Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Parental pondering

I was having a rough parenting day, the other day. Not that it has really gotten a whole lot better, but my attitude / level of frustration has improved. Some. And it got me thinking about a whole gamut of things. What do I want my children to end up like? What kind of mom do I want to be? What things are important to me? What things do I need to relax on or become more stringent on? What battles do I pick?

I want to be a fun mom, who's serious about important things. I want them to be respectful, and kind to others, to always tell the truth, to value education and learning, have grace and love for others, despite any differences. I want them to love the Lord, though I realize I can only teach them what I know (and pray like the dickens), open the door of thought and experience, and after that it's their choice. I want my children to be able to come and talk to me when something is bothering them. When they have a problem, I want to be an open door, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and maybe offer a few words of direction, advice, warning, without telling them exactly what to do, being overly motherly or bossy or condescending (you know the sort I'm describing. The "I told you so" attitude. One thing I need to work on. Hey, I'm a first born (translation - known to be bossy) with a healthy case of "I'm right" goin' on. I won't deny it. But being married to my husband has been good for that. He's also firstborn. :D Iron sharpens iron, right? :D). I want my children to come to me feeling safe from ridicule, judgement or condescension. I don't want my children to be my best friend, but I want them to consider me among their best friends when they are grown. I want them to walk in integrity. And I want them to see me, see us, walk that out. I want them to not fear life or decisions, of choosing the right way because it is difficult or challenging; the easy way is not always best. I want them to know that hard work will get them far. So will being on time (WHAT??? Being on time? What i THAT?) or dare I say, **early**.

My children are young, so the things that I have to teach them now are basic. But that doesn't make them any less challenging. (However, I do realize that it's so much easier now that it will be, as for now, it's all about consistency and r.e.p.e.t.i.t.i.o.n. That's the part that's wearing.) How do I inspire fun and creativity if I'm always yelling at them to stop doing this or that? I think manners are important, and something that we see less and less of. But is there a time and place for belching out loud? And when is that? Seriously, the catalyst (or one of them) for part of this whole thought process was KJ's delight at belching loudly at the table. She tries to do it and takes great delight in being loud. It's kinda funny, kinda not. And I'm having a hard time debating whether I should laugh and belch along with her, or do I act straight faced and ask her to use her manners. I don't know. I don't want to be stuffy. I don't want my children to think I'm incapable of having fun.

I find myself challenged, as every mother does, with the taskS at hand. All the things that fall under "my responsibilities" that are a must (food, laundry), things that I barely keep up with, and not with the kind of quality I would like, versus the things that really need to be done (cleaning up my endless piles, managing finances, mopping the floor) versus things that I need to do (find order, make and implement schedules,) versus spend time playing with my children. All those things are important. All those things contribute to making a household run smoothly. All those things affect my sanity, and the quality of my mothering. My doing (or not doing) of all those things teaches my children something.

So how do I choose? How do I choose to affect my children today?
That's a heavy thought, isn't it?

So do I let her burp?


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