My normal day for posting is Monday as of late, but it’s Sunday, and I feel inspired. Right now, I am sipping a tonic of lemon juice, honey, ginger, and warm water. Sound yummy? Actually, it kind of is. I’m kicking this little cold’s butt with it. Found the idea on Pinterest. If you aren’t on Pinterest, you need to get on it. It is the best for cleaning, home remedies, projects for the hubby, crafts for the kids, recipes for dinner, desserts, etc. I could spend hours on it. So I warn you, it is also addicting. Joel would love to break my phone into a thousand pieces when I am in pinning mode. Oh, but learning to put your phone down and spend time with your family is a blog for another day. Or maybe I have already done one about that. 🙂
So, what’s on my heart today? Patience. Oh yes, learning patience is fun, right??? Not! I was talking to my buddy, Marnie Murray, the other day, and I was kind of down a little bit. I was questioning the importance of speaking things about my daughter, and I asked her if she ever felt like she had to keep relearning the same lesson over and over. I felt a wave of relief when she said yes. Thank God, I wasn’t the only one relearning to do something I thought I had already learned over again. It happens to all of us, to everyone. So if you are wondering whether you are the only one constantly reteaching yourself to do the same thing over and over again, you are not. You aren’t alone, and better yet, you aren’t behind. Sometimes, it feels like we are spinning our wheels, but we are not.
I’ve learned that life just like motherhood is a journey, and we often have to revisit lessons over and over for them to become an integral part of who we are. There are very few rare people who learn from a single lesson. I know as a teacher with experience that when you are really learning something for the first time, it often takes practice and refining of your skills before you grasp a concept fully. Even after that, knowledge builds year after year, and next year’s teacher will take the concept into even greater depth. But we think as adults and moms, that that isn’t true. Let me go ahead and cue the turkey sound. That’s a lie. I know you guys are thinking what? Cue the turkey sound? In our family when someone tells a lie, we make this sound that sounds somewhere in between a turkey gobble and a turkey call sound. I am not a hunter so that is my best description. Those of you who know my parents and have been in class with them have probably heard that sound and might even be laughing right now.
Alright, side road, back to our topic. Patience with yourself is equally as important as it is with your kids. Emme is pretty smart. She seems a little ahead of her age, but I have to remember that she is 15 months old. There does not exist a perfect 15 month old. But sometimes, I get frustrated when she can’t perform a skill that she just did yesterday, today. Then I think about myself. I sometimes don’t perform a skill like patience the same today as I did yesterday, and I am an adult. I have to remember she is learning little by little.
Funny, I was talking with my mom about this earlier in the week, and she was talking about how she will talk with adults, and she shares something with them. They get it in part but not in whole. You shake your head about it sometimes, but it’s true. We are all learning. We are all on a journey. Certain things strike us at different times, but we have to keep going because along the way we will pick up more and more. I can’t compare myself to a mom who has been doing this for three years or more, when I have only been doing it for 15 months. So first lesson, there is NO SUCH THING as a perfect mom. Give up on it. It is a farce. It doesn’t exist. (Cue the turkey sound!) Second, stop comparing yourselves to others and instead ask them for help. Use those people that you feel inferior to as mentors. They will help you, but give up comparing yourself to them. Why? Because they aren’t you, and you will cut off their influence in your life if you are constantly making yourself feel inferior to them. We all need each other, and we can all use the influence of another to help us get better. Comparing yourself steals that benefit from you. Another reason, your kids are different. Your kids probably do not have the same temperaments, inclinations, or personality as their kids. It is impossible to be sure you are actually comparing apples to apples instead of apples to oranges.
So back to Emme. I was listening to David Swann the other day who preached on the Mom Factor, and his main point is that our job as parents is to raise independent kids. Can’t wrap my head around that because Emme is so little, but it’s true. I am raising her to one day leave me and live a life on her own and make wise choices. I want to raise a strong-willed child. I thought at first I needed to break that in her, but I don’t want to. I just need to figure out how to teach her to channel that will into wise choices. It’s not easy, but I will get there.
I did a P90x workout today called Plyometrics. I couldn’t do the whole thing, but I know I will get better the more I do it. It’s the same with parenting. I get up each day, and I ask for grace and get to it. His grace is there whether I think it is or not. I need God’s grace desperately. I won’t do it perfectly, but I will get better each day with His help. And as much as I tend to define my quality of mothering based on Emme’s successes and failures, I cannot do that either. I can only do my best, trust God, and let Him make up for where I fail. It’s not about perfection. It’s about effort. If I give my best effort, trust God for wisdom and grace, and ask moms that I trust without comparing myself to them for help, I can be patient with myself along this journey of motherhood and each day be a better mom to Emme, a good influence on the other kids in my life, and a support for the other moms in my circle of influence.
So if you are a mom or dad or just a person who feels like you’re stuck and relearning the same lesson over and over, take heart. Everyone is learning. Everyone’s life is a journey. No one is there yet. Consider yourself growing because each time you relearn the lesson, you are growing wiser and wiser. God hasn’t given up on you. He is still teaching you to make your life so full that you have overflow to give away to others. Oh and one more thing because I have a tendency to talk badly to myself. Stop that. It doesn’t help. You can say you are learning and could have done things better, but stop calling yourself a failure or that you suck (I have a tendency to say I suck a lot). It doesn’t help. Instead my goal is to thank God that he made up for my lack that day, and trust Him to help get better, and get back out in the game and try again! Why? Because each day I can get better at being a mom, wife, friend, etc, as long as I am in the game.
Remember, it’s a journey. No one is there yet, and you are right where you are supposed to be. You can do this mom thing. You can do all things with God!