes, when did you deem it appropriate to begin using?  I think that we’re going to spank, mainly because we need to do something, and Jones simply cannot understand “time out” or taking away privileges.  And I’ve found that when I don’t have a plan of action for his misbehavior, I become livid and just “react,” which usually means getting angry, which I feel would be more harmful to him than a swat once in a while.  But I’m just wondering what is appropriate, and when, etc.  I’m reading some books on this issue but am wondering what other moms do.

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7 thoughts on “Some pleas for mama advice

  1. Good questions! I have the same questions, so I don’t really have any advice but look forward to seeing what others have to say. I am reading “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp. I like his philosophy…lots of Scripture to back it up. We will spank but have not really heard any good tips for how to go about it at this age verses 2 and up. SACH gives a great outline for older youngins but I feel it doesn’t completely apply to one year olds who can’t communicate yet that they understand their wrong. Anywho-thanks for asking these great questions. I look forward to hearing about your journey through these.

  2. Regarding waking early before your family… I love it when I naturally get up before Livia, naturally being the operative word. I’m far more of an evening gal than an early riser and I’ve finally given up the guilt that comes with others’ advice on this point. I don’t do well when I get up early (meaning, I find myself super tired by 11:00am). So for now, I’m content with waking when Liv does. I try to prepare myself the evening before for all morning routines. You’re at a tough stage where you have to feed Jones, but soon enough he’ll be feeding himself breakfast and you can read some scripture then. True reflective quiet times have to occur when the little one is sleeping though.

    On spanking… I want to encourage you to hold off until Jones is older. Keep redirecting right now, with perhaps a very light hand swat if something is truly dangerous (like the stove). I’ll pray for patience for you! I can only imagine how trying it is to have Curious Jones exploring your house all the time. He’s able to learn from you now, but not truly able to understand how things work. Really, and I’m not just saying this–I’ll do it, I’ll pray for you, dear friend.

  3. jame these are great thoughts- i’m going to email you with my thoughts on this stuff… but a great book i’m reading right now is sacred parenting- amazing! i can send you one if you want.

  4. Hey Jamie J…..
    I’m so thankful that you blog and that I get to read your writing! I will email you with my thoughts as well…..love you!

  5. Jamie,

    Some thoughts on your questions. When your children are young, I do not think it matters WHEN you read your Bible, but THAT you read it.

    I breastfed both my children. I stopped when I was ready. You will know when.

    I did spank my children when they were one. They were told what they had done wrong and received just one swat on the thigh with a wooden spoon. Spanking was reserved for outright defiance alone. When they said or did NO! One year olds are savvy to much more than you think. I do not remember having to spank after the age of 4 or 5. They got the idea.

    I was not a fan of “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp. Actually, I was not a fan of most child-rearing books. (Not sure what that says about me.) Proverbs was more my style. You know, ‘spare the rod and spoil the child. 🙂 I think God has given us common sense and we think too highly of the “experts.”

  6. I tend to agree with everything Carol said. Bible reading–do it when the time works for you. I simply could not force myself to get up before the kids most days, and then when having my quiet time when they went down for naps or at bedtime, fell asleep myself. Aargh. I tended to pray a lot more in consequence. Pursue it as you can, and know that God gives grace to the over tired mother!

    Breastfeeding–let the combination of your feelings and Jones’ desires be your guide (i.e., not totally controlled by either). I tend to feel that when the child is old enough to ask for the breast verbally, you may need to put your foot (and your shirt!) down.

    Spanking–again, Carol is wise. One year olds have a greater sense of things than we tend to give them credit for. And sometimes a little “sting” physically (and I mean LITTLE) is enough to get their attention and make them think twice about disobeying.

    By the way..I wasn’t aware that you were continuing to post on the High Countries, and kept checking the Seed in vain for more O’Donnell news! Glad to get caught up.

    As a mom who has gone through all of this, I’m praying for you!

  7. Hey Jamie. It’s Erin (Himes) Wang– I worked with the Navs in Shizuoka before with Bryan, but have never met you. I have some thoughts on parenting, being a mom of an almost 2 year old boy and having lived in Japan. I particularly have thoughts about parenting in Japan. If you want to hear a few of my thoughts, email me at erin@asianesq.net. Didn’t want to overwhelm you as you’ve never met me! So just if you want to. 🙂 ERiN

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