That all important question we ask our children…

Parents,
Instead of that all important question you ask your children being “What do you want to be when you grow up?” shouldn’t it be “WHO do you want to be when you grow up?” …changing that one word can change you
r child’s whole perspective on life.

When you ask your child something so life encompassing as to look into their future and really ponder what it might look like and how they grow into it, don’t you think it would be much more important that they focus on their character instead of their career? If all of our children looked into their hearts and thought about WHO they are and all the unique qualities they possess and what they can share with the world, it would serve everyone much more than trying to label themselves as this or that.

Ask your child who they want to be as they grow up and open up that beautiful, curious mind. Start a conversation of discovery and mindful thinking. Help them understand how special they are.

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You are my Sunshine

You are my sunshine, parenting, raising kids, inspiration, children

Why Being a Mom is Enough.

When we had our daughter years ago I made a very tough decision to leave a wonderful job I loved; a very fulfilling creative position with a salary and title I had worked my whole professional life to achieve. Having no idea what motherhood would bring, the decision was tough. Anyone who has made this decision I am very certain can relate. Leave a successful career and change my life completely for something I know nothing about — for some beautiful little being that I have never met? For those of you who have not been in this position I cannot tell you how hard it is. I struggled with guilt for a very long time. My fear of missing the work and creativity of my old life conflicted with all the joy and happiness I was now experiencing as a mother. As priceless and monumental every moment was, I still constantly wondered if I had made the right decision and if I still held the same respect as a mom who ‘did not work.’ In short time gratefulness has relieved every worry I ever had. As time passed and we had two more wonderful children I was finally able to fully embrace the beauty, the importance, and the overwhelming joy and satisfaction that being a mother whose ‘job’ is her children, brings. The last 7 years have been the best, most fulfilling years of my life and each day gets better and better. I think it’s easy in this world where status consists of money, and respect is reflected through our career, to underestimate the importance that being a mother brings. The moments — whether beautiful, chaotic, sleepless, blissful, messy or loving… are all moments to treasure, because being a mom IS enough. It made me so happy to read this article, I felt compelled to share it.
Much love to you Rachel Marie Martin!

Why Being a Mom is Enough.

written by Rachel Marie Martin
* find the full version on her wonderful website Finding Joy, at http://findingjoy.net/why-being-mom-is-enough/

I’m talking about simply being a mom.
I’m talking about getting up in the morning, slapping your face with water, looking in the mirror, sighing, brushing your teeth (maybe), and picking up that toddler and wandering into the kitchen and pouring cereal in bowls, rinsing dishes, kissing the top of their head, and waiting for your coffee to brew.

There isn’t much glamour.
There is you. You giving of yourself. Minute, by minute, by minute, by minute until those hours add up to create a day which adds up to create a week which adds up to create a month which adds up to create years which add up to create a life. A beautiful life filled with ordinary enough mom moments.

Somehow in this mixed up media world of things to do and places to go and dreams to follow the beauty of simply being a mother is completely lost.

Being a mom is enough.
It’s enough, I say.

Sometimes we want to look to those big things and use them as a grade for success. We look at the cool science fair projects where our child got the blue ribbon. But, honestly, we miss the hours of interacting and holding glue sticks and looking up things and laughing side by side. We want the trips to Disney or American Girl Doll and discount the time spent in the backyard. The bar of success and joy and happiness gets pushed so high by culture that the little things, the enough mom moments, are lost.

Do you know what matters?
This.

The other day my 15 year old came to me and told me she missed me. Missed me? I couldn’t believe it. I was a bit incredulous, actually. I told her about the trips to the movies, the trips to the yogurt bar (are those places ever cheap? I mean, seriously, $24 total for four containers of yogurt with a variety of too heavy toppings? End rant.), shopping together, getting Starbucks, and all of that. She looked at me and told me that’s not what she meant. She told me she just wanted me present during the day.

Little things.

Like stopping my crazy busy mom and work agenda to look at the graphic design she made on the computer and really looking at it and trying to appreciate her talents. It’s about me taking thirty minutes to play cards at the table with them and not checking email constantly on my phone. Email can wait thirty minutes. They cannot. It’s in not worrying so much about the laundry and instead just letting that go and being thankful for a family to do laundry for. Just being there. Cooking together. Laughing. Giving of myself in the simple things.

Mom things.

The things that don’t get celebrated on Pinterest that much. They’re the just a mom things that I write about and celebrate. They’re the things that most people probably won’t see.

They don’t see you stand in the bathroom and gather your resolve every morning. They don’t see those of you who mother alone without much support. They don’t see the trips to the car back and forth and back and forth. They don’t see you counting to ten a dozen times before noon. They don’t see you look at the bank account and sigh and try to figure out how to make three meals with what’s left in your pantry. They don’t see you walking into the principals office, doctor’s office, friend’s house and defending your child.

They don’t see bandages placed on knees. Kisses on foreheads at night. Pillows pushed just the right way and blankets tucked to the perfect demands. Laundry folded and folded and folded. Tears that sting your eyes as your keep going. Dinners prepped over the stove. Times of laughter over silly things. Hair brushed and pulled back into pony tails. Prayers over wandering teens. Prayers over little babes. Nights spent sleeping in a chair holding a sick child. Days where the house is a wreck but you’re reading books. The brave smile on your face when you’re weary.

Those things matter.
Those things are the little things that add up and and up and up.
I say those things are enough.

Don’t be weary, dear mother, in trying to keep up with a supermom agenda. There is no supermom, really – that whole supermom who has everything together is just a fallacy. There are real moms. Real, authentic moms who admit that they don’t have it all together but keep on fighting. Scared and tired moms who keep fighting. Moms who are overwhelmed by keeping up with littles all day long. Moms like you and me who sometimes feel lost in a world of outward accomplishments.

A mother isn’t based on external perfection. A mother is the person, the woman, just like you. The woman with little ones in her care that she loves, and sometimes wonders how she loves them because they’re driving her batty, but still she does. She fights, gives, prays, works, and doesn’t give up even when she wants to throw in the towel.

That’s you. Today. Tomorrow. Yesterday.

I say that is enough. 

It is more than enough.

You are amazing.

the magic of childhood

RememberWhen

hands from heaven

ChildrenHandsHeaven

Affirmation #17

Affirmation 17

 

Children need to know how special they are. We are all miracles. Think about how amazing that is. I love trying to help my children understand this — it’s nearly impossible to grasp. Each one of us unique and special in our own ways. Each with a special purpose. Each made in God’s image. The creation of each and every one of us a miracle in itself. Each of us made with similarities, but individually unique. It’s something to think about and appreciate. Such a beautiful part of our life.

Children are our greatest gift.

GreatestGift LR

 

This sweet + lovely image is by Klodjana Dervishi. View all of her beautiful work at http://klog.kdphotos.com

Things we LOVE!

These kids are an inspiration to young children and adults alike. They are part of a contest Sprout sponsored called the ‘Kindest Kid Contest.’ I caught a glimpse of this this morning and it made me so happy. It was so touching to see how beautiful and gracious the power kindness can be at such a young age. All of these are beautiful stories showing how much love these children have in their hearts for others and how much joy they feel by giving of themselves. Such sweet stories. You can see more at : http://www.sproutonline.com/kindness-counts/kindest-kidThingWeLove Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 11.59.08 PM Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 11.59.45 PM Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 11.59.55 PMScreen Shot 2013-11-29 at 12.00.11 AM Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 12.00.04 AM

Affirmation #16

Affirmations 16

 

Think about it — isn’t the laughter of your child one of the most beautiful sounds you’ve ever heard?

 

 

 

Moments

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I think about my time with my children as this long series of moments. There are the crazy and wild moments with laughter or crying, the big moments when something exciting or hard is happening, and there are the little moments–the ones that we barely notice because they are small and quiet.  I love the little moments with my children: the ones that are subtle and fleeting…

All of these seconds, minutes and days eventually amount to a story and then a life.  My favorite thing about being a parent is helping create moments with my children, which ultimately shape their story.  I love the incredible process of watching them become themselves, and the part I get to play in that unfolding.

from What I’ve Learned: Shelby Brakken, Photographer
posted on http://smartmom.co

Why Don’t You?

WhyDontYou7

Affirmation #15

Affirmation 14

Affirmation #14

Affirmation 13

walking in the truth

WalkingTruth

Life is Sweet

Start something that matters.
The inspiration behind Inspiring Kids

Inspiring Kids is something very dear to my heart. This ‘space’ is all about love. I’m not calling it a blog because I think it is so much more. For me, it is hope. It is celebration. It is growth. It is gratitude. It comes from a place deep in my heart. A place of immense love for children. The inspiration for this ‘space’ comes from a book I’m writing and illustrating, entitled Life is Sweet. For such a long time I’ve felt compelled to do something that really matters. Something that might make a difference in a child’s life. I’ve realized that as I’ve started to watch our children grow that what I wish for them runs so much deeper than I originally thought. I’ve realized that there is so much that I want to inspire in them – love, grace, gratitude, confidence, curiosity, mindfulness, spirit, meaning… What I really want to do is speak to their hearts. And not just their hearts, but the hearts of the parents that read this book with them. I so much hope for this book to inspire — for this book to put more love and mindfulness into children’s lives. Life is Sweet is still in process but I wanted to share my progress with you. Creating a book is quite a journey – I hope you will follow with me in it’s creation.

EarlyBookIllustrationsBookIllustrations

 

 

You are a child of God.

ChildofGodIK

Gratitude in Children

Teaching children to be thankful inspires gratitude and caring and helps to build a foundation of love and appreciation that can last a lifetime. It helps them to recognize all the good things that make up their lives and see how they can be grateful for even the little things or things they sometimes take for granted. By learning to be thankful, it will help them to be more sensitive to others feelings and develop empathy and other life long skills. It also helps to develop a greater sense of optimism and happiness. Although expressing real gratitude requires thought and energy, it is something that can be recognized and learned. In our family, for example, we often take turns saying what we are grateful for around the dinner table or during bedtime prayers. It’s wonderful to watch your children really think about the good things in their life, and sometimes, depending on the ages of your children, the answers can be pretty funny!

Other ways you can help to model thankfulness in your children are:
. Model an attitude of gratitude – let your child see you showing gratitude throughout your day.
. Help them create a gratitude journal by keeping a daily account of things they are thankful for.
. Show your children the art of giving by helping a neighbor or a charity that’s dear to you. Our children love to help bake treats for our neighbors or make homemade gifts for grandparents.
. Have them participate in simple chores – this helps them to realize that all things take effort and appreciate the things that are done for them.
. Show your children the joy in giving – show them how much happiness it brings the giver and the receiver.
. Encourage generosity by donating to those less fortunate (this has inspired many thoughtful conversations with my children).
. Have them write thank you notes (if they aren’t yet able to write, they can draw something and you can sign it, or they can dictate the words to you. Just the process of this inspires gratefulness in them.)
. Help them recognize the little things that make life beautiful – the warm sunshine, friends, sunsets, kindness, caring words, each and every day
Any or all of these ideas can help to inspire your children to think about all the wonderful things in their life they can appreciate and how fortunate they are.
What are some of the ways you inspire gratitude in your children?
I would love to hear back from you. Your responses will help to inspire gratefulness in others!