Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Gentle Mothering Support Club

How have you all been doing in mothering with gentleness? I'm still working on Col. 3:12 and plan to have it completely memorized in a week. So be working on it and say it for someone so you can leave a comment letting the rest of us know when you have it memorized too!

I have my good days and bad days but mostly bad days. It's very difficult for me to be gentle with Ali (and even with the neighbor girls) because it seems like every time I turn around she is pushing my buttons, yelling or screaming, fighting with her brother, or making a mess. Some days I feel like my overall grade as a parent is a big fat F. Some days I feel like all I do all day long with Ali is correct her, chide her, train her, scold her, discipline her, etc. etc. I teared up leaving the library yesterday because one mom was struggling with an unruly toddler. She had a baby hanging from a little sling on her back, another daughter about 6 and a very naughty little 3 year old daughter screaming at the top of her lungs and throwing a fit in the library. The mom was doing everything she could to control the child and threatening spankings (In public! That's how desperate she was!) and trying to check out as fast as possible while looking like she was mortified and in absolute misery. I got a little teary as I headed out because I have felt her pain so many times. I have been in her shoes more times than I care to remember, feeling like everyone is watching you as you try to figure out how to handle an incredibly tough situation. I said a little prayer for her and was reminded how difficult this job of parenting really is.

Over 10 years ago I read a book called, "Lord, Change Me" by Evelyn Christianson. Parts of that book have stuck with me over the years and especially one phrase she often prays before the Lord. I have decided to be praying this phrase throughout this week, as it has always helped me to turn things over to God in a tough situation.

Lord, please give me the attitude you want me to have for this person.

I really can't be gentle with my kids on my own. I often don't have the attitude I should have for my spirited little girl. I can't love my instrusive neighbors in my own strength. I need God every day, all day!


Kristin said...

When I read your last sentence, I got chills. Literally. That really struck home with me, so thanks for that reminder Lindsey.

Things are going well in our household. We've had a really enjoyable couple of weeks, and I'm hoping they will only continue. All too often I find that the really high times are followed by some really down times in my dealings with Madison, not to be a pessimist or anything. So I'm enjoying these good times we'll they are lasting!

Like I told you before, the books I have been reading have really been changing my perspective on things.

-V- said...

I love your compassion for the mother at the library - rather than judging her mothering skills. I think it shows your heart is in the right place.

As I enter into this new world of motherhood, I am very aware that I want to be the kind of mother that has compassion on others - and for myself when having a bad day. I've often observed the opposite; mothers scrutinizing what they perceive to be other mothers' mistakes - almost finding satisfaction in them. If there's any kind of 'sisterhood' involved in motherhood, I want to be part of the sisterhood of the mothers who have gentle compassion for one another... Thanks for sharing from your heart.

The Three 22nds said...

I am midway through directing preschool VBS at our church. I called my husband today when it was over and told him how good our kids are! Sure they have their problems but at least they have some measure of respect for other adults and authority in general! And most of the other kids did too...but there are a few in every crowd...

I have been thinking about a lot of things though. These other kids will be naughty and I will be thankful that they are not mine and I will be irritated by their behavior but they DO NOT cause the same emotional response in me that my own kids cause when they just minorly misbehave.

I know that is natural and normal, but after reading "Scream free Parenting" I really want to be able to curb my emotional response. I felt like I was able to deal with these other kids so much less stressfully because my own emotions were not involved. Sorry, I am using a lot of your space :) I need to write my own post about this :)

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