Life can be busy. No doubt about that. I don’t know your story but I know mine. Family health issues, busyness around the home, general commitments and a constant battle to try and squeeze in time for so many things that seem important. Our days can be so cram packed that at the end of it all, we can look back and realise we haven’t even uttered a single prayer for our kids. It doesn’t matter you think, they seem fine, I’ll pray tomorrow. But what if our passivity is one of the greatest enemies of this generation, and possibly one of the things that could impact our children more than anything? What if what you do today could change their future forever?
I can vividly remember the scene; I’ll never forget it, it was the first time. I was at Primary school and in the library. Myself and one of my best friends had just had an argument and as young children tend to be over their temporarily broken friendships, in that moment I felt devastated.
As I walked around that small little room, just me in it, I whispered in my heart cries to God. I told Him and perhaps moaned, telling him what had just happened and pouring out my hurt and sense of just anger over this situation. He was my Father and I wanted His help. And then it came, in an instant, it was the first time I had ever really noticed it. A sudden immense peace like nothing I had ever felt. My heart was still. The hurt and anger had completely gone and there it was, a peace, a joy, a stillness. I’ll never forget that moment.
When I had my son, it was incredible. Nothing can prepare you for just how much you will love this little bundle of joy. But there was something else I hadn’t prepared for. Something I hadn’t been expecting. FEAR.
There are no two people I love more than my husband and my son. But my love for my boy was a new kind of love I’d not experienced before. A fierce, protective love! I was his protector. And more than that. Every action I do, every word I say to him, was impacting him, shaping him, raising him. I’d not known this love before because I’d always been the one protected. By my parents when I was younger, and now by my husband. But this love, this was new. And with new love, comes new responsibility, and with this, came FEAR.
I was recently struck by something as I was disciplining my son. I asked Jonas to do something, he didn’t want to and refused. I asked him again, he refused again, and then what followed was a five-minute tantrum, kicking and screaming on the floor. I have learnt with my boy there is little point trying to reason with him whilst he is in the middle of a full-blown tantrum, so I give him space to get it out his system and then we talk. On this occasion he got particularly upset. When he eventually picked himself off the floor and came to me, I took him in my arms, giving him a big cuddle, saying ‘shhhh’ and kissing him. I did this for a couple of minutes, rocking him in my arms until he stopped crying completely and then I started talking to him about what had just happened.
As I always tell him, whatever I asked him to do, he still has to do after his tantrum and that it is not a way of avoiding it. As I kissed him and gave him a big cuddle I was reminded of this verse:
He will quiet you with His love.
Do you ever feel like you wish other ladies would look and you and think ‘she’s a great mummy’? Do you wish that your baby cried less around other mums? Or maybe you wish that, in the unlikely event (she types smiling!) your toddler would throw a tantrum, please oh please can it be when we are at home, or somewhere quiet, but not in the middle of a busy shopping centre or supermarket. Because you desperately don’t want others to see these difficult things, and make some sort of judgement on you. Perhaps you wish your husband, for just one day, would do every little thing you do at home, juggling the child care, cooking, cleaning, planning, maybe employment as well, because surely only then can he fully appreciate all that you do and see just how much work it really is! See what an amazing mummy you are.
If the relationship with our children is right, all else will follow!
A friend of mine recently made this comment when we were discussing discipline and raising children. Wow, how true. The more I thought about it, the more it challenged me.
I’m a stay at home mum, I basically spend 24-7 with my son, going to groups, playing with him, talking to him, raising him, but am I always connecting with him? Of course I must be, right? Well, I think it’s perfectly possible to spend all our time with someone, and still not connect with them.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed as a parent? I know I have! There have been many times that I have desperately needed a situation resolved, like the time when he was still waking five times a night at eight months. Or the times that until he was about five months he didn’t consistently sleep in the day. Or there’s been times I’ve felt overwhelmed by different advice on feeding techniques, or discipline. People offer advice but they don’t know our children like we do, they don’t know what is specifically the best thing for them. There have been times I have listened to advice and tried all the methods advised and yet still seen no change. I’ve needed an answer!