Saturday, February 27, 2010

Do You Enjoy Your Children?

This was the question posed to me. I have to admit I was taken aback. "Of course" was my answer. But inside my head was whirling. I hadn't thought about this ever before. In all honestly no. NO I was not enjoying my children at this point in life. I was exhausted, frustrated and annoyed most of the time. I had stooped to only bossing and yelling and refereeing the kids as they were bossing and yelling. I was sick. This was not the mom I wanted to be. But I didn't know how to break the cycle.

With some guidance from some other much better skilled moms we made it thru. But I find myself back at that point again recently. Which frustrates me even more because God is doing some awesome things in our lives, yet the core of my life, what I do...mothering...feels like a failure. I am not one of those moms that is gifted with motherly loving wisdom and always knows the right thing to say or do. Which also causes stress. I look at the clock now as I'm typing and it is 11:11. A friend refers to that as a time when God is saying a little reminder that He loves us. I know He Loves Me. So why is it so difficult for me to really LOVE my own children unconditionally at times? Why is it difficult for me to just enjoy them some days? It's not that I don't love them, but what kind of mom gets so frustrated with her kids? What causes these little day in and day out pieces of life to feel overwhelming?

Expectations. My inconsistency to follow up or follow through.

I was reading thru a book that made a huge life change in my parenting with Brian and I am devouring it again with Wyatt. I guess I'm a slow learner.

As I sat reading I came across this paragraph and as I let the words sink in the tears just stung my eyes.

"Sometimes parents know what to do, but are simply unwilling to do it. They expect their children to behave perfectly with little or no effort on their part. Or they expect their children to just stay out of the way while they proceed with their lives as if their children didn't exist. They let their ambitions, housework, or hobbies come a higher priority than parenting, and they begin to view their children as annoying interruptions. This attitude guarantees failure, frustration, and anger. Only by reordering priorities and recognizing that parenting is a highly demanding, full time job will there be any hope for decent results and the absence of frustration. Give up everything else if necessary, and undertake the world's most important and fulfilling job to the best of your ability. Expect it to be a demanding job at times, but look forward to the challenge instead of resenting it. Parenting will be fa less frustrating if you learn how to do it well, and if it is not competing with everything else for your time and attention."

- "And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion , kindness, humility, gentleness and patience..." Col 3:12

Lord help me keep my priorities your priorities. Help me to be a loving gentle mom and consistent so that life is not unfair or frustrating for the little ones either. Give us a renewal as Spring is here. Allow for time to just be a family and grow in relationship. Give me wisdom Lord and may my own shortcomings be wiped from their memory of youth. Grant me an unending supply of love and grace for these blessings so that they may see You thru me.


Shan said...

A wise and wonderful reminder! I notice when I stop and pour myself into the kids that I always end up enjoying them or at least feeling like I'm earning my keep ;). It is so easy to get sidetracked from mothering as a full time job! You seem to give it 100% or more from here!

Suzanne said...

Thanks Shannon. Just be glad you are not one of my kids:)

Sun-Kissed Scholars said...

I read something similar: it's when we have another agenda that our children become a problem rather than a praise.
Love this line, "Parenting will be fa less frustrating if you learn how to do it well, and if it is not competing with everything else for your time and attention."
And I understand the gist of it, even though there will ALWAYS be other things competing for my time. Necessary things, like dishes and laundry, bills, etc. If I could only make the "other things" just disappear...
Love this post, Suzanne. Another friend just wrote a similar post that I love:

Ellen Matkowski said...

Shannon took the words outta my mouth.

Great post, because I needed to hear it... especially from you. Sometimes I feel insecure when I start comparing myself to all the Siloam homeschooling supermoms, and think they've got it all together, and they never struggle with the child frustrations that I do.

What is the name of that book?

Suzanne said...

Thank you ladies.

The book is "Raising Godly Tomatoes." you can read the entire book online as well.

Soaring High said...

Your honesty is encouraging. Since Nathaniel's accident I have taken a step back to view my role as mother to my children. I often have an adgenda that I feel they get away with. I've thrown a lot of that "need to get it done" out the window and I am enjoying them a lot more. I can't promise a clean place when anyone comes over, but we can play!


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