Sunday, September 21, 2014

The birth story of Maci Lynn

There are two words that best describe the build up to my "big day".

Prodromal Labor.... "Early labor comes on gently and doesn't pick up; Early labor comes... and then goes; Labor comes at night and leaves during the daylight; or labor comes on strong and then stops......and tries to start again, only to stop again. Prodromal labor is when the uterus contracts somewhat frequently, may be strong or mild, contractions usually aren't occurring with regular intervals, but can keep a woman on alert, can keep a woman awake, and certainly can keep everyone wondering when active labor will establish."

They forgot to mention how much it SUCKS.

And so begins my story...

Monday, Sept 8
Regular contractions weren't all that surprising anymore but on this particular day, they were consistently 5-10 minutes apart for about 8 hours straight. They varied and weren't very strong, but never let up. They eventually became 3-5 minutes apart and after multiple hours of this, we headed to the hospital at 1:00am. After being monitored for about 45 minutes, contractions remained 3-5 minutes apart, but never got strong and I remained at 3cm. The floor was very busy this night so they decided to send me home and either labor there for awhile before returning, or allow it to die down. Once we got home and I laid back down, things slowed and eventually just stopped. This was incredibly discouraging and I was exhausted.

Tuesday, Sept 9 - Thursday Sept 11
The rest of that week was pretty calm. I had lots of contractions that seemed to be more intense each day, but they were more spread out and never timeable. Each day I woke up and could just tell that that day was not going to be "the day". I was okay with this as I knew she was better in there than out, but as with anyone, there is a lot of excitement and anxiousness around this time anyways and the contractions were getting so old and tiring. I wasn't sure I would have enough energy once labor finally did arrive.

Friday, Sept 12
This is when the timeable contractions started back up. They would happen for hours and just randomly stop. This continued on and off now until I had her. Saturday, Sept 13 Hours of regular timeable contractions, intensity was increasing but still bearable. Very little appetite. Sunday, Sept 14 Just overall very crampy and sore in my back. Felt pretty miserable all day.

Monday, Sept 15
When it all really seemed to begin. Starting around 2pm, the contractions began. Again. But this time, they hurt and decently bad. Every eight to ten minutes, I was having painful contractions in my back. I've never had bad back labor but I knew this must be what it was like. I spent most of the day laying down, as it seemed to be the only way to relieve the pain. I managed to get dinner and cupcakes made for Trey's birthday and let Tony handle the rest of the evening. By 10pm, the contractions faded away and left me with an aching body and an annoyed feeling. As I got ready for bed, I had some bleeding. I told myself as I laid down that after today I would be surprised if I didn't have a baby by this time tomorrow because it just felt so close and so real. I also decided that if these kind of days continued, I was perfectly okay being induced as I didn't know how long I could continue to feel that way.

Tuesday, Sept 16
I woke up and just knew today wasn't going to be the day. Little did I know.... I had a lot of energy and spent the morning running errands. I felt great. I had a little more bleeding that morning and my back was still aching from the day before but otherwise, I was feeling content and happy just spending the day with Trey. I spent the afternoon laying down and resting since my back was still hurting but I wasn't having distinct contractions. I was achy and sore if I was up doing stuff or moving around so the rest of the evening I laid on the couch. At 10pm we decided to get ready for bed. I stood up and instantly had a back pain again and they became more "timeable". I knew that once I laid down again, they would go away so I didn't worry about it. And I was correct. I laid down about 10:45pm and they instantly went from several minutes apart to 15-20 minutes apart, sometimes more. I fell asleep and woke up to every mild contraction and then fell back asleep. At about midnight, I woke to go to the bathroom. The second I stood up, I had a contraction that almost knocked me to the ground. I went to the bathroom and (TMI!!!) was having diarrhea. I thought maybe the pain was all from the fast food we had for lunch so I went back to bed. A few minutes later I needed to get back to the bathroom and another insane contraction hit the second I stood up. This time I grabbed my phone and headed to the bathroom so I could time them.

It was now 12:40am. This is when things got scary quickly. The first contraction I timed was four minutes apart. The next was three minutes. And the next was a minute and a half. And that is where they stayed, 90 seconds apart and lasting a minute. I had 20-30 seconds between each one and I quickly realized I couldn't move or leave the bathroom. I needed somewhere to lean with each one and I was afraid to leave the bathroom counter. I found myself moaning and if I didn't breathe through them, I struggled......a lot. I tried yelling for Tony, who was still sleeping. He couldn't hear me so I tried to rush to the bed.

 At this point, I had only been timing the contractions for 20 minutes. It was 1am. I told him it hadn't been long enough, that I hadn't been timing them for over an hour. My fear was getting to the hospital and being sent home again or not laboring at home long enough and spending 11-13 hours there like I did with the boys. But I could tell, this wasn't right and we needed to go. Poor Tony woke up having no idea what happened over the past hour so he was understandably confused. He called his brother who was planning to come over anytime during the night if we needed him to stay with the boys. I knew I needed to finish packing our bags but the most I could do was stick the toothbrushes in the bag since I was not about to leave the bathroom counter. I was also pretty sure I was going to throw up so that was another reason to stay right where I was. After Charlie arrived, I heard Tony explaining the situation and boys' morning routine to him and I knew I needed to hurry to the car. I grabbed a towel and trash can and ran down the stairs toward the garage as quickly as I could between contractions. The trash can was in case I got sick and I am not sure what the towel was for but grabbing onto that became the replacement for the bathroom counter.

This is where things get fuzzy. I could barely open my eyes on the drive so I quickly stopped timing the contractions. The last one I timed was at 1:30am (thank you technology for saving this information or else I would have no idea!) so I know I was still in the car, not even half way to the hospital at that point. I remember a truck running a light at 27th and Hwy2 and I considered telling Tony to do the same (but didn't). I also remember looking at the speedometer at some point and Tony was driving 10 over the speed limit. I normally would have yelled at him to slow down but I remember wanting to thank him this time. I asked Tony to call my mom, who had planned on being in the delivery room with us. (She had an hour drive.) As we got close to the hospital, I told him there was no way I could make it walking from the parking garage to the hospital. I knew he needed to pull right up to the doors and grab a wheelchair so that is what we did. Poor Tony is carrying all of the bags and pillows and everything as well as pushing me. We were barely fitting in the revolving door and if you hit the back of the doors, they stop, as if they are hitting someone. So we were suddenly stuck in the revolving doors. We couldn't move forward any more and it wouldn't move automatically if we were hitting the doors behind us. So I was using my foot to push the door manually and Tony was doing what he could as well. It slowly worked and I was super annoyed as we walked in and a security guard guy was just standing there watching us. (Thanks for the help jerk!) Thank goodness for my towel as I clenched it tightly while we made our way to the elevator and then to the 4th floor. Once we got there they wanted me to sign two papers to admit me. I signed the first and had a contraction before I could sign the second. I must have scared them or something because she said it could wait and they rushed me to a room.

I got to the room and they asked me to get into the gown. I went to the bathroom and had to yell for Tony. I was in so much pain and having so much pressure I couldn't even get undressed. Tony came in and helped me. Once he got me into the bed, he ran down to move the car. During that time, the nurse checked me and I remember hearing her say I was at 9cm! 9CM!?!?!? She yelled for another nurse to come check me to be sure she was right and the second nurse confirmed it. I remember wishing Tony was there and for some reason started feeling nervous that he wasn't going to make it back in time. I knew my mom wasn't going to make it either. She told me that if I wanted an epidural that my window was incredibly small and I needed to decide immediately. I was hoping to not get one anyways so I told them no. Of course, I now know that even if I had wanted one, I wouldn't have gotten it in time. Tony got back and was pretty shocked to hear I was at a 9. I made it through another contraction or two before I insisted I couldn't keep from pushing. The nurses suddenly seemed panicky. They had called for the on call Dr right away after realizing I was at a 9 but he still wasn't there and I couldn't wait. It was an absolute uncontrollable reaction to push. (And so begins the potential TMI so stop reading if you don't want all the gross details lol). In order to stop the pushing, the nurses kept telling me to breathe, "blow the candle" or "feather", "close my legs"....and I was back and forth between half pushing, half blowing. I felt that if I couldn't push, I was going to throw up. They got me a bag and thankfully I never did, but refraining from pushing (or attempting to) was by far the most difficult part of the entire labor. Multiple times I apologized, told them I was trying my best to stop but my body was reacting uncontrollably. I didn't know what to do, how to lay or move....I remember trying to move to my side or find something to grab onto or somewhere to put my feet. Nothing felt right, my body didn't know what it needed to do, I just felt I needed to do something. This quickly turned into "yelling" or moaning. At 2:09am, while trying to avoid pushing but pushing none the less, I had this (explosion!) where my water broke. But it didn't break, it burst. It scared the nurse, just because it was unexpected, so I of course apologized multiple times. (Yes, I apologized that my water broke.) I wasn't opening my eyes very much but the few times I did, I saw the main nurse putting on the gown, preparing to deliver this baby, and I also saw about 15 people standing around watching me or helping me. Apparently it's a "big deal" to deliver a baby without a doctor :) Thankfully he showed up right after my water broke and I was relieved to immediately start pushing. I'll spare the details of how pushing compared with an epidural and without, but to sum it up, I was pretty sure I was pooping rather than pushing out a baby, haha! I was yelling and loudly moaning a lot at this point. Thankfully the nurses were there and reminding me to hold my breath while pushing rather than yelling while pushing. I was also apologizing a lot. Apologizing for yelling and anything else I was doing. I remember asking Tony if he had the camera and saying how sad I was that my mom was missing it. I'm sure I said lots of other random things too. Tony has said he wished he could have recorded me because it was "pretty funny". :) After the next contraction and first set of pushes, I remember asking if I was even doing anything, to which of course everyone said yes! I couldn't figure out where to grab or put my hands. I think the nurse really wanted me to put my feet in the stirrups (she asked me several times) but I really wanted them (whoever it was...nurses? Tony?) to help pull my legs up to my chest. They also finally showed me where I could grab with my hands, which helped me bare down more. With the second push, I could tell she was crowning. I have heard a lot about the "ring of fire" while crowning but I did not feel this at all. I just felt like things were stretching that shouldn't be and I needed to make it stop. I pushed so hard during the previous contraction, that I needed a second to breathe between them but just having her sitting there crowning was an awful feeling. I wanted so bad to stop it, to get her out, but I knew I had to wait for the next contraction. I remember saying I couldn't do this (I was referring to letting her sit there, but I think they thought I meant I couldn't push anymore or finish with the delivery) and I was grabbing in the general area. Because of that, they were asking if I wanted to touch her head and I immediately said no, lol. They told me she had a lot of hair and I wanted to push again. I was also yelling a lot during this time, I'm sure. :) It was the next contraction and set of pushes that were the last. They grabbed her and threw her up onto the blanket they had laid on my chest. She was here!
Maci Lynn Wilbrand
7lbs 9oz 21 inches
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
She arrived at 2:14am. Five minutes after my water broke, five minutes after the doctor arrived, 35 minutes after we arrived at the hospital. I couldn't believe it was over. It all went so fast that I had barely had time to process it. They let me hold her longer than I remember them letting me hold the boys. We were in love, our family was complete.

The next few hours were surreal. My parents showed up at 3:30 prepared for a long night of labor. I'm sure they were shocked when they saw Tony holding this precious baby in his arms. I wanted to surprise them when they arrived. I was supposed to have already been moved to the post-partum floor by the time they arrived, but I had been losing too much blood so they kept me there longer, meaning I didn't have to explain over the phone why I was moving floors to my parents! :) I had a short list of friends and family I intended to text when I was on my way to the hospital, so they could pray and keep in touch during labor. We obviously didn't have time for any of that, so instead they received a birth announcement via text.

I continued to have an usual amount of bleeding accompanied with light headedness so I got a shot to slow it down and was told to stay in bed as much as possible until it all slowed. But other than that, this is BY FAR the best I have ever felt after having a baby. No stitches, no tearing, no swelling or pain, and no cramping! I had energy (despite skipping an entire night of sleep), I was able to get out of bed (yay for no numb legs!!), and I just felt incredibly happy and content. Maybe it was not having an epidural, maybe it was the fast labor, maybe it was knowing that this was my last time going through this. Whatever it was, I feel so happy and blessed and incredibly thankful for this precious little girl and for our perfect little family.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Time Out

Taking time out specifically to bitch. Braxton Hicks are the devil. I would at least like them a little more if it meant they were doing something and were happening in another 4 weeks or so. But 6 weeks away from my due date is not the ideal time to start having them because a) that is a long time to think about having them for, b) they aren't doing anything at this point so they are purely just there to annoy me, and c) they are uncomfortable. Not painful, but uncomfortable enough.

I'm not trying to be the pregnant woman who complains all the time because really it could be worse and I'm really not that uncomfortable the majority of the time. But, this is starting to get annoying...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Catching up!

I could probably start every one of my blog posts with "well it's been way too long". So it's only fitting to start this one the same. I apparently have not written on my blog here since November. That is sad and I have been thinking lately about how much I have to write about.

Here's the quick run down of life since November.

- Tony has celebrated his fifth year anniversary at his company. It's so weird to think that he has been working and out of basketball for that long. It seems like yesterday we were traveling to watch his games, enjoying Devaney on a weekly basis, and thinking about where our future would take us. Now we're living it. He still enjoys his work and the people he works with. He has been blessed in this economy to keep a job he enjoys.

- Eli has celebrated his THIRD birthday! Crazyness. I love this age. Even though I notice the mouthyness more often and the stubborn independence (which I will appreciate once his abilities match his desire to be so independent), it has been amazing to see him grow and learn and become a unique individual. His creativity has grown tremendously and both Tony and I enjoy sitting back watching his mind work as he plays. He has started some pre-school camps this summer (which he LOVES!) and will start going two days a week each week in August. It is so much fun to see him become his own person. His charm and wit is truly precious!

- We're pregnant!!! This is not new news if you know me, since I am 30 weeks tomorrow! Pretty rough first trimester, which is pretty expected I suppose. Around 6 weeks I started bleeding a little. I had myself convinced I was losing the baby and sort of detached myself emotionally from the pregnancy. I was worried that if I loved the baby too much, I might lose it and didn't want to get hurt. I thought if I stay unemotional that it would hurt less. At 6 weeks, I had an ultrasound which revealed a blood clot in my uterus but a perfectly happy and healthy baby. The blood clot is [retty common and not a big deal during the first trimester. Most of the time they disappear on their own and are only a concern if they are still present into the third trimester. I spotted on and off between 6-9 weeks. At 9 weeks I had another ultrasound which showed that the blood clot was gone! Praise God! They did notice that my placenta was low lying so they diagnosed it as "partial placenta previa" but they were convinced that as my uterus expanded, the placenta would move up with it. The dr explained it the best when he said that it's like drawing a dot on a balloon near the mouth. When the balloon is smaller, the dot is still close to the mouth but as it blows up the dot moves further from the mouth. This is what ended up happening with me and by my 12 week ultrasound it appeared to be out of the way and would cause no further problems. I started physically feeling better around 14 weeks and have been continuing to feel great since then!

At 22 weeks we discovered that the little baby growing inside me was a BOY!!! I was (am) soooo excited! I was really hoping to have another little boy. I wanted Eli to have a brother and I love the idea of having a few boys. Growing up with all girls was fun, but it's been a nice change to have a boy in the family. We are completely stuck on names but thankfully we have 10 weeks left to decide.

Unfortunately Eli's nap time is always too short so I will make it a point to actually come back soon and finish the updates! I plan on doing a bunch of posts relating to all of the new baby stuff I've been busy making!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Busy busy busy

So I'm still considering myself to be a new blogger...which means it has not become a habit to me and often gets pushed aside behind the bajillion other things I'm trying to get done in a short amount of time. Life. Is. Busy. Gah. Stresses me out. I've taken on a few too many things lately and a lot of my other pastimes are getting pushed aside. Like reading. I was finalllllly convinced to read the Harry Potter books. I thought the whole wizarding thing was stupid...but then I started reading the books. And I will reluctantly admit that I do love them. A lot. It's been a fun way to relax in the evenings. But, as mentioned, even that has been pushed aside.

So, catching up. Eli got yet another ear infection. So we're getting to the hospital BY 6:30am (yikes!) in a few days to get some tubes. I am anxious to see how much change will occur after the surgery. I have questioned before whether his hearing has been affected from the constant fluid. I don't think he has any type of a speech issue, but he does pronounce some things a little differently...and I wonder if that will be changed as well.

My sister had her third baby this past week as well! I am jealous of her little babies. They always come out looking like perfect little baby dolls. Not a trace of the "newborn look" to them. Our little peanut came out with a giant conehead, squished face, funny color, one eye open one eye shut, purple lips. The kid was absolutely adorable to me, but he also had that "newborn look". But I did change my new nephew's diaper yesterday. It's been a few years since I've even so much as held a newborn. But holy crap, changing his diaper was so foreign to me. His teeny legs and wiggling body. I felt like I had never done that before. But it did make me feel even more excited to think about baby #2! :)

Alright, out of time for today!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My First Date

My husband called me from work today, getting "permission" to play golf this evening with some buddies. While I love his company after having little adult interaction all day, I was still more than happy to let him get out and have some fun with his friends.

So seeing as how I had no plans for the evening, I decided to take my son on our very first "date". While we've had quite a bit more than a little alone time together, I thought it would be fun to take him out for some ice cream, which we hadn't ever done alone. I got my usual cookie dough blizzard and Eli got a vanilla dish with some m&ms on top. It was this simple little moment that made my night.

Lately there have been times where I envy some of my friends or family or even people I don't know, this time of year especially. I was born to be a teacher. Every part of me knows that teaching is what I love, what I am passionate about. And while I realize that I AM still teaching my own child all of these things, there is something different about being in front of a group of kids you really don't know and changing their lives. I think about this these first few days back at school and wonder what I'm missing. New kids, new parents, new co-workers. Creating exciting lesson plans, decorating the room, greeting the smiling kids. The meetings, checking papers, the indescribable feeling of watching a child learn from what you teach. Part of me yearns to know what that is like again. There are parts of teaching that I really miss.

As we sit and begin to eat our ice cream, not even a minute passes before Eli melts my heart. He pushes his ice cream to me and shows me all his m&ms and counts them for me. "One, two, thee, foe, five, sis, seben, eight, nine, ten!" Before each bite, he has to excitedly show me his spoon and tell me what colors of m&ms he is about to eat. This wasn't even close to the first time either of these things has happened, so I wasn't surprised by it in the least. It was more how he does these things that I cannot stop smiling about. He has this funny little way of touching my arm and putting his face really close to mine when he thinks he's telling me something really important. He needs to make sure I'm listening, make sure he has my attention entirely. I cannot tell you the joy that makes me feel. He feels that what he is saying is so important that I absolutely must listen. And I could not agree more. Every tiny thing he does is worth paying attention to. I cannot imagine missing a second of this. The ice cream, the smiles, the laughs, the tickles...I cannot get enough.

The conversations between the two of us will be something I always treasure. I can all but guarantee that if I was working full time, the relationship between us would be quite different. Whatever little part of me misses teaching is almost entirely erased when my son is around. Teachers have an amazingly important job. They teach and train and mold children for the future. But parents have a more important job. They teach values and self-confidence and respect and most important, love. ABC's and colors and numbers can wait, but helping transform my child into a loving human being cannot.

a person who teaches or instructs (

A mother is someone to shelter and guide us,
To love us, whatever we do,
With a warm understanding and infinite patience,
And wonderful gentleness, too.

How often a mother means swift reassurance
In soothing our small, childish fears,
How tenderly mothers watch over their children
And treasure them all through the years!

The heart of a mother is full of forgiveness
For any mistake, big or small,
And generous always in helping her family
Whose needs she has placed above all.

A mother can utter a word of compassion
And make all our cares fall away,
She can brighten a home with the sound of her laughter
And make life delightful and gay.

A mother possesses incredible wisdom
And wonderful insight and skill -
In each human heart is that one special corner
Which only a mother can fill!

- Katherine Nelson Davis

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My son's new trick

So you have your baby, your sweet innocent beautiful little boy, and you think...this child will never do anything wrong. Oh, he is too perfect. Look at how cute he is! (Although...this probably only holds true if it's your first. After that you're not as stupid and naive to believe all these lies you are telling yourself.)

And then it quickly, you almost don't notice. He turns two. And this is where I get 23 months, he will still that sweet and lovable little "baby", although not quite as angelic as he used to be. But then, right as you think "wow this kid's pretty easy" - BAM! Reality (or in my case, my child) slaps you in the face. You put to bed your little son and wake up the next morning to your son + major attitude. There must be some type of switch in them that goes off right at that birthday mark. Although, I've often wondered if my mom or dad have been teaching him for months on ways to get their own form of payback- since I was a naughty kid, they taught him a few tricks here and there so I knew "what it was like". So I'm doubting that's what happened, but that's a pretty awesome idea to keep in mind for my own grandchildren. *makes mental note*

So, here's where I'm going with son has become "the hitter". And it's not just this little swing at me. Nope, it's an all-out intentional smack aimed right at my face! Seriously, what is this?? Where did this come from?? It was this tiny little thing, that has blown up into the main way he tries to deal with his frustration. Let me give you an example. Every day we have somewhere to go. So we do this whole chat during the diaper change and breakfast about what we're doing today. I do this because the poor child thinks every time we leave the house we *must* be going swimming. And instead of breaking his heart every time we don't go swimming (which is more often than not), we just talk about everything ahead of time. So let's say we're walking through the garage and he sees, but of course, his beloved basketballs. "Basketballs mommy, shoot, hoop, mommy!" "Not right now buddy, we're going to the zoo." And I try to get him all excited about the zoo while taking his hand and leading him away from the balls and toward the car that we apparently hate all of the sudden. Next thing I know, he's in all out limp noodle mode. Alright, I'm not playing this game, so I pick him up, and he'll angrily yell "NO, BALLS!" and swing right at the face. I can even hold his hands and he'll continue trying to swing. I mean, this kid does not lose his focus. If his goal is hit mommy, then hitting mommy is what we will do.

So I don't know where I'm going with this, other than to complain I suppose. We're working on all sorts of techniques on how to punish this behavior and also how to stop and prevent it. Time outs have become our new best friend. We aren't too keen on spanking, seeing as how hitting as a punishment for hitting seems a little confusing. We work on "nice touches" and how to use our words ("no thank you mommy") instead of hitting. I've been trying to teach him to breathe a few big breaths when he gets super frustrated. I'll let you know in a few months if we actually find something that sticks!

I love my husband though. I end up in tears about once or twice a month at least over this (yes, I'm overly sensitive and insecure about making sure we're doing this parenting thing "right"). He is always kindly reminding me that parenting is not a sprint. It is a marathon. And even if it seems like what we're doing is having little to no impact on him right now, it will eventually start to have an impact.

And I want everyone (before they picture my child with devil horns sprouting out of his head) to know that about 90% of the day, my son is still that angelic, sweet, perfect little boy that can still "do no wrong". And no matter how bad that 10% is, it cannot erase all of the wonderful, loving, kind, and amazing things he does each day. He is a thankful, loving, ornery, goofy, funny, awesome little man.

And I know this rough spot is one of MANY to come during the course of my parenting career. As each new adventure brings more challenges, I will still continue to pray for God's guidance, strength, courage, and knowledge in dealing with each situation. I'm fairly certain He will be the only way I can get through all of this alive!

So...think you're better at parenting than me? Got some advice? Feel free to comment below!

Winter Promise

Wow, have we been busy lately. I know how overused that saying is. It seems like anyone can say this as an excuse to almost anything, but really...we have been busy! All Winter long I made promise after promise that once the weather got nicer I would spend as little time indoors and at home as possible. I am cherishing these few months where it's incredibly easy to wear your child into a full nights sleep. I've cut back a day of work, so now I work two 3-hour mornings, instead of three. We are taking advantage of the beautiful weather and Summer activities. I can remember the last time we spent an entire morning (wake up until lunch time) at was the last snow day we had in January or February! Ever since then, we've been on the go!

This Summer, we are filling up ours days with as much as possible! From sun up to sun down! Zoo, Children's Museum, Lost in Fun (indoor playground), parks, walking around our outdoor mall, going on walks around the neighborhood, and working out at the ymca fill our every morning. Nap of course quickly follows (thank goodness!). Then we're up to usually go swimming at one of the public pools for a few hours or play outside some more. Even our evenings are full- bike rides, Jazz in June, parks, shooting hoops (the little guy would do this all do if he could), more swimming, special events around town, Friday nights concerts at South Pointe, and of course, the occasional DQ Blizzard run!

I'd say I'm fulfilling my promise to myself. Too bad I can't keep this energy up all year long!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Caught not Taught

Caught Not Taught

The past few weeks our church has been doing a series called “Caught Not Taught.” The emphasis has been on living your life as a model of the Christian faith. It has stressed how important it is to LIVE your faith out, rather than to just PREACH your faith. This seems like such an easy and obvious concept, right? And I was amazed at how when I started applying this “caught not taught” theory to other areas of my life, how much of an “AHA!” moment I had. This is much, much more than just an idea that needs to be applied to Christianity. It’s an entire parenting approach as well.

Think about it. How much in your life did you learn from reading in a book, and how much did you learn from watching someone and/or doing it yourself? I am a kinesthetic learner- I learn best when I do something. It will not stick as well if I just hear it, or see it, or read about it.

And think about where you learned your morals, your values, who you are inside, and what matters the most to you. You learned from those around you, those that are close to you. You saw how they lived and you either took from that and thought “That is awesome, I want to be like that” or you looked at them and saw heartache, depression, or anger from their choices and knew how to avoid those places as well.

As far as parenting, you are your child’s major role model. Never think you are their only role model- but you are certainly the most important! Want to raise kind children? Be kind. Want to raise respectful children? Be respectful! And this goes for spouses too! What you model for your children, will greatly influence the decisions they make. Not on good terms with your own parents? Forgive them. Offer them this sign of peace and love and think about what your children will get from that. What an amazing gift you could give to your child. How can you teach a child to love when you cannot love yourself? So kiss your kids, hug them, appreciate them, spend time with them, truly listen to them, and SHOW them how to love. And let them experience how good it feels to be loved.

It will be hard for anyone, let alone your own child, to take you seriously when you are not following your own advice. If anything drives me crazy in this world, it’s hypocrites. Which is why “preaching” can be useless, and non-verbal situations are when they will learn the most about you.

My favorite sermon touched on forgiveness. This was the part I held onto the most dearly and want to never forget. Ask your child for forgiveness when you need to. If you get angry, it’s okay to say “I am sorry I was so angry. Will you forgive me?” Seriously, how much more humbling can that be? And how incredibly important and eye-opening it will be for your child. Anger is natural, and all kids will see it, but what happens after the anger dissipates is what’s most important. I’ve always heard the saying “It’s not how you fight, it’s how you end the fight that matters.” Every word you say will have a lasting impact on your child- so choose them carefully. And if you do mess up (and you will), it’s important to admit that to them.

Everyone has heard the saying “respect is earned”. The quality of your character as a parent and in your every day life will be noticed by your child. They are always watching. You are not here to be your child’s friend. Your child will have plenty of friends throughout their life- you are their parent. And the best way to help them learn to love is to let them catch you doing it.

Your child is, of course, still a thinking, free-willed human being, who will make his/her own choices in life. They may go a different route than you hoped and they will mess up. But by modeling what’s most important in life as often as possible, you are setting them to be the most successful, quality person that they can be.

So, yes, this entire blog is 100% inspired by my church’s series. Here is a link if you are interested in getting more info: