It seems like yesterday my boys were small and running around. These boys are now fifteen and twenty years old. I used to hate it when the older moms would say, “It goes by so fast.” I have to confess I didn’t believe that day when every day seemed to last forever. I have found this statement to be incredibly true.
I have been a stay at home mom most of my motherhood. I did work part-time for several years and attempted full-time which did not work very well. I believe I am called to be home. I did not have many friends and family around to watch the boys when they were younger so it made sense for me to be home.
I was the main person filling my children with what they needed and I felt so inadequate. I had many emotional scars myself, insecurities, and a low level of love for myself. I remembered more about hearing what was wrong with me or how I didn’t do things right than I did what was good about me and what I did right. My heart wanted this to be different for my children. I desired to have them remember being praised more than put down. I desperately wanted them to know how much I loved them and for them to see in themselves what God saw.
It was a struggle for me because I grew up in a home where there was yelling and that would come out in me over and over again. I would sit down at the end of the day defeated and feeling broken. Instead of speaking the sweet, loving words I desired, I allowed my frustration, exhaustion, and overwhelmed mind and body rule over which words came out of my mouth. I loved my children more than anything but was in my own battle within and it came out on them.
I prayed, begged, and cried to God to help me. I knew I couldn’t do this in my own strength. When I realized words I said were wrong I went to my boys and apologized, asked for forgiveness and reiterated my love for them. As I have grown in Christ, I have become a better mom. My words become sweeter, I catch the wrong words before they come out of my mouth. I began to notice more the good and right things my children were doing and spoke words of praise and thankfulness to them.
When my boys grew older, I was able to be honest with them about my own struggles. Even if I had to apologize ten times a day I would. I would take responsibility for my words and actions. I see parents sometimes wanting to blame their children but the words we speak are our choice not theirs. Our actions are our choice, not theirs. We need to remember that God can use our responses to our mistakes to teach our children and build them up as well.
In our home there has never been a shortage of, “I love you’s”, hugs, and kisses. I would always make sure if we had an argument before I dropped them off at school that we would agree to let it go for the moment and love each other before they got out of the car. I never wanted that to be the last memory my children had of me if anything happened.
Motherhood is an amazingly, beautiful gift. We have a responsibility to show our children who Jesus is, in our words, our actions, how we deal with our mistakes, and how we celebrate the victories. I pray that my children always know that I love them, no matter what. I still continue to notice and point out the times I see them doing something good, I let them notice the character qualities in them that I admire and respect. I share their struggles with them and celebrate their joys with them. I lay them down before the Lord and give Him those things I can’t control and the decisions I can’t make for my children. I believe in doing these things I am loving my precious boys like Jesus loves me and ultimately that is my goal as a mom!