Do you ever question if you were supposed to be a mom ~ that perhaps you only became one because of a mistake or accident? I’m asking honestly, not just when you’re upset or angry at your kids and wonder why you ever gave them life to begin with…but overall. Do you think you’re not good enough to be a mommy? To be THEIR mommy? I used to question it when my older two kids were younger. I made so many mistakes at “mommyhood” that I thought they would be better off with another mother. (They probably thought that at times too! LOL) I just didn’t feel worthy enough to be a mom. But one day God opened my eyes and spoke truth into my life. He said, “I could have given them to anyone else on the planet…. but I chose YOU.” I sat there and cried. For the first time, I realized that not only was I good enough, but I was exactly what they needed. I can not tell you the joy I felt as that weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Yes, I made mistakes and I would make several more before they left the nest. But you know what? I loved them unlike anyone else could. I didn’t have to “prove” to the world around me that I was a good mother (aren’t we all guilty of that?), I felt it in my soul. So, if you are questioning your role as a mother, as THEIR mother…stop! You are the only one who has the exact DNA to mold them into what God wants them to be. Stop comparing yourself to your friends, or moms you see on TV. You were chosen specifically by God to be their mommy. The question you NEED to be asking is “Am I parenting the way God needs me to?” Don’t worry about “training” your children in way to make yourself look good ~ minding their p’s and q’s in public, using “yes ma’am”, etc… While those things are important, I want to challenge you to sit back and really watch your kids (individually) to see how they are “naturally bent” and work on training those areas.
For example, I met with a friend today for lunch and she was telling me that out of her three girls, one of them was completely the opposite of her and she didn’t know how to handle it. Her daughter was somewhat aggressive and had a quick temper, while she was more controlled. I told her that God has given her daughter those characteristics for a reason and the best thing she could do was to show her daughter how to accept, embrace and control her emotions, rather than question them or try to get rid of them. She will be far better off if she is equipped to know what situations are appropriate to express herself freely, and which are not. Then instead of feeling like “she” is the problem, she’ll understand its how she expresses herself that needs to be controlled. Her “natural bent” is aggressiveness (a proven leadership quality when controlled), and would be best utilized in an athletic activity that allows her an outlet for those emotions. Asking this child to sit still for long periods of time, or focus on a piano recital is just asking for trouble.
Another friend of mine was furious when she found her then 3-year-old in his room with a torn bean bag and beans all over the place, including himself. He had wandered into the kitchen (while she was occupied with the dishes) and got the tub of butter out of the refrigerator and proceeded to cover his entire body with it. He then took the bean bag and emptied its contents onto his body. As you can imagine, it was a huge mess, but he was so proud of his accomplishment, declaring “look mommy! I’m a superhero!” That is until she started screaming and yelling at him, mostly because she was mad that she had to clean up another mess. I asked her to step back and reevaluate the situation again, but this time from his perspective. That moment of pride and accomplishment was completely shattered. In her anger, she had shown him that she cared more about the mess than all of the time and effort he had put into his “work.” Then I asked her what other 3-year-old would be smart enough to know that he needed butter on his body in order to get the beans to stick to it? He was an exceptionally bright child, who was “naturally bent” on the creative side. I suggested offering him a small table in the kitchen with craft items so he can be “creating” while she was cleaning. A mess can be cleaned up, but a spirit that is squelched will need therapy. I have learned to ask myself “will this truly matter in 30 years?” If it won’t matter in 30 years (the mess in his room), I don’t waste my time. If it will matter in 30 years (my child’s spirit), I spend a lot of time. If I was in the same situation, the first thing I would’ve done was grabbed my camera to capture the moment. Then I would have praised his “work” and we would have cleaned up the mess together, talking about how creative and smart he was. He would have gone to sleep with a smile on his face, rather than a tear on his cheek.
You have to understand that kids need to express themselves the way they are “naturally bent.” A born leader isn’t going to express himself the same way a future artist is and you as their mommy need to allow them the freedom to do that. Ask God to show you how you need to parent each of your children, because each one will be unique, and then love them through the journey. Remind them that God has a special plan for their lives. Then remind yourself that God chose you to be the one to help them find it. Expect mistakes, but always ask them for your forgiveness so they know its okay to make them. And lastly, take time to enjoy each season of their lives and know that God is right behind you saying, “You got this ~ I chose you and I won’t let you fall…”