Post-Mother’s Day Resolutions

I was blessed to be able to celebrate Mother’s Day this past Sunday. Most of my thoughts were occupied with my children and how much I truly enjoy them. I thought a lot about my mom, my grandmas and my mother-in-law, and pondered about what made each of them special. I also thought about my friends and what wonderful mothers they are. Then, I thought about Christ and his example of being a heavenly parent to each of us. I made a mental list of things I do right and things I do wrong in the way I parent my children and decided to make a few Mother’s Day resolutions that I will hopefully be able to stick with.

1. Forgive. It isn’t hard for me to forgive my children, but it sure is hard for me to forgive myself. When I lose my temper or make the wrong decision, I apologize but then spend the rest of the day mentally berating myself for my mistake. Unfortunately, I also tend to verbally berate myself and my children notice. This is no example of forgiveness! It is so hard to understand the depth of God’s forgiveness and how He forgives and forgets. He doesn’t remind us of our mistakes, but He forgets them instead. It’s hard to grasp that concept, but I need to try harder to model that for my children. I need to move on and try not to get stuck on my mistake because that doesn’t bring healing or correction to the situation. It brings doubt and a bad attitude.

2. Offering Gifts. My son is really into bringing me gifts right now. It’s a big step when children stop being so egocentric and actually have a thought about another human. The gift giving started with Ayrton Tulipspinecones and rocks and he’s now moved onto flowers, sticks and pretty much anything else he can dig up outside. I try so hard to accept these gifts gracefully because I want Ayrton to understand that his gifts are important to me because he thoughtfully chose them for me. I want him to understand that I appreciate his time to get me this gift. The same goes when we offer up our gifts to God. He accepts any gift, no matter the size, shape, amount or form. When it comes from the heart and is meant to please God then we’ve given the best gift we can give. I put a glass jar in my dining room and it’s filled with pinecones, rocks and sticks. Every time I see it, I’m reminded of Ayrton’s generosity and thoughtfulness. I pray that one day he’ll offer up his gifts to God as well.

photo 3-1 Accepting Ayrton’s gift gracefully also teaches him to accept gifts gracefully from others. It’s so embarrassing to hear your child say, “I already have this!” or “Eww!” or “Why did you give me this?” when opening gifts at a birthday party or at Christmas. However, if that’s how I respond to Ayrton’s gift that he gives me then I’m teaching him that it’s perfectly acceptable to criticize someone else’s gift to him. Hopefully in time, he’ll learn to smile and say thank you.

3. Speak gently. I speak pretty gentle most of the time. Except before coffee and right before nap. That’s always the hardest. And when I’m making dinner… and during bath… and right before bed. Ok, so I’m not that good at it. In my defense, Ayrton talks A LOT and if I don’t raise my voice then he won’t even hear me because he’s chattering on about one thing or another. I know that when you get louder then kids just get louder but when you get quieter then kids get quieter too. It’s just a habit that I really need and want to model for my children. I want to help them understand that God will speak to them in a still, small voice one day and they need to be able to hear it. They need practice to notice that it’s quiet and that the quietness means something. Just like the mom of a three-year-old knows that quietness means something (like crayon on the walls or 12 rolls of toilet paper unrolled to make a road on a bedroom floor). I want my children to understand that they will need to quiet themselves in the presence of God to be able to hear what He is saying to them.

It is a lot of pressure to be a parent. Being a mother has brought so much joy to my life but I would be kidding myself if I said it was easy or fun all the time. When I feel discouraged or disappointed in myself I need to look to my Heavenly Father and how He parents me. I need to mimic these traits and strive to point my children in the direction of the everlasting love of Christ. I am my children’s first teacher and want to do my best to shine God’s light into their lives. I can’t do that if I’m unforgiving, criticizing their thoughtfulness or yelling at them. I pray you consider your parenting skills and compare them not to the world but to God. Obviously we will never be perfect but we can try with all our might to imitate Christ and His patience and peace.

 

About Meghan Zeile

Mom-in-the-know and local writer for Rochester Media. Always looking for tips with kids, family life, and fun local adventures. Contact at [email protected]

Comments

  1. Meghan, I was reading through your different posts and this one spoke to me in my new journey through motherhood. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope I have this much insight when my son is three and I am moving through the different stages of parenthood.

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