I am a stay at home mom to two toddlers. It is the biggest blessing that I could ever have come to pass. My kids mean the world to me and the fact that I can spend the summer with them before they both are officially off to school is so amazing.
Now let’s set aside my thankful heart and bring a little realism into the picture. Having two toddlers are extremely difficult. My daughter is witty, smart, ornery, and can get quite snotty if she wants to be. My son is nothing more or less than the typical boys always keeping me on my toes.
While one child tugs at my heart with strained emotion, the other gives me a constant workout and triggers my irritability and impatience. Whether I am cleaning up a mess or responding to him throwing things out of anger, I am constantly being challenged as not only a parent but also a person who loves them dearly.
It is just the tip of the iceberg of what I experience each and everyday. If we have errands to run, we are usually the family with a screaming shopping cart or the parents chasing after the kids down the aisles because the kids believe that the stores were made to be indoor parks.
Needless to say, like any other parent, I am constantly stressed, irritated, and embarrassed when in public. As a parent you try to be consistent with your kids but find out eventually that different parenting techniques are either ignored by the child or extremely uncomfortable to you as a person. Some days you shut down with frustration and others you are extremely hyped up on the several cups of coffee you have been drinking through the day.
But that is what parenting is all about and you eventually learn to just deal with it because all you can do at the end of the day is remain thankful that god blessed you with your kids in the first place.
So with the intensions of bettering our daily home life, I have done the one thing that I never thought of before. I certainly should have known that this would improve our home life but through taking accountability, I have learned that I was a fool and should have started my parenting journey here in the first place. The difference between how I parent now from when I parented in the past, that I did not bring God into my daily home in the way that I should.
I certainly woke up every morning spending time with Him, but never did I invite Him into the home for the sake of interceding on my attitude, to deliver peace, and to bring me humility through each day. My divine appointments each morning have graduated from being about my own relationship to including our entire household.
I do this by beginning my mornings with playing “Holy Spirit” by Jesus Culture. I use this song as a simple prayer to bring Him into our home and to fill this place with His presence. As I continue on with our Divine Appointment, indeed I learn from the Bible and do my own personal study, but when the kids wake up and start maneuvering about through the day I do something surprising. Instead of setting my Bible quickly to the side, I allow them to see what I am doing with my mornings. It has become very much known to both of my children that I read my Bible each day and journal along with it. The kids can both identify the books I use and that are a beautiful thing.
I want them to see my morning routine because I want it to eventually become a morning routing for them. Through my example they will learn to start each morning with inviting Him into their lives, our home, and hopefully gain new wisdom each and everyday through His word.
Once I finish my personal Bible story, I put on some worship music. Whatever I’m feeling, whatever is tugging at my heart, I simply just play it. To introduce them to good music as well as just to open up my own heart even further. Sometimes just one worship song turns into an entire morning full!!
After my worship set list, I simply just pray to God that He would accompany me throughout my day no matter what lies ahead of our household. After that, I just move along with the day, which eventually is met with hungry bellies to messy memories, and eventually a sibling fight, or two, three, four – it all depends on the day.
I trade an episode or two a day of their Umizoomi show with an episode or two of the Veggie Tales and will eventually begin to implement Gigi the Princess into Faith’s TV viewing life.
Instead of focusing on what they do, I have decided as a parent to make the primary focus being that they know God’s name, become aware that He is everywhere, and that God loves them more than life itself. By focusing on their relationship and knowledge of God, I have learned that as a parent it is way more important to focus on rather than my own impatience because they are young and learning how the world works.
It isn’t my parenting techniques really that has changed. As a matter of fact I am constantly asking for advice on how to help my son not throw things in anger or how to help my daughter be the intelligent girl she is. Instead what has changed is my attitude throughout the day and let me tell you- my days from my personal standpoint have become way more wonderful.
By keeping Him the center of my parenting each day, I am constantly reminded to be in total forgiveness of them because they are only young children. My heart is full of compassion for them because how else are they supposed to learn about life right? A wise person once told me that you want a child to act out now and grow up to learn right from wrong because if they don’t it will only hinder them as adults. These words have stuck with me since they were spoken and I try to take that into every parenting situation I enter when emotions and impatience are of high levels.
No they haven’t stopped fighting or making messes each day and that’s actually the key to successful parenting. They don’t necessarily have to change, but we as parents and the attitudes do. No I am not advocating to give them free liberty and rights to do everything and anything they want. Instead we need to approach our guidance and punishment through love, consistency, and with the intent of bettering their lives for the future.
So with this attitude adjustment and redirection of daily habits, I chose to focus on God centering my home loudly, proudly, and consistently. If at the end of the day all my kids leave me with is a full knowledge of who God is and that He is the center of our lives, then I can’t think of a better set of skills, wisdom, and guidance to leave them with.