I never really sit down and THINK about the enormous responsibility it is to raise a child. Beyond actually making sure they are healthy and safe, there are such HUGE responsibilities involved.

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This reminder always slaps me in the face when I need it most. One of my biggest jobs as a mother is to lead by example. I never think about this, in the moment. And then a few days later, when one of my children is replicating something i’ve done, it hits me like a ton of bricks.
Here are a few examples:
Sometimes, not sure if it’s to be funny, or to really make sure he gets it out of his system, Jeff will sneeze obnoxiously loud. I’m talking ACHOOOOOOOO, almost to the point where he’s singing. And i’ll respond with, not ‘God Bless You’, but just simply.’ No.’
This is how both of my children respond to Jeff’s sneezing nowadays. Yes, even my (almost) 2 year old will hear his daddy sneeze and say, No, daddy! No!
It was funny at first, but now it makes me a tiny bit sad. I’m a huge believer in the full, God Bless You, when somebody sneezes. Even if you I don’t know you, I’m blessing you. LEAD BY EXAMPLE.
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During the holidays, while shopping for Operation Christmas Child, we tried to explain to Finley the meaning behind the box and that most of the items are for children who don’t have as much or any.
To this day, no matter what she makes, colors, draws, plays, it’s always, “for somebody that doesn’t have one.” And I mean, ANYTHING. The other day, she pulled 2 tomatoes out of her dinner, stuck them in her pocket and said she was going to save them for somebody that doesn’t have any tomatoes.  LEAD BY EXAMPLE.
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Jeff and Finley have a special bond through Super Mario Bros. At one point in my life, I was a pro at this game. Then at one day, Finley took over my seat and controller. I’m okay with that. She loves to play with her daddy and I love to listen to them plot their next level. Jeff is constantly giving her opportunities to be the ONE to beat the level or go first, or get the bonus. The other night, Finley told Jeff to go first. He said, “that’s ok. you can do it. ” She said, “no daddy, i insist. you go”. And we both shot each other a look because we were so proud of her selflessness. LEAD BY EXAMPLE.
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Landry is much younger so I don’t have conversational examples with him. But he is at the age where he is a parrot. If you stub your toe and yell out a bad word, so will he. If Finley laughs hysterically, so will he. Even if he’s not sure why. And if I’m whiny or irritable, he will be too. Because he’s just learning how to express himself, and he’s just learning from ME.  LEAD BY EXAMPLE.
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The month of January was a very busy month for me. I had a ton of orders and not enough time in the day to fill them. I was stressed and losing my patience. My children were just being children, but I had no time to be both a mom and a businesswoman. The hardest thing about working from home is being able to juggle all of your hats. If you’re in the middle of a project and somebody poops, you have to literally PEEEEEL yourself away so that you can take care of your kiddo. Then you’re back to it, and before you know it, the kids are asking you if they’re ever going to get lunch today. It’s not their fault. They’re just having a normal day, but I am not. I’m 10 times busier than my normal busy day. And now I’m mad that I can’t just get a few minutes to myself to reach my goal.
 Kids can sense pretty much anything, especially frustration and lack of patience. And now it’s no one’s fault but my own. Finley has been having anger issues for the past 2 weeks and I have no doubt in my mind that it’s because she’s feeding off of me. There is good news in all of this though. You always get another chance to redeem yourself with kids. They’re resilient. They’re forgiving. They’re the best.
My orders are done and the only thing on my to do list these days is just to be Mommy. I’m shelling out hugs like I just learned how and I’m building forts like a pro. I want my kids to know that nothing comes before family.
 I have 2 tiny people paying attention to everything I do and say and I have the incredible responsibility of shaping them into awesome humans. I don’t want to ever take that lightly. It’s my job to teach them. To lead by example. To give tomatoes to kids that don’t have any.
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