Last week, I gave you a little behind-the-scenes peek at the most popular posts of 2016 – those posts with the highest number of views. That’s one way to look at the juiciest treats the blog has to offer. But today, I’d like to get a little more personal. There are some posts that may not have gotten overwhelming page views but that represent ideas that are important to me, milestones in our homeschool journey, or struggles that are a real part of our daily homeschool life.
Of course, some of the posts that showed up on the “most popular” list are favorites of mine, too. But in this list, I’d like to introduce you to some of the “posts less traveled.” Think of these as a little slice of my heart. I can’t really rank them (would you ask a mother to rank her favorite children?) so I’ll just list them. 🙂
I had the idea for this post stewing in my mind for a long time. I thought and thought about how to write it. I even wrote several drafts. The first few drafts were longer. And they felt preachy and stiff. They didn’t convey what I wanted to communicate: the honest confessions of a real-life struggle, and also the power I’ve found in being the mama I know I can be. This final draft was so short, I almost hesitated to publish it. But it had the “feel” I wanted, and it continues to be one of my favorite posts!
Are there moments in your parenting that you can look back to that were pivotal or influential? Moments that mark a change in the way you thought about your kids or your role as their mom? This post describes one of those moments for me. In fact, the moment described in this post might very well be what eventually lead to the Mama Marriage Counselor series, renewing my focus on parenting as discipleship and relationship fostering rather than the manufacture of “finished” humans.
As I mentioned in the paragraph above, I experienced a dramatic shift in my thinking about parenting. I had a renewed focus on relationships and helping my children to be able to understand their own emotions and self-talk in order to facilitate healthy relationships.
From this perspective, areas of parenting that had previously been puzzling began to make sense. I began to understand more clearly how behaviors were influenced by fears, insecurities, and misunderstandings. Just these simple realizations were so important in equipping me to help the children to interact in loving and healthy ways. This post represents one of the things I learned in the process.
Have you ever struggled with difficult circumstances in your home, and then been ashamed to read about, say, persecution in Syria, or even a friend in your hometown struggling with terminal cancer? Yes, there is something healthy about being reminded that things could be worse. But what about when life still feels hard. What if the “hard” in your life is “only” the toddler, the laundry, the fighting siblings, the bills, and the burnt dinner? Does that still count as hard? And is it OK to need help?
The issue of electronic use seems to be such a polarizing one in the homeschool community. There are those who pride themselves on very little screen time. And there are those who pride themselves on taking advantage of all that technology has to offer to raise tech-savvy offspring. So, who is right? Is digital dangerous, or should we raise electronically free-range kids? This post was the result of a lot of my own thinking, reading and research!
One of my “lightbulb moments” in parenting was realizing how well the things I read in marriage books applied to my parenting of siblings. Siblings and married couples love each other, but they also see the worst in each other. They share possessions and time in the bathroom. And the get front-row seats to each other’s flaws and struggles. That connection helped me to see how wisdom for marriages could also help siblings to learn to approach each other with grace. This is one of those lessons.
I am so glad to have had you as a blog reader in 2016 and look forward to spending 2017 interacting with you further! I’d love to hear more about what you’ve enjoyed or what you’d like to hear more about in the new year!