Monday, March 22, 2010

if mama ain't happy...

...nobody's happy. So the saying goes. You know what? There's truth in it.

I learned pretty quickly that my mood affected how the day was going to go. In other words, moms set the tone in the home. Did you know that? I don't know why that is but it is.

I'm a pretty optimistic person by nature. I'm also a morning person. When I wake up I'm almost always in a good mood and I have tons of energy. I am also a good manager and I like accomplishment. I homeschool, so this is a good mix. I'm up first and set the tone. Essentially that means the house is going to be peaceful and welcoming when the kids get up if I've got things ready for the day. They need routine and guidance and feel safest when that is in place. Even the teenagers. 

After doing some picking up from the night before (since I'm upstairs usually at 8pm - I am not a night owl - and God only knows what happens downstairs after I go to bed!) I prepare the day for everyone to have a clean table for breakfast and get my little guy's books set up with his devotional book first. I can't be watching a morning show or on the phone or checking out Facebook and let them navigate through the morning. I have to set aside my wants and needs for them. 

In other words, we create an atmosphere for success. If we find ourselves nagging, that sets a tone. If we give them a good morning and/or comment about something interesting to them  (like today- "Hey Joel, guess what? I saw 2 bluebirds this morning!"), that sets a tone, too. Either one can set the course for how the day will go.

This doesn't mean everything runs smoothly here. It doesn't. But at least I have a "track" to stay on so when I get off of it, or the kids get off of it, I can get us all back on.

You may not be optimistic. You may not be a morning person. You may be miserable in the morning. Yet, I am certain you have areas of strength and success that I do not have. That means, what you are good at, I have to work at. So don't despair!

We are all doing what we can do. No one has it all together. We are given a measure of material and tools and what we do is be faithful in what we have been given. Not that we can't learn and obtain more tools, but we are who we are and God knows that. Not only that, but he accepts it.

If you're a night owl and not an energetic morning person, it's okay to do laundry or other chores at night. If you're a grumpy morning person, give yourself at least a half hour before the kids get up in order to pull it together. Just like I have to pull it together at night sometimes when I'm called upon.

If you homeschool, who says you have to start at 8am? While I'm not suggesting that you and the kids sleep late everyday, but if sleeping til 9 sounds good and getting up at 7 is not going to happen, why not shoot for 8 with school starting at 8:30?

Don't fall into the trap of trying to be a carbon copy of another mom. You are who you are and while we can learn from others, learn to "delete" and "trash" anything that you know in your gut isn't for you or your family. You will be frustrated if you keep going against the flow of who you are.

This isn't to say that we cannot change some things about ourselves. For instance, I had to learn to speak calmly into situations. It's easy to raise your voice in order to make a point. Especially when two kids are arguing back and forth. This brings peace into the situation in order for everyone to take a breath and regroup. See? I've yelled at my kids, too. I've also slammed doors and I've thrown a thing or two.

Remember: God made you who you are. Never, never second guess yourself. You are the right mother for your children. We are all learning and growing together, yet, you must be convinced based on God's acceptance of you...for you to accept you. This has to come into place in order for you to become a strong woman. You may have had hurtful words spoken to you by your own mother or father, maybe even your husband. You may have felt rejected, inferior, disqualified. This is not the truth about you. We live in a fallen world and things happen to us that hurt. Yet, in time, as you learn how valued you are by God and other people in your life, you will in turn be able to care for your children the way you would like to.

Be yourself. God likes you. So do I.

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