It’s a Wonderful Life- in the Storm and in the Haven

March 20, 2015 by sweetexpectationsbabyplanner

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:1-5

After a season of what felt like blind and sometimes senseless trust in the Lord as our family saw many unanswered prayers and disappointments, God has given us so much more than we deserve in a matter of weeks!

In my last post at the end of 2014, I felt emptied and exhausted with lots of questions for the Lord. What was He doing? I knew my requests paled in comparison to the many sufferings of others, but I also knew that God cares for each of us and had given my husband and me specific promises that we longed to see fulfilled for His glory. I still had a mustard seed of faith left, though, and as Jesus tells us in His word, that is enough.

The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you! ” Luke 17:6

On Christmas Eve, my husband and I watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the first time. That’s right- neither of us had ever seen it. That alone seems crazy in itself! We were both in tears as we related to George Bailey and his family- (mirroring ours with 2 little boys and 2 little girls), and friends who surrounded them with love, support, and generosity when they needed it most.

In a time of God teaching us so much about Him, ourselves, and growing in faith, He has shown us so much love through His servants- our friends, family, and church who stood in the gap for us when we couldn’t believe for ourselves. Through their prayers, encouragement, and generosity, we never felt alone.  How I hope that I am doing the same for others!

On January 28th, my husband was offered a wonderful job WHILE we were moving into a home that is just perfect for our family. Exactly four weeks later, Baby Haven was born- a little girl who had been promised to us in many ways.

The timing of the pregnancy was surprising to us, and quite honestly, I was fearful. But we are instructed in God’s Word to praise Him through our fears and He has taught me how to do that these past few years.

“I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34: 1-4

Have you ever heard the expression, “I know the Lord won’t give me more than I can handle, I just wish He didn’t trust me so much” ? As I look behind me at all I have learned and in my arms at what I feared, oh am I thankful that He trusts me so much.


“They were glad when it grew calm and he guided them to their desired haven.”

Psalm 107:30

What Is God Doing?

December 12, 2014 by sweetexpectationsbabyplanner

“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Luke 1:45

Do you ever feel as if you are not quite sure what God is doing with your life- how He is using you, leading you- if you are moving forward or doing what He wants you to do? When these questions flood over me, I feel overwhelmed with confusion.

I have been in a season, (for a while now), of God emptying me of most of the things that I thought gave me worth- the accolades, the friends, the material possessions- even my pageant winning swimsuit figure has now been expanded for a fourth baby complete with varicose veins. I am very different than I used to be in so many ways. Most of the time, I am thankful that the Lord has stripped away so much of the ugliness that I covered up in my heart by keeping the superficial parts of my life beautiful. However, some days I feel a little lost- I’m not who I used to be so where do I fit in? Where am I going? God, how are you going to use me for your glory if I don’t even know where I belong?

I have been thinking of Mary, the mother of Jesus, so much lately. From the outside, she was poor, unwed, homeless, and unlawfully pregnant. She seemingly had nothing that the world saw as valuable, but the Lord saw her very differently.

“And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings O favored one. The Lord is with you!’” Luke 1:28

And Mary, so full of grace, trust, and wisdom that could only come from the Holy Spirit, believed in her value that was in the Lord so much, that she could be confident in His plan for her even when everything around her looked as if she had no place, plan, or future.

“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am a servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.’” Luke 1:38

She didn’t need the approval of others, or for everything to come together perfectly in the natural to keep the faith in what God would do for her and with her.

I want to be like Mary.

As mothers, we have a beautiful calling to care for our children and raise them in the knowledge, nurturing, and peace of Christ. God has something unique for each of us to do in this lifetime, as well, and we must keep our hearts and minds so secure in Him that we don’t lose our focus when the things we once counted on are out of focus.

As the world swirls around us in uncertainty, He is the rock that is always certain. He is the One who is always there seeing the beauty of your life that doesn’t get posted on Facebook or celebrated with awards. How much greater is His favor and love than anything else we could receive!

“For He has looked on the humble estate of His servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.” Luke 1:48

Mary believed that the Lord would complete the good work that He started in her. We should too.

Lord, may we be humble. May we find our worth and calling in You. May the future generations of our families call us blessed- not because of our accomplishments, but because of our willingness to serve and follow you as we love and care for our families. Thank you for the example of Mary. Amen.

Sabbath Thanksgiving

November 30, 2014 by sweetexpectationsbabyplanner

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” Psalm 100:4

For Thanksgiving this year, my family did something very unlike us- we rested. We said “no” to the lovely invites to celebrate with large parties and we stayed home to give thanks as just the 5 (and 1/2!) of us.

Now, I know I will remember Thanksgiving 2014  only as it is presented in this picture- smiling faces gathered around a set table:


And that’s okay- most grandparents tell stories about how well-behaved we all were as children and my theory is that they have just blocked out all of the tantrums. But I digress…

The day had its fair share of fighting over who got to hold the mixer, color the placemats, and have the first piece of peanut butter pie. It wasn’t perfect- but then again it kind of was. The fussing, the cooking, the eating and refusing to eat- it was done in our home on a day that we set apart for time together.

Of all of the commandments, I find keeping the Sabbath the most difficult. There is always so much to do and with 5 competing schedules, finding time to rest together can seem like work. However, on our Sabbath Thanksgiving when we firmly committed to keeping the day small and quiet, (or quiet for 3 kids under 6 anyway), I realized why it is so important to the Lord.

I felt closer to Him, to my family, and to my baby in my womb by slowing down. I felt thankful. Our dinner was small and the decorations home made, but the simplicity was what brought tears to my eyes as I looked around the table at the messy mouths, the pilgrim hats, and the spilled macaroni.

My daughter said she was thankful for God and her family.

And I am too.

As we go into this busy holiday season, may we take time to rest in Him, to enjoy the simple joys with our families, and to enter into His courts with Thanksgiving.

Summer Travel With Your Baby

August 1, 2014 by sweetexpectationsbabyplanner

deacon flying

I am preparing a  Traveling with Baby class for expecting baby planner clients. As I was adding to my handouts and going over my notes, I had to laugh as I thought back to my worst flying experience with young children, (worst out of MANY!).

I have flown 7-months-pregnant with a squirmy lap child and toddler when the air-conditioning went out, with newborn blowouts that had to be changed next to grumpy business men, and with a baby who, (it turns out), had a double ear infection and screamed non-stop for 4 1/2 hours.

I have stood up to apologize for the noise, begged for help lugging car seats, and cried to ticketing agents over cancelled flights. It’s not easy- I won’t lie. But I digress-back to WORST flying experience I have had followed by how you can be prepared for your summer travel.

 As my husband got up to use the restroom on a flight, I congratulated myself on a successful red-eye with two little ones as I gazed at my sleeping children. As soon as the thought went through my head, though, my daughter sat up, gave a little whimper and then threw up all over herself, the seat, and me. I literally froze in panic and just started saying over and over, “Will? Come back. Please come back!” As horrible as it was, I happened to be prepared with a full pack of baby wipes, plastic bags for trash, and a clean pair of pj’s. We landed to see the grandparents fresh and fairly happy! (That is until the virus spread to all 8 members of the extended family, but that’s another story…)

 All we can do when traveling with children is be prepared, pray for the best, and not panic when vomit, dirty diapers, and tantrums happen.

 If you are flying this summer with a baby, here are some tips:


  • When flying with an infant in arms, you can check your car seat for no charge with baggage or at the gate. The same is true of your stroller. When going through security, know that you will have to fold your stroller and place it on the belt. With a young baby, it is often easier to check the car seat and stroller with baggage, and just bring him or her in a sling or baby carrier through the airport.
  •   If for some reason, the car seat gets lost, don’t worry- every airport has infant and toddler size for you to use until yours is found.
  •  Always pack more diapers and wipes than you think necessary. Flight delays or cancellations could find you needing more than expected.
  •  Bring at least 2 extra outfits for Baby in your carry-on bag. It doesn’t hurt to bring an extra shirt for yourself, (read vomit story above…).
  •  Milk and mixed formula will have to be tested when going through security if over 3oz., but in a non-evasive way and with you watching, so it is sterile.
  •  To protect Baby’s ears, nurse or bottle-feed during take-off and landing. The sucking helps to keep the ears from stopping up, (and your baby from wailing!).
  •  I love Babyganics All-Surface Wipes for trips. Use them to wipe down the seat belt, arm rests, and tray on the plane to fend off germs.
  •  Babyganics also has a travel size dish soap that is great for bringing to hotels or relatives’ houses to wash bottles, breast pump parts, and pacifiers.
  •  I know it feels terrible to be “the one with the crying baby” on a plane, but it happens. Focus on your baby and trying to sooth him.
  •  Don’t panic! You know what to do.

Faith Journey in Motherhood

May 11, 2014 by sweetexpectationsbabyplanner

Happy Mother’s Day! Whether your are expecting a baby, a mother-in-action, or praying for a child of your own, I hope your day has been blessed and beautiful.

Today I was honored to share my testimony of faith throughout my 6 years of motherhood, and wanted to document it here, as well. My journey has been filled with heartache and joy, struggles and ease; and the Lord has been with me and molding me all the way.

2008 is when it all began. I had never met the housekeeper at my husband’s office, but she was a believer and dreamed that I was pregnant with a daughter. She told my husband that she knew the dream was from the Lord and that she was to tell him. Seeing as I was not pregnant, it was quite a shock! However, exactly 40 days later, I was staring at a positive pregnancy test and we just knew we were having a girl.

Whether through naivety, child-like faith, or a little of both, I had no doubt that my pregnancy and baby girl would be healthy- and both were. My daughter was born at Christmastime in 2008 and we gave her the middle name of Faith.


While pregnant, I felt like I protected her perfectly, especially since I always had her with me. Once she was born the panic rushed over me and I even had nightmares of bad things happening to her. My husband and I became the definition of helicopter parents. Anyone who walked through our door was immediately sanitized, questioned about past illnesses, and stood over while holding our baby!

The fear was crippling and I had to surrender control to the Lord. That was a big step in my faith journey.

My husband’s job was later cut to part time and finances got tight. It was during that time that I was visiting my parents and discovered I was pregnant. I tearfully called my husband- and thank God for him. He told me that the pregnancy was good news, were were blessed by God, and to only cry tears of joy. My heart immediately changed and we dreamed together of our family of four.

One month later, our baby was gone and we were left with broken hearts and a lot of questions for God. I had to take another step of faith in realizing that no matter what, God is always good. He was my comfort and our little lost baby’s.

The Lord blessed us with our first son shortly after our loss and my strengthened faith allowed me to trust that all would go well with the pregnancy- which it did. After he was born, I felt called to earn my Baby Planner certification and to put my faith into how God would equip me to speak into the lives of other parents.


Just after our son’s first birthday, I went to the doctor in fear that I had appendicitis.


“For what? For that…”

The faith steps God had led me on already allowed my to see the sovereignty of this pregnancy and know that He was in control and would provide for our every need. As the world shouted at us that we were irresponsible and would be burdened, the Lord reminded us that we were blessed and highly favored.

Bonus Baby, (as I lovingly refer to my second son), is a living, breathing testimony of my faith and of my God’s faithfulness.


The daily pressures of taking care of three young children has led to my faith that the Lord will grant me the competency I need to do all that I should for these blessings He has given me, (and that I can make it through some days without loosing it!).

He is all you and I need to journey through motherhood and “being confident in this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6.

May you have a blessed and wonderful Mother’s Day!

Taking a Disney Cruise With an Infant- III

May 4, 2014 by sweetexpectationsbabyplanner


As I was researching and preparing for our Disney Cruise, I wanted to know everything I could about sailing with my baby and could not find much information at all from moms. That is why I am going into so much detail for those families who are interested.

Your Stateroom:

Once you are checked into your room, simply call housekeeping or speak with your cabin steward to request a Pack N Play for no extra charge. Ours was brought to our room promptly and set up for us. If you are staying in a Verandah Room, there is plenty of space for your crib. In our Standard Inside Stateroom it was tight. We moved the coffee table to the side of the bed to make more room, but it was a squeeze. Of course, you could easily break down the Pack N Play during the day and store it under the bed, (which we never did-ha!).

-You may want to bring a night light, especially for an inside stateroom since they are so dark.

-Every room has a bath tub. Some also have a separate shower.

-There is coin laundry on every hall! I would have brought a lot fewer clothes with me had I known.

-The drawer space is very limited in standard rooms.

-There is a clothes line over the tub for drying swimsuits.


The buffet dining room and seated dining rooms have high chairs.

I did not see bottles on board, so bring your own along with a travel sized dish soap, (I love BabyGanics foaming), to rinse them out in your stateroom.

There are many baby-friendly foods for solids eaters such as yogurt, mac & cheese, fruits, veggies, soups, and more. If your baby is on purees, bring your own baby food.



There are infant life vests for free use on the activity deck and the infant splash pad was just perfect for our little guy! It is shaded with a slip-free, padded floor. The youngest movers can enjoy playing easily without getting overwhelmed by water or bigger children.


Character Meetings:

Character greetings happen every day in several areas of the ship at a variety of times. Greeting times are posted each day in the newsletter, in the lobby, and on the mobile app. Sometimes the characters even pop into the nursery to play with the babies!

Lines can be quite long, (30 minutes or so), so another fun option is to attend character dance parties on board and at Castaway Cay. Your baby can dance and take in-motion shots with her favorite “celebrity” without waiting in line.

The Sail Away and Pirate Deck Parties also have stage shows with Mickey and Friends.

The musical theatre performances revolve around Disney’s best and are amazing. However, your little one may have a hard time sitting still for almost an hour.

You can always take your own photos, plus there are photographers at each character greeting. You may view your photos and purchase them on board.


Taking a Disney Cruise makes for an incredible vacation with a wonderful balance of family time and adult time. Bonus Baby had a blast and so did we. I knew that we were making memories to last a lifetime the entire trip.

Do you have any questions I didn’t answer? Leave them in the comment section!

Taking a Disney Cruise with an Infant- II

April 24, 2014 by sweetexpectationsbabyplanner


stitch family

This is a continuation of the previous blog post on sailing with an infant. If you are considering a Disney Cruise- it is wonderful! If you are already booked- congrats! It is so much fun and a great balance for young families.


We sailed on the Disney Magic 4-night Bahamas itinerary which docked in Nassau and Castaway Cay. The It’s A Small World Nursery was open while at port! In the Bahamas, your Wave Phone will not work off of the ship, so you would have to keep your cell phone on for emergency contact, (and without an international plan your would be roaming with charges). Keep that in mind with your comfort level leaving your baby on board. My husband and I did check in our baby to have a date at Atlantis, but my father stayed on the ship with the Wave Phone as an emergency contact.

If you want to experience Nassau as a family, I suggest booking a shore excursion through the ship. The ferry boats and taxis available were not ideal for children. There is shopping right outside of the cruise terminal where you could easily stroll your baby. There is a beach in walking distance, but with the lack of sidewalks, it could be iffy with a stroller…

In Castaway Cay, your Wave Phone works all over the island! So you could easily spend some time as a family together and then drop your baby off in the nursery for a bit to relax on the island, ride bikes, or hit the water slide!

Getting on and off the ship is very simple. Adults need photo i.d. and a Key to the World Card, babies need only a Key to the World card. I suggest having your lightweight stroller or Snap-N-Go to roam around ports. (Our baby napped in his in the shade on Castaway Cay). If you want to use just a baby carrier, be aware of how much sun your baby is getting being so exposed.

Castaway Cay had plenty of shady areas and chairs with umbrellas. My little guy loved sitting in the shaded sand playing with sand toys. Unless you want to pay top dollar for them on the island, bring your own! I packed a few and was so glad I did.

-There are also low beach chairs that are nice to take down to the water, and complimentary infant life vests are available to use for the day, which made playing in the water together even easier.

-Towels are also free to use.

-High chairs are available at lunch on the island.

-There are restrooms with changing tables, too.

-Characters even come out during the day to greet the children and have dance parties. It is amazing!

Castaway Cay is so perfectly equipped!

will deacon maddie castaway


To pack for port for Baby:


Swim Diapers


Food/Milk/Formula, if needed (lunch is served on Castaway Cay if your baby eats solids)

Change of clothes

Key to the World Card

Sand Toys


Feel free to leave questions in the comment section for me to answer and check back for more information to come!

deacon castaway

Relax! Castaway Cay makes for the perfect family day!

Taking a Disney Cruise with an Infant

April 17, 2014 by sweetexpectationsbabyplanner



As I mentioned last week, we recently sailed on the Disney Magic and had the BEST family vacation yet. My husband and I took our 3 children ages 5, 2 1/2, and infant. We love Disney and cruising – in fact in our first year of marriage we earned our Equity cards performing in Walt Disney World, and then traveled the world performing on the Celebrity Galaxy. We expected to enjoy a Disney Cruise vacation, but had no idea just how amazing it would be!

The Disney Cruise is fantastic for all ages, (adults included!), but I will be focusing on sailing with an infant. Also, if you are pregnant you may not sail past 26 weeks, so keep that in mind!

Checking in:

I was very impressed by the convenience of the check in process to board the vessel. You may pull your car right up to drop off your luggage, which is tagged to be delivered to your stateroom by evening. Make sure to keep a bag or small suitcase with you containing diapers, change of clothes, etc. in case you don’t have your luggage for a few hours. I also kept swimsuits, toiletries, and a change of clothes for dinner just in case.

If you are parking your car, of course you can leave your car seat in it. However, we flew in and rented a car, so we had to take ours on board. With the infant seat, we found it convenient to just pop it in our Snap-N-Go so that we did not need an extra stroller on board and at port. Then you can just store the base under the bed for the duration of the cruise. (The beds are raised for lots of storage!).

If you are leaving your car seat in your car, I recommend bringing on a small, lightweight stroller. We used it walking around the ship some times and also at Castaway Cay. When not in use, it folded and went under the bed. If you have a baby carrier, bring that along, too. The elevators get busy on the ship, so it was nice to take the stairs when not using the stroller.

ali deacon ducks

When you check in inside the cruise terminal, you will need your infant’s birth certificate. Don’t forget it and don’t misplace it, as you will need it to debark, too. When you pack your carry-on bag, be sure to have all documentation with you.


Children under the age of 3 may stay in the “It’s A Small World Nursery” for $9 per hour. 75 days prior to your cruise, you will be able to reserve 10 hours of nursery time. Definitely do this if you plan to use the childcare! Cruises with lots of little ones book up quickly. As soon as you board the ship, you may tour the nursery and also reserve more hours. Throughout the cruise, you are always welcome to call or drop by to see if space is available. We had a very easy time in doing this, though every cruise differs.

I could not have been happier with the nursery and Bonus Baby loved it! The childcare workers were so kind and capable. They greeted us by name after the first day and it was obvious that they loved being  with the children.

Security is top-notch! Bonus Baby was given a bracelet that stayed on the diaper bag when he was checked in that had to be scanned in and out. My husband’s picture and mine came up on the screen when we scanned our “Key to the World” cards, we had to sign in and out, AND we had to give a secret word each time we picked him up.

Each cabin has two Wave Phones that are free to use. They are just like cell phones where you can call and text others on board! Therefore, the nursery staff can contact you any time. One afternoon, I went to pick up and he was asleep, so they texted me on the Wave Phone when he awoke and I returned to get him.

The nursery has a play area, t.v. area, and then a quiet zone with cribs and gliders. Have a diaper bag with you to leave each time you drop off your baby. You may bring baby food and formula on the ship and the nursery workers will feed on the schedule you give them. If your little one eats solids, you can request that they nursery workers feed your baby lunch or dinner, (that will be delivered from the kitchen), for no additional charge.

The $9 per hour fees will be added to your stateroom bill and charged on the last day of the cruise to your credit card on file.

One night, Stitch paid a visit to see the babies! Apparently my little guy was so happy. I asked if they took any pictures, and was told that photos may not be taken of groups of children for security purposes- another plus for safety!

Bonus Baby was happy to go to the nursery to nap, and I was glad to be able to sit by the pool while he rested instead of in a dark room on vacation.

Feel free to leave any questions in the comments section for me to answer. I will post more soon!

You Can’t Do It All

April 7, 2014 by sweetexpectationsbabyplanner

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34

Pregnancy comes with a long list of “no’s”- foods you shouldn’t eat, activities you shouldn’t perform, and places you shouldn’t go. (In case want to know what you should be saying no to these days, look for the lists at the bottom of this post). As a Certified Baby Planner, a big part of my job is keeping up on the safety guidelines for expecting moms and teaching clients about the risks to avoid during pregnancy. It is important to know your limitations- and not just according to safety, but also to sanity.

What do I mean? Well, as I have mentioned before, I am a Type-A Wanna-Be SuperMom, (who falls short of her pending title daily). I want to do it all and experience all of the wonderful joys in this life with my family. We just got home from a Disney Cruise- it was FANTASTIC and I will be blogging about sailing with an infant in future posts. However, it took me 24 hours to relax because I was so overwhelmed by the plethora of activities and couldn’t figure out how to take my daughter to meet princesses, my son to see a movie, and my baby to the infant splash pad all at once!

“What if I miss an activity?

What if my daughter can’t see Frozen for the 100th time- but this time it is on the ship- won’t that be a  better experience for her? Will she ever forgive me?

I need to make sure the kids get to play in the sand, go on the water slide, hit the splash pad, dance with Mickey, eat some lunch, hit the kids club, rest, swim, and take a family photo while at port!”

Yes- this is my mind on vacation. Imagine what it’s like on a work day!

I was so frazzled the first day that I went to the Lord in prayer. I realized I was so caught up in the “to-do list” cares of this world that I was missing out of basking in the moment-to-moment blessings unfolding in front of me. Once I released the fact that I couldn’t do it all, I was overcome with joy and peace.

Perhaps you are struggling with growing your family and sacrifices that you will have to make, (or are already making). The world tells us that we can do it all- that having a plate overflowing with obligations will give us worth. The Lord tells us that “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” and to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all things will be added unto you.”

We must seek the Lord, His will, and His plan for our lives. It can be hard to decipher, but ask for wisdom and the Holy Spirit for discernment. Doing too much leads to chaos, confusion, and exhaustion. As a parent, you will need to prioritize in a new way. Remember that the Lord comes first, your family second, and all else after that.

Free yourself of trying to do it all.

Free yourself of comparison to other moms.

Free yourself of thinking you will never have time for the things that you are sacrificing again- “There is a season for everything and a time for every matter under heaven.”

Focus on the joy of what you DO have, and not on what you do not.

Foods to avoid during pregnancy according to the Mayo Clinic

-Seafood high in mercury- swordfish, shark, king mackerel, & tilefish

-Undercooked, raw, or contaminated seafood- sushi, raw oysters, lox

-Undercooked meat, poultry, eggs- hot dogs, deli meats, pate, meat spread, runny eggs

-Unpasteurized Foods-brie, feta, blue cheese, soft cheeses

-Unwashed fruits and veggies

-Large amounts of Vitamin A

-Excess caffeine- limit to 200 mg/day

- Herbal Tea


deacon castaway

Releasing the fact that you can’t do it all can be just what you need for peace!

Judgey Mommy

February 23, 2014 by sweetexpectationsbabyplanner

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”

Colossians 2:8


“If her baby is a year old and still waking up, it is her fault as a mom.”
“You haven’t gotten on a wait list for preschool yet? You will never get in.”
“I didn’t want my baby to come out drugged so I didn’t have an epidural.”
“Anyone who co-sleeps is putting their baby above their marriage.”

Wow. These are just a few of the quotes that I have overheard from other moms in the past month at baby classes and on the playground. Whether or not you agree with the statements is not the point.

It is the fact that parenting has become, (or perhaps has always been), competitive and judgmental.

One of the reasons I felt called to earn my certification as a Baby Planner is to be able to learn about each family’s lifestyles and beliefs and then present the best options personalized to their uniqueness and allow them to make choices that will best suit their vision for parenting. Not only did I feel overwhelmed by the plethora of information and products while I was pregnant, but even more so by the wide range of advice I was given.

The role of a Certified Baby Planner is not to judge your choices, but to make sure that you are educated on your options and then feel relaxed in your parenting and confident enough to not second guess your family’s style-even when others mock or put down your ways. As long as your baby’s best interest is at the center of your educated and prayerful decision-making, you are sure to be on the right track.

Living like Christ means standing for the truth that is found in God’s Word, being confident in righteous living, yet not gossiping or cutting others down. When I am tempted to judge or “talk about” another mother, I practice taking a moment to think about WHY I feel the need to do so.

Quite honestly for me, it is usually out of covetousness. Maybe I want to criticize one for hiring babysitters on a whim or buying lavish baby clothes because part of me wishes I could too! Perhaps for you it “helps” you to feel better about yourself to cut others down, or draws you “closer” to a new friend to bash another.

You have to get real with yourself to be molded daily into the image of Christ.

It’s hard.

I hate admitting my ugliness, but through humble defeat, the Lord makes us glorious and mighty in Him.

Let’s support each other as moms. Grab the door next time you see a mom struggling with a stroller. Give a sympathetic smile when the parent next to you in a restaurant has a baby who won’t stop crying- it might just cancel out all of the glares she is receiving. Most importantly, tell a friend that she is doing a great job and is a wonderful mother. I guarantee you she will cry… due to appreciation. 

Liam Splash PadDon’t judge me! I promise I can explain!