It is taking me awhile, but I am reading through a book entitled
"The Mom You're Meant to Be" by Cheri Fuller.
Oh how I love this book. It is putting a great perspective on parenting. I have ready a lot of good Christian parenting books but I would have to say that this is nearing the top of my list. I'd love to share a bit of it with you.
I'm not quite finished reading but I'll try and do another post when the book is complete.
Pick up a copy and enjoy...
Chapter 2 - Throw Away the Cookie Cutter
No parent ever trained up his child in the way he should go without making an effort to know that child -- Charles R. Swindoll
"The more I understood about our little ones emotional makeup, the more accepting I was of his emotions and grateful for his individuality." ~Cheri Fuller
This chapter is a great starter because it basically focuses on our role as parents. I think we have a tendency to compare one child with another one of your children or compare your child with your friends child. So often in conversation I hear, "well, my little baby walked at this age, how about yours?" or "my child knows her alphabet already, how about yours?" It is so important to remember that all children are unique. All children were created by the same Maker but with a very different makeup. I know I am extremely guilty of comparing my two kids but as I take a moment to step back and observe, I can appreciate each for their amazingly different qualities.
Chapter 3 - Don't Put Off Joy
Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance -- Oprah Winfrey
Another great chapter. Cheri talks about how often we as parents seem to actually put off joy. Meaning ~ we have a tendency to say to ourselves, I'll be happier when..... when the kids are potty trained, when the kids are sleeping through the night, when the kids are teenagers. But the focus is not when but now. Let's stop and enjoy the now. Although many of us may be in rather challenging stages (ie. meaning anyone with young children are stuck in challenging stage) let's enjoy this that the Lord gave us. So although we may be knee deep in diapers, bottles, sleepless nights, temper tantrums, lets enjoy the enjoyable in it. Each day brings something that can make us smile. I can guarantee at least for me, through the temper tantrums and biting, my kids will do something that makes me just want to giggle. Instead of focusing on negative, lets choose to focus on the positive ~ because like all things, it will pass - sometimes faster than we would like.
Chapter 4 - Never Be Too Smug
I definitely had to laugh after reading this chapter - why? Because I have found myself with my foot in my mouth on more than one occasion. Not to worry though, I am learning my lesson, especially when it comes to parenting.
"But the truth is, as moms, we must never be too smug.....How do you know you've gotten smug about your mothering? Here are two telltale clues: Critical thoughts creep into your mind when you see other less than-perfect kids & There's no room for improvement, new ideas, or advice from anyone else." Rather we should "walk in humility and gratefulness, no matter how well your kids behave, how high their grades are, or how fast their spiritual growth is progressing. This is biblical. And besides, if your kids are doing great at the moment (or turn out great in the end), it's more about God's grace than expert parenting skills." I guess there isn't a whole lot to add to that. It is true when you stop to think about.
How often have we as moms been critical of other mothers struggling with overtired toddlers in the grocery store or biting babies at daycare. Admit it, the thought has crossed your mind "not my child." I will admit is has crossed mine. But I have become much less judgemental and I think it all began - ummm - the day Mattea was brought home.
Realizing parenting is a challenging and downright hard job, why would we choose to be critical of one another instead of inspiring. Rather than blow out someone else's candle, lets help make it burn just a bit brighter.
Chapter 5 - People Are More Important Than Things
"A sparkling house is a fine thing if the children aren't robbed of their luster in keeping it that way." Marcelene Cox
Guilty as charged. I admit, in the back of my mind, I kind of think that I will be rewarded the gold heart in heaven for world's cleanest house. Or maybe it will be world's biggest perfectionist. Who knows. I'm not sure where these feelings come from but I definitely struggle in this area. Always wanting to be tidy, perfect, organized comes with a price. For example, when your children cover their ears the minute they see me head to the vacuum or they consistently yell "STOP" during the 6 times that I vacuum a day - there may be a problem. I'm certainly not saying that there I covet a clean house over an afternoon with my children. Or worse yet, I covet an item of any value over my children. I do not. But I do know that I have disciplined my kids when good intentions have gone wrong and something has either been broken, bent or ruined. I have passed on playtime so that I could obsessively clean or organize. I won't lie. For the most part, I have tried to do a really good job with filling my home with things of literally no value. Dave and I have decided that we won't purchase anything of any value until the kids are much older simply because we would never want to set them up for failure. We want them to be comfortable in their own home.
With that said, I think I broke Mattea's spirit the day I found out that she had colored on just about every page of her new sister's baby book. I was devastated. I was angry. Now, I just realize Paloma has a bit more character in her book than Mattea. Remember Heather, it is just a thing - Mattea is a person. Are you guilty of this. I can be but like many things in this book, I am working on it.