Deep thoughts about mothering (plus poop!)
Lately, it seems like lots of people have been telling me how wonderful my children are, and inside, I’m thinking, “Yeah, but you don’t know about x, y, and z character issue that we’re struggling with, with him/her!”
Maybe I’m too hard on myself as a mother, and too hard on my kids. Being constantly aware of their struggles blinds me to the positives, I think.
Lately, I’ve started being worried about how all my flaws as a mother… well, my children’s spouses and THEIR children are going to pay the price for that, and that kills me. Motivates me to do better, too…
I know this is crazy, but for years — like, for a decade — I have not-so-secretly hoped that Ethan will marry a certain girl. Young woman now, she is. Her mother and I have even talked about it, how arranged marriages are not so bad of an idea! “I love you. I love your child. Yes. They should marry. That would rock on every level.” And that precious girl deserves THE BEST! I love her so very dearly. It just kills me to think that she might reap any bad fruit of my mothering of Ethan. Or, even if it’s not her… whoever it is.
I was telling my sister this yesterday, and she responded incredulously, “What are you talking about? Ethan is the bomb! He’s going to be an amazing husband!”
But, I also think that might be the design of the Father, for us as mothers to get a picture of how what we do, daily, is going to affect our families for generations. It’s not just about getting through TODAY, it’s about growing and leading children who are established in love and Godliness who will lead their own families, and pass on what they’re received to their own spouses and their own children and beyond.
My sister watched my five children yesterday, along with her 4 month old baby. This was her report:
So, the eventful morning included the following:
1 – chores: felt like managing a young team at work.
2 – Grant made me coffee
3 – Grant told me “you’re good at that!” when I took his [Nerf] gun away.
4 – E was a Godsend.
5 – looked for which of the four pony drawings was different from the others for A. Man, those are hard! Several times.
5 – E was a godsend.
6 – Took F potty several times and she “leaked” each time.
7 – got my butt kicked by all three boys in the hunting game. Several times.
8 – Rcvd news that the dog ate a mostly full can of formula.
9 – E was a godsend.
10 – looked up to see Fi feeding the dog the baby rice cereal from my ziplock. (which kid took the baby food off the counter?!)
11 – Fi pooped her pants. Cried bc she was “stinky.”
12 – Audrey was not bossy, and helped clean up her fort and her room.
13 – Taking Fi potty, and she chokes (for real) on her garbanzo bread. Some maneuvering, forceful hugs, back thumping, and pinky-fishing later, she’s ready for more garbanzo bread! (we never remembered to finish peeing that time)
In ALL of that, not a single fight, not a single naughty child, not a single moment of anger from anybody!
Oh, yeah – my kid was there somewhere too. And did I mention E? He’s a godsend.
A WONDERFUL morning for baby and me. The kids even made her laugh out loud. And somebody (A?) Covered her while she slept in swing. Blankee wadded up in her lap. Hee-hee!
A total joy.
I read that and thought, “May I please have those children? May I please be that mother, who can say that the day was a total joy, even when bad things happen??” If anything, my sister’s stellar report made me feel worse, like maybe I… stir up dissension. Like maybe my personality leads to
- perceiving conflicts that aren’t actually there
- bringing stress to a situation and leads to arguments and strife
- making mountains out of molehills
And, what a bummer is that??? That my kids are fabulous and I just don’t see it enough??? That I’m stuck in the mode of, “Well, don’t think you’re fabulous, because you clearly can’t clean the bathroom well, even though we’ve been through the steps a hundred times, and you treat your siblings like dirt, and you disrespect your father, and you pitch fits, and you weasel out of responsibilities, and you’re too rough with others, and you can’t keep your mouth shut for 30 seconds….” and so on??
Or, is it just the life of a mother to see both the best and the worst in her children?
Earlier this morning, I received a very encouraging e-mail from my pastor’s wife, and I responded with “woe is me” stuff, similar to the above. She replied, and at the end, said, “I am climbing to that higher place of more of Jesus and less of me right along with you.”
And, YES. THAT is what it’s all about. Less of me, Jesus, and more of You.
- More of You in how I mother.
- More of You in my attitude.
- More of You in my vision.
- More of Your hope for the future.
- More of Your perspective, Jesus.
- More of Your presence in my home.
- More of Your character in my heart.
- Less of me.
- More of You.
That’s the answer.
Posted on December 29, 2010, in Character Development, Christian Living, Encouragement, Extended Family, Family, Introspective Musings, Motherhood, Parenting, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.