Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Unconditional Love

April 2, 2013

Dear God,

Please help me to love my children today… not for what they might become tomorrow or in the future.  Help me to like them even if they never master a certain skill that I want them to master.  Let me love them unconditionally, never withholding my love or approval from them based on their performance.  Let me see the good in them and make me blind to their shortcomings.  Forgive me because I know that I have been forgiven so much and yet I hold my children’s failures against them.

Amen.

Possum is 6 years 10 months

Bandicoot is 4 years 8 months

Little Princess is 2 years 2 months

 

I am struggling with Possum just now.  He is, once again, very highly strung, angry and well PRICKLY.  Although, when I say angry, I realised today he isn’t really.  He is acting angry; behaving angry.  If he slips up you can see that it is a cover, that he isn’t really angry.  This continuous nastiness is just the behaviour that is working for him right now.

And work it does.  It gets him attention.  It gives him control of the family (Eldest kids! *sheesh*  DH and I are much more easy going and have spent our lives chorkling in our sleeves about such neediness.)  We know that we are being played, and that he is (currently) winning, but short of leaving him in danger (oh, he is smart about when he does it) we haven’t worked out what to do.  Yet.

*~~~*

I am reading this book:  “Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe” by Todd Wilson.  I so wish it was available as a hard copy!  It is aimed at homeschoolers, as you might have guessed, but so much of it is relevant to all of my parenting experience.  (But then, that is the thing about homeschooling, isn’t it?  It isn’t compartmentalised like sending your child to school, it is a complete lifestyle.)

After yesterday reaching the point where I really did not like Possum because of his behaviour – I mean really.  REALLY.  I got upset at DH for not driving off and leaving him behind – I stumbled upon this prayer.

I prayed it.

Twice.

And again this morning.

Help me to like them even if they never master a certain skill that I want them to master. 

Help me to like him even if he never learns to control his emotions and temper.

Let me love them unconditionally, never withholding my love or approval from them based on their performance. 

Help me NOT to make the mistakes my Mum and Dad did that hurt me so much.

Let me see the good in them and make me blind to their shortcomings.

Let me see the real little Possum, not just the angry ball of emotion.

And you know what?  Today was much better!  Oh yes, we went out and yes, he did the flip from sweet and fun kid to obnoxious toe-rag, but this time it was different.

For a start, this time it wasn’t about me.  It wasn’t about me being a failure as a Mum.  It wasn’t about me not coping or not being good enough.  It wasn’t about him being a terrible person.

This time I loved him as he is today.

Even if he never grows out of it.

Even if we don’t learn to control it.

Even if we don’t ever help him to manage it better, despite our efforts.

Ever.

I didn’t loathe him.  Or me.  I loved him; my dear, obnoxious, angry, 6 year old, struggling to find his place in the world.

Which got me thinking.  Maybe our role as parents isn’t to solve all the problems with our kids.  Maybe it isn’t to fix them.  Maybe it isn’t to make them perfect little people.  Maybe our role is not so much to lead them through it, maybe it is simply to love them through it.

Yes, it is important to be a guide, but it is more important to be their support, surely – to love them unconditionally.

I know that is all I ever craved as a kid.

And still now, when I face life’s muddles and make them worse, that is what I need.

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Hit in the Face with a Fish–Part II

December 3, 2012

Possum is 6 years 7 months

Bandicoot is 4 years 6 months

Little Princess is 1 year 11 months (23 months)

 

Of course, it isn’t just my sister who needs God’s guiding hand at the moment.  I am struggling terribly, as some of my recent posts will tell, with my role ministering to my little people.

So, this morning, when I was investigating Busted Halo, I stumbled across this article <link to cool article>.

I particularly got to this line:

My friends’ lives were transformed, not by their aimless wanderings, but by something spiritually nomadic. It was the acceptance of responsibility and sacrifice they learned as they labored hours cleaning, serving and walking among the lost and forgotten souls of 5th Street in L.A.

‘Aha, aha,’ I thought.  I get it.  It is hard, it is dirty, it is relentless.  It is self-sacrificing and it hurts.  BUT – and here is the kicker – it NEEDS TO BE DONE.  Not only that, it needs to be done BY ME.

Yup.  I wanted to be a Mum.  All I have wanted since I was a preschooler was to be a Mum.  Anything else was, in my opinion, filler.  God had me wait until I was – well, a little over 21 (lol!), which I hated.  But maybe this is why.

Maybe my kids need me.  Just me.  No one else to be their Mum.

Maybe no one else can do it, at least not like me.

Maybe it is okay that I struggle, that I spend nights sitting up crying over my failure, crying on the lap of my Saviour.  Maybe it is okay that sometimes I need to walk away.

Because you know what?  I AM labouring in ministry. 

And there is God, waiting for me in the acceptance of responsibility and sacrifice as I labour cleaning, serving and walking amongst His little ones.

Beaten and Disheartened…

December 2, 2012

Possum is 6 years 6 months

Bandicoot is 4 years 4 months

Little Princess is 1 year 11 months (23 months)

 

Today, my kids have beaten me.  I could take no more.  I left.

Church is often tough.  Possum will only sit on the floor and not join in.  Bandicoot begs for food.  Little Princess cries if I don’t hold her.  That is on a good day.

Today was not a good day.

Let’s just say that they were bad.  In fairness to Bandicoot, I really think he has some issues and only realises half of it.  Still there is that half.

I lost it.  After spending the whole service chasing and chastising, both inside and outside the Church, I went and hid around the back of the building and cried during morning tea.

And then it got worse.

Today was “Live Sparks” day.  Live Sparks is our Church’s equivalent to Sunday School.  The whole family attends together, including parents and, well, one year olds.  It is rather dry in its presentation, although I do not understand why.  The elements are there – song, sign language, story, craft, prayer…, but still it is tough going.  We are only a small Church and today there were a total of three families.  No where to hide.

Possum and I sat outside and had a discussion about appropriate Church behaviour and why we do it, even if it is dull (for the third time today.)  He was terribly contrite, so we went back inside to join Live Sparks.  No sooner were we there and he was lying on the floor sucking his thumb, complaining loudly how boring it was.

I was ropable.

And that was just Possum.

It went on and on… the three of them, each in their own way: angry protest, exuberant disobedience, demanding attachment.  It was worse than The Island of Perpetual Tickling (IPT).

I had to get away.

Thank goodness DH understood.

 

 

Apart from the desperate, undisciplined, inconsiderate nature of my children, the events have raised some interesting points for me to consider:

  • How do I WANT to raise my children?
  • Why can’t I discipline them?
  • The overwhelming constancy of homeschooling.
  • My kids really are spunky.

Not all of this is a bad thing, although today certainly was.

Should Parents Be Allowed to Drive?

January 24, 2012

 

or What are you REALLY thinking about???

 

Possum is 5 years 8 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 6 months

Little Princess is 1 year old

 

Today we went to the Aquarium.  We love the Aquarium, but it is a bit of a way to get there.  We need to drive to the city and then we catch the monorail train to the aquarium.  It takes us about an hour to an hour fifteen (usually depending how co-operative the kids are when I am trying to do the transfer.)

As we were driving in today, me trying to run in-flight service, carry on three conversations at once, negotiate city traffic (I am out of practice after holidays!), and stop my brain from racing through all the things I need to do, I wished again for one of those privacy screens that they have in limousines – at least in the movies – I wouldn’t know about in real life.

It made me think about how safe am I when I am driving.  To be honest, not as safe as I would like.  In fact, if someone else drove like that, I would not like them driving my kids about.

I used to be a good driver.  There was a certain amount of skill that I took great pride in nurturing, but there was also a certain base level of concentration that was required.

I guess that is why there are all those laws about mobile phone use while driving.  Of course, I am pretty sure I could chat on the phone and text with my toes and sit backwards in the drivers seat and still have more attention for driving than with a car full of kids.

So what can I do?  I can do what my DH does when he is riding his motorbike.  He has told me that as soon as he sees the tell-tale signs of babyseats strapped to the restraints in cars, he gives them a wide berth.  Perhaps those “Baby Onboard” dangly things should be compulsory, the same way L- and P-plates are for new drivers.

And in the meantime?  Well, St Christopher is working overtime….