Relationships are complex at best. Co-parenting relationship with your children’s father can add a whole new level of complexity, emotion, stress and frustration to your life. Everyone’s relationship is different. I know women who have wonderful relationships with their children’s father, so good that it is hard to believe they are divorced! On the other side of the spectrum I’ve known women who literally do not talk to their children’s father at all and have a mediator or go between. Co-parenting relationships take time, patience and respect and are filled with peaks and valleys, but what matters most are the kids. Regardless of the divorce and the relationship afterward, most people agree that they love their kids and their happiness is what is important.
Many of the moms I speak to are completely burned out, not by the responsibilities, the kids, their job, or even finances, but it is their ex! There is so much hurt, anger, bitterness, and baggage that it consumes them. It eats at them day in and day out, so they vent…and vent… and vent. Listen, I get it! Sometimes you just need to let loose, but there comes a point when you have to let go as well. When we spend our energy bad mouthing and complaining about our ex, we are still living as though we are in the relationship! Moving on and creating something new becomes impossible, because of the negativity.
Dare, I say instead of badmouthing, become the peacemaker? No one is expecting that everything will be roses overnight, but do you want to live out the next however many years in a state of anger? Bad mouthing never really makes you feel better, it leaves a residue that sticks to you. Badmouthing pricks at your spirit, and convicts you. You know in your heart that God doesn’t want us to tear one another to pieces with our words. It is especially damaging if it is done in front of the kids. The longer you bad mouth the more exhausting it becomes because negativity is poisonous and zaps our energy and our light as Christians.
Divorce is heartbreaking, whether you both agree to it or not, so if you can work at creating something new for the sake of your family, why not do it? Our kids watch us and giving them an example that is rooted in respect will have a big impact, but so does badmouthing. Galatians 5:15 says, “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” The enemy wants us to take a tough situation and make it worse by keeping us biting at one another until there is nothing left. Don’t allow it to happen.
I don’t know your ex or your circumstances and I’m not making light of any situation. There are some cases where an ex boyfriend or husband are physically abusive and dangerous and in those cases there is usually no relationship for reasons of physical and emotional safety. But, if that is not the case, coming to a place where you stop the badmouthing and start recreating the narrative will only be better for you and everyone involved. My number one way to do this is to pray! Ask God to bring you to a place of peace, ask him to heal the hurt, to bring the co-parenting relationship to a place of respect.
I can’t wait for you to dig deeper into this tip in my upcoming e-book, “15 Tips to Avoid Single Mom Burnout.”
I am so incredibly encouraged by our courageous youth! Our kids are so willing to learn, love and change the world and it makes my heart so happy! In my Sunday school class, we’ve been discussing ways to serve, share God’s word and encourage others. I’ve been thinking about doing a project that was meaningful and would help our kids share their faith. I threw a few ideas out last Sunday, and the one they seemed to be super excited about was writing our missionaries to encourage them in their work for God. After further brainstorming, I thought why not connect my kids with the kids living where our missionaries are teaching and create a Pen Pal project! After speaking with contact for missionaries at church who put me in contact with our missionary in Albania it is going to happen!
I can’t wait to see their faces tomorrow when they find out they are going to be Pen Pals with children in Albania! I believe this is going to be a great way for our kids to connect globally with other children. My goal is for them to understand that there are no limits, boundaries, or walls when it comes to sharing their faith! Words have the power to connect, to encourage and to change people and the younger our kids know this and put it into practice the better! If you think a pen pal ministry is something the kids in your church or school would enjoy, free to download this Quick Pen Pal Tip Guide!
I loved deep diving into scripture and I’m teaching my Sunday school students how to deconstruct a verse so that they can get a deeper meaning and apply it to their life. So, I’ll be sharing these handouts I’ve created for my students with you! Feel free to share them with your kids or with anyone who may benefit from them!
I have stepped outside my comfort zone and am teaching Sunday School! I have the pleasure of teaching the sweetest 4th and 5th graders. Can I tell you how much I love this age! I was completely nervous, but I am surprisingly loving this new endeavor! I told the kids I have three goals for this class.
- Learn about God
- Take what they learn and apply to their life outside of the church
- Have fun!
I’ve been praying about how I can teach these kids to start on their own independent faith walk. One of those ways is through journaling, so I bought each of them a journal, which I am so excited to hand out tomorrow. I also want to teach them how to dive deeply into the scriptures through what I call sticky words. These are those keywords in each verse that if we examine closer brings us deeper into the word of God and its meaning. I wanted to share a couple of PDFs that I’m giving the kids tomorrow. Feel free to share them with your kiddos!
Just a favor, please keep me in prayer as I try to step into this new role of Sunday school teacher!
Memorial Day weekend doesn’t have to be spent on the road if you live in DC metro area. There are some fun activities going on in your own backyard. Have a staycation and spend more time with the kids and less time on the road. Here are 10 Ideas to have fun with the kids this holiday weekend.
- Jazz in the Garden at the National Art Gallery: Enjoy live music from 5-8:30 pm. Spread a blanket, get some yummy food from the cafe and hang out with the kiddos for FREE. This is one of my favorite things to do in the summer!
- PBS National Memorial Day Concert: This weekend is meant to honor our men and women who sacrifice their lives. This FREE concert on the west lawn at the US Capitol on Sunday, from 8-9:30 PM.
- Free Outdoor Movies: Check out the complete lineup for 2017 for DC/MD/VA and lay out under the stars.
- Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly & Caterpillar Exhibit:We’ve visited this exhibit several times and it’s magical! Visit Brookeside Gardens at 1500 Glenallen in Avenue in Wheaton MD from 10-4 pm. $8 ages 13+; $5 ages 3-12; Free ages 0-2.
- Hometown Holidays in Rockville: Enjoy this 3 Day FREE Festival with 7 stages, entertainers, kid’s rides, teen activities, VisArts Fine Arts, and a parade in Rockville Town Center.
- Strawberry Picking at Butlers Orchard: My absolute favorite place to pick strawberries is open from 10-6 pm. Strawberries are $2.79 a pound. They are delicious!
- Viva Vienna Festival: FREE Festival with food, games, entertainment, amusement rides and vendors. Saturday-Sunday from 10am-10 pm and Sunday from 10 am-6pm.
- Delaplane Stawberry Festival: A fun 2 days of everything strawberries, games, music, and vendors on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am-5 pm. Advance tickets are $20 per car. This would be a great activity to split with friends.
- National Memorial Day Parade in DC: The annual parade starts at 2 pm. Get there early so you can get a good spot and visit the many free museums after that are open.
- Hangout at Georgetown Harbor: Get a tasty cupcake at Georgetown Cupcakes, if you’re a cat lover visit Crumbs & Whiskers where you can grab a coffee and even adopt a kitten, or just walk along the harbor!
Enjoy! Go out and make some memories!