What example am I setting for my kids?
I failed at mommyhood today… and yesterday… and the day before. Its been a rough week. My two and a half year old is pushing all my ‘I see RED‘ buttons and I’m unable to practice self-control. I yell and lose my temper.
She’s at that age where she’s asserting her independence. She often forgets her manners and ‘WHY‘ has become her new favourite word. I’m all for entertaining her curiosity – but when I tell her its time for bed, don’t question me. We’re trying to teach her to get dressed on her own, but her frustration levels hit the roof when she cant get that jersey over her head. And then we have a meltdown. That’s when my anger levels heighten to the peak of Mount Everest. I’m so desperately trying to practice calming myself down so that I’m able to calm her down and teach her that the world will not end just because she cannot get her jersey over her head. I’m finding this stage of mommyhood the hardest. Probably because I’ve never braved this age before. And man, I’m struggling. I’m also 32weeks pregnant and my need for comfort outweighs hers right now – just bending down is as hard as attempting to lift a 20kg kettlebell. I’m just kidding – I have no idea how hard it is to lift a 20kg kettlebell.
I feel like I’ve just answered my own question right there – I have become selfish. I feel challenged to forsake all my comforts and attend to her innocent worries. My heart is sore at how I overreact and under love my daughter. I need Gods Word to do surgery on my filthy heart and replace it with one that practices tenderheartedness, mercy, and forgiveness – just as He has bestowed on me.
“12-14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” – Colossians 3:12-14 The Message (MSG)
I attended a conference recently, where Dalene Reyburn, writer of Dragons and Dirt, was sharing her heart – she challenged us with this:
As women, we so often want to be prettier, thinner, smarter and more successful. It’s almost as if we have something to prove in this male-dominated world. We aim high, set goals, workout until our muscles are as chiseled as Michelangelo’s David. We throw money at stilettos and tight fitted jeans – anything to convince the world and ourselves that ‘we’ve got it handled‘. Don’t get me wrong – I am in full support of women’s lib and I appreciate the beauty of feminism. But what if, as women and moms and daughters and teachers and doctors and bloggers and entrepreneurs, what if we spent some time and all that vigour and vivacity on making our hearts look more chiseled, confident and captivating? What if while we’re aiming to have a smaller waist and pants size by summer, we start aiming to have a larger heart size? What if we raised our glasses to success if a different form? One that looks more like climbing the mountains of forgiveness and peacemaking, compassion and kindness, patience and consideration, loyalty, consistency, and commitment. What if we filled our hearts and lives with a joy that permeates and saturates our core, independent of all other things.
What if I spent more time beautifying my heart instead of my face? Would I shout at my daughter less? Would I have more patience and show her more tenderness? What if she becomes me one day? Am I setting her up for failure or fruition?
She’s a strong cup of black coffee in a world that is drunk on the cheap wine of shallow love – JM Storm
I don’t need my daughter to recognize me as a successful businesswoman who climbed the ladder of the corporate industry and made it to the top in my fitted pencil skirt. I need her to recognize me as the Mom who loved her at her worst and at her best, the Mom who was gentle and compassionate with her, the Mom who showered her with love and understanding. I need her to know that sacrificial love is beautiful and exemplary. I need her to know that I worked ‘on my heart’ just as much as I worked on my body. I need her to know these things, not so that she can commend me one day but rather so that she can become this woman herself and learn from what she has seen. She too will be a mom one day teaching her kids the very values that I instill in her.
So instead of going into my ‘I see RED’ zone – I’m going to work on my heart so that its flooded with overwhelming understanding for my daughters at every stage of their lives. I’m going to watch over my heart intentionally and keep it in shape so that the carbs of life don’t weigh it down.