Monday, May 03, 2010

cutting to the chase.

Last night we went to Ponderosa for dinner. A couple of tables down was a mom and two girls with grandma and grandpa. The girls were about 6 and 9 years old. I could tell by observing that the mom was disgusted. Her girls were a bit antsy but they were, in my opinion, well behaved. Grandpa was very engaged in conversation with the girls. At one point I heard him discussing the mom's work schedule. And there it was. It wasn't the girls. It was the mom. I could tell she was in the mode of working mom and she was not enjoying her girls. Was it just last night? Perhaps. Everybody has a bad day. But this kind of situation is very telling. And the kids pay for it. Because if mom checks out alot, the kids are going to go in another direction for the instruction and care that they need. 

Let me say this. I am not against working mothers. It's not my business. I am saddened with mothers who do not have their child's heart. Whether you work or not, you gotta have your kid's heart. And the way that happens is work on your part. It means resisting cultural trends. In other words, America's Next Top Model does not take precedence over a bedtime routine. Talking with your child is more important than Farmville. Being available when they come home from school is important. Making meals is, too.

Our time can be eaten up with so many distractions that may be our 
way to find rest in a stressful world. Yet, if we can work at maintaining some of the tried and true ways of mothering despite life in this fast-paced, busy world we live in, we may find that what we are made for is our rest. And the less you have your child's heart, the more stressful your world is going to be.

There is a window of time you have your child. Believe me. It goes quickly. And since you are with your child more than anyone, you will have the greatest influence. What kind of influence will you be? When you say no to the temptations that draw you away, and decide that you will make the effort to be available for your children, it truly provides a more restful mom and a restful home. 

Scenario: It's 8pm and you are getting ready to watch your favorite show. But the 4 year old is slow getting ready for bed. The 8 year old is teasing her and they are going to wake the baby up if they don't stop. There's one of two ways you are going to go. One way is to totally lose your cool because after all, you put in a very hard day (or week) and you need this time to recharge. If you view your life like this then you are going to be a cranky (and resentful) mom. Because soon, you will see more and more the interference that your kids are.

The second choice is to calmly decide that you will not be able to watch your show (and I experienced this before DVR). You simply decided that your life is not your own. You have children you are responsible for. You face it. You accept it.

Now tell me, which scenario is best for having your child's heart? And do you know that when you choose the latter, that you will be rested? That's because when we choose the right way, it works.

When a mom chooses her kids interests over her own, it speaks loud and clear. It's called love. And the real deal will stick. Was I a mom who did everything perfectly right? No. But my kids knew I loved them because love speaks in a way that says, "I'm here. I'm available. You are important to me." You can't fake real love that places the interests of others first. And love covers a multitude of sins.

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