Faith in the Parenting Room

If you are a regular reader to my blog you know that just a little over seven months ago our family had the joy of our youngest son arriving into the world! Judah is an absolute gift, and it has been wonderful to watch our eldest Nathanael become a great older brother.

There are so many shifts in life when a baby arrives into the family, new routines of how your household is run, new roles for a sibling and perhaps other family members taking on new responsibilities can happen, even your time at church is altered by having a baby.

faith in parenting room

That is what I thought I would chat about today in what I have dubbed “faith in the parenting room” The parenting room I am sure is found in many a church, it’s a room out of the way, with a live link where you can take your youngsters to feed, change, play,  a space where they won’t disturb others in worship or during the preach. In my opinion they are marvellous thing I would hate if my children were distracting someone anywhere and of course this applies to church, however I would say that at times, the parenting room can be an isolating place to sit.

I hate – make that loathe being late so we are always early to church, at the worst we are on time, and after signing Nathanael up to the children’s programme I might if I am fortunate get to participate in the first two praise songs before exiting from the back.
At this point I have missed greeting new people, I have missed notices and prayer as I tend to the needs of my son.I might hear the preach but I love to take notes and that is tricky while breastfeeding or rocking a baby to sleep.
I usually have to hurry out, for naptimes or lunchtimes as our service ends quite late for a three year olds stomach. At times, as I am sure many parents have, I feel like I am just showing up but not taking anything in or serving in anyway.

You can feel over looked in the parenting room, because like I said you are in church but you are not really seen, a common phrase can be heard “ I haven’t seen you in ages” and you have lost count of how many times you have had to say “no I can’t do that at the minute”

Keep Going.

I think it can be quiet easy to quit, or skip out on church, it can be easy to drop into a cycle of non attendance especially if you have experienced some of what I have explained, but keep going. Keep showing up, I read recently a quote from Stephen Furtick that said some of the most faithful people are often the most frustrated people, because they’re committed to the cause. I am pretty sure he might have been talking about this in relation to teams but I think this can apply to the parenting room. I am beyond committed to live out a faith filled life, not only for my relationship with Jesus but also to demonstrate this to my sons. Simply showing up when it is tricky or other things are more convenient, I am living out, what I want my sons to follow, we don’t quit.

The parenting room is a season embrace where you are at.

It can be tempting at times to imagine you had all the time before to serve on this and that, or to take notes or think about missed opportunities but thankfully the Bible counsels us on these things

Don’t ask why the old days were better than now,
because that is a foolish question.

Ecclesiastes 7:10

Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze on what lies in front of you

Proverbs 4:25

I am amazed each day by how fast my children are growing and how quickly they are learning new things. You won’t be in the parenting room forever embrace it, the chances are you will likely romanticise it in the future!

No isn’t a negative response it is a positive choice to say Yes to something or someone else.

Your “no” to serve on that team or to attend an event aren’t personal to  either those who are asking or to those that are hosing them. Your no is neither a full stop declaration that won’t participate in future, view your No as a Yes.
You are saying Yes to your children,
Yes I will pick them up straight after the children’s programme,
Yes I am the one who gets to have cuddles with my little one.
Yes I am prioritising the greatest calling I will ever have in life – that of parenting my children.

You are serving might not be obvious but it is still serving.

Those quick conversations in the parenting room, the opportunity to hold another child while Mum or Dad tend to someone else, that recommendation on teething powders or what type of food to wean with first.
I have had some invaluable advice while I have been in the parenting room and hopefully I have shared what has helped with my children too.
I think we are missing something when we don’t give God the glory for those random moments or encounters in the parenting room. You might not be on a door greeting anyone, and you might not be on the stage (who would want to be there anyway – my idea of a nightmare) it is less obvious to others perhaps even yourself, but you are still serving in the parenting room

Reach out to others.

On a Sunday you might have a crazy day, your toddler might be in a bad mood, your baby might be hungry or needing a nap, and you may have to dash in and dash out of church in some tornado like fashion. Reach out to others, I have some incredible friends who I can depend on to have a moan too and they are also brave enough to tell me to stop moaning too!

Faith in the parenting room may have those isolating moments, you may feel unseen or unheard, you may even lose touch with the next event or happening in church but you are never forgotten or unseen by God. He always sees you, he is with you wherever you go. It is in my daily parenting as I reach out to God and handover my children to him that I see his love for us so tangibly.

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April Favourites

1. Easter Break – We had a wonderful long Easter weekend this year and managed to maximise each day without feeling exhausted or having two grumpy children at the end of it! There was an Easter treasure quest type thing at Brodsworth Hall that we went to with friends which was great, you can check out Rachel’s blog here. We also got to see my sister and brother in law who  Nathanael and Judah just love – it does no harm that they come armed with treats too! I successfully managed to cook the best lamb dinner ever, so much so that Nathanael had thirds, and I let him because he can be a bit picky over his protein!

2.  Monin Sugar Free Syrups – With a toddler and baby to get ready I have taken to just making my coffee at home rather than going out to coffee shops so I purchased some flavoured syrups to add to my coffee.  On Slimming World these are only 0.5 syns for 2 tablespoons and there is no way I have 2 tablespoons in my coffee so I class them as syn free.

3. Spring Sunshine – we had a glorious weekend of 20 degree weather this month and we used it to it’s full potential by making a picnic and packing up to go out for the day. We always know we will have a great time at Brodsworth Hall, Nathanael especially loves running around the gardens and occasionally mummy will join in too!

4. Wire Talk with Karen Stubbs podcast – My podcast love continues and this one is so great for where I am at with parenting right now. Imagine sitting down with friends who have been there and seen it all with parenting and raising their children to love God giving you some great advice. What I especially love is that as people write in with questions not only does Karen give advice she always give a resource – book, website etc  to refer to as well as something practical they could be doing – you know how much I love this part as I am a doer!

5. Retro From Scratch Food Diary – This food diary has been essential for me as I continued my weight loss journey and now as I am a Slimming World Target member. The act of writing down everything I have been eating has been revolutionary to how I approach meals of the day and especially snacking. I also love the columns for speed/protein and free food to ensure I am keeping to a third speed food, which can be tricky at times!

6. Post It Super Sticky Notes – A bit of a random one, but you all know how much I adore stationary and these Post It are the best! The whole back is adhesive what a  glorious thing – no more notes dropping everywhere that you were sure pinned somewhere. Gone are the days of the paper curling up – I can’t stand it! I will now no longer stoop to the inferior Post It kind and these are my go to. I bet you didn’t think anyone could be passionate about a Post It!

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Judah 7 Month Update

Judah 7 months

Weight: 15lbs 12oz

Length: who knows!

Eating: Judah is now in his first full month of eating and in short he has been fantastic. I wrote in his six month update how we have chosen to baby led wean and Judah has absolutely loved exploring food! We pretty much have him on an early lunch and then dinner routine at the moment.
Judah has tried so many different foods already – broccoli, carrot, parsnip, cauliflower, potato, courgette, peppers, red onion, swede, apple, pear, cucumber, crumpets, homemade bread, savoury homemade muffins, Weetabix, porridge, pasta with homemade tomato sauce. The list goes on and on! Judah has been brilliant at getting to grips with biting (especially with no teeth) chewing and although there has been the odd large gulp or two he is great at getting rid of whatever he doesn’t want to eat.
We have also introduced him to a cup and I have to say I am in love with the Nuby Flip n Flow, I found Nathanael was great with a straw rather than a sippy cup and it seems to be the same for Judah as well.
Still breastfeeding as and when he wants to, which was pretty much the same as last month I think it was only when Nate had more protein in his diet that he dropped feeds.

Sleeping:
Yeah to full nights sleeps all around!! Judah sleeps pretty much from 7.30pm to 7am as standard and Mummy is loving this muchly!

Nappies: Size 3 Pampers.

Clothes: 6-9 months.

Things Judah likes to do: Judah has been so busy this month especially with weaning I am trying to make sure I focus on all the other wonderful things he has been learning this month too! To start with he has made great strides in sitting up and I would say he can hold himself up independently for about 30 seconds or so before he keels over.
We have officially graduated to his big boy pram and with the appearance of some nice spring days Judah has loved to explore more of the world around him. On a Saturday morning Nathanael has football so Judah and I usually take a walk in the village which has been really nice.
Judah’s love for bath time continues, as he splashes and kicks around, now he is a little older it has been great to introduce him to some proper bath toys.
We have now graduated from simply being able to lay Judah down on his play mat and him being ok with that, to laying down will not do – he has to pretty much be upright at all times so he can observe what everyone else is doing – I can’t blame him I would want to do the same!
Recently we have seen the start of Judah trying to shuffle forward, he has been spinning himself around in circles for weeks but recently we have seen the attempts to move forward in a straight-ish line, and I am sure he will be off soon!
Judah and Nathanael’s love for each other just grows with Nathanael always wanting to know where Judah is, and Judah is exactly the same too!
I am loving this age as equally as much as I am missing him being that newborn, time is flying with both my boys!

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March Favourites

Arrow – Luke and I have been on a quest to find a new show to get into now Suits and Lucifer are on a break.  As any parent to littles, we don’t have a ton of time to waste on TV and usually prefer a box set that we can get stuck into. I had seen Arrow advertised a while back on Amazon but thought I am not watching some crazy guy with a bow and arrow trying to be like Robin Hood. I am glad I put that aside and took a chance on the first episode because I am seriously hooked! No spoilers please I have only just finished the second season.

Red Raspberry Yankee Candle – Luke purchased me some candles for Mothers Day and did incredibly well at picking up this scent! He always does well with gift giving which is good because I love gifts!

Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy podcast – I have spoken for my love of podcasts before and I suppose I am not the target demographic for this podcast but circa 2002/2003 I began my appreciation for cricket (had nothing to do with James Anderson btw) I made my Dad purchase for me a Lancashire County Cricket Membership quite hilarious with him being a “true Yorkshireman” and all that but what can I say, he put the tribalism aside because I was watching cricket. Anyway this was why I decided to give this podcast a listen, I have never laughed so much in my life to the stories the guys tell you about but also they have some serious debates and some really thoughtful poignant moments too. Well worth a listen!

Family Time – With our Wedding anniversary in March, Luke took a week off work for us all to spend some quality time as a family. I don’t know about you but the weekends we run from one place to another it can be tricky to truly savour time spent with family. We went to National Rail Way Museum and also bought a yearly pass to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park so a great couple of days out as well as managing to fit in a DIY project too!

Tesco Crazy Caramel – On my quest to find low syn treats that are Slimming World friendly I discovered these, at only 4 syns per mini bar they are the perfect size to take that chocolate craving away and in my opinion a lot nicer than Mars!

Judah’s Six Month Birthday – At the end of March we celebrated Judah’s half birthday, I baked a cake and we had a great time taking photos of him looking enviously at the cake. Luke, Nathanael and I all enjoyed it for him!

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Judah Six Month Update

 

Judah 6 months

Weight: 14lbs 8 oz

Length: 66cm

Eating: The start of baby led weaning has begun and honestly I was fully expecting a disaster purely because it went so well with Nathanael. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Judah has dived into food like a champ we started with some crushed carrot on a crumpet and he picked it up and put it in his mouth like he had been eating from the start.
I think it has helped immensely that he has been sitting at the table with us watching for ages, and he also benefits that we have done this before so I know what are great foods to try, and also I am not stressing about the gag reflex.

Sleeping: There has been a momentous occasion in our household this past week – moving Judah to his own room! Say it isn’t so! I am bereft, it is another sign of him growing up (ok I am being a tad dramatic here) the transition has gone really well. I don’t really think Judah had noticed he had moved into another room until a few days ago where because of a cold he has been awake a few times in the night.

Nappies: Size 3 Pampers.

Clothes: 6-9 months.

Things Judah likes to do:
Another month and Judah has achieved so much in this short space of time, to begin with he has found a love for his feet, he is constantly grabbing them while he is on his back, he loves to have them tickled and he has such a fun time in his jumperoo kicking about in there too.
I explained last month that Judah started with the more difficult roll first that being from his back to his front, well he has now mastered the front roll to his back and I will often find him a good distance away from his play mat now in his great travels around the room. The lovingly hand crafted changing table has moved back into storage because we can no longer trust him not to roll away!
I feel like we have been waiting forever and a day for the appearance of some teeth and sadly as of yet none have made an appearance which brings me onto Judah’s favourite thing of the moment is to have his finger, fingers or his whole fist lodged into his mouth pretty much all the time, we must get through 3 or 4 bibs an hour because of all the drool!
I have spoken about Judah’s love for Nathanael but this past month it has been adorable to watch Nathanael play with Judah, it has really helped that Judah can last for longer periods of time in his Mama’s and Papa’s Baby Snug, it’s now become a familiar sound to hear Nathanael asking “Judah play” and of course Judah just beams with delight!

It was perfect that Judah turned six months on Mother’s Day, I absolutely adore both my boys. Judah is such a precious gift to the whole family and I can’t wait to see what the next six months have in store for us all!

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