Friday, August 20, 2010

My Motherhood Mission #1

I spent a day with a friend yesterday and we spent maybe 80% of our time talking about mum stuff, parenting resources and how we do different things with our kids. It made me start thinking about how we, as mums, talk about our role so much and if there should be more to our conversations. Then I thought - motherhood is my profession. It is what I do for a job/career. If I was working out in the 'real' world, as it is known, I would be talking to others in my field about what I was doing and what resources I used and found helpful etc - we call that networking. So why is it weird to do that as a mum. It isn't, or maybe it shouldn't be.

I love that in our family we have chosen for me to be a full time carer for our children. Being with my kids makes me happy. Not that loving it makes it easy but I still love it. As I continue in my job, I spend time on professional development - reading parenting books, gathering resources etc. And as a result I have different focuses along the way. So I've decided that I am going to share what my focus is in my motherhood mission.

At the moment I am reading (or I should say rereading) a book by Sally Clarkson, The Mission of Motherhood. I love this book. It encourages me in my daily activities with my kids and what I can teach them along the way. But more so, what I can learn with them. Here is the section that really touched me recently.

"I have often met well-intentioned parents who think they must be harsh and demanding to their young children in order to secure their obedience and good behaviour and to build their characters. Too often, I'm afraid, they fall into the trap of simply lording it over their children rather than truly reaching their hearts.

I'm not saying that obedience and behaviour and character aren't important. In fact, I think that teaching our children these qualities is essential. I believe, however, that Jesus showed us plainly the most effective way to do this: by modeling obedience and right behaviour and good character. And this requires us to do what Jesus did for his disciples - to lead our children not by telling them what to do, but by showing them.

When we chose to graciously overlook our children's messes and accidents, we are teaching them to be patient and forgiving with the mistakes of others. When we react sensitively, thoughfully and patiently to them, we are helping to instill these quality in their lives. As they benefit from our unconditional love, they learn to extend it to others as well."

How is that for a challenge?? But it has helped me so much to respond calmly when my three year old makes choices that aren't good - again! Or my one year old squeals to get his way. I might not be calm on the inside but with practice I am able to be calm on the outside and I think with time, my inside might be able to reflect that calm outside too.

What are you working on??
Is there something you've read that has helped you in your parenting journey?

1 comment:

  1. i am reading through all the baby'wise' books and finding that there are so many interesting tips and tools to use. I implement them almost immediately after I read them I find them SO useful. I have just started rereading the mission of motherhood one too!


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