This is what a normal day in our household looks like. Jonas wakes up, if I’m organised enough I will have woken up before him to shower and get myself ready. I put him on the potty (and continue to do so regularly for the rest of the day), get him dressed, we go downstairs, I make him breakfast. I wash up all the dummies and beakers he used last night. I empty the dishwasher, and then load it, whilst talking to Jonas as he has breakfast. I get him down from the table, he plays whilst I have breakfast. I quickly load the washing machine and prepare his changing bag. A neighbour might knock on the door and come in for a quick chat. We quickly rush out the door trying to get to a toddler group on time, but often running 30 minutes late. We stay there until lunch and then walk home super quickly to get back in time for Jonas to have a quick lunch and then nap. He wakes about 2 or 3pm, leaving me a couple of hours to spend some 1-1 time with him, do cleaning, hang the washing, prepare dinner and do any other chores around the house for which there always seem to be many.
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.
I wonder if you have given much thought to what you want your children to be like when they are older. Have you considered the values that are important to you that you would like them to take on, have you thought through what you want your family to look like in 10 years. It’s very easy to amble through life, taking each day as it comes and responding to our children’s needs one day at a time, but unless we consider what we want them to be like, or act like, or what’s important to our family, it’s very unlikely we’ll see these things happening automatically.
Jesus. I’m intrigued how many people click on this post! Will the title draw you in, intrigue you, or put you off reading? I guess I’ll see the answer when I see the number of readers! But one thing I know to be true, how ever many posts about parenting I have done so far, and how ever many I will do, it doesn’t matter whether they are about breastfeeding, bottle feeding, weaning, potty training, discipline, love, more important than any of these, is this name, this topic, this relationship: Jesus.
Why? Because no matter what the problem is, no matter what we are going through as parents, be it not knowing what to do, not knowing how to feed, or how to discipline. Maybe your toddler’s having tantrums,or you are experiencing emotional problems, or financial problems, there is one person that changes everything.
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.
Before having Jonas I read lots of magazines preparing me for this exciting time. One of the most common questions was “will you breast feed?” For me the answer was simple, of course! There was no question in my mind: my baby would take to it easily and the whole experience would be an amazing bonding time. Well, as with many things within those first few days, nothing quite goes as you expect.
I am and have always been an active person. I love doing things, going out and especially love seeing people. For me a big culture shock that I wasn’t expecting was when Jonas was three weeks old and Alan went back to work after paternity leave. I had previously been in an extremely busy job whereby I was doing things all day long and had a structured routine. I suddenly found myself alone at home with no one to talk to and no routine whatsoever. I loved being a mum but I wanted structure; I needed friends going through the same stage of life to share things with and I needed to know I had something to do each day rather than just be at home alone.