Thursday, February 7, 2013
Parenting. Wow. Can this job be any harder? Some days I feel like I've told my boys the same thing 10 million times. "Sit down at the table (they like to stand on their chair/table), cover your mouth when you cough (they've gotten this one down pretty well), hang up your coat, don't fart at the table, settle down, get your hands out of your pants, stop licking your face..." yes, those are actual direct quotes that come out of my mouth several hundred times a day. You know, before I had kids I thought I'd be okay at this parenting thing. I was a teacher, after all. And my fourth graders were one disciplined bunch of kids. I didn't put up with any crap. They did their work, and did it well. I even had them answer me, "Yes, Ma'am!" and we don't even live in the South. Yessiree, I was good at keeping order in the classroom. But I'm not a teacher anymore and the kids I'm around all day are not my students. And I'm with them 24/7. No lunch breaks here. I really do count it a HUGE blessing to be able to stay at home with our children. It's just that some days I get discouraged and hope and pray that my kids turn out semi-normal. You want to appear like you have it all together, your kids are angels, you have an immaculately kept home, and your five course organic dinner's on the table when your husband walks in from work. But ya know, most days (like today, for example) you have two kids crying at once. One of them spilled his fruit cup all over the carpeted floor, somehow managed to rip the tablecloth off the table that also had a cup of hot tea on it, and refuses to put on his jacket all the while wailing away about nothing in particular. And all this is happening at church at a ladies' Bible study, nonetheless. Yeah, I've got it together! Sheesh.
Ya know, it just doesn't sink in sometimes with little ones. Let's think this one through: if you choose to rip a train out of your brother's hand and proceed to smash it on the top of his head, there will be consequences. There always is. Yet that never seems to stop them. It's days like these that I really need to ask for the Lord's help and guidance. And ya know, when I think about it, I suppose it's the same way with the Lord and I. I continue to choose to do dumb things that I know will have adverse effects on me. I'm stubborn. And I guess I think I know better than God. Dumb. Really dumb of me. So I guess I need to remember that the next time Ryder "accidentally" throws a snowball at Bryce or Bryce decides to lick a Redbox movie case right in the middle of flu season (not that that's acceptable behavior any time of the year). The point is, we all do dumb things. So I'm going to try to be more gracious when dumb things are done. 'Cause you know, there's usually someone watching, waiting for your reaction. And for me it's three pairs of young eyes looking to me for guidance.
Have you learned anything from your kids lately? Maybe you're dealing with stubbornness or disobedience. Or shoot, maybe you have a son who loves the taste of a Redbox case too...whatever the situation, we can all benefit from a little more graciousness in our lives.