Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hardest Job

I recently read a friends blog post in which she talked about disciplining her two year old and feeling like she should know what to do, but just doesn't seem to have all the answers. I have felt/thought this more and more in recent days. Her credentials are similar to mine, a soon to be Elementary Ed degree with an Early Childhood Endorsement. In her post, she states she should know what to do and she has worked with children and helped shape them for as long as she can remember. I share these same sentiments. Before having children I was confident I would be able to handle the challenges, joys, tears, etc that come with having children. My confidence, while still present, has changed. New revelations have come. Shaping the lives of children in a classroom, is very different than training your own children (so I've learned :). While some of the same techniques can be used, others may not work as well. In the bubble of the classroom, all your attention is on the students. It is much easier to be consistent. When at home and all the other aspects of life are vying for your attention, sometimes this constancy is compromised. Having more than one child, I have learned that each of my children have very different personalities and different forms of discipline work with each of them. A time out may work with one, but not with another. Then each situation, may have it's own consequences. Leading to many challenges in the parenting department. The bottom line is that each day has it's own adventures. Just as the kids are growing and learning, I am doing the same. When faced with a situation, we go with our gut, bring in some of my training, and use past experiences to face the situation head on. While parenting is the hardest job I have ever done, it also the most rewarding. There's NOTHING better that an I Love You at the end of the day or listening to little feet run down the hallway and being greeted with sweet kiss on the cheek to wake me up. At school my job is pretty consistent throughout the day. At home, my job as a mom is always evolving and changing. The pressure (or perceived pressure) from society and those around us adds to the dynamic of parenting. People are so quick to judge and jump to conclusions in all areas of life, but especially parenting. I was probably one of those people before I had kids :) Kids act out, and it's said, "They don't have any discipline at home" or "their parents need to get control". Easier said than done. Looking beyond these judgements hard for me. One of our kiddos in particular has been more challenging than the other two. She has traits that will one day make her a strong and productive leader in society, but training her along the way has proved difficult at times. There have been times, and are even now, that I don't want to go out and be around friends and family, anxious that she will have a meltdown or lash out at someone, and my parenting will be criticized. How will I handle it with all those eyes on me? What will people think? These are insecurities/pride issues that I have dealt with in many areas of my life. I am pleased to say that this is changing, while I still have times filled with anxiousness, worry, and fear, I have MANY more times, that frankly, I don't really care what others think. While I know this sounds harsh, hear my heart. I have come to a place that I only want to please my Lord and Savior. While I will gladly listen to the opinions and thoughts of others, the most important thing for me is pleasing the Lord in all I do and that includes training my children. We all live in different situations, different ages and amounts of kids, different jobs, and time commitments, different amounts of support, but the bottom line is we need to love one another as God loves us. Be quick to encourage instead of quick to judge. This should pertain to all areas in our lives. In my friends post she referenced the "three C's: calm, caring, and consistent as well as the 90:10 ratio, "which states that interactions with your child should be 90 parts positive and 10 parts negative or better." Hard sometimes, but VERY true. My fave line in her post, writing about reading books on discipline lately, was, "My experience with theories is that they work wonderfully in a book, with the ideal child in mind. In practice, however, things are a bit more complicated. Interactions with real children are often more complex than the books can portray. It's frustrating to read or know something, then try it out and end up with a different outcome than you expected." This couldn't be more true. I too have been reading about discipline lately, and its very humbling to read a book, in which it states many of the things you are doing are "wrong." While I believe that there are absolutely things I need to change, I also believe that no one knows my children better than me. I do the best job I know how, and face each situation as it comes. Parenting is a ever-changing and evolving thing. We learn as we go, and make changes where needed. I am thankful for new mercies and grace each day. Love your children today just for who they are. Its the most important job we will ever have. Now for something a little more upbeat...before the last snowflake has melted (yes we still have little bits of snow on the ground here in MI) I give you "Winter Fun 2011" videos:


Melba said...

I'm reading this on my smart phone & can't see your videos but I'll come back & check them soon. I love this post & am happy to know I'm not alone in the struggles with pride & trusting myself completely to know what's best for MY child. There is so much judgment out there & I too find that parenting is an area where many people are very quick to judge & criticize others. It's hard at times but yes, also tremendously rewarding!!

Hang in there with your sweet girl! I too was a stubborn/temperamental youngster who challenged her mother endlessly but my mom tells me now that she's happy I'm as string-willed as I am. :)

You're a beautiful mother!!


Rebekah said...

You are a SUPER super-mom. You do all things well and your beautiful, God-given grace is found in all three of your kids.

God makes all of us as unique as can be, who are we to challenge God's plan?

I wouldn't change a thing about you, your parenting, or your babies. You're all perfect in God's eyes and mine! :)

karen said...

You are a step ahead realizing that they each need a different touch as they are so unique! Love them love them love them and all will be well. You are an awesome mom, and while its hard to block out the world, keep it up because no one knows whats best for YOUR children but you and Chris. Love you and your beautiful heart for God. Mom

karen said...

By the the videos!

Anonymous said...

Meeg, I think you are a great mom. You are patient, kind and loving (and discipline when you need to)to those three beautiful children. I tell Mitch when we have issues, I have never been a mom to a 16 yr old and you have never been 16 before, so we will figure these things out together! Keep up the great work, and don't ever doubt the gifts the Father has given you!!!

M9 Review said...

Lovely website! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. said...

I cannot WAIT to read more of this. I mean, you just know so much about this. So much of it Ive never even thought of. You sure did put a new twist on something that Ive heard so much about. I dont believe Ive actually read anything that does this subject as good justice as you just did.

Running after the heart of the Father. Seeking His face in All things. Walking His will out in my life. These are the desires of my heart. Along the way I am a wife and mom who wants to capture memories that will last a life time.