“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” — Psalm 127:3
“You kids are driving me crazy!”
“I can’t wait until you grow up and move out.”
“Will you kids please just leave me alone?!”
“Why can’t you just… ”
If you find yourself saying this stuff to your kids, please do me a favor …
I mean it. Just stop.
I’ve heard moms say this stuff a lot. And I’m the first to admit that I’ve said a few of these myself.
But a few years ago, I read a blog by a mom with small children. She realized that despite the challenges she was going through, she was going to miss the kids when they were older. And it was a gift that God let her realize it now. So she started to cherish them.
I realized recently that our oldest is halfway to eighteen. That means, that if he chooses to leave the nest as soon as he’s legally able (as my husband did), half our time with him is gone. That just breaks my heart when I think of all the times I said harsh words or said no to spending time with him so I could do something I wanted to do that was of no real importance.
We are to love and nurture our children. Our love for our them is representative of God’s love for us. That’s a big responsibility; one we should not take lightly.
“But Nina, you don’t understand, they’re driving me nuts!”
I understand. Trust me – I have four children. And our home is tiny, y’all.
This post is as much for me as it is for anyone who reads it. But it will get better. They will get better. You will react better. Change is possible.
I would never make the claim that I’m perfect – in fact, I found this post in my archives and knew I desperately need this reminder right now – but these tips, these habits have helped me so much:
Begin each day with prayer
One specific prayer has worked wonders on my attitude and the way I treat my kids. “Lord please give me divine patience and grace today.” It must be divine. When you try to do it yourself it won’t work.
Get away for time with yourself
Please do not try to be a martyr! I tried. It only leads to burn out and false pride. My husband had to shove me out the door to get time for myself – I thought I’d be seen as a bad mom if I didn’t.
Thank God I have such a good husband. I now take time to for myself on a weekly basis and I love it. It’s truly rejuvenating. But that doesn’t mean I’m gone all day shopping (I tried that, it just made things worse). Sometimes, I just need 30 minutes to be alone, pray and remember why I chose this wonderful life.
Do you dislike being around your kids because they’re snotty and rude and don’t help around the house? Well, do something to change that. We teach them to tie their shoes, go potty in the toilet, sit quietly in front of the TV…
Teach them how you want them to behave – by modeling that behavior yourself (yes, I know my daughter picked up that snotty attitude from moi). Be consistent. But do something.
Spend less time on yourself
Didn’t she just say spend more time by yourself? I did. I mean it. BUT. Spend less time focused on yourself. I find my attitude towards my kids gets worse when I’m doing something that I want to do when it’s not imperative that it get done right then.
All they want is my attention. And all I want to do is sit on Facebook all day …
Intentionally include them
We’re relational creatures, our kids included. They want to feel important and wanted. Be intentional during the day to include them in something your doing and give them the gift of your undivided attention.
That means turn off the TV, put the phone away and put the computer in sleep mode.
Remember why you had them in the first place
Was it because you felt obligated or was it because you couldn’t wait to meet these special blessings? Nobody should feel like an unwanted burden, especially our children.
So please, choose your words wisely.