My life includes my children buying houses and learning multiplication all at the same time. This happens due to the fact that I started my child rearing days 27 years ago and then 7 years ago began once again with a third daughter. Honestly, it’s not the plan I had but obviously the one that God had for me.
I recall stating more than once that I was done having children. That it was alright for me to have that hysterectomy back when I was in my mid to late 20’s. I had started young and looked forward to a life of somewhat freedom when while I was still young when they were raised. God had another plan, a good plan for sure I must say!
Parenting is never easy. I do parent differently with my 7-year-old than I did when her sisters were that age. With time comes wisdom but that doesn’t meant I don’t mess up now. The difference is I do not allow myself to dwell on it but I do learn from each circumstance that arises.
One thing I do less is dwell on a particular worry that I think took away from the parenting of my two older children. That worry of “am I a good enough mother?” I should have focused more on being present with them verses being consumed with how bad I was doing. Lesson learned and I no longer do that one.
My girls turned out to be good citizens, in fact I am proud to say neither one has been in trouble with the law. Although, there was this one time, a public restroom and a young girl playing havoc with toilet paper! 🙂 You can guess which daughter it was and odds are you will guess wrong if you know us! 🙂
There are children that are easier to raise than others, we had this in our own family. I feel that each child is a unique creation and have their own talents and restrictions. They need to be loved with the foundation of moral goodness, manners, and God. There is a thin line between loving and disciplining and children need to learn both. So when they grow up they too can carry on good things versus the vicious cycles of not so great parenting.
My son in law’s will reference how their wives do things that remind them of me. Usually it’s done in a joking manner but it tends to be on the “not so flattering” part of my personality. I do the same thing with my husband, so I can’t say too much. The things we inherit from our parents is not always heirlooms but instead words, actions, thought processes, or how we deal with circumstances. If I could give advice to young parents or people who plan to be parents it would include the following but not limited to just these.
- When you talk to a child get down on their eye level, talk to them, not at them. (I finally learned this by the time my 3rd came along!)
- Discipline but pick your battles.
- Let them be silly, laugh, and make a mess of your house.
- But make them pickup the mess no matter what!
- Be silly, laugh, and make a mess of the house WITH THEM! Then both of you clean it up.
- You didn’t have children to be your servants. Get your own drink, food, item from the other room.
- Make them try the new food more than once.
- Gather together and do devotion daily. Whether it’s during a meal, before bed, in the car, or by the pool.
- They don’t have to be in ALL the extracurricular activities, but they do need YOUR time.
- Let them SEE you pray and HEAR you talk about God.
- God gave you children, not your parents. You raise them.
- Date your spouse. Seriously. You skip this one it DOES make a difference in parenting!
- Teach them manners and to respect others, especially their elders.
- Board games. Play lots of them!
- Read between the lines. Remember they are human but don’t have the communication skills you may.
- Cuddle and sing!
- Listen and look when they bring home a paper from school or draw a picture for you. Really listen!
- Guess what. There is a lot more advice and I have missed out on doing the ones above and others, but as long as my kid still respects me, loves me, and is safe I’m ok with less than perfect!
My life would definitely not be the same if the girls were not in it. I don’t agree with them all the time, I don’t pamper them, but I try my best to be a good example. I try my best to let them know that I am here for them, I will be objective when they seek advice, and that I believe in God.
God had this plan for me to be a mother three times. He knew exactly what he was doing and I’m lucky because my family has grown to include two son-in-laws, two grandchildren, and two very spoiled grand-dogs.
I still hate it when I can’t fix something for them but……one last bit of advice. We aren’t placed here as parents to fix everything for our children. We are given children to teach and love. I didn’t realize them until my parenting was well underway that teaching and healthy love was the best gift I could give. So, I hope if you take nothing else from this post, you take that.
Grace is a gift,