Lately I have felt uninspired to write. I've sat down a few times and realized that I didn't have anything in particular to write about, and I haven't even taken pictures lately, which is my go-to when I don't want to write (or don't have time!)
I like to write about good things, successes or fun weekends or things I'm thinking about, but always with a positive twist to what is going on in life. Even through hard things, I like to write about what I'm learning and what God is showing me and I like to encourage others. I never want to make my blog a fake fairy tale world where I invent a perfect life with perfect kids and a perfect marriage and perfect blah blah blah. But I don't like to write about my struggles until I can see light in them and share that part along with the struggle.
Can I be totally honest? I've been struggling and I haven't been feeling all that positive about it! Last night was kind of the final straw, you could say, and after some tears and throwing Addison's toothbrush across the room (mature, I know), it was time to talk to Brad about the difficulties I'm having and discuss some solutions, and I immediately felt better about everything. My attitude changed, my resolve came back, and today has been a different ball game around here! So now that there's light in this difficulty, I feel like writing again!
My struggle? Five months into two-years-old, we are in the thick of the "terrible twos." I hate even saying that, especially because she is such a joy and I love her so dearly and like everyone, we don't want to see any wrong in our own children. Especially when they're so darn cute, it can be easy to laugh and overlook disobedience sometimes. I feel like Brad and I are fairly strict and equally the disciplinarians, as I take on that role during the day and he takes over when he gets home from work. But somewhere along the way, Addison has become blatantly defiant with me and it's like every day is opposite day. I never realized a two-year-old could use manipulation tactics or have a stare down with an adult (and win!) Sheesh. Anyway, last night my feelings of frustration from weeks of fighting with her all day every day finally showed it's ugly face and the toothbrush just kind of flew out of my hand and I started crying. I was a lovely mess and Brad watched me go down with just the smallest smirk (I'm sure I seemed pretty ridiculous).
So I sat in silence, pouting you might say, for awhile, but then we (Brad and I) talked and he lovingly pointed out some things that I need to change in my discipline/parenting style. Not because they were wrong, but because they simply aren't working for Addison. She is her dad, so he gets her...I don't always. So it's nice, because he can tell me what will work and what won't based on her rather strong personality that is so similar to his. I think the same will happen with Lily. She is her mama's girl to the extreme. We can already tell and she's only 1! So maybe when she's older, I can give Brad some pointers on what not to do in parenting her. Kinda nice that we have one of each of us:)
Today, we turned over a new leaf. First and foremost, my attitude had gotten pretty crappy recently because I had just HAD it. This morning my attitude was tip-top and I was ready to start over, refreshed and encouraged by our talk last night. And I had a short talk with Addison first thing this morning. Gentle, yet firm and to the point, about what is to be expected from now on and what the consequences will be when she's blatantly disobedient. And I've stuck to that all day. Instead of fighting with her and asking her a thousand times to do something or telling her over and over to stop picking on Lily...we are working on first-time-obedience. She is expected to be obedient the first time I ask her to, and if not, there is a consequence.
Through I know this might seem harsh (and it does to me at times), there is definitely grace in this home. That's a fuzzy line for me right now...when to give grace and when to stick to consequences. It's something I'm praying for wisdom about. Before I was a parent, man was it easy to judge! Now I can feel those eyes on me at the store and I have to hold my head high and not worry about the stares from perfect strangers judging us. Whatever. And no matter how good I am or how terrible I am at discipline and whether I am a perfect parent or a flawed parent (I'm flawed, thank you very much), I have to remember something. This is paramount, you ready?
I CAN'T SAVE MY KIDS. That's up to God. All I can know for sure is that he specifically gave Addison and Lily to Brad and Crystal Knox, so I can rest, knowing that our girls have the best parents for them. Not the best parents in the world, but the best for them. And by His grace, He will guide us through the hard things and help us be the best parents we can be, setting an example of Him as much as possible.
Just for laughs...this is why I don't post pictures as often lately. This is actually the best recent picture of Addison that I have. She's in an "I hate the camera" phase.