how to parent

I was getting my hair done this weekend chatting with my hairdresser.  She rocks – I’ve loved her from the first time we met.  We always have great conversations, which typically center around relationships: our husbands, our families growing up, my children, life.  I’m not sure what prompted it, but this weekend she said something to the extent of: “your kids always look so sweet in pictures.  Are they ever really naughty?”  

ARE THEY EVER NAUGHTY?

We’ve been having a heck of a time of it lately.  Part of me says this is normal and kids are naughty.. just “testing”.  Part of me thinks this is a direct ambush on feelings we’ve been wrestling with about being part of foster care as a family.  See this post.  Either way- I feel beat up.  I feel exhausted.  I feel significant fear about opening our home up to more little people.

Our kids can be so sweet.  In real life and in pictures.  But they’re also monsters.  As a mom one of my immediate responses when they’re especially naughty is to get some new parenting books, or to just stay home until things feel better controlled.  Oh do I like my false sense of control!  Neither approach would be wrong.  Neither approach alone works.

Then I get a reminder from my four-year-old about how this adventure of parenting really works.  The other night I asked Lucia to go upstairs and get ready for bed.  At this point you should know that I wear contacts or glasses at all waking hours.  Typically my contacts are pretty irritable and dry by the kids bedtime, so I’ll switch to my glasses.  Lucia also has glasses.  They are dark frames (like my own), only hers have hello kitty figures as some added bling and are entirely for show.  A three dollar Target splurge. So the other night I asked Lucia to get ready for bed and a few minutes later she comes back down with her PJ’s on and her fake glasses which I immediately notice (as she seldom wears them) and I say “nice glasses“.  Lucia responded:  “I want to wear glasses at bedtime like you do, Mom.”  

Right!  She watches what I do.  She copies what I do.  She wants to be like me.

I can over complicate this job of parenting.  I can walk around feeling defeated and in fear of what our kids will turn out like OR I can focus more on my faith in God.  I can let my faith be bigger than my fears.  Our kids are definitely testing, and they are watching my every response.

More love, patience, selflessness, grace needed here.  So thankful for a God who takes me where I am.  Who uses what I have.  Who lovingly shows me what I need more of.  Let my faith be bigger.

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