Around here we are in yet another of those constantly changing phases in child-rearing. It’s been somewhat of a battle. More and more phrases such as “I want…”, “I can’t…”, “Why do I have to…” are being said. As we talk and assess the issues, the realizaton that all this is completely my fault starts to come to fruition.
In motherhood, I want what’s best for my children. I want them to make good, great, even perfect decisions. I envision a household full of love warmth, attentiveness, cleanliness, order, godliness, encouragement and fun. I want to create a relationship with my children that is open enough for them to come to me for anything– even admittence of mistakes, yet maintain authority so they don’t become uncivilzed kids (Lord of the Flies). I am trying to maintain a hope and goal of perfect parenting.
Although I understand this is an impossible, unattainable thought, I can’t help but have it. What I have been struggling with in this house is loosing battles. What battles are worth fighting and which are not? Is making the bed in a timely fashion something to hold them to, or is not important right now?
I realize that I don’t want every part of every day to be about control. Eat faster, get dressed, do your school work, hurry up, look at your paper, time to eat, hurry up and finish, go potty, get ready for quiet time, pick up your toys, put your clothes away, time for dinner, finish up, do your kitchen chores, get ready for bed, hurry up so we can pray, give me a kiss, go to bed, stay in bed, don’t come out of your room….and around and around we go.
If I were them I’d be fighting against me too. The constant burgage of requests and duties doesn’t seem fair. I don’t like hearing myself talk day after day. However, how do I teach them responsibility if they have no responsibilities? *head is now spinning out-of-control*
More than making beds, more than doing things faster, more than getting it all done, I want them to love. I want them to love each other, to love others, and mostly to love Jesus. That’s what’s important to me. Nick has been saying to them “I think you need to learn to say these three things more. ‘Thank you’, ‘I’m sorry’, and ‘I love you’.”
As a parent we all know that our little ones are repeaters. They repeat what we say and do. I guess that means I have to go first. Tomorrow I will lead by example…
Thank you– for being such helpful and fun kids, for teaching me what forgiveness is by forgiving me so wholly. Thank you for hugging me for no reason, for wanting to spend so much time with me, for flattering me when I wear anything that isn’t pajamas, for missing me when I’m gone for 30 minutes, for telling me you love me at random and unexpected times, for saying I’m the best mom. Thank you for being truthful about every thought you have.
I’m sorry– For rushing you through every day, for getting frustrated because you don’t do everything perfectly, for raising my voice and hurting your feelings, for being uptight and no fun most of the day, for not letting you make enough mess, for expecting too much too soon, for failing to teach you by trying to control you, for trying for conform you instead of cultivate you. I’m sorry for not letting you make mistakes.
I Love you– so much. I love you no matter what you do or say, all the time, completely, enough to trust you more, in a way that makes me want to protect you from everything. I love you, and because I love you I want you to have a long and happy childhood. I loved you the second I felt your tiny body moving inside me, and I won’t ever stop. I love you so much it hurts.
I pray these words will be unforgettable to them. I know they will keep me accountable. Humility is a learned and honorable possession. I have much to learn. As always they are continuously teaching me more daily than all the curriculum I can shove into them yearly. What a blessing and honor to watch a child become a person. Tomorrow is a new day, and for that I am grateful.
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”