My kids had been driving me nuts for what seemed like WEEKS.
I kept trying to avoid them by reading books, playing on the computer, cleaning, blogging, or
making asking my husband to watch them so I can go out alone for a few precious hours. (Not that we all don’t need a little alone time!) But no matter how much effort I put in trying to avoid them because they were grinding my nerves, they were still here and they still needed me! (Imagine that!)
At my wits end, I’ve spent this last week doing the exact opposite of what I had been doing before. I tried being on the computer less, and engaged in them more. I think we were out of the house almost every day last week! We went to almost every park in town, went shopping, went to the library for story time, went out to lunch…you name it we did it! You know what? The more time I spent with them actively engaging them, they less irritating they had become and the more I understood why they had been misbehaving.
To some people it seems so obvious, the more time you spend with someone the more you get to know them and know why they do what they do! (DUH! Right?) To others of us, and I think us stay-at-home-moms in particular, it’s easy to overlook that. We are physically around these ‘people’ all the time, but we aren’t mentally and spiritually connecting with them. Thus, not really knowing these little people we care for every day.
I’ll share an example. Noah, my three-year-old son, had been really getting on my nerves to the point that I had seriously considered selling him to the Gypsies! (No really! They won’t accept rambunctious three-year-olds…and they have to be 100% potty trained! ) I had tried time-outs, spankings, yelling, hugs, sitting down with him and explaining why whining/hitting/yelling/jumping on furniture/being rude/not obeying is all wrong and how he should behave instead.
However, it really drove me nuts when I told him do something and he would be silly! SILLY! “How dare he be silly!”, I thought.
Then in dawned on me, he just wanted to make me laugh to break the tension! How much more mature he was than me! He just wanted a mom he could laugh with, who could take joke, who didn’t take life so seriously!
It’s been quite a revelation to me, and it’s been hard to change from being serious mom to being a silly mom.
The ‘A-ha moment’ was when I asked Noah to put away the silverware from the dishwasher. I didn’t feel like having to supervise every single fork, spoon, and knife to be put away and he was (seemingly) putting them away in the wrong spot on purpose saying, “What is this? Where does this go?”. Him knowing full well it was a fork and the slot for the forks were right in front of his face. I almost yelled at him to tell him, “Just get down Noah! I’ll do it myself!” But a still small voice that could only be from God said, “He just wants to make you laugh! His intentions always start out good, he’s a child.”
I stifled tears! I was so upset that I hadn’t seen it sooner! When did I become this sourpuss mom? Things had to change, and they had to start with me.
So for this past week I’ve tried being more intentional with my children. Reading to them more, holding them more, being silly with them more, going out and actually doing more things with them, and in return it’s made me love them more.
Make no mistake, Noah still does the whole, “What is this? Where does this go?”, but now I respond with “It’s a rocketship! It’s goes up in space!”. He laughs, I laugh, and the world of parenting seems like a lot less scary place to be.
Learning to walk in Christ,