Filed under: . babies . babies . babies .,baby barden,bardenisms,family,just because,my family — admin at 1:50 am on Thursday, December 7, 2017

Did you know that? Would you expect that?

With me – what you see is what you get – ALMOST always. Very nearly always.

Last week – we went next-door (my in-laws) for the evening. I made dinner and took it over.

Back up a second – it’s been a VERY long time since I blogged – and an even longer time since I WROTE a blog. A post without pictures – even though I have a list of ideas in my notebook. BUT – winter is a slow season for photography – so I have the time.

In September – my father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. He’s had Leukemia since 2004 – but this was different. And he’s getting treatment and fluids and rest and they aren’t globe-trotting like they usually do in the fall – so we are taking December to be next door as much as possible.

SO – Friday night – I took dinner over and brought Fitzy’s homework – his spelling words – so that Bacca could help him study. And when I told Fitzy it was time to study – he told me no. When I told him again – he said NO. And when I told him ONE MORE TIME – the crying and screaming and fit-throwing ensued.

And I was NOT having it – so I tried to “reason” with him – which of course – made things worse. So I took him downstairs.

And I may have yelled at him. And I may have really never yelled at him in front of my in-laws.

Jared gets really really uncomfortable when the kids misbehave at their house. It’s that fear of his – of getting in trouble and not pleasing all the peoples.

Now – we all know that each child is different – right? And according to my mother-in-law – Jared didn’t really ever act up or throw a fit or misbehave like our kids do. However – we also know that comparison is the thief of joy. And comparing kids to each other or to their mom or dad or cousin or uncle – doesn’t do anyone any good. ESPECIALLY the kiddo that we are trying to raise as a confident member of society. So – even if Jared didn’t act this way – our kids do – and they’re not going to magically stop acting up because their dad didn’t. They’re also not going to stop acting up because I told them to. Unless there’s a magical serum out there that I’m missing – I don’t know how to make my kids listen to me all the time – and honestly – even just some of the time.

And here’s the thing – we’re not raising “yes men” – we’re raising independent thinkers – strong men of God – boys who go against the grain of society. SO – we shouldn’t be surprised when they question the things we ask them to do. Unfortunately – kids can’t trust all the people in authority – and I don’t want my kids to do all the things simply because all the people told them to. HOWEVER – I DO want you to have your grandfather read your spelling words when I tell you to.

So – Jared came downstairs to deal with Fitzy because I was clearly getting nowhere and slightly out of control. I’m still trying to figure out what works with this one. And the little one. SO – both of them. And since that night – I’ve been a little more in-tune to their hearts – which is a good thing.

I came back upstairs and my MIL (you remember that I love her and respect her dearly) said something like this to me – you can’t do that. You can’t yell at him like that – I … I just know that you can’t do that. And I think I said – well – I know that you mention spanking and that isn’t an option and doesn’t do anything but escalate the situation for both of us – so … I don’t know. I’m failing at this thing with both of them right now. I don’t know. I just don’t know.

And I went in the dining room to put dinner out – and I turned around and she was standing right there and said – I’m sorry – I guess I shouldn’t have said anything. It’s not my place I guess and I should have just … I don’t know. (Lots of that I don’t know going on all around if you haven’t figured that out) And she cried. And I hugged her and I cried. And I said – look. I know that you’re coming from a place of love and concern and you’re not criticizing me. I know that I’m not supposed to yell. Almost every day I wake up and say – today I am NOT going to yell. I can do this. I really can. And then – I fail. I know that you love me and just care and … I don’t know. So she prayed for me and I prayed for her. About all the things. About how it’s hard right now. Life is just really hard right now.

And Fitzy came upstairs and we sat on the stairs and cried. And I asked him to forgive me for losing my temper and for yelling at him and for being mean. And he forgave me and hugged me and kissed me. And he asked if I would forgive him for yelling and screaming and telling me no and being mean. And I forgave him. And he did his spelling homework with Bacca and we ate food and we laughed and we loved.

And I share this with you – because this is what family CAN be.

And can I tell you – I actually feel … better. Better knowing THAT real and raw moment is out there. And better knowing that my MIL cares enough about me and my babies to say something. As uncomfortable and painful as that might have been. I haven’t been a MIL yet – so I can’t say – but I’m sure it was uncomfortable and painful. BUT – she said it anyway. She took the risk – BECAUSE OF LOVE.

And while I write this – it’s Wednesday night – AND I HAVE NOT YELLED AT MY KIDS SINCE THAT NIGHT. Now – I’ve been firm and a little stern – but I haven’t yelled.

And I’m exhausted.

To back-up again …

A few months ago my sister sent me an article – something about – when my anxiety comes out as rage – or having a rage problem – something. So I texted her back – do you think YOU have a rage issue? And she said – DO YOU think I have a rage issue? Well – no – I don’t. So I got it – point taken. That’s for me. But maybe RAGE is too harsh a word? I was slightly … injured. Not offended – because can a truth offend you? I suppose maybe it can – but I knew there was truth to that article. OUCH. But again – RAGE? Rage is HARSH. So – I was telling my friend Sierra about it – and now – when the kids are being crazy and I might be losing my patience a little – I’ll look at her and say I DON’T HAVE A RAGE ISSUE! DO I? And it helps me to remember that I really do and to bring it down a bit. And I admitted to her – as hard as it was – that my go-to disciplinary tactic is intimidation. That’s painful to admit. But – there it is. And I’m willing to bet that many of you use intimidation as your go-to tactic – or perhaps I’m wrong. I STILL think RAGE is a little harsh – but … there it is.

I once said something about our childhood being fun – and my sister and brother may have said something like – if you think fun is being bossed around by your older sister – then yeah – YOU had fun. I am a recovering perfectionist – almost totally recovered actually. The kids decorated the tree this year and I didn’t move a single thing. Fitzy and Enoch both pick out their own clothes when they want to. I like being in control – I LOVE being in control. I work on this though. I’m always working on this.

So – back to being exhausted.

I run on fast-forward most times. Taking time to “rest” is hard for me. Always moving. Always thinking. I brought a notebook to a friend’s house last week while we watched a show together – not to take notes – but to work on my to-do list – because just sitting down and watching TV – isn’t in my wheelhouse – always multi-tasking. This is NOT the greatest when it comes to parenting. While I am still trying to figure out exactly how to parent these sweet miraculous boys – I do know a few things.

Fitzy does best with time. Time to calm down and think. He says things in anger that he doesn’t mean or even understand most times. BUT – I have my OWN timeline that I want him to adhere to. And when I push that on him – he pushes back and he’s stubborn and I’m stubborn and when I look at myself after those moments – I’m trying to “win” a fight with my small child. Not being a loving and responsible parent – but just focusing on MY feelings of control and intimidation. But- I really don’t WANT my kids to be afraid of me – not even in the least bit. I want to be a safe place for them to run to – ALWAYS. And intimidation certainly does not breed safety.

Enoch does best with slowing down and getting on his level. Instead of saying – do you need to have that toy taken away? do you need to sit by yourself for a little bit? I have been saying – do you need a hug? The first few days he looked at me like I was crazy – and it broke my heart. Because that wasn’t the tactic I normally took. But he said yes. And we hugged and talked and he was able to use his words to tell me what was wrong. A few days ago he looked at me – scooted closer and said – you are a good momma mommy. And I cried. And he asked if it was a happy cry or a sad cry. And today he told me he was proud of me for being a good momma. He really really needs words of encouragement – Fitzy does too – along with Jared – and I’m working on that more – for all of them. It’s always been easier for me to praise the kids – they are kids – they need it. But Jared does too – and that took me a while to get – and sometimes I still miss the mark.

This evening was the first time I raised my voice pretty loud – ENOCH! To get his attention – to stop doing the thing that I have already asked him to do three times. And it hit me – I have to get up and go to him – not yell AT him from another room. And I remembered why I feel so exhausted tonight. It’s been nearly a week of intentional parenting – and it’s … selfless. (And I’m pretty selfish – gross) It’s taking time to pour into their little hearts and souls and lives – it makes me sad that it’s so hard for me. Putting my agenda aside – and listening to their needs and wants and not my own.

We are raising little boys to be mighty oaks for Jesus. And while I know that starts with us – sometimes I don’t really take the severity of that call to heart.

I’ve spent nearly a week really contemplating and purposefully parenting – and it started with my MIL purposefully parenting – me.


Comment by Heather

December 7, 2017 @ 3:28 am

Oh danielle. You’re straight forward honesty is what I admire … I needed this affirmation that I am not the only momma out there aplogizing for yelling, being mean, or loosing it. You have two strapping young men to raise who will admire you for admitting and owning when the Holy Spirit convicts. I am ever so thankful that I have his strength and honest friends (whom I may not see often but who I hold dear to my heart). 5, 3 and 5 mos. is way more than I can handle, and my support group is very small. I lost it today with all 3. I was angry at my baby for crying when that’s all he can do. ❤️

Your streaming consciousness style rocks! Keep writing your story (only spellcheck if you must) it touches hearts and today it reminded me to trust in my God’s strength more than my own.

Blessings, heather

Comment by Jason

December 7, 2017 @ 1:02 pm


This was good. I know it may have been hard to write but it’s every parents battle whether they want to recognize it or not, especially when it comes to children who are learning about themselves with their feelings,
Thank you for bringing light to this, it does start with us as parents while we are raising our kids for Kingdom. Good post sister!

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