Monday, August 8, 2011

I Used to Think....

.....that parenting was a piece of cake. I am learning that it gets easier with the more time and effort that you put into it.
.....that children were not to have choices- they were just to do exactly what they were told.  As true as that is in the sense of their obedience, I am learning that teaching a child to make good choices is a very important part of their training.  I have also learned that a child has a personality and heart and that they have to be molded and taught with love how to obey not just in action but in attitude as well. 
.....that I had to be perfect in every way. I am learning that although I need to strive to be my best in every area, I do not have to put undo pressure on myself.  I am learning that God and my husband are the only ones that I answer to and I am learning that the expectations that others have for me are not the standard that I need to measure myself by.... and that has been very freeing for me.
.....that my daughter's ability to sleep through the night at 2 1/2 months old was proof that I was a good mother. I am learning that her ability to sleep through the night was just proof that I could take someone's formula and follow it precisely.  I have also recently learned that because she was a formula fed baby, sleeping through the night was an expectation I could have (since formula is heavier and more filling than a mother's milk).  I am not expecting the same from Ian because he will be a nursing baby, and if he does not wake up to eat, I will probably be waking him up for my sake. I am learning that hearing Addie say, "Mommy, you are the good Mommy in the whole wide world!" is all the approval I need.

I have learned many lessons over the last 3 1/2 years and I continue to learn lessons each and every day.  Lessons about myself, in my role as a wife and mother, in my role as a woman, in my relationships with others, and most importantly in my relationship with the Lord. Some lessons have been easy to learn, some have been harder.  Some have been pleasant, some have been rough.  Some mean limiting the amount of influence others have on me, and increasing the amount of influence God and Brian have.

And the same way that sometimes Addie tells me, "I don't want to do a lesson today," or, "We do our lessons tomorrow," I want to tell God the same thing when I know that the lesson will take me out of my comfort zone, will stretch me further or will add to what I learned yesterday.  And just like Addie, when I tell her that we need to have a lesson, and she is successful and comes away with a new skill added to her list of accomplishments, I am also appreciative of the lesson I learned.     

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