Tag Archives: children

The Question that Disturbs Me the Most This Pregnancy

No, this is not my belly. I don't do pregnancy belly photos. :)

No, this is not my belly. I don’t do pregnancy belly photos. 🙂

Not too long ago I posted about what NOT to say to a pregnant woman. You know, just some friendly advice for people who mean well but really have no concept of a filter on their mouths.

This is a little addendum to that, if you will.

— Last Sunday after church we had lunch with my husband’s family. As soon as his grandmother saw me it was, “Wow, you’re getting huge! Sure you aren’t having twins?”

This is the first time during this pregnancy that someone has asked me this question, and it’s a question that women all over the world never, ever want to be asked, because the real translation of this question is : “You are gigantic.”

I know she meant well and I’ll cut her some slack because she’s family, but… still. Don’t ask a woman if she’s having twins, especially when you know she’s not.

Pregnant women are hormonal. You take your life in your hands. 🙂

When people ask if I’m having a boy or girl and I tell them we’re expecting our third boy, the follow-up question is almost always about the ages of my other children. When I reply that my sons are six and three and will be almost seven and four when the baby comes, it almost never fails that one of the following is the response– “Why did you wait so long?” “Wow. That’s a lot of years between kids.” And my personal favorite (and this came from a woman who is also currently expecting), “Oh my gosh. I could never have my kids that far apart.”

Here’s my go-to response, “Well, it wasn’t our choice to wait so long in between children, but God knows so much better than we do and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

I mean, honestly, do I have to go into my entire medical history and our fertility issues with complete strangers?

Sometimes I want to punch people right in the face. I do. I blame hormones. (But there’s part of me that wants to punch even when I’m not pregnant.) Again, I know they mean well, but c’mon folks. It’s nun-ya business how many years people wait between having children. Whether they want that age gap (some do) or they wait on God’s timing (like us), you should have nothing to say about it, k?

If you feel the words bubbling up and you absolutely have to say something, then may I suggest, “It’s great that your kids are older. They’ll be wonderful helpers when the baby comes.”

Caucasian Baby Boy In A Blue Stroller Carriage, Looking Over The Side Clipart Illustration

And now for the question that has gotten under my skin more than any other during this pregnancy. I have been asked countless (literally) times, sometimes by friends, most of the time by complete strangers… “So, are you going to try for a girl?”

The answer to that question, ladies and gents, is NO. No no no no no no no.

We have never tried for a girl or a boy. With each of our three children, we’ve prayed for a beautiful child.

I’ll tell you why I really, really, really hate that question.

1. Most of all, it implies that this precious baby boy that I’m carrying isn’t special. It implies that he’s just a number among the other boys and that he doesn’t matter. It implies that he wasn’t created specifically for our family by God as one of His greatest blessings, which I believe this little man was. He is special. He is a miracle. He is one of a kind. He is being knit together in my womb by the Creator, who already knows everything about him. And his mommy, daddy and two big brothers cannot wait to meet him.

2. It implies that my husband and I can’t feel happy and blessed without a daughter. God has designed our family specifically in his timing, with his perfection. I’m blessed beyond what I can imagine, and I would never, ever change it.

3. “Trying” for a specific gender is insane. I know that people do it. I know that there are those who want to design their families themselves, but I’m not one of them. I learned a long time ago to leave it up to God.

— May I suggest a better question, if you really must get into personal business? How about asking whether or not we plan to have more children in the future?

I can tell you now that that question remains unanswered. While we are fairly certain that this will be our last biological child, we’ve had many conversations already about our desire to love more kids. How God will bring that about is, once again, up to Him.

Just a bit of friendly advice to help you along in conversation with a woman who is expecting.

I know people mean well. I know they have good intentions. And I’ve put my foot in my mouth plenty of times, too.

Share with me: Have you ever put your foot in your mouth? Want to tell me about it?

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Filed under Family, Infertility, Parenting

Keeping Your Naughty Kids on the Nice List

Before we begin, a little housekeeping. Congratulations to Tiffani Hughes! You are the winner of Accidentally Amish by Olivia Newport! Email me asap with your contact info so that you can get your book. Thanks!



I don’t know about yours, but I think my kids have gone nuts.

Something about twinkling colored lights, Christmas music, and the excitement of Santa on the air has made them turn into…crazy people. And right here at the time of year when they are supposed to be on their “best” behavior!

Several other moms have recently mentioned to me that it seems the number of discipline problems they are facing has gone up lately, too.

Some want to blame excitement. Others want to blame the moon. Still some want to just say “it’s that time of year…”

I think it’s a combination of all those things and more, so I came up with this little list of things we can do as parents to make sure these kids stay on the nice list.

1. Don’t use Santa as a behavior deterrent.

I’ve done it before– said, “Santa is watching you.” But I realized a while back that this is not a good thing to tell them. Why? Because I don’t want my children correcting their behavior just because they want toys. No, I want them to correct their behavior because they are convicted of their sin. That might seem a little deep to you, but raising children is a year-round job, so using Santa as a deterrent is only a temporary fix, and does nothing to correct the heart– where the root of the problem lies. Instead of talking about Santa, my husband and I remind them of our expectations for their behavior and of God’s. We want them to learn to do what’s right because it’s in their hearts, which is part of the Christmas spirit anyway.

2. Don’t give into the idea that punishments can be delayed because “it’s Christmas.”

This is my favorite time of year. I love it. I want to enjoy it and I want my kids to enjoy it. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to get wrapped up in the ambiance of the happiness of the season and slack off on discipline and punishments. We’re all tempted to do it, I know, especially when a child’s punishment impedes on our fun.

I’ll never forget the Christmas when I was about 7 or 8 years old and we celebrated with my grandparents at their house in North Carolina. My sister got this little plastic key-chain, and for some reason, I wanted it. I wasn’t happy with anything else I’d gotten, and my jealousy and covetousness came out u.g.l.y. My mom sent me upstairs, away from the rest of the family. I was banned from Christmas until I could get rid of my jealous heart. It wasn’t until that moment that I understood what jealousy was and how it could be so ugly. When I got myself under control and rejoined Christmas, I had a new perspective of gratefulness for what I had received. My mom took a hard line with me that morning and could easily have let my behavior go because “it was Christmas” and because sending me away from the family celebration wasn’t ideal. It hurt and embarrassed my parents and made for some awkward moments. But it taught me a life-long lesson, one I have never EVER forgotten.

3. Stick to it.      

Anyone else like to blur their eyes when looking at the Christmas tree?

Anyone else like to blur their eyes when looking at the Christmas tree?

If you issue a warning, follow through. Even at Christmas. Even if it means that some of the “Christmas Spirit” is lost from your house temporarily. Children need consistency, even during the holidays.

4. Make sure your kiddos are getting enough sleep.

Just think about how stressed and tired you can get during the holidays–now transfer that to their little bodies! In the hustle and bustle of this busy season, it’s very easy to let naps slide or push back bedtimes. Since lack of sleep can be a direct factor in behavior, make sure your kids are getting enough sleep during this holiday season. A little nap here and there can be good for you, too!

5. Have some fun.

Make memories with your children this year. Enjoy their excitement and the magic of the season by being involved. Don’t let that same old hustle and bustle keep you so busy that you miss opportunities to make life-long memories. After all, you’ll only celebrate this year’s Christmas once! Get messy in the kitchen with some Christmas cookies. Let your kids help wrap the presents and don’t worry that the bows are lopsided and tape is showing. Watch those Christmas specials you’ve outgrown, just because they’re part of your childhood.

Let your kids enjoy the season by seeing the magic and majesty of Christ’s birth in you!

Merry Christmas, all! 🙂

Share with me: What tips can you offer for keeping both kids and parents sane during this holiday season?

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Filed under Parenting