I never was a gymanst

I've been having a trying day. 99% of my frustration is centered around Zeke's new-found obsession with sticking his finger up my nose. Which I CANNOT STAND. I don't know why its such a big deal to me but it seriously drives me NUTTERS. It also leaves me at a complete blank as to what to do about it. It's not a serious enough offense to spank over. Yet I don't want to be taken down to my one year old's level in a sadly equal fight of him lifting his hand and me pushing it back down over and over again.

So I find myself back in the balancing act that is motherhood and realizing all over again that I never was a gymnast...I could never even learn a headstand.

I want to teach Zeke respect for my limits (as well as teach myself respect for my limits, we, as mothers, can only do and handle so much) as well as teach him respect for my body. Yet I don't want to fight over everything, I don't want to curb his curiosity, and I desperately want to be an example of the patience that I daily expect from him.

It seems like a big bag of worms to have been brought up by a baby sticking his fingers up his mommies nose but it's actually a subject I fret over often. Balancing.

Discipline is so much more than a simple set of do and donts and Josh and I more and more are looking around us and realizing that the values we want to instill in our children are no longer reflected in the world around us.

In today's world how do you teach a child respect? Respect for other's and respect for himself? How do you get him to open doors for women, not because they cant but because he should? How do you teach him to listen and to learn from his elders but also to think for himself at all times? How do you teach him to honor tradition but to also know that just because something has always been that way doesn't make it right? How do you teach right?

In a country like ours how do you instill in a small boy that winning isnt everything? That method is worlds more important than outcome and meaning more important than activity? How do you teach him, in a church like today's, to balance the love that Jesus taught with the bile that you so often see and hear coming from Christians? How do you teach him love and forgiveness and yet still teach him strong and steady morals?

How do you teach true Christian morals at all? They don't even seem to exist in the church anymore.

Josh and I so often worry and not only because we arent sure how to balance these lessons with parental patience, forgiveness, love, and fun. We also worry because we know that the best way is to be examples of them ourselves, and we know too well how our own balancing acts sometimes are.

92 comments:

Rachel said...

Kallisti's obession is with my breasts. Sometimes it really drives me insane too, especially when she's busy stretching out the neck of my shirt while she yanks it down with one hand and stuffs the other one down in there to play around. Sometimes she's trying to tweak my nipples, and other times it's just that I need to give her nails a trim so she's scratching me all up.

I decided that if she wants me to hold her, she can't be doing that. So, if she does it, she gets put down (and I usually say something like "owie!"). I let her whine about it for maybe 20-30 seconds, then pick her up and try again. If she does it again, down she goes, maybe for the same amount of time or maybe a little longer.
It doesn't take too long and she gets it, but yeah, it's a bit of a fight.


I really agree with you about trying to teach values like respect and true Christian values in today's society. One of the issues I as a former Christian have with the religion is not the underlying principles, but all of the crap in the church and all of the hatred from a lot of the followers... ugh, especially the fundies. It really tarnishes the image of the religion, which is so unfortunate.

Holly said...

As I was reading through your post I kept saying to myself, set an example. But here is the thing, we can do the best we can and even with that our children will have failures and make mistakes in life whether we like it or not. But as long as we can honestly say we have tried our best and teach them how to handle the failures and shortcomings and learn to recover from the mistakes made, when we send them off into the world as adults we should smile and be confident that they will take what we have taught them and become great Godly people with morals and values who will pass what they have learned from us onto their children.

Jess to the Lo said...

I think every Mom and Dad have to learn the balancing act. I do believe that some are more natural at adapting to the balancing than others, but it's an adjustment to all. Hang in there, it will work out.

I think the best way to instill the Christian beliefs in our children is example and teaching in the home. It is up to us as parents to teach our children our beliefs, we can't rely on any Church or class to do it for us. It is also up to us to teach manners, no matter how hard people try to push it off onto schools and others, it's the parents that have that responsibility. We do the best we can and the Lord takes over and makes it gold.

Jess to the Lo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bluecottonmemory said...

You're doing the right thing--you are thinking about instilling good,moral, Christian values, teaching discipline, and wrestling with all those issues. It's a one day, one step at a time thing. It doesn't happen at once, but it happens. There are too many children in classrooms today who desperately needs moms like you! What you are dealing with inside is what the journey is all about! Have a blessed day! (And no fingers up your nose:)LOL)--Just stopping by from SITS--what a treat!

2 Little Irish Boys said...

Man, I tell you raising children is a tough business. It is hard to know that we are doing the right thing. But, somehow I just have faith that I am doing the right thing and that I have help from above!!
Thanks for stopping by my blog!

g-pa Bill said...

The two of you are wonderful people and parents. Discipline from the heart. Children know when a parent is trying a script. Disciplining from the heart communicates love as much as correction.

Future Mama said...

I have no idea about this stuff because I'm not a parent yet, but I DO know that you two are doing a great job, and that you don't need to worry, your son will grow up so smart and happy because he has you two! :)

BJ_Mama said...

If you are having doubts...go right back to the source: The WORD, and pray, pray, pray. He will light your path!
That's what He's there for! :)

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Parenting is the toughest job in the world but looks to me like you are on the right path if you're concerned about balance and teaching morality and Godly values. As you seek God's guidance, I'm sure he will help you. Love your blog and so glad I found it. I have become a follower through SITS.

Helen McGinn said...

The very fact that you're thinking about it, worrying about it, means you'll do great. x

Tania @ Larger Family Life said...

It's hard but there are a few parents that don't even think about teaching their children respect and morals and good citizenship. I'm sure you'll do fine.

Tania (via SITS)

BunnoGal said...

I completely understand how you feel. I think we all suffer from "mother guilt" sometimes.

MrsM said...

The fact that you worry about it kind of means you don't have to worry about it. You're certainly determined-that's why all the worrying-you will figure out a way that works for you and your family. Though teaching by example is certainly a good start.

WhiteSockGirl said...

I love this article. I think you are just doing awesome.

Have a fab SITs day.

blueviolet said...

We're all human so none of us live a perfect life every day. When we make mistakes, we admit it, our kids see that and learn from it. Even with the inevitable slip-ups, our actions are provide the best example for our kids.

Happy SITS day!

The Rambler said...

I find myself struggling with the balancing of a good life for my daughter.

Excellent post!

Happy SITS day!

GreedyGirl said...

Love the design of your site
www.greedygirlsguide.com checking in to say hi from SITS

The Mumpowers said...

Saying hi from SITS. I loved reading your post. My daughter is 10 months old and I'm worried about some of this myself. It is hard to figure out how to set limits without fighting. It feels a lot better knowing that I'm not the only one wondering.

glenna said...

I've read your post and know it is harder to raise children now than when my children were growing up. Not only do children have even more pressure by peers & TV etc, but so do the parents!

Stay steadfast in your morals and your beliefs.

Remember what your mother told you....."just because everyone else is doing it, doesn't make it right".

If you live by your mother's words....it will spill over to your children. Know that living by those words gets harder and harder every year.

Does that make sense?
Glenna

Astrid said...

I feel that any caring parent goes through what you and your husband are going through. I know I struggle on a daily basis. We have problems teaching our girlies Respect. Each day I try to do better....

Good luck!
Happy SITS day!

Mommys Online Garage Sale said...

Very well said! I don't think what age our children our we as Parent's will ALWAYS have those same fears!

Creative Junkie said...

I don't have any answers, but I do have the same questions.

Sometimes I just hold my breath and hope.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

The fact that you're already thinking about teaching him morals at his age is a good thing, I think! :) He'll grow out of the nose thing...just tell him "no" firmly and keep moving his hand. Teach him "gentle" instead and maybe show him how to touch your cheek or something. :)

Happy SITS Day!

Julie @ Little One-of-a-Kind Design said...

one day and one lesson at a time!

McVal said...

Wow! You just do what you can! Train the child up in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.
You're doing great!

Kirsten said...

I believe your son at such a young age is just curious. One day he sticks his finger up your nose, only because it's a hole...he has no idea it is your nose and inappropriate, so in that situation I would go and get a toy where it is appropriate for him to stick his finger in like a circle and start teaching him shapes etc, etc - see my point?

Happy SITS Day!

Kirsten said...

I believe your son at such a young age is just curious. One day he sticks his finger up your nose, only because it's a hole...he has no idea it is your nose and inappropriate, so in that situation I would go and get a toy where it is appropriate for him to stick his finger in like a circle and start teaching him shapes etc, etc - see my point?

Happy SITS Day!

Sandy Fights Fat and Blogs About Nothing said...

This is a great post--I hope you don't mind respectful input from an unbeliever. That said...

We're not disciplinarians, we practice natural parenting methods--though we far from perfect and our kids (like all children) have their moments. We've taught respect by being respectful. Doing so has led to both of our children respecting us, their peers, younger children, elders and people from all walks of life--children tend to follow what they see their parents doing. Our son opens doors for others because we open doors for others.

Our children love and forgive because they've seen how my husband and I love and forgive one another and we do the same for us and others.

My husband and I are firm believers that parents (I wish I could mean "all" but some aren't) are the best role models for their children...so much so that we home school. They are out and about in the world like other children but just in a different way.

Anyway, have a SITStastic day! As to the finger up the nose thing--a few very stern "no's" along w/taking his finger away and then setting him down may do the trick.

~ Sandy

sandy said...

I believe that you are going to be just fine! Parents that are not worried about how to raise their children respectfully are the ones with the problem. You are already ahead of the game!

Happy SITSday!

Life of a Stepmama said...

I completely understand the frusteration, I do not have a child of my own but have a stepson. When he spends 6 weeks with us for the summer I sometimes feel I am trying to cram a years worth of lessons in 6 weeks. I want him to be all those things, respectful, caring, loving, independent and it is so hard when you do not get to spend 24/7 with him. I have learned its not in my control and I have to hope and pray it all works out in the end and the small things I do will someday have an impact.

Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job and the fact you think about these things sets you apart from a lot of parents who dont care or do not concern themselves with these worries.

Be yourself and teach from the heart. Good luck and congrats on being the FB! Love your blog

Reluctant Housewife said...

Good questions, all. The fact that you`re asking them indicates that you`re doing a great job as a mom.

Lani said...

I struggle with these same things every day.. my kids are still really young but I know they are going to push me to the limits of sanity and I can only hope that I come out of it and still be articulate enough to write a post like this one:)

a H.I.T. said...

Husby and I are in the throes of trying to conceive, but we've asked ourselves this same question time and time again. We were both raised with such great morals, but we look at the youth of today and wonder what went wrong? Can we raise our kids with the same standards we hold dear or will they have a hard time at school because of it?

In today's narcissistic society, it's hard to teach children the value of do unto others, but hopefully, with a careful eye, it just might work.

Stephanie said...

I felt as if your post hit the nail on the head when it comes to raising children with good morals and values. I used it as a jumping off point and reference to my own post based on a conversation with a few friends of mine, I hope you don't mind.
http://the-great-abyss.blogspot.com/2009/08/growing-up-today.html

Jamie said...

I'm with ya girl! Sense my son has been able to walk we have had him hold doors for people, carry groceries and allow ladies first. He's not perfect at it but more times than not he is more than eager to help, simple because he always had. Our little mantra is "We are raising a prince in a world of toads"
My husband and I just started reading and implementing a book called "to train up a child" (check out my blog for more details of my mommyhood experiences) It is by a good christian couple and their outlook is that we want to train our children to do what is right now matter who is around because they know it is right. Which is the opposite of a lot of kiddos today that do right only when their parents are around 'cause no one else can tell them what to do.
I will be praying for wisdom, sanity, and strength!

Kerri said...

My son isn't quite 3, and he opens the door for me all the time. At one year, it's tough to explain. But as they get older, you just tell them. We have a door on our pantry, and Jacob rushes to open it for me. He says "please", "thank you" "you're welcome" "excuse me" "May I be excused" and other "antique" saying that used to be common courtesy.

Teach Zeke by example. Be polite andyou'll teach him to be. He'll watch Josh open doors for you, and learn. You'll do great!

Kerri, stopping by from SITS

Wolf said...

visiting from SITS for your day!!

i must admit that this is something i worry about often myself. i'm not a parent yet, but i work in schools and i see the way soooo many children act today. it is scary. it is scary how the parents and even teachers enable the children. i often tell my hubby that i want to homeschool because i am scared of what is out there. it is so different from when i grew up and i don't want my children to be around it. i wonder if my parents felt the same way? i guess in the end we do the best we can. and if we truly care about how our children turn out, we will do ok.

Robin said...

The best teacher is example.

jori-o said...

Brilliant post! I mean, what parent doesn't contemplate these things? And to think all these deep thoughts came from a finger up a nose! =)

Michelle said...

The fact that you are thinking in these right ways is the important first step.

It gets easier...it DOES.

Teaching children obedience and respect gets easier. We teach our children to say yes ma'am and ma'am? when being called. We teach them to say Mrs. Green and Ms. Jenny.

Little things make a big difference.

And I think it's so important to teach our sons to be gentlemen. I'm glad you do too! So many people don't even think about it.

Cher said...

I don't have any advice to add that hasn't already been said. I second all theirs. :) Happy SITS day!!

Strange Mamma said...

Sorry, I know it's terrible to laugh at someone else's misfortune, but I'm just able to picture the shear joy on any given toddler's face as he tries successfully or not to stick a finger up mommy's nose. For my Little Man, too often, it's eyeballs. Which means I have to be very careful when he's being introduced to potential new friends as it's not just mommy's eyeballs that he's fascinated with.

That being said, it's nice to hear a mom's contemplation about the the deeper issues and not just whinging about an errant toddler.

Way to be featured, Sitsta.

Sandy Fights Fat and Blogs About Nothing said...

Jamie wrote: "My husband and I just started reading and implementing a book called "to train up a child...."

Just asking, but isn't this the book that has a section about spanking a baby who isn't still for a diaper change and teaches parents how to use PVC pipe for spanking w/out leaving bruises, and other controversial techniques?

The book troubles even many Christian parents, that's why I'm asking.

Mary said...

Unlike our society today which seems to think there are none and anything anybody feels, thinks, or wants to do is okay, you teach your children the moral absolutes - essentially the Ten Commandments. But you must not only teach, you must practice and show them in your own ways and behaviors. Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

Hope you have a wonderful feature day.

Mama Roho said...

Happy SITS Day!!!

I must say my 5 1/2yr old son is obsessed with my boobs and he was never breastfed. Kids will be kids!

Lamonica Epps said...

Very interesting post.

Stopping by from SITS

One Sassy Girl said...

This cracked me up. I'm not a mom (yet) but can totally imagine having a tiny finger shoved up your nose and wanting to lose the plot over it.
I think if you're asking all those questions, you're doing better than you think. It's normal to worry about all this stuff, and I'm sure both my parents did, too. But my sis and I are JUST like them. The good was instilled because they are good. Keep trying and believe me, there IS a lot of good out there.
Great bog - congrats on the SITS feature.

Lisa M said...

Ah The balancing act.. we all have to do it. The question is, what is the right way to do it. I think the answer will be different for each family. What worked for your parents may not work for you. It's trial and error really and as long as you set a good example for your kids, that's really all you can do. They will become their own people, their life experiences will effect their outcomes, but a strong basis learned at home will keep them on the right path.

Happy SITS Day

Crazy in Alaska said...

I'm experiencing some of the same dilemmas over my soon to be teen daughters. Parenting is definitely a learning experience!

Audra said...

Such insight. You're great parents.

Bentley Boutique said...

You're doing a great job and are on the right track. The nose thing will pass. I would probably just keep removing his hand. It really will pass.

Kami said...

Oh I so agree with you. I strive to find balance in teaching my daughter about the love and charity that Jesus taught us to show, and respect for everyone else's right to live how they choose with my disagreement and put-outed-ness with most "Christians" I meet. A lot of times I confess to just coasting through because I don't know where or how to find that balance. But that's not what I want for her.
And she has lately been sticking her fingers up my nose every chance she gets, too. And giggling hysterically!

Red Writing said...

All we can do is live our life as an offering to God in every way--in our work, housekeeping, raising kids, interacting with others--in EVERY WAY and pray for our children. The rest is up to them and God.

You sound like a wonderful mom and Zeke is blessed to have you!

Daphne said...

I'm inclined to go with Amanda @ Serenity Now.. do the gentle approach first. He's still kinda young to really be spanked, IMO...

Happy SITS day !

JaelCustomDesigns said...

Awwww! Hugs, I'm sure your son's fetish with your nose will pass! Lol

Raising children is a big deal in itself, I look at the way my parents raised me and implement things that I saw growing up and I have my own parenting style.

My husband handles most dicipline issues and I'm the nuturer. I never got spanked growing up, so I don't spank my children. It feels wrong to me. I do have other methods of punishment. Take away a video game, time out, no playing outside etc. My husband did get spanked growing up, so he has no problem spanking the children if it is necessary. We have different roles but, we come together on everything, we're a team!

My children know god, we attend church and they go to Sunday School. We pray together, we read the bible. They ask questions. They are well mannered. I get compliments on that all the time. That's the way I was rasied! Say May I have, say please and Thank you! Be considerate of others. I have 2 boys & 2 girls and they will be tought how to be respectable young women & men.

I agree not to let society teach our children anything. It's our role to instill our morals & values into our children not society. It all starts at home! :-)

Marrdy said...

We can only do the best with can do. Prayer helps! And being a good example. My 15 year old son had a project in church when he was about 8 where he said he was going to open doors for me for a month. He accomplished that and to this day opens every door for me or anyone one else!

Elizabeth Patch said...

Patience. He's a baby. As he grows, he will learn. Enjoy his innocent exploration. It will change with time and with your guidance. Laugh!
fingers up the nose is kinda cute...

Rebecca said...

You do the best you do - and I think the most important thing is to spend QUALITY time with your children. By spending time with them, getting to know them, and letting them get to know you - they will learn what is important.

While that won't yield off bad decisions in their future - who among us hasn't made mistakes - but it will give them the tools they need to recover.

Unknown Mami said...

Just be you!

My Household Junk said...

Tough questions and ones I struggle with too. If you find the magic answers, please post them!

Jennifer said...

By example. And it sounds like you are doing exactly that.

Jen said...

I agree, by example. I fretted over the same thing with my (now 14)son. Example and as they get older, lots and lots of frank discussions and talking. Talking, talking talking. It sets in, I swear :)

Joy said...

I think you said it best when you wrote that the best example for him is going to be from the two of you. The rest will sort itself out over time. Just take it day-by-day. :o)

Happy SITS feature day!

The818 said...

You have a great blog here. I love your stories from the trenches - I'm about to have my first baby, and I love what you said about not letting society teach your child, but making sure you're doing it yourself.

Kristina said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog today. Great stories! - Saw you on SITS. Kristina

Michelle said...

The 17 month old I nanny for is in the finger up the nose stage. I think he is just happy he can identify body parts.

Parenting is always like this. A balancing act. I often find myself trying to find the balance of setting limits for my children and implementing apprioriate discipline but not being too strict or fighting about everything. Now that my kids are older sometimes I have to take a step back and realize my expectations of them are too high.

Christian Mommy Writer said...

Happy SITS day!

I can relate to this post. I try to teach my two year old son christian values and I also struggle with the whining thing. I tell him, "No whining." But I don't want him to think that it is not okay to cry.

With prayer and a lot of patience, we will figure out how to navigate on one of the hardest jobs in the world: parenting.

Are You There Mom? said...

Amen Amen Amen! That's what we try to reiterate on our blog (areyoutheremomitsmegod.blogspot.com)we're SO not perfect and we fall so short but we're leaning on Him every day to try to make it! PS- my daughter went through the up my nose phase {so lovely when you're talking to someone of importance and embarrassed beyond belief!} I just stuck mine back up hers (as best I could with my fat fingers and her tiny nostril) until it stopped! Good Luck! :-)

Amandasaurus said...

It's so good to know that there are parents who worry about these things! So many little kids these days are snots and they don't even realize it. "Ladies first" means nothing to them. I blame a severe overdose of political correctness.

Smitten by Britain said...

Enjoy your SITS day!

carma said...

somehow it all works out in the end. My son is 13 and sometimes we marvel that we managed to successfully raise a teenager who is a darn good kid (not that I'm biased ;-)

La Belle Mere UK said...

Sounds like you're doing a grand job. Hang in there.

As for the nose thing - just wrap Duck tape around and around the finger until it is too big to fit up his nose.

Ok, that is why I'm not a mother.

LBM xxx

Susan @thindepenence.com said...

I'm not yet a mom, and it's little things like these that make me wonder, how on top of everything else, you ladies make it through a day :)

Happy SITS day

Sarah said...

I'm worried about teaching my kids the right things too. How well will I do if they see the world around me.

Lisa said...

You are right, it is a constant battle. All we can do is, do the best we can, and pray.

ldsmommyof12 said...

Bringing up children in the world today is difficult. But, you have your Christian values to help you. Thanks for giving me something to think about today.

Sassy Chica said...

Great post...
Regardless of age, children will push buttons to see what they can and can not get a way with.

Leading by example and setting boundaries is a great start!!

Flory said...

I'm the oldest of four and my mom, a single mother, beat us to teach us a lesson. I turned out okay and I don't resent my mother.

Now I have four kids, two from a previous marriage, 21 and 17, and my twins, who are 3. I was tougher with the older ones and now I am more relaxed about disciplining the little ones.

My husband, who only has the twins, gets really upset about that. He's ready to spank about everything. I tell him to choose his battles and don't let the little things bother him.

Great post!

Chanda said...

Lovely post! You sound like a wonderful mother and your son is very lucky to have such caring parents!

Enjoy your SITS day!

firststepforward said...

I believe that pushing buttons is what children do best!! Great post!

Happy SITS day!

Preston said...

The only thing I can tell you is teach by example. Don't say it. Live it. Children will learn more by watching you than anything else.

shortmama said...

You definitely lead by example. You are their most important influence.

Mama Mel said...

I think everyone struggles with this... well at least the ones that actually 'want' to be parents. ;) It is very difficult, but I am glad to see that you are one of the good ones who is "trying". :)

Missy said...

Most all parents struggle with all of those things.

I think the best thing that we can do for our children is to pray. Next, is to be an example and to make sure that they know that God loves them, NO MATTER WHAT.

Little Miss Baker said...

Couldn't make it here yesterday so here I am today :) What an insightful post. It caught my eye as I am a former gymnast. Well written my friend!

Days of Whine & Noses said...

kids are great aren't they?

stopping by from SITS!

The Redhead Riter said...

Find the right church and they will teach morals.

Congrats again on your SITS day.

Robin said...

You just do the best you can, teach him the best you can, and let the world do the rest. Mistakes are only mistakes when you know they are mistakes. You can always strive for better, that's all that you have to do!

The Mom @ Babes in Hairland said...

I've been out of town this week, so I'm trying to play catch up! I hear you on this post! You can only do so much unfortunately. Lead & guide your kids the best you can - from what you know to be right. We've got 3 girls and I worry every day that we aren't "ruining" them! I know that doesn't help with all your questions - but you just do the best you can! Stopping by from SITS to say hi & sorry for missing your FB day!

Jessica said...

You sound like you're doing a great job!! Happy SITS!

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