Thursday, June 24, 2010

Real Housewife and Movie Recommendation

I thought it was cute how Teresa, on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, told her party planner that she cooks the meals for her family every day, keeps her house very clean, and takes care of her four children - all without help. It was funny that the party planner was taken aback at that prospect. But, in this day and age, I guess it almost seems abnormal for a woman to do all three of those things.

She did inspire me to go clean my kitchen floor so that it could be extra sparkly clean and pretty right after watching the episode. :)

On another note, I highly recommend a wonderful Christian movie, called Belle and the Beast. I watched it the other day, and I really enjoyed it. Now, granted, the acting is not the best, but the overall story was beautiful and inspiring. It is a Christian version of Beauty and the Beast, and that movie is one of my all time favorite Disney movies. So, I encourage you to check it out.

Have a happy Thursday!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Home by Choice: Review

Home by Choice by Brenda Hunter, Ph.D is an excellent book, full of encouragement to mothers to stay at home with their children. I recommend it highly to any mother or mother-to-be. The main message that I took away from reading this book was that it is mothers who teach their children how to be human. It is by us loving them, nurturing them, forming a secure attachment with them, that allows them to grow into emotionally healthy young people.

I have always known that having a mother at home is important for young children, but I didn't realize just how important. In the book she says,
"The fact remains that babies thrive when they have sensitive, responsive, and consistent mothering. And they fail to develop their full potential when they are deprived of maternal love. They need their mother during their earliest years more than they need toys, socializing with other children, or the material comforts a second income will buy"(64).

This is something that should be engrained in young women before they have children. Imagine if most young ladies fully understood how important being right there at home with their children really was, and made choices to ensure that they would be a stay at home mom. Instead our culture has come to believe that it's ok to be a working mother, even when you do not necessarily have to be one. If at all possible if a woman has young children, she needs to make every effort possible to stay home.

Hunter goes on to write,
"Ironically, while some mothers do not realize just how important they are to their young, subhuman primates are biologically programmed to keep their infants nearby. . . The infants sleep beside their mothers at night and never wander far from their sight by day. They run to their mothers if they become alarmed or afraid. . . Apparently, subhuman primates make good mothers. Not only do they stay close to their infants, but when they discipline their young, rebuffs are always gentle"(76).

Hunter reveals studies that show how mothers become less sensitive in their interactions with their children when they place them in daycare, and the children, in turn, become less affectionate toward their mothers. A study went on to reveal that the more hours a child spent in daycare the less sensitive the mother was in interacting with her child, and the more negative the child was towards her.

This is critical because "the way a mother interacts with her child is an important predictor of later child development- affecting social, cognitive, and linguistic competencies in early and middle childhood." So, a mother has that much influence over how her children turn out! It is not a job for the faint of heart. That is why we as mothers have to pray without cease, and seek after God. We have such an important job, and what mother wants to fail her child?

No one, I would hope. Choose this day to invest in your children's lives. If a woman feels that she must work to help out financially, then working part-time may be the answer. Once a woman becomes a mother, the most important job that she has is loving, nurturing, and training them. What career success can be sweet if your home is falling apart?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Home By Choice

The other day I sat with a group of classmates in class as we discussed completing a group assignment. It was the first day of this summer class, and we ended up talking about what we do, and what program we are completing. One of the ladies said that she was a stay-at-home mother . . . and that she hated it! She said it was the worst job in the world, and she wouldn't recommend any woman doing it. She has a five year old and a two year old, so she said that she won't return to the workforce until her son starts school, but she is literally counting the days until that happens.

Another young woman in the group chimed in, and said, "I know, it's the worst. When I had my son, I couldn't wait to go back to work after being home for 10 weeks." 10 weeks? She said that she hated being at home, and that it is much easier to work, and come home to the children in the evening. Then, you only have to deal with them for a few hours, instead of a whole day.

Sadly, I listened, and I couldn't help but feel a twinge of understanding for what they were saying. How many times have I muttered to myself, "If only I had a job, and had a break from these kids!" Of course, I don't really mean it. 10 minutes later, I am back to feeling blessed to be able to stay at home with them.

The other week I mentioned that I was reading a book, "Home by Choice" by Brenda Hunter, and it was a wonderful read! Wow, did it bring home the importance of staying home with my children.

The main nugget that I received from reading this book was that young children need a mother at home to feel truly secure and safe in their world. That the bonds that are created between a mother and child will affect their future relationships and outlook on life in years to come. Mothers, we have a very important job. Sometimes it can be so demanding that you momentarily feel that a job could blissfully take you away from the responsibilities and demands of parenting.

But, it won't. Tomorrow, I will give a more detailed review of the book, but one of the most thought-provoking chapters from the book deals with violent children.

"Children who feel loved and valued by their parents do not kill. Children who kill do not spring up on the cultural scene overnight. . . it starts in infancy. Whenever parents are neglectful, abusive, or nonresponsive, they will have troubled kids who are angry and out of control by two or three years of age. . . By age five they are often at war with the world." (Hunter 159)

Reading this chapter made me truly realize that investing in my children's lives now is worth the financial strain, worth every stretch of my patience, worth every minute that I nurture, teach, kiss, hug, guide, train, and love on my children.


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