Doing life with a "threenager."

Look at this face. He's a doll! Right? 

So precious. And, as I tell him everyday, I will always love him no matter what. But I gotta say, life hasn't been all toothy grins over here as of late. My compliant, rule-following firstborn is totally a full-fledged threenager.  If you can relate, you prob agree that the so-called "terrible twos" were a breeze in comparison, amiright?!  So it's kind of left my head spinning, wondering how to lovingly shepherd this guy into obedience whilst keeping my patience and sanity. I have found several tools as my disposal, which I will gladly share. Some are serious, some are funny, all have been necessary at one time or another. Enjoy and employ!

  • Books: I'm the type who likes to do a lot of research about stuff I'm dealing with, so as you can imagine, I have an arsenal of parenting books I turn to on the topic when the going gets rough. These are all Christian-based books, because I'm committed to building a biblical foundation for my kids. If you don't deem yourself a Christian, I still recommend these books as the principles can be applied regardless.

The Mission of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson: my favorite of all. Being a mom of littles can be exhausting, exasperating, and make you feel like you live life on repeat. This book helps me remember that each small day adds up to building a little life - and that matters. It stretches me to make the most of my time as a parent, and challenges me to focus on the eternal impact I have for my kids.

Real Moms...Real Jesus, by Jill Savage: a great read to help keep the mundane tasks of motherhood in perspective. 

Out of the Spin Cycle, by Jen Haymaker: for laughs. And inspiration. 

Don't Make Me Count to Three, by Ginger Plowman: a great resource when it comes to discipline. It helps you correct the attitude behind behaviors, not just the actions you are trying to fix.

  • Keep it fun: The more fun you have, the easier it is to be compassionate and understanding, and dole out discipline when needed. Make a habit of having fun together regularly. Having that baseline relationship with your kids really does help them be more receptive to correction. I can really tell when this balance gets out of whack because my little guy will start acting out, and I feel exasperated pretty much constantly. If this is you, mix in a play date together doing something you both enjoy, or just have a good tickle time. Laughing brings you closer!
  • Pray: I seriously could not be a good mom without praying multiple times a day for God to give me extra patience, love, and compassion for my kids. I have also been known to cry in the closet during nap time or the tub after bedtime while asking for those things too. 
  • Don't be afraid to bust out the "mommy juice." Maybe your bev of choice is a hot spot-o-tea. Or maybe it's a crisp glass of chardonnay. Or a Topo Chico and lime. I've been known to have all three lined up at once along the side of the tub before...so do what you gotta do every now and then. 

If there's a healthy coping mechanism I'm missing here, please enlighten me! Us moms, aka #bossladies, need all the support and encouragement we can get!