Jan
27

The Thief in the Night That Steals My Sleep

Parenthood is the number one cause of insomnia.

I don’t have any medical research to back up this statement. Only personal experience. And unfortunately, I have a lot of it (and our kids aren’t old enough to drive yet!)

Coffee will delay me delay my sleep. A glass of wine too close to bedtime will disrupt my sleep. Too much screen time will make me not want to sleep.

The Thief That Steals My SleepParenthood…it steals my sleep.

In the beginning it was nighttime feedings and diaper changes. It was a hard period. It robbed all of my mental capacity (of course that’s not hard to do) and depleted my energy as I met the physical needs of our little ones.

Years later it was scary dreams and upset tummies. The interruptions were more sporadic as we transitioned from meeting their physical needs to their emotional needs.

Now, we are the proud owners of a preteen and a soon-to-be teenager and I swear it feels as if I’m sleeping less than ever before.

It’s not because of them. It’s because of me.

Instead of sleeping, I worry.

It’s a “Flavor of the Month” worry. Friends. Bullies. Grades. Attitudes. And my main struggle now is electronics and social media.

I love modern gadgets and social media. It brings many wonderful things into our lives. But with it comes a whole other avenue of danger that can distract and harm them.

I feel inadequate in many ways because no matter how hard I try to protect them, they will always be one step ahead of me when it comes to technology. They are the techie generation.

A couple of months ago we had an incident with a cyber bully. That night I didn’t sleep. One part of me was crying for my child and another part accused myself of being a loser parent for allowing them to be on the computer in the first place.

“God, what do I do? I’m never going to know enough. They will always find ways to get around any parameter that we set.”

As I prayed that night I felt God telling me: Don’t focus on finding ways to control them. Focus on praying for and preparing their hearts. Continue to guide and protect them in age appropriate ways but more importantly help them to develop their own character.

My soul was lighter as I began praying for their hearts. I was not the one to carry the burden. God would. I was to intercede for them. By doing so God began to open my eyes to the individual needs of my children’s hearts.

I sounded so simple but then worry has a way of blurring our vision.

It’s been a wonderful time of God showing me how I can be a help, not a hindrance, in Him molding the character of our children.

So, yes, I do still struggle with sleep. Worry for my children still comes in the night. But instead of fretting over their behavior, I pray for their spiritual heart and lay it at their Father’s feet.

What keeps you awake at night?

How do you handle worry when it robs your sleep?

 

 

 

 

Jan
23

What Do I Do When My Son Sounds Like Me…and I Don’t Like It?

I lost our dog.

I opened the back door to let our two pups out for one last round of sniffing and “doing their business” before heading to work. Only Gracie ran outside. Where was our lazy, 80-pound Lab (with selective hearing), Louie?

I walked around the house calling in a high-pitched voice, “Louie! Potty!”

No Louie.

Hmm…this song always excites him and sends him running. (Don’t mean to brag but I wrote the lyrics myself.)

I went through the house opening every door, singing my future Grammy winning song. “Louie…potty. Let’s go potty-potty!”

No Louie.

I went outside, walked around our cul-de-sac.

IMG_4626

No Louie.

Now scared, I called Mark who was taking the kids to school. Our 12-year-old son, Noah, answered the phone and I told him the situation.

Noah and Louie are best buds so I assumed he’d be worried like me, but he calmly asked, “Did you open every door to every room.”

Uh…is he about to lecture me?

“Yes.”

“Mom, are you sure you tried every door?”

“Yes! I’ll keep looking. Start praying.”

He nonchalantly replied, “Ok, be sure to look again.”

Okay, is it wrong that his tone bugged me?

I went through the house again when I noticed the door of a small bathroom upstairs was cracked. Surely he wasn’t in there. For one, it’s small. And, his two-foot-long, ten-pound tail would have been wagging against the cabinet and wall making plenty of noise for me to hear him.

I pushed open the door to find our black, furry friend bucking up in down knocking into everything in site, making plenty of noise. Seriously, where was all this racket when I was looking for him?

I called Mark and Noah to let them know that I had found Louie. Noah asked me, “Where was he?”

“Um, in the hall bathroom.”

“I thought you said you had checked every room?”

Oh my word! Why was he being so obnoxious? This is the kid who can’t find his shoes, will call me out of the shower only to have me find them where I told him they were.

Then it hit me. He had learned this form of communication from me and it was annoying.

blog photo - son repeating me

Ouch!

I didn’t like the way he was talking to me. However, it gave me a glimpse of how he must feel being on the other end of a conversation with me.

I’ll hide my frustration when speaking to others, but when speaking with my family, I’ll let my irritations fly freely.

Shouldn’t I treat the ones I love the most with the most respect?

My sarcastic responses don’t teach my son to be more responsible. Instead they only degrade him and model a communication style that he subconsciously acquires as his own.

The world beats him down enough. I should be correcting him in love.

It’s so hard being a parent – especially when I’m tired (and irritated).

I walked into the kitchen and found a verse I had written on our white board. “Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying. Romans 12:11-12

Thankfully Jesus tells us to bring our burdens to Him and He’ll carry them for us. I guess this keeps me on my knees, praying for His help.

Do you ever cringe when you see your kids repeating your bad habits?

Do you have any tips you can share to help us in the midst of this battle?