Between Parent and Child

image from amazon.com

Just a quick shout out to the best parenting book I've read in a long time!  I used to tear through parenting books, finding purpose and vision in my calling as a mother.  Then, I took a hiatus...maybe I got a little prideful not thinking I needed to read them anymore. And then I had teenagers and was not prepared for the transition.  After a great discussion with my dearest friend I felt inspired to get to reading some more.  This was the first book I picked up and loved every minute of it! 

A couple of quotes: 

"Children whose parents do not consider their feelings and point of view may conclude that their ideas are stupid and unworthy of attention and that they are neither lovable nor loved (p.84)." 

"Emotions are part of our genetic heritage. Fish swim, birds fly, and people feel.  Sometimes we are happy, sometimes we are not; but sometimes our lives are sure to feel anger and fear, sadness and joy, greed and guilt, lust and scorn, delight and disgust.  While we are not free to choose the emotions that arise in us, we are free to choose how we express them, provided we know what they are...Many people have been educated out of knowing what their feelings are.  When they felt hate, they were told it was only dislike.  When they were afraid, they were told there was nothing to be afraid of.  When they felt pain, they were advised to be brave and smile (p.27)."

The last couple of years I feel I have become more of a manager than a mother. Dictating became my #1 form of communication with my children.  Dictating, managing, scheduling...this does not create a relationship with others.  This book gave me a glimpse of how better to connect with my children; it's helped me to think about them as people with feelings, not as my children who need to be taught and trained all of the time.  

Looking for motivation in your role as a mother?  I recommend this book!


As a Mother of Young Children

"Just enjoy them." 

As a mother of young children, I remember hearing this all the time!  Every time I heard it I would privately roll my eyes and think defensively, "Duh! I am enjoying them."  And I was.  I did.  I loved having my kids around me.  I loved the busyness and the constant chatter in the background. 

BUT...Being a mother of many young children was also really hard.  I remember going to bed some nights thinking, "What am I going to do tomorrow?"  I remember calling my mom crying because of a particularly challenging day.  I remember the child who would never sleep - - day or night - - and the child who never took a bottle.  I remember days in a row when someone would spill something at dinnertime. And there's the time I walked into my daughter's room ten minutes before church to find her entire body covered in Desitin!! Being a mother of young children is challenging!  

But all of those memories were just days, moments.

I have now been a mother for 17 years.  To some, my children are still very young.  Yet, I can look back at that time and recognize what I truly miss from those younger years. I'm beginning to better understand why people would tell me, "Just enjoy them."  

What I MISS from those younger years: 

Laughter coming from their bedroom.

Hugs and kisses (my teens just don't give these quite so readily!)

Play groups and park days.

Being needed constantly (hard to explain).

Complete control of my little brood - - in control of our schedule, their bedtime, our daily plans.

Childlike messes - the unfrozen otter pops cut open, the flour fight, the 2-year old getting eggs out of the fridge (thus all over the floor) - these are all just funny stories now!

Simple days.

The magic that only a child can bring to an ordinary day - - everything is new and exciting!

Quiet nights holding a baby (I appreciated this most with my current youngest).

Being forced to sit still to nurse a baby - best time to read a book! 

Cooking dinner with my children all around me (now they scatter!).

Halloween and Christmas are much more exciting with younger kids! 

Their childlike innocence and darling things they would say.

What I DON'T MISS from having younger children:

Car seats


Walking the halls at church

I'm sure in another 17 years I will be doing the same about this particular stage, but for now...
 I'm just going to enjoy them.

 - - - - - 

“'Children are an heritage of the Lord' (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live....The family is ordained of God."  


The Lord's Timing

I just read this tender article on lds.org and it made me think about my own experience with the Lord's timing.  In the article the young woman easily recognized the purpose behind the waiting.  Though I have finally received the thing I've been desiring (a new little one coming to our home!), I still don't understand the timing of it all.

Why did we have to wait?

Why did I have to go through so much pain to get to where I am?

Was it just in the struggle that I needed to learn the lessons or is there really a greater purpose to why now instead of then?

There have been other times in my life when I have been able to see what the Lord's purpose was in the end, but this time I'm still kind of baffled!  Ultimately, it's nice to know the Lord knows what He is doing with us.  I try to take comfort in that knowledge as I wait patiently for more answers to come.

 - - - - - 

"For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have." - - 2 Nephi 28:30 - - 
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