mommy lessons

Isn’t it funny how God can use parenting to teach you something about yourself?

Well.. this week has been one of those weeks. My husband has been out of town, so it’s just me and the three kiddos.

There were a lot of great moments in the last week… but also some really frustrating ones.

I definitely lost my cool a time or two in the car when the girls were bickering and my toddler was screaming. I rushed everyone in to bed a half hour early the other night because I just needed a break.

Being a mom is not easy. But, I keep telling myself.. I am and will be one of the biggest influences in my kids lives. And I want it to be a positive one.

My daughters are 5 and 7. They don’t always make the right decisions. Lately, when I have called them out on a bad decision or disobedience.. they immediately start to give an excuse for why they did what they did. And usually it starts with… “but mommy I was just…”

This has been driving me nuts. I found myself getting angry or telling them I didn’t care why, I just wanted them to stop.

Then I realized, this really should be a teaching moment.

So, we sat down and I explained why making excuses or trying to justify something wrong can cause damage.The person you wronged or hurt in the process… doesn’t want to hear excuses… they want you to apologize and mean it and try harder not to do again.

Ellie said, “Well sometimes mom, it’s really hard for me to just say sorry. I didn’t mean to do something to hurt someone.”

I realized as she said that, often times I have the same problem.

It’s humbling to admit you are wrong. And it makes sense that you immediately want to explain that it wasn’t your intention to do the wrong (almost defend yourself). Most of the time it isn’t our intention to hurt others, but the point is that we do. We often hurt or disregard others because we are in a selfish mode and aren’t taking the time to think before we do things. That is still wrong. And it still deserves an “Im sorry.”

Saying I’m sorry is harder, but maybe because it is harder to admit you were wrong… you will be more intentional the next time to not make the same mistake.

When we justify things or make excuses… we make them to ourselves too. We some how write it off as not being a big deal.

I even thought back to times I have been in an argument with my husband and been a little rude. I have gone back and “apologized”, but also explaining why I felt I needed to be nasty (because he was.. or because I was tired and stressed.. etc). And in a weird way, I felt like I had a good excuse for my behavior. It’s a pride thing I think. When really, there’s no excuse or justification for those actions.

The girls and I had a good talk and I can tell they are working harder to stop the, “but I was just…”

And, the talk was good for me too.

Next area God has been teaching me lessons in… parenting my son.

So, we adopted our sweet foster son back in December and made him an official member of our family!

We couldn’t be more thrilled. And honestly, there isn’t much of a transition.. because he has already been in our home for over a year and half.

Here’s the adorable little guy here…

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Disclaimer: I love my son. He is an amazing little guy. But, I am about to get honest.

Now Jax is currently in my LEAST favorite age. The 18 months – 2 year old range. I know some moms love this stage… but not me.. not so much.

Yes, they do learn a lot and it’s fun to see them transition from baby to little boy. But, they also have a hard time communicating and get extremely frustrated. At least all three of mine did. They want to do everything themselves, but can’t. They have an opinion about everything… but they can’t quite articulate what that is.  And.. have you ever tried to teach a toddler patience? Haha.

Jax has been a lot more difficult then the girls were too. Maybe it’s because he is a boy? Maybe it’s just his personality?

He is just so passionate and extreme.. which are awesome qualities. But, it also makes the battles that much bigger and longer.

And he has this scream I swear does damage to your ear drums.

Lately, Jax has been struggling at night too. He switched to a toddler bed about a month ago because he kept climbing out of his crib. The first week went great, he slept normal. The last three… oh my. He has been getting up on an average of 4-5 times a night. Needless to say, we are exhausted and so is he. Which makes for a lot more of emotions from all of us.

They biggest thing I have been learning.. well honestly since the first moment I held Jax in my arms… is that I don’t have control. God does.

And there have been many mommy moments where I feel like I am running on fumes with him. I am out of ideas. I am at a loss. I have been praying more throughout the day now than before. And God has been good to me. He has given me peace and comfort when I need it. He has given me strength.

I know God has incredible plans for this child. I know that He entrusted us with the privilege of raising him.

I even just saw this last week that Jax’s name means…  “God has been gracious; has shown favor.”

So, I am just holding on to those truths.

I know I rambled on a bit in this post.. and it was a bit unorganized. But I just want to share what God has been teaching me… and maybe encourage others in the same boat.

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