Engaged Motherhood

I recently read the post on Babble, 12 Reasons Our Kids Will End Up In Therapy.  You can read the entire post HERE, but essentially it can be summed up with this mantra.

Social media social media social media.

To be honest, I get nervous and twitchy when I read posts like that.  Not because there aren't truths to be heard or wise council that should be heeded.  Rather I am suddenly faced with the hard reality that as much as I hate to acknowledge it, I am/will do things that hurt my precious children.  Try as I might to be the Best-Most-Loving-Always-Patient-Famously-Creative mama, I won't be able to avoid at least a few things that will cause wounds.

I hate this fact.  I want that formula that will guarantee that our family lives happily ever after.  I want the 'No Father/Mother Wounds Allowed' sign to hang proudly over our door.

But the reality is this.  We are all broken people trying to muddle through life.

I am a broken girl, trying to love and serve her husband.
I am a broken mama, trying to teach and treasure my baby.
I am a broken daughter and sister, trying to juggle family relationships.
I am a broken friend, trying to just show up less than 30 minutes late everywhere I go.
I am a broken Jesus-follower, trying to be His reflection each day.

This is why I am thankful for Grace.  Thankful for a God that loves my babies more than I ever could.  Thankful that HE is the one who can love them perfectly.  I am also thankful for people, like the Babble post's writer, who help us see potential pitfalls within our parenting culture today.

All opinions aside, there truly is a potential danger that our world of social media and excessive screen-time will have as our babies grow.  Banning technology though, is not the answer.  I could live on a farm and replace Iphones and blogging with bread making and organic gardening, but still not be engaged.

Instead, I want to manage my time well.  Balancing the priority of relationships with running a handmade business, building an online community through blogging and social media, as well as being a full time wife and mama.

I thought I would share four simple questions I have started to ask myself each day in regards to my relationship with Emmett.  They can also carry over into all my relationships in life.  The way I answer them, is an honest gauge of where my priorities lie.

// Have I taken time to I look him in the eyes and talk today?

// Did he see me spending time with Jesus?

// Did we sit down and read together?

// Did he see me being creative?

These are the things that will have a lasting impact in Emmett and any future children's lives.  These are greater than growing a big blog or selling record numbers of product through Etsy.  I want to shape children that love Jesus and use the gifts and talents He has given them to bless and serve people.  I want to be a mama that gets to the end of my journey of motherhood, knowing I took time to be engaged in the lives of our children.  That they felt valued and treasured as the incredible gift they are.

^^ Squeezing in a last few days at the park ^^
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What ways do you stay engaged in relationships each day?!  I would love to learn from you.

Happy Thursday, friends!


  1. great thoughts! thanks for sharing! love the cute swing pictures! :)

  2. Beautiful post, Nicole.

    I loved it. <3

  3. I love the questions you ask about engaging with your son each day. Those are definitely questions I want to ask myself as a parent someday, and they're similar to the questions I want to ask as a friend. Thank you for this post, Nicole!

  4. what awesome, engaging, authentic, convicting questions!!! i love these. amazing girl! thanks for sharing your heart!!! xx

  5. i am realizing as addilyn is getting to be more engaged and notice what i do that i spend too much time on my phone. i'd hate for her to grow up thinking that is what I do with so much of my time. i am needing to be more mindful with how much time i spend on social media! thanks for sharing this!

  6. you are such a great mom. and so wise. i love you words as you process that post. it is so easy to see the negatives and worry about this world we are living in but you are so right - it is your care, attention, love, and God's grace that is going to help grow up this little one into a man of the Lord.

  7. crap.
    this post made me tear up - dang you female hormones! ;)
    this right here: "But the reality is this. We are all broken people trying to muddle through life."
    gosh yes. I am not married, I do not have children - but I can relate to you on this. we are broken, and my goodness do we need a savior to heal us.
    I love how you worded all of this - you're able to recognize some flaws, but you're also not willing to give up (or in) and you move forward building a better life for yourself, your husband, and your children - and that all comes from the grace of God.
    i'm so thankful to have read this today. <3

  8. This is so so good. And something I am acutely aware of everyday, even when I have my iPhone or Laptop glued to my side. Really working on it. I loved the questions you ask yourself each day. What a great way to be accountable.

  9. Your thoughts are an answer to my prayers! I have a one month old and I've been struggling with how to be present in my daughter's life as she grows but also accomplish things that feed my soul. I've been trying not to feel guilty as I do things without holding her or talking to her, and I think developing a similar list of question check points as yours for myself are the perfect solution!

  10. Those are some good questions. I get so caught up in giving my daughter my attention, that I'm failing to teach her that what Mama does is important too. That my creating, my friendships, my work, its all important, too. This balance is tricky! Any thoughts on that?

  11. I have done something similar with my own personal priorities in times past, even going so far as to make a checklist/calendar with just a very few things that I deem to be most important, if I do nothing else. It helps me not to get swallowed up in the rush of life and get to the end of a week without doing the things that sustain me spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I look forward to doing something similar with our baby girl when she arrives, and these are great points to use!

  12. It is so hard not to get caught up in social media - especially when writing a blog, reading other amazing blogs, (such as yours) taking sweet pictures of our kids to post online, looking at updates...etc. Balance is an illusion. Some days it is easy to keep up with all of it, and some days there just isn't time to get everything done, but I make sure that despite the chaos of everyday life pulling me in 20 directions, I am always engaged with my family. NO TV on weekday afternoons, music at dinnertime which we enjoy as a family, bedtime stories always, and an immeasurable amount of hugs and kisses every day. Love the questions that you ask yourself...I will take note and do the same - just to try my best to stay centered...we're all human and all learning as we go along. You are a great mama - and love your pictures!!

  13. This is so good, friend. Fresh. Loving. "No Father/Mother Wounds HERE" sign... that got me. Grace alone - like you said. God alone can save us and really protect our families. This is a good examination for ME - as I run around trying to "protect" my family... a lot of the time - ON MY OWN. I need to invite God in more... <3

  14. This post is absolutely amazing!!! It definitely gives me a lot to think about as Nate and I are planning on starting our family soon.

  15. I just found your blog and I am in love with your words. I know this makes me sound totally crazy and lacking self-control, but I just read a blog earlier today where the author suggests having your husband change your facebook password (not telling you what it is) and then logging in for you maybe once a day! And I'm going to do it! Ha! Like you said, I think it boils down to managing our time and not feeling the urge to stay so "connected" and having the fear of missing out on something. When in reality, we should be afraid of what we are missing out on in front of us. Following you! -Andrea www.handandtheheart.com

  16. wow. u always offer a different and eye opening view on things! love it! u r right.

  17. You're oh so right that cutting technology is not the answer. Our hearts have to change before the situation will. I struggle with this so much. To the point where my 3 year old, points at my phone, and says "Pocket mommy" when she wants my attention :/ I do my best to set aside morning time for her and work through her nap time since I still haven't figured out how to rise before her in the morning. Afternoons are tough since I'm trying to prep dinner and she wants to play. Since she's older than your Emmett I can encourage her to learn to play on her own, but that involves my teaching her. Which means I still have to be engaged. Things get burned on the stove some times, but we're learning together to balance our preferences and priorities. Thanks for this honest post!