Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mothering With Gentleness... Continued...

It's really good for me to have this emphasis and to be accountable to my blog about it. It's such a crucial time for me to learn gentleness as I have two little ones that make endless messes and have endless demands and I'm dealing with the fatigue of pregnancy which can make one very short-tempered. I've had some good days, and then some set-backs. I prided myself on keeping calm when my daughter spilled water all over a birthday check I had received, even though I was tempted to holler and started to. But then the next day when she spilled water all over some new activity cards, after being told not to play with water I was furious and really blew it on the gentleness thing! So, I'm definitely going to need to work on this area for a long time!

One thing that helps me is that even if my kids are tiny and don't always understand, I always apologize and ask their forgiveness when I know I've wronged them (been harsh with them). This is humbling but necessary.

I made a poster for my kitchen, pictured above, as a reminder to work on PATIENCE and GENTLENESS. I try to pray daily for God's help in this area when we do morning devotions and then throughout the day when I feel myself getting tense. I know my husband prays for me a lot too, which is wonderful.

One thing that is hard for me to do, but really DOES help, is to go to bed earlier than normal. Everything seems to go better and I wake up feeling ready to tackle the day with a good attitude instead of feeling like a zombie that was drug up from the grave. I'm sure good nutrition helps play a part in overall good feeling too!

Other things that have helped is consistently sticking with a routine (my binder schedule) so that the kids know what to expect in the day and not being too busy or going too many places so that I'm overwhelmed and stressed and always hurrying them along.

Another HUGE thing that has helped me in my quest to be a Gentle Mother is that every day we go through a rule of this house from our book The 21 Rules of This House by Gregg and Josh Harris. It's pretty hard to tell your kid that our rules include, "When we need to correct someone, we correct them in love" and "We speak kindly and respectfully with one another" and "We do not hurt one another with unkind words or deeds" and then to break them yourself throughout the day! Helping Ali memorize our household rules has helped ME to remember to follow them too!

It's scary to watch how much toddlers copy us! Especially little girls who want to be just like their Mamas! As I watch Ali interacting with her baby dolls or her little brother, I see her reflecting my actions and words in everything. This is extra motivation for me to be a gentle and loving mother because I want her to treat other with gentleness too!


Kristin said...

Oh boy, do I have some learning to do in this area too! I wish you lived closer so that we could start a Mothering With Gentleness Support Group.

Mrs. Jo said...

I wish so too Kristin! Our girls would be the best of friends if only we lived closer!

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