4 Books That Changed The Way I Parent

Last spring I was knee deep in the trenches with a toddler and a baby. It was a beautiful mess. Emphasis on the messy part. My days of fairy tale play and feedings seemed to run together.

Now, I love this little #MomLife of mine, but sometimes a girl just needs a boost. So I spent one afternoon chatting with a mom of four about the changes that have transpired since baby #2. Because lets face it, every time we add a new member to the family its a huge shift for everyone involved.

In the nearly four years since becoming a mom I had read several blog posts and magazine articles sounding parenthood, but I have never once pick up a book on the subject. Then my friend recommended a book called, “It’s OK Not To Share.” It all started there, with this one book and has taken me down a path of parental growth and understanding.

Now, four books laters, I am a completely different parent.

4 Books That Changed The Way I Parent

1. “It’s OK Not To Share… and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids” By: Heather Schumaker 

If I am being completely honest, the title sounded a bit too “hippy-ish” for my taste and I was more than sure it wouldn’t be a good fit, but I decided to check it out anyway. Now, I cannot stop raving about it to anyone who will listen! Many of the thoughts and sentiments expressed are derived from a preschool with over four decades of experience. Heather describes in great detail everything from the importance of free play, communication, emotions, understanding, creativity, and of course how to share. Honestly, the communication and understanding between adult and child is what blew me away!

(Side note: She has a second book out called, “It’s OK To Go Up The Slide” for the elementary level. I can’t wait to read it!)

2. “Peaceful Parenting, Happy Kids” By: Dr. Laura Markham

My number one take away from this book was that I needed to improve myself in order to improve my children. As parents, sometimes its hard to swallow our own pride and say maybe I am part of the problem. Once I got on board, I learned how to keep my cool in stressful situations. Thus, teaching my children how to communicate those unhappy feelings in a healthy way.

3. “Balanced and Barefoot” By: Angela J. Hanscom 

As parents we understand the value of playing outside, but this books takes it to a whole new level. The author describes the differences between the playgrounds and indoor play spaces of today versus decades ago and how that has affected our children over time. How their core strength and endurance has changed. Why running barefoot is important to your child’s development and so much more!

4. “Raising Your Spirit Child” By: Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

If you have a spirited child I encourage you to get a copy of this book ASAP! My husband and I are currently reading this together and it makes so much sense! Trust me when I say, you will know 5-10 pages in, if this is the book for you! The book talks about all those little quirks that make your spirited child unique. Things like getting dressed, mealtime, bed time, success in school, and much more! The author explains how to work with your child’s energy, intensity, meltdowns, and battles.

As a parent, I have learned it’s not all about my children’s development, but about our growth and development together. This experience is about me, just as much as it is them. As the old saying goes, I need to practice what I preach. 

What are your go-to parenting books?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You



Update : {9 & 10 Months}

This summer has proved to be a busy one baby girl, filled with lots of firsts. And in all that time this post just sat here. Your list of firsts were completed months ago, so I wouldn’t forget anything. Yet this post sat here as we continued on with parties and milestones. Relishing all that life with you, as a family of four has to offer. So without further introduction, here is a look at your 9 & 10 Month milestones.

Photo Cards: Milestone Baby Cards

Monthly Stickers: AppleEyeBabyShop

{Update 9 Months}

  • April 10 – You pulled yourself up to a sit-up position by pulling up on the activity seat.
  • April 13 – You did it! Your FIRST word was MAMA! Yay! I was holding you in my lap and you said it loud and clear!
  • April 15 – Your first snack of Gerber Apple Puffs were a hit!
  • April 20 – Watermelon was a deviously new discovery.
  • April 21 – Pineapple was a funny/sour faced introduction, but that didn’t stop you from chowing down!
  • April 24 – Today was met with several firsts. Eggs and peanut butter were two new delicious  foods added to your platte. It was also your first time in the baby Einstein Jumper. You think it’s ok, but you prefer your freedom. It was a nice sunny day, which also required your first use of both sun screen and sun hat.
  • April 26 – Cucumbers were NOT a welcomed new taste.
  • April 28 – Beef Stroganoff was a delicious new dinner option. You could not get enough!
  • April 29 – You have officially joined our Saturday pancake breakfast! It warms my heart to have us all together for Saturday morning breakfast!
  • April 30 – Who loves Chicken!? This bundle of cuteness!
  • May 1 – I woke up to this little girls voice coming over the monitor saying Mama, while in her crib. Be still my heart! <3
  • May 5 – Italian Beef is a true menu winner!
  • May 6 – Your SECOND word was Dada! Daddy is definitely thrilled, but you prefer to say Mama!

{Update 10 Months}

  • May 7 – Blueberries and homemade fries are a delicious new treat!
  • May 26 – You clapped your hands together for the first time as I was loading you up into the car this morning.
  • May 31 – You went to bed at the same time as big sister. I simply gave you a bottle, burped you, and laid you in the crib. You went right to sleep!
  • June 5 – You pulled yourself up to a standing position for the first time! You pulled yourself up on the bath tub while big sister was talking a bath.
  • June 6 – You little copycat! When we sneeze you mimic us, its beyond cute!

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You



Enlightenment Monday’s : Have Faith And Stay The Course

A day late and a dollar short. Monday is almost over and I am just now sitting down to write out all the feels from last week…

This past week wrapped up my month to be still and to be honest, I am sad it has come to an end. I feel like for the first time in years I have learned so much – about myself as a woman, wife, and mother. I finally feel I have found my path and a renewed sense of spiritual well-being.

Although, I am not sad to see this particular week come to a close. For many reasons, it was by far the most challenging. While this week was filled with obstacles, I feel it offered me the most growth and development.

3 Things I Learned From My Last Week Of Being Still

  1. Having Faith is hard. Beyond hard. There is simply no other way to describe it. It’s so much easier when there are no obstacles, no challenges. I suppose that is the point of faith – learning to “keep the faith” through our struggles. Its a constant work in progress and I am not sure it gets easier with each new challenge, but I think that is how we continue to grow.
  2. My gratitude journal is a necessity. Now that I have one, I realize I can’t live without it. I have to write in it at least a few times a week. It makes me feel centered or more balanced, if that makes sense? Positivity is so much easier keep when you have to think about it and write it down. It gives me a sense of peace.
  3. No matter the challenges, stay the course. Even though this past week has been filled with challenges, I can’t let it side track me. I have goal I want to accomplish for 2017 and I cannot let life get in the way of that. There will always be something else going on, things I cannot always control, but I can’t allow it to stop me from accomplishing my goals.

June was such an inspiring month, despite the trails. Honestly, I feel like I want to keep the momentum going. So that is just what I am going to do! I am going to continue having faith and staying the course. There is nothing better!

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You





The Joys Of A Simple Weekend

Have you ever had one of those really good weekends? I mean really good – full of simple beauty? Well, that was my weekend. It was amazing from start to finish. There was no grant plan. We just made things up as we went along and let the day fold itself into one beautiful memory.

Our weekend morning began as they always do, with chocolate chip pancakes glory. I can hear the all of the kitchen commotion from my bedroom. Cabinets opening and closing, the clanging of pots and pans, and the oldest asking for more chocolate chip as my husband indulges her. The giggles and screeches, as the girls play together while the pancakes are cooking on the griddle.

Our breakfast conversation consisting of giggles and imaginary ideas. My husband chiming in, suggesting we spend the early afternoon at our local grocery store where they were having some outdoor activities for children.

The weather was beautiful. It was a breezy day, full of shine sun. My husband and I took turns holding the baby as our preschooler ran between bounce houses and playing games filled with sugary prizes. It was so lovely just being in the moment, that we stayed much longer than intended.

As the day moved slowly and quietly forward, my husband suggested an evening movie in the next town over. We were in luck. The theater was playing Captain Underpants. My daughter giggled at the title, so I knew it would be a success. Who doesn’t love an early evening filled with popcorn and laughter!?

Have you ever seen the t.v. show Gilmore Girls? Well this theater definitely has a small town, Stars Hollow vibes with it’s cute, eclectically decorated foyer. It’s something to marvel at. A true diamond in the rough.

The movie was followed by dinner at home and a much anticipated walk to the park. I swear my daughter would live at the park if she could. As for me, I enjoy the walk more than the destination. Funny isn’t it!? Especially since I have been trying to focus on enjoying the journey when it comes to my own creative path.

Walks are different. They are my time to just be and enjoy the world around me. We often take the scenic route to the park because I cannot get enough of these glorious summer days… My preschooler has learned to adapt, understanding she will have to wait the extra 10 minutes before the swing set is within reach.

Our little family finally reaching the park. It was a cool summer night and we had the park all to ourselves. As day turned to night, we found ourselves catching fireflies among the crisp, cool air. As we walked home, the anticipation of s’mores and bedtime stories lingered in the air.

Our Sunday seemed to be a sweet repeat of the day before, with a few variations. After breakfast, I got ready and left to help set up a children’s carnival. My husband held down the fort at home – feeding the girls lunch and getting them ready to meet me for some fun. Once again, my girl ran between bounce houses as I talked with some other sweet mamas.

“And though she be but little, she is fierce.” -Shakespeare

It was a fun filled afternoon, but my favorite part – our walk to the park. As we made our way towards the equipment, my daughter shouted with excitement, “kids!” Mostly elementary boys, donned in their stained up baseball uniforms. It didn’t seem to intimidate my girl! I quickly realized I could learn a thing or two from this fearless little girl, who didn’t seem to notice that she stuck out like a sore thumb in her pink, ruffle dress. She ran around, like she owned the place. Not bothered in the least by all the commotion.

Sometimes we really can learn so much from our children and their willingness to forge ahead. My girl never seemed to waver in her confidence to ran about the park as if no one was there.

It’s the joys of a simple weekend, that are blessed with the most beauty and grace. I feel like the Lord always knows when they are most needed and he places them in our path. This weekend is one beautiful memory, starting with chocolate chip pancakes and finishing with fairy tale endings.

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You






Enlightenment Monday’s : Hard Work Is Like Scrubbing A Shower With A Toothbrush

This weeks enlightenment post comes directly to you from my shower. Yep. You heard that correctly. I gained some perspective this week while scrubbing my shower with a toothbrush. If I thought attending a children’s play was a strange way to grow, then this takes the cake!

The month of April is typically met with ants. So I usually let all other rooms slide a bit, while keeping my focus on the kitchen and main bathroom. I find by keeping up with those two areas, it makes the ants almost nonexistent from about June onward.

The downstairs bathroom is one of the things I let slide and since my husband and I are the only ones who use it, its not a big deal. I have always found our tile shower hard to clean. It’s nice, but it definitely had some where and tear even before we moved in. At any rate, I couldn’t remember the last time I gave it a good scrub. So I grabbed the cleaner and an old toothbrush and got to work.

I scrubbed that sucker from top to bottom, for a good hour. It never looked better! Certainly not brand new, but pretty good if I do say so myself!

And you know what I learned in that hour? If you want something, it takes a lot of hard work. Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? But it’s more than that. During my time scrubbing the shower, I gained perspective on the definition of hard work.

The definition of hard work is that it looks different to everyone and can take on various forms. For me, that’s growing my blog and accomplishing my 2017 goals. My frustration came at the amount of time that is considered hard work. I have read all of these posts about creating a schedule and devoting so many hours a week to blogging.

Don’t miss understand. I realize to achieve any level of success requires a lot time and effort, but what I was doing was comparing. Comparing myself to others who have already reached their destination, while only seeing a glimpse of their journey.

Comparison is the thief of joy. -Theodore Roosevelt

So, while I was scrubbing my shower I came to the realization that the time I invest in my blog and my goals is enough. So what if its not a set amount of hours week? It may not seem like much to some, but during that time, I put forth a lot of hard work reading and writing.

So the definition of hard work, is that it looks different to everyone. While some may reach their destination more rapidly because of the amount of time they are able to invest, it doesn’t mean that my invest is less than. It just means my journey may take a little longer.

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You