Monday, August 3, 2009

Bubbles...the new burning bush.

"Sarah!" I exclaimed in my exasperated tone.

The bathtub was full of bubbles. They were coming up to the edge of the tub threatening to cascade down the side. Sarah had decided that she should be in charge of putting in more bubbles after I had already put in what was a more than generous amount.

My exasperated tone is one that I seem to be using a lot this summer. I'm not sure why but this summer has been a hard one for me. At 5 and 6, the kids seem to be at ages where they have mastered talking back, whining, complaining, and bickering.

And by the second week of June I had become so tired of it all that I just gave in to them too many times. It's easier to give in to your child than to correct them, punish them and get them to ask forgiveness.

As I was grumbling at Sarah she said, "Mommy, you just have to train me!"

I froze. My blood ran cold. The soapy towel hung dripping in my hands and I asked her to repeat what she had just said.

"Mommy you have to train me to take a bubble bath the right way."

Proverbs 22:6 echoed in my head. Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

I didn't need to see a burning bush or to hear trumpets to know that the Lord was speaking directly to me through Sarah.

I have spent the better part of this summer listening to my kids bicker and fight instead of doing anything to correct them. Or pretending I did not see them roll their eyes at me when I issued a command. Or ignoring the fact that they did not do something I had already asked them to do and just doing it myself.

And why did I do this? Because it was easy.

By not correcting them, looking the other way or ignoring their disobedience, I have taken the easy way out in the short run. And ultimately, in the long run, what I have accomplished is that my kids grumble more, argue more, back talk more and are becoming more lazy, more rude and more selfish.

My job as a stay-at-home mom is not a glamorous one but it is an extremely important one. I am in charge of training two little people and helping them to grow into teenagers and ultimately into adults that will hopefully be loving, generous, respectful, kind Christians.

And I realize that I can't do this on my own so I will be now be starting each day with this simple prayer, "God, please grant me the wisdom and patience today to train my children in the way that they should go."

The kids and I need to be retrained - I just hope it's not too late!


Grandma T said...

Bless you my child!:)

Denise said...

Bless your dear heart, it is not too late.

Diane Teague said...

You are so right. Some times it is easier to ignore than to correct but what do you get.

We as mothers have the MOST IMPORTANT JOB in all the universe. To raise our future. Praying for you you are a blessing.

Lee and Beth said...

I have been having the same trouble lately. I have allowed myself to get lazy, and my children have been getting rowdier, have been fighting more, and are starting to annoy me instead of being a blessing to me. I know that it is all my fault, and that I need to start paying more attention to them, and start disciplining them when they need it. I just made the big decision last night that I am going to start doing that today! I want my children to be a blessing again, and I want them to know that I care for them enough to take my attention away from the computer, the television, or my book, to spend some time with them.

Kimberly said...

What an awesome reminder. Even though my son is only 18 months old, I still need to begin showing him the right way to act and behave. It's never too early (or too late) to train our children!

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

What a great lesson. You have hit upon the true mark of "what is a good mom?" Not how much we spend on our kid, not whether we work or stay home, not whether we homeschool or send them to public school or send them to private school. This is it: helping your kids become better people by paying attention to them. Not sitting them in front of TV for 8 hours a day. Not giving in every time they whine. But doing what is best for THEM.

It is a real pain in the butt sometimes, but I smile when I think about the long-term benefits!

Annikke said...

This was an excellent reminder to me! Thanks for posting this.

Aimee said...

George Eliot said "It's never too late to be who you were meant to be."

This is an excellent post, and one that I needed to read. I've come to a very similar conclusion lately, and I am glad to know that I'm not alone in the struggle.

Thanks, Beth :)

jennwa said...

You are a great and extremely loving Mom, you should not be so hard on yourself.
But an extra prayer could never hurt.

EntertainingMom said...

It's hard, sometimes, to tell when they need hands-on training from us, or when to let them try to figure things out for themselves. I got my MA in laziness this summer!

Hugs Beth... you are a fantastic mom!

Mari said...

There is a lot of wisdom in this post! You've got a pretty smart kid too!

He & Me + 3 said...

I can so relate to this post. Great job! I will be praying that prayer too now. Thanks.

Queen Mommy said...

Amen! This is so true and it IS so much easier just to let it slide. Mothering/parenting is the hardest job out there, I respect the power I wield. Love this post!

RR Mama said...

Oh I so needed to read this!!! Thanks!

Kim said...

Wow, this one spoke right to my heart. Excellent post and a great reminder I needed.

You are a blessing.

Melanie said...

So true.. thanks for such a great reminder!

Corey~living and loving said...

GREAT post. one I think many of us needed to hear. training a child to be a good person is HARD work. I know I'm exhausted.

Anonymous said...

Life is good when you can hear your Father talking.

Andrea said...

you have no idead just how bad i needed to read this post!! i had "one of those days" yesterday with Tanner. i am, unfortunately, happy to hear i am not the only one that has these problems. i've got a "back talker"..BIG time!! i've just let it go most of the time because i just don't feel like dealing with it, but i know it needs to be corrected and SOON!!!

thanks for sharing this...i needed it!

Rebekah said...

Out of the mouths of babes. But dont be hard on yourself. I think all mothers go through this- at least I did/do. I have to really try to make myself make my kids do what I've asked. It is easier to do it myself. But with this summer being so busy, I have done a better job with assigning tasks and making the kids see them through.

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Jaina said...

Definitely not too late. What a great post!