March 23, 2008

Well I hope everyone has had a nice Easter. The dinner went well on Good Friday; my mom helped me with the cooking and preparations and it was much easier. The lamb was good too- very expensive though. Unfortunately not very many people showed up. I sort of felt like the man in the parable that Jesus talks of- he prepared a large banquet and invited lots of people to come. They didn't come so he told the servants to go out and find all the people they could so the banquet would be full. I don't know if I'll be doing the meal again next year- a lot of work for not a lot of response.

I wanted to ask for prayers and advice. Before I got married the Lord made it clear to me that His plan for me was to be a wife and a mother. But lately, I've been failing and I guess losing my purpose. I'm doing pretty well in the wife role, but not so well with the mothering part. I know that I am in a challenging stage of motherhood right now- my girls are still little and I do have a special needs child. But my middle daughter has been exhibiting some very bad behaviors lately.

I realized that I am not the mama I envisioned myself to be. I haven't read any of them a book in I don't know how long. I constantly shoo them away while I'm cleaning or cooking. I have been raising my voice a lot. I don't have much joy in raising my children. I thought it was because they were the problem- ungrateful, unappreciative, uncooperative, selfish, not listening or paying attention. But, as I've been reading from the archives at No Greater Joy's website, I realize that it's not their fault. They feed off of me, and if I have the attitude that they aren't 'good' and am emotional or constantly disapproving of them, then how are they going to 'shape up'? It is very humbling to admit this. I feel guilty and like a failure. I'm one of those parents that is consistent for a few days and then something comes up and I slack off- bad thing to do. It is SO hard to be 100% consistent all the time though! I'm only one person-there's three children!

So anyways, I am praying that God would change my heart and help me to change my ways. I know if I train my girls and make that a priority, then I will have more time and help with things around the house later. It's just hard to get out of the mentality of getting everything done to my standards everyday. I want to enjoy being with my little girls and do the fun things they want for me to do. I want their hearts and for them to desire to please Matt and I. I feel sad and ashamed for allowing myself to get to this point. I am very thankful that children are so forgiving and willing to start over easily. I ask that you pray for patience in me and self control- no yelling or anger. I can't do this without Him.



Anonymous said...

my kids are now nearly eleven and seven. i'm almost at the "other end" of those little years, and now i have the time to look back and have all those "wish i'd done..." thoughts. do you know what i wish i had known back then? i wish i had spent large chunks of time just laying on the floor amidst their toys and just play with them, smile, laugh, tickle, enjoy... without worrying about the house.

i see now how my quest for a perfectly tidy home wasted a lot of time with my kids. i tested this out and found that my kids were better behaved and content, i was more joyful, my house actually got cleaner, when i took a few large chunks of time (half hour chunks or more) during the day to just enjoy them. ask what they want to play during those times. if you take them to the park, engage them, don't just sit on the bench. they just need that bonding time, and then when that chunk of mommy time is over, they will not be so clingy or whiny when you are getting some housecleaning done, so you actually get more done in a smaller amount of time. not to mention if you spend some time really focused on what they would like to do, then they might be more willing and focused to help you in your chores as they get older.

when you read about women who keep their kids by their sides all the time (tomato staking? Pearls?) i think that's great for someone who has the personality to deal with that, but i found my seven year old likes her quiet time and space sometimes and has since she was a toddler. she was better behaved when she had her alone time (15 min or so). i also get irritated when my kids were crawling all over me all the time... but then realized it was their only way of communicating that they needed bonding time with me. those big chunks of hyper-focusing on them really did the trick to get them to relax and behave better.

sorry this is jumbled! hope this helps somewhat.

Anonymous said...

Go to Homeliving Helper and in her sidebar is a blog called eHomebody. This gal did a post on girls, hormones, and delinquent attitudes/behaviour in the home. It describes my second child to a T!! It may give some insights.

Anneatheart said...

Thank you all so much for your comments. They have helped me a lot. I too am not so sure about tomato staking. For myself, I've always enjoyed having time to alone. I also can't deal with feeling crowded. (I can barely walk down an aisle at the grocery store that has a few people with buggies there!) I tend to get more frustrated with them right underneath me...this week I'm just going to focus on being in the same room with them and cheerful first time obedience.

Joy Comes in the Morning said...

I know how you feel. Mine are 3 and 5 and there are days that I think I am such a failure. But I think we feel that way just because we want so desperatley to be a good mother. There is nothing wrong with that. Everyone goes through seasen were they may seem off their game, but it is just a season. I sometimes think of my grandma and I feel like she had 8 kids and was always perfect, but she really wasn't. She would get upset, chores was not always done. If she was here today I think she would say "just keep your heart right, baby." It's ok to not be perfect, God knows our hearts.

Anonymous said...

Every mom is different, every child is different and every family is different. A guide, online or in print, is just that - a guide. You cannot judge yourself against others or compare yourself to them.

Everyone goes through rough times as parents. Everyone has questions and doubts. And every child tests their limits, no matter what they are, as they grow and develop.

The key is to find what works for YOU, not what works for others or what someone says you "should" do.

You recognize that things aren't quite "right" - that is the biggest step in figuring out the rest. It is those who ignore the signs that have troubles. When you question things and acknowledge difficulties, you are more than half way to making things better.

Tereza said...

The first anon comment sounds familiar to me!! My kids thrive on contact with me as well and then they play nicer on their own!