So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

Let me begin by stating a few obvious facts. First, there are many different styles of parenting. Second, different generations have different ideas about parenting. Third and finally, everyone has an opinion about what parenting style is best. 
For example, when I was growing up, I was aware of a stigma against parents who thought their kids walked on water; parents who thought their child could do no wrong. It was thought that this parenting style produced inconsiderate children who did whatever they wanted because no one would ever tell them they were doing anything wrong.
There is a part of me that can understand why the stigma against this parenting style exists. Offering unconditional support to our children sounds like a great idea in theory, but I also believe that children need the boundaries that are created when they feel the consequences of doing something inappropriate or unacceptable. The natural curiosity of children drives them to seek limits, limits which are sometimes defined by the disapproval of a loved one. 
However, the other end of the spectrum offers its own dangers. In trying to avoid being the type of parent who supports their children to a fault, it is possible to go too far in the opposite direction. In this case, parents may end up feeling like it is their job to be on guard for possible flaws in their children’s behavior. This can easily become a habit that is hard to shake, leading parents to constantly feel skeptical of their child’s behavior as well as responsible for it. In short, parents don’t trust their children. Which can send the message to children that they are not trustworthy. Not exactly fertile soil for healthy relationships on either end. 
I’ve done a lot of thinking about trying to find the middle ground; the point where we support our children and foster the kind of self-confidence that leads them to trust themselves, but also help them to develop the inner voice that helps them to regulate themselves when needed. 
The bad news? I don’t have “The Answer.” 
But what I do know is this: Of all the lessons I’ve learned in this life, my greatest teachers have been my biggest fans, not my biggest critics. 
It’s been the people who believe in me even when I make mistakes–the people who trust my choices even when they don’t understand them, because they believe in the person that I am–these are the people who make me want to grow, to learn, to be better. These are the people who taught me to believe I am worthy. Is there any greater gift we can give to one another?
So when I watch my daughter, when I think about the voice I use when I talk to her, the voice that will eventually become the voice in her head, I want to err on the side of kindness, the side of understanding, the side of trust. I want to believe in her so that she learns to believe in herself. I want to trust her so that she knows she is trustworthy. 
There will be times when she lets me down. There will be times when she breaks that trust. There will be times when I have to be skeptical of her choices and her actions and her words. But I believe that even in the times where I must, as a parent, be critical of her choices, I can still believe in her. I can believe in her, in the goodness I see in her soul. I can trust that I raised her to be a good human, and that together we can learn and grow, in spite of (or even because of) the mistakes we make along the way. Even when I can’t support her choices, I can support the amazing little human she is.
I don’t believe my child walks on water or that she can do no wrong. But that will never stop me from being her biggest fan. 
BestWestern-NYE (2)

Megan Launchbaugh

Megan is a Nebraska native who is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. She spent eight years working in the education field before studying to become a Licensed Massage Therapist. Most recently she has begun exploring stay-at-home-mommyhood while raising her two daughters in a blended family with her amazing husband. She loves taking pictures, ordering books from Amazon, wishing she could play the guitar, and planning what she will go back to school for next. She blogs about authenticity and raising authentic children and, when she isn't cleaning up toys or folding laundry, she can be found writing in her own little corners of the Internet. Keeper of the Snacks: Mommyhood Unedited Connect with Megan: Facebook Twitter @keeperofsnacks

When You Look Back on These Pictures, I Hope You Feel My Love

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four kids playing in snow, color photo

I document your life in pictures. I do it for you. I do it for me. I do it because I want you to know I lived every memory. And loved every moment. When you go back through the thousands of moments, I hope it sparks something deep inside of you. Something that perhaps your heart and mind had forgotten until that moment. And I hope that it makes you smile.  I hope the memories flood and you remember how much each moment was cherished.  I hope each giggle and secret that was shared with your sisters at that moment sparks...

Keep Reading

For the Parents of the Kids Who Don’t Fit the Mold

In: Kids, Motherhood
mom hugging her daughter

This one is for the parents of the kids who don’t fit the mold. I see you holding your kid together with nothing but love and a prayer as they cry or feel defeated and you wish the world would see your kid like you do. I see you wiping away their tears after they were yet again passed over for all the awards and accolades. There is no award for showing up for school despite crippling anxiety or remembering to write down assignments for the first year ever. So they had to sit clapping again for friends whose accomplishments...

Keep Reading

Let Your Kids See You Try and Fail

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter sitting on floor knitting together

Let your kids see you try and fail at something. That’s what I did today!  My daughter wanted to take a knitting class together. I said sure, naively thinking the skill would come pretty naturally. I’m usually good at things like this.  Guess what? It didn’t. Although she picked it up easily and was basically a knitting pro within five minutes, the teacher kept correcting me, saying, “No, UNDER! You need to go UNDER, not OVER.” She was kind enough, but it just wasn’t clicking. I started to get frustrated with myself. I normally take things like this in stride...

Keep Reading

My Kids Don’t Like to Read, but They Do Love to Learn

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two children reading with each other, color photo

I fell in love with books during a war while my kids lost interest in reading during COVID. Between 1975 and 1990 during the Civil War in Lebanon, my mom, an avid reader, was determined to make me one despite many odds. Once every few weeks, starting when I was about 10, she and I would make the half-hour trek by foot from our apartment in Beirut to a place we called the “book cave.” It was a nondescript space—about 15 by 20 square feet—tucked in the basement of a dilapidated building. Inside, it housed hundreds of books in various...

Keep Reading

Dear Teachers, Thank You Will Never Be Enough

In: Kids, Living
Kids hugging teacher

Growing up a teacher’s daughter has given me a lifetime of appreciation for educators. Of course, it’s true; I may be biased. I’ve been fortunate to have learned and been guided by many outstanding teachers, including my mother and grandmother, who passed those legacy skills onto my daughter, who strongly feels teaching is her calling. But if you’ve had your eyes and ears open in recent years, you, too, probably feel deep gratitude for the angels among us who work in the school system. So, as the school year ends, and on behalf of parents, grandparents, and anyone who loves...

Keep Reading

Before You, Boy, I Never Knew

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three boys playing in creek, color photo

Before you, boy, I never knew that little boys could get so dirty. Play so rough. Climb so high. Assess your risks. Make me hold my breath. Messes everywhere.   Before you, boy, I never knew how much my lap will make room for you. My arms will stretch to swallow you up in endless hugs and just hold you close. And love you to the moon and back. And back again. Snuggling and snuggling.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything Before you, boy, I never knew that there would be so much wrestling. And superheroes, and far-off...

Keep Reading

It Hurts Seeing My Kid as a B-List Friend

In: Friendship, Kids, Teen
Teen girl sitting alone on a dock

Kids everywhere are celebrating, or will be celebrating soon. They will be playing outside, enjoying warm summer days, bike rides with friends, and maybe even sleepovers. It’s summer—it’s fun, right? Sure, it is. And sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it isn’t fun for the kids you least expect it from. We have that issue, and I knew it was building for the past few weeks with our teenage daughter. She was moody (moodier than normal). Short tempered. Obviously frustrated, but not ready to talk about it. But it was when she came home on the last day of school, in tears,...

Keep Reading

5 Money Tips to Set Your Kids Up for a Strong Financial Future

In: Grown Children, Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Father putting quarters in child's hand

As parents, we want to see our children become independent, but the transition to financial independence has unique challenges. I get it. I have three children of my own, and each of them deals with money differently. The transition can be especially difficult if you are a family that doesn’t talk openly about money. Regardless of whether money has been an open topic in the past, as your high school graduate moves on to the next chapter in their life, it’s important to help them start thinking about their financial future. College tuition, rent, and other expenses can be overwhelming...

Keep Reading

Dear Hunter’s Mom, What I Really Want to Say

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler boy, color photo

Hi, I’m Krystal. I’ve wanted to say that every Tuesday and Thursday when I see you in the preschool hallway. I don’t know why I never say it. It might be because I’m afraid to. Maybe you just want to get the drop-off over with and get out of there. I get it. Hunter is crying . . . hard. People are looking . . . they always look. Your face is flushed, your jacket twisted. You are caught between trying to do what you are supposed to do and what you want to do. I can tell. I know...

Keep Reading

Don’t Tell an Anxious Child to Calm Down—Help Them Do It

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Child sitting against a wall with head in hands

She comes to me with teary eyes, a shaky voice, and stomping feet, “This is dumb! Everything is terrible! I’m never going to school again!” My 13-year-old daughter is prone to drama. It doesn’t take much for her to fly off the handle these days. One minute she’s happily crafting at the table and the next moment her mood has made such a drastic change I have whiplash from it. My first response is to say the easiest—and least helpful—words, “Just calm down.” But I know from my own experience that those words have never helped anyone just calm down....

Keep Reading