I have my game face on much of the time I spend with my children. Not necessarily a grumpy face (although that happens plenty), but like I am trying to accomplish a mission. Acting as if my resolve and focus will get us safely and sanely through our day. Maybe my gumption (do people still use that word?) will keep us all on track? The almost constant use of phrases like “Sit in your chair until you finish your food,” “Use loving words,” “Can you try asking that again the nice way?” “Please stop screaming.” “Do unto others,” “Please be kind,” etc. leads me to think that it is me and my words getting us through these (often long) days.
Is this the way we should handle our task as mothers? I don’t think so. We will not win our children’s hearts with our barked demands or by hollering things through the house. Yes, we need to use our words to guide our children. But we should also remember that the tone we use ourselves will be reflected in our children. I often wonder, “Why are my children always so demanding?” Part of it is their nature. They are young and often very focused on themselves. The other part is probably what they are seeing modeled. If I am spending most of my day in “game mode,” making semi-stern faced requests, that is what I am going to get back.
Are all of my children’s behaviors my fault? No. I cannot take all of that on. BUT, I lead by example. If I am not acting in love or am more focused on results and staying on track, my children will notice. Mommy will not be fun to be around. Mommy will be more of a Sergeant than a Shepherd. I want to lead my children to Jesus and help be a picture of who He is to us. How do we want Jesus to treat us? With firm demands and a lack of patience (not that he ever operates like that)? I don’t. I rely on His grace. I want to show that same grace to my children.
Some verses I found this morning that speak to some of these things:
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14:1
“Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.” Ezekiel 16:44
“But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.” 1 Thessalonians 2:7
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12
Real life example-It took me 25 minutes, 1 long cuddle, giving the baby 3 more helpings of berries, 2 tantrums, one coloring project, and many “Mommy phrases” to get me through typing 2 of the sentences in this post. When you allow yourself to be “in the moment” with your children and meet their needs, things might MOVE SLOWLY.
Today’s Goals-Be sillier, laugh more, loosen up, pray more, be joyous, watch my tone, love more loudly.
P.S. Blogging does not magically turn me into “Super Mom.” I totally still struggle just like everyone else. But, I have hope.
We are linking up with Raising Homemakers today! If you are visiting from there I am so glad you stopped by! I would love it if you would leave a comment with your blog so I can come over and “visit” with you!