Awakened at the crack of dawn by a 31″ girl and a 37″ boy. I stumble half awake as my children ask for “dinks”, a.k.a. drinks. We start our routine of breakfast, cartoons, devotional… and the list goes on.
Just a Rule We Have…
As we referee what appears to be self explanatory, we quickly realize nothing is self explanatory to a toddler. As a family joke (at least between my husband and I) we have starting saying “guidelines” that all end in, “It’s just a rule we have.” As in “No you can’t run with scissors, it’s just a rule we have.” Here are some other gems, we’ve ended up with…
“No you can’t kick your sister, it’s just a rule we have.”
“No you can’t bite your brother, it’s just a rule we have.”
“No you can’t jump off the chair head first, it’s just a rule we have.”
“Don’t color on the couch, it’s just a rule we have.”
“Leave your diaper on, and if you take it off don’t poop on the floor, it’s just a rule we have.”
“Don’t use our flat screen as leverage to scale the entertainment stand, it’s just a rule we have.”
“Did you wipe your butt after you pooped, it’s just a rule we have.”
Parenting is Hard Work
We grow tired as the day lingers on. It is guiding and directing another human being every step of the way.
Resistance is sure to follow as this 3 feet and under crew are positive they can do everything themselves. Not to mention their way is always right, and they are invincible. I never realized it would take all my energy to reinforce rules of protection to my children, only to have to go on repeat the very next day.
I am sure God looks at us and thinks the same thing.
Sometimes through all this hustle and bustle we forget how important our job is. Teaching a child how to potty train or how to be patient and use their manners seems trivial in the big scheme of things, but it’s not. This is your mission field, from start to finish. Every day no matter how tired or under appreciated you feel, remember you are making a difference.
Parenting is hard work. It takes work and commitment. It takes unconditional love for another without praise and accolades. Without the marching band that we all deserve.
Kids Are Watching
As you go throughout your day remember your kids are watching. Your kids are watching how you teach, guide and love them. More important than your words are your actions. If you tell them you love them, but you act like they are a burden, they will feel that. They are waiting to feel affirmation that they are loved, storing up nuggets every day. It maybe easy to consume your day with things other then your children: Weigh those things. Some are needed. Some are not. You may not get a handwritten thank you or a gift, but when you are investing in your children it is the best thing you can do with your time. It is invaluable.
Your Children Are Your Mission Field.
Teach them about Jesus, teach them to love, to be patient, to be kind. Don’t waste your days looking forward to when they are older. Enjoy them today in whatever season they are at. Make them a conscience priority. It’s so easy to go into survival mode and only feel you have energy for the basics ( i.e. feeding, cooking, cleaning) but make sure you are taking a moment for quality time. They each have their unique personalities filled with a purpose. There is nothing sweeter than when you are spending time with your child, and you hear them genuinely laugh, or smile, and you just know they feel as loved as you do at that moment. One day I was sitting with Tim, and he looks up at me and says, “Mom, I am happy.” It made my day. I want my kids to feel loved, to not feel like a chore or an obligation, but as the gift they are.
May God give each one of us the strength to be the best parents we can be. Making our children the priority they are with a willing heart to invest in them with the love and dedication they deserve.
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from Him.