Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What I Think About: Lessons from Children

When I think of all the "parenting rules" out there, I get pretty distraught.  I mean, I'm no where close to being super mom.

Exhibit #1--A few days ago Paxton was playing near the garbage can and emerged minutes later eating something ... bad parenting?  Nope.  I called it "morning snack."

Exhibit #2--Everyone is always saying how fun bath time is.  Know what?  I can't stand it.  Water everywhere, cleaning potty out of the water, ring around the tub ... not my idea of a good time.

While I might not be in line for an award, and I'm most definitely not licensed to give mothering advice, this mom says you can learn a lot from your little ones.

The Top Five Lessons I've Learned from My Children

1.  Sweat the Small Stuff

Did you ever notice that we aren't supposed to "sweat the small stuff" but "it's the little things that count"?  Does that seem ironic to anyone else?

To me, parents sweat the big stuff (jobs, electrical bills) but we ignore the little stuff when shouldn't it be the other way around (okay, I'm not telling you to NOT pay your electric bill but you know what I mean--right)?

My kids have done an amazing job of making me focus on what really matters--finding beauty in a butterfly, reading a good book over and over (and over), eating cookies in bed without worrying about crumbs until later.

2.  It's better to be together than to have it together

There is a huge social stigma with being a stay-at-home-mom.  I mean, since I have all this "extra" time on my hands, I better put it to good use.  So I Once a Month Cook, and buy cute clothing, and organize, and volunteer ... all to make it look like I've got it all together. 

But sometimes when I'm dusting it dawns on me I haven't laughed with my kids.  Or when I'm vacuuming that I haven't read them a story.  Or when we are running errands I'll realize it's been forever since we've gone to the park.

See my kids don't care if the house is a wreck or if I've showered or if their closets are organized by color and season and short to long sleeves.  They don't care if I've got it together.  They care that we are together.  Thank you, Pax and M.E. for reminding me that "we may not have it all together, but together we have it all!"

3.  It's okay to have BIG faith.

I was praying with my daughter the other day and she asked God to make her a chipmunk with real fish in her tummy.  I almost laughed out loud told her that might not happen but then I thought about my motivations for doing so.

If I want her to believe that God is mighty and awesome--shouldn't I?

Okay, so it isn't likely that she'll be a chipmunk but is it more important for her to have faith that God can change her if He wants to or that she be brought back to reality?

When I thought about the miracles I've seen, none of them have made sense to me.  None of them.  What a faith-based, power packed punch that prayer was.  Amazing how a child can teach you Biblical truths.

4.  You can get a lot of mileage out of a pair of good shoes.

I bought M.E. a pair of princess cowboy boots that light up.  She wore them for about a year solid.

She wears them with jeans and skirts and dresses and PJs.  She plays dolls, helps her dad with construction work, and climbs jungle gyms with them on.

Sometimes I want to scrimp and get cheap-o shoes but this lesson is well taken.  Spending some extra dough on the right pair of comfy, versatile shoes is the smart way to go.  Even if they don't light up.

5.  When all else fails, smile.

Whenver Paxton wants something he does this ear-drum breaking scream and when I look at him in horror, he gives me this darling smile and I melt into a puddle of goo and hand him whatever was worth screaming/smiling about.

When M.E. is scared she'll smile and do a nervous laugh.

The other day my kids were driving me nuts.  Nuts as in: Paxton spilled a whole container of Cherrios on the floor, M.E. spilled bubbles all over her table and tea set, and the police showed up at my door because someone called 911 "for fun."

I nearly blew my top (but you can't do that in front of the police, though I did consider begging them to take me to jail for a time out).  So I smiled.  And when the police were gone, I laughed.  Because these moments were memory makers.  Sure I could have gotten angry and lectured and dolled out time-outs but instead, I turned bad events into teachable moments.  And that's something to smile about

When it comes to parenting, I'm not perfect.  I don't have it all together.  But what I've learned is that I have a lot to learn ... from my children. I love participating in Shell's PYHO on Wednesdays!



  1. This is a really sweet post! #3 is my favorite :)

  2. Great post. I totally see myself in #2. Always feel I 'should' have more free time since I'm a SAHM, but then I forget to just 'be' together.

  3. I'm so far from perfect.

    I'm learning that I have to make an effort to be sure I'm really with my kids. Not just occupying the same space, but really present. That's been hard lately.

  4. I hate bath time, too. At some point this became Daddy's duty...probably after the kids started smelling:)


{Reverse Psychology}
I DO NOT like comments. Whatever you do, don't leave me a comment about this post or your thoughts or any connections you have to what I wrote. Seriously, I don't care.
(Did that reverse psychology work???)