Thoughts on Mothering & Parenting
Sometimes “purposeful” and “intentional” can turn into “taking oneself too seriously.” Anything that doesn’t go as planned (and isn’t that usually most things?) is a temptation to discouragement or at least to the laser-eye of analysis. Instead, it might just be a reminder that God is in charge and we are not, and we need to be willing to laugh at ourselves.
Yet, here I was wondering what “relationship” with kids would really even be or look like, because when other people talk about it, sometimes I feel like they are just on a different planet. How are authority and relationship even compatible, really?
- Little Mirrors (2007)
I have been truly amazed, startled, and ashamed as it has become more and more clear to me that the attitude and behavior problems my children display is only a childish mimicry of my own attitude and behavior problems, which, because I am a skilled and practiced sinner, are more concealed than the blatant sins of a small child.
Our Heavenly Father is pleased with us, and is pleased when we come to Him. This earthly mother, though, tends to enter a room, cast a critical eye about, and be generally dissatisfied with what she sees. Even if it’s not the children I’m dissatisfied with, I know they pick up and internalize whatever vibe I’m emitting.
Professional also implies deliberate and intentional duty-fulfillment: a professional shows up even if he doesn’t feel like it. There are a lot of subtle ways moms can go through the motions without “showing up,” and I knew I needed to get over that.
Artisan combines the skill, competence, and confidence of the professional with the dedication, affection, and attention of the amateur.
Mothers are a strategic target to build or destroy culture. We are easily discouraged in the day of small things and we spend too much time fussing with each other and with our children over petty things.
Mothering in Perspective
As always, it is when a new baby joins the family and tethers you to a chair that the toddler goes through a fussy, stubborn stage. Life has changed. Who knows, maybe that whole obedience thing is under negotiation. He has to check.
But when that c-section became actual rather than theoretical, I realized in a panicked moment I really didn’t know what a c-section entailed and I was facing the unknown.
The point is not try harder. No matter how the movie scene went, inspiring words rarely actually lift us up out of raw nerves.