If you were a fly on the wall at my house, you'd be sure to hear your share of fussing, complaining and whining. Maybe even a slammed door or two.

But enough about me.

In the pressure cooker that's parenting, I have exploded more than once. And it's harder to clean up than spaghetti night with a toddler.

So after years spent indulging in fruitless self-flogging, I finally let go of my obsession with getting it all 'just right.' I confess...I'm not a perfect parent.

Whew. That felt good.

Now, when my son saunters in with his 42nd tardy of the school year, I let it go. When I hear myself hollering "Whatever!" at my teenage daughter, I move on.

Having it all together is overrated anyway.

And I've determined not to waste God's grace. I'll never get it just right. You won't, either. So read on, sister. If you see a little of yourself in me, I hope it helps to know that you're not alone. Nope. If you're a mom, face it. You're never, ever alone.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Prepare for "The Pig" ... or be forced to live like one

It had pulled me into the slop before I knew what hit me.

One day I was meeting deadlines, doing laundry, cooking meals, spreading my usual doses of familial joy and happiness. The next I was a sad, irritable shell of a woman unable to muster the mental or physical energy to spell the word deadline – let alone type it. Joy and happiness? A distant memory.

And it was all because of “The Pig.”

Yep, like an unwanted and unplanned houseguest, Swine Flu -- that barnyard pest – took up residence in my body and found me woefully unprepared for its messy extended visit.

Dishes piled up, dust settled, laundry languished. Swine Flu plays dirty.

So, in the name of helping parentkind (especially you moms out there), I am suggesting you learn from my plight and develop a Swine Flu Preparedness Plan. While my experience is all too fresh in my memory, I thought I’d give you some suggestions before your trip to the farm:

* Purchase Paper Products. I have a great family. They’re just not much on dishwashing. After three days in a swine flu stupor, I emerged to find a monumental dining disaster. I’m talkin’ pig pen. Trust me. A small investment in paper plates, silverware and cups now will reap huge dividends later.

* Stock up on Swiffer. With their extended handles, you can sweep the floor and dust those ceiling fans without ever leaving your swine flu-infected sheets.

* Learn to love laundry. It’s my most dreaded task, but let me assure you, I wish I would have tackled it with a bit more diligence this flu season. Had I been caught up, my son might not have been forced to wear the same socks twice or sleep in his underwear.

* Buy Nyquil, Nyquil and more Nyquil. I had it going by IV drip. It was the only thing that produced anything remotely resembling rest.

* Postpone at your own peril. I’m a good work-under-pressure kind of gal. But procrastination becomes a pesky pitfall when you’re suddenly sidelined by the swine.

So there you have it. Scoff if you must, but heed my advice and one day soon when you wake up with that little tickle in the back of your throat, you’ll thank me.

Parents always have to be thinking ahead. In life’s busyness (and I am incredibly overwhelmed at the moment), it’s so easy to focus on the urgent and lose sight of the big picture.

I’ve definitely been guilty of seasons of “fly by the seat of my pants” parenting. When I do that, I leave my kids unprepared to fight off the “viruses” -- in the form of worldly peer and cultural influences – that are always looking to infect their hearts and minds.

We can’t head off all the viruses, but we can do our best to immunize them by exposing them to God’s Word, training them to apply His wisdom to everyday situations, maintaining consistent boundaries and giving them unconditional love. Kids often don’t see the need for this “preparedness plan” -- they sometimes even fight it -- but one day, they’ll thank you.

As a parent, I can never forget that there’s a subtle enemy who’s always looking for a victim. And make no mistake about it: He’s most certainly a pig.

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 (Amplified Bible)


  1. I just love your posts. May the Lord Jesus, keep blessing you and protect you from the pig. That is what the devil is a pig. This money I was playing Spanish Christian music and one song said to smash the head of the devil you need the power of God. We need to be routed in the word of God to obtained that power.

  2. sorry, I mispelled morning on my comment, and I wrote money. lol. that is funny.

  3. ooohhh Melinda...you ended up with the swine flu??? That is not good but I am glad to hear that you are better and that you are well enough to blog. I must admit that I am terribly afraid of getting the swine flu...the media is just placing one fear after another into my pea brain and I find that I am not trusting God.
    You don't sound like it scared you..that give me encouragement!

  4. Oh, no! So sorry you ended up with swine flu! I'm pretty sure that's what we just got over too. Glad you're feeling better...and great post!

  5. Hope u're feeling well now..the flu bug hit me the other week & it made me a tired / cranky & miserable person..u're so right about getting prepared..

  6. OMG! Hope you and the family are doing well now. When momma is sick, the whole house goes to you know what!

  7. I am sorry that you got sick. You have a wonderful blog!

  8. Melinda, you had the pig flu and managed to get your blog written? I am so impressed. AND great ideas for preparing--common things for family in advance. Kind'a like our hurricane stash.

    Okay this is "Pig Preparedness." I love how you brought it in to the scripture and satan.

    Pray the rest of your family stays well. Don't push too hard, recover well.

    God Bless

  9. I have purchased the obligatory paper essentials and plan on stocking the freezer for emergency Stouffer's Lasagna and Chicken and Rice Casserole. My ping pong table is pilled high with clean clothes. I guess it is better than dirty ones.

  10. I'm sorry you had the sick piggy flu! Thanks for the handy advice. :)


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