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Susan Wanderer has worked with families in kids ministry for 20 years, with the last ten years serving as Kids Minister at Mount Ararat Church in Stafford. Susan and her husband Ed reside in Fredericksburg and have three amazing kids who joined their family in 2011 and who fill their days with adventure. Come join the conversation over at 

MWMG Pediatrics

My Stomping Grounds

In the middle of the beautiful moments of mama-hood, there are also hard, remarkably frustrating, scratch-your-head seasons of WHAT IS GOING ON?

When you have younger kids it may look like those lovely little temper tantrums in the middle of a public setting where passersby stare and shake their heads while whispering under their breath about how differently they would be handling the situation.

And the exhale of every mama to the passerby: Whatever man.  

For our elementary school-aged kids it may take on the picture of playground turbulence among seven year olds. Clearly your little cherub is the one without any offense in the drama of the day because Mama-I-Neeeever-Would-Do-Something-Like-That!

Riiiiighhht, kid. (eye-wink)

And our teenagers. Bless them. They honestly are truly so much fun at this stage. But they also know so very much. About everything. In all of life. (Insert a Mama-Eye-Roll). 

Who cares that we have lived a good two decades longer? Our precious teens clearly know way more.

It’s hard for a mama to stay sane during all the phases of the WHAT IS GOING ON drama? (head scratch)

I recognize I am called to fight for the hearts of my kids for 365 days a year, even when I am at my weariest. And as my counselor reminded me: During hard moments of parenting, sarcastic parenting is not always the most helpful parenting.

Drat. I am stellar at SSL. (Sarcasm as my Second Language)

During these seasons, I want to build a mantra around our home and remind all members of Team Wanderer that: Our family is going to fight hard for one another even when we don’t want to.

I want them to experience:

We will cheer for each other. Even when we may not believe they will win.

We we comfort each other. Even when it feels awkward.

We will stay up late for each other. Even when we are tired.

We will pray for each other. Even when we ourselves are experiencing silence. 

We will listen to each other. Even when we would prefer to speak.

We will share our highs and our lows and believe in each other.

We will like each other even when we don't.

If the generation cominng after our kids (their own children) is going to be a generation of sharers, carers, lovers, listeners and prayers, then we have to do the hard work now and and pour in those things. Even when mamas, daddies and siblings don’t feel like it.  

Because mamas, let’s be honest, there are days when we Just. Don’t. Feel. Like. It.

Summer is here and a lot of WHAT IS GOING ON? is coming for my lips.

I’m trying to develop this mantra:

We are going to fight for each other's hearts even when it's hard. We are going to laugh at each other's jokes even when they are not one bit funny. And we will go hoarse cheering each other on, even if we are coming in dead last. Because family. And family is hard and awesome and painful and beautiful. Family is worth all the mess and fun and all the feels.

And after five years it still chokes me up into an ugly-cry to hear these three humans, who were born to another woman, call me mom.

So, parents, here's to 365 days of fighting hard for the hearts of our families.

We can do it! I'm cheering us on! 

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Pouches' Community Corner

Pouches Visits the Past


If Pouches' experience at History Camp is any indication, your son or daughter will enjoy joining Washington Heritage Museums and the George Washington Foundation for History Camp in Fredericksburg. The week-long day camp will be held June 25-29, from 9:00 a.m. to noon each day.

Young historians discover American history with hands-on experiences as they walk in the footsteps where the history of Fredericksburg, and a budding America, was created. The camp complements the history taught in classrooms with activities such as soap making, code breaking, colonial crafts, penmanship and much more.