It’s official Charlie is half a year old! We have a six month old. Thursday was her half birthday. I really can’t comprehend how this happened. These 6 months have been smiley, exhausting, teaching, grace-filled, and an absolute memory making jackpot.
Over these last 6 months we have been learning and growing and coming together as a family. The fact is WAY too much has happened for me to scratch the surface, so instead I want to focus on the best parenting advice that we have been given.
We have the great examples of our own parents, the support of our peers, and the Bible to guide us as we learn to parent and raise Charlie. She is not terrible two-year-old, a threenager, or even an actual teenager yet (it will be sooner than we know!); however, now is when we start laying the foundation for the road we are headed down as parents.
As we lay this foundation here are the four key tid bits that float around in my head and guide my daily decisions with Charlie:
“A lot of things can wait while you’re holding your kids.”
“The days are long, but the years are short.”
“Just be kind to one another.” (That one is actually some marriage advice that we were given, but I think that it definitely applies to parenting).
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lam 3:22-23
What this all boils down to is priorities. These last 6 months Charlie doesn’t know it, but she has been transforming our priorities. Our aim is to have God first followed by family and then everything else. That means when Charlie is napping, I do my devotions before I do the laundry. When she’s awake, I play with her, focus on making her day great before I focus on making mine great. If she and I get the house all clean and Izzy’s fur tumbleweeds vacuumed up that’s an A++ for us, but if all we do is snuggle because she’s having an off day, well that’s an A++ too.
No matter my mood or her mood God gives me a fresh dose of mercy and grace every day to help me be the best mom I can be that day. Good day or bad day – I try my best to treasure them because the days can be long but the years are short. When none of us got much sleep and when we are all well rested, we focus on being kind to each other and to Charlie. Kindness makes the good days sweeter and redeems the hard days. Just remember – it’s easier to clean up spilled milk than repair hurt feelings.
I do not follow these pillars perfectly. Some days I see chores undone and feel I failed. Other days I sit back and think it doesn’t matter if the dish washer was unloaded, if dinner was only 2 stars, and the laundry wasn’t folded because I focused on my family and on loving them like Jesus would.
I love watching Charlie learn and grow, and I am learning and growing right beside her.