Monday, February 23, 2009

The Role of a Mother

Gathering At the Well

Sherry shares At The Well today about her view on the role of a mother. To read the entire post, go here. The following is a snippet of what she had to say.

"As a mother I welcome my children into my life--I let them know that I like them, that I want to spend time with them, that I miss them when I am away--even while we are separated by sleep. They are always welcome on my lap, and are a priority far above my own needs or desires. They know that I not only tolerate them, but I delight in them. I include them in my daily life and consider them an integral and indispensable part of our family. In this way they become confident that they are loved, and their security translates into the other parts of their lives as they grow and mature."

And here is an 'incomplete list' of the practical application of these principles that she shared:

Smile at your child when he wakes up in the morning, welcome him into the new day.

Avoid "gripe groups" of other mothers who sit around and complain and run their children down.

Exclaim in a cheerful tone, "Hey--did you know that I like you a lot?"--often.

Tell the child stories of his birth/adoption and how you fell in love with him.

Allow your child to interrupt you when you are sewing or online or cooking, without conveying frustration.

Look into his eyes when he is talking to you.

Sit on the floor and play with him.

When you take him to the park, go on the slide and the swings with him.

Love his father--the man that he came from, even if that father is no longer part of your lives.

Let your arms and your heart always be open to him.

Don't postpone discipline--be consistent.

Be willing to be passionately involved--correcting him and reasoning with him.

Beware of using distractions such as media, etc. that are attempts to replace his need for your attention.

Although I just do not have much to share today, two of her discussion questions did intrigue me. I will be reading other posts to see what the other ladies At The Well have to say. If you have any creative ideas, please share them with me.

First, "What are some ways that I can turn the conversation around when other women begin to gripe and complain about their children?" I cannot recall coming face to face with this situation, but would like to be prepared when I do.

Second, "Name some creative ways we can create warmer, more inviting environments for our children." This question is probably the reason I feel I have nothing inspired to share today. After being on bedrest for two months with this pregnancy, and no specific end in sight yet, it's been hard on me as a mom. I struggle with a lot of guilt about the assistance I've needed in caring for my girls' most basic needs and the lack of quality play time and activities I can be involved with. It's extremely hard when Madeline asks me to lift her up and I have to remind her I can't right now. She excitedly says with a big grin, "Your baby in your belly grows bigger...bigger...and comes out. THEN you hold me!" Although my mind knows I am doing the "right" thing for this baby, and the girls will not be scarred by the changes of this season, it's still a struggle because it goes against all my mothering instincts.

I am looking forward to enjoying all the insights of other women today.


Joyfull said...

Thank you for sharing today. These tips are a great blessing to me! Thanks for them.

June said...

Having a third....wonderful!!!!

You are blessed to have not come in contact with critical mothers.


Elizabeth said...

What beautiful tips to share. I understand your frustration. I also feel like I haven't been able to be as involved with my children during this pregnancy so far. My oldest loves to leap up into our arms for "loveytime" and it breaks my heart when I have to remind him that he must be gentle with me. But, 9 months isn't very long and then life will return to normal :) Well, as normal as life can be in the first few months with three!

Thanks for stopping by. Sunny is a real blessing---I'm glad she sent you. You have a beautiful family.

ladyofvirtue said...

Dear Rebecca,

My heart goes out to you. I wanted to share something with you that the Lord spoke to me for you--you don't have to do it all. All He wants is surrender--He can take the few loaves and fishes you have to offer and turn them into a feast for your children. It is your heart that matters--and it is obviously in the right place.

There have been many times when Jesus has had to cover for me--He is God and I am not.I just have to give all that I have and let Him multiply it.

Be encouraged, sweet sister!


Laurie Ann said...

Rebecca, praying you remain encouraged during this period of bedrest and that your little ones understand what you are going through on some level. Precious post and know that I'm lifting you up in prayer!

christinnjon said...

I have been where you are...just 8-9 months ago. I was on bedrest while others cared for the basic needs of my 3 other children. It was HARD. Like you, it went against every instinct I know as a mother. It was difficult; it was uncomfortable; it was near humiliating to me. It was humbling.
I liked what Sherry said about God being able to stretch the loaves and fish to make a feast for your children. Yes, it is all about surrendar - in one of the most tangible forms for a mother.
Trust God with your the best you can do and leave the rest up to God. This is an excellent learning experience for them as well.
My 3 year old son was quite shy...ok he downright did not like people coming near him or talking to him. With me being on bedrest, it really forced him out of his comfort zone to communicate with other people and it has helped him a lot.
I suffered hard when my youngest (just 15 months at the time) wouldn't come to me because I wasn't the one caring for him. Ohh these are tough things to go through and lessons to learn. I hear your heart so much. I'm praying for you Rebecca. No, it's not easy. But God is faithful. It doesn't have to be easy...just keep your ears open to hear the whisper of the Lord through it all, so you know He is there with you every step of the way.

Rebecca said...

Thank you all for your precious encouragement! Just this morning my oldest daughter told me to "Just go back to your bed!" when I asked her to do something she didn't want to. It broke my heart. Your comments have really lifted my spirits and helped me gain a better perspective! Thanks.

a woman found said...

Oh Rebecca you are in a tough spot. The Lord always reminds me that when I'm unable or unavailable He's there! I'll keep you in my prayers!


lori said...

I think it's even harder for a mom who LOVES and LIVES her children's you do..maybe because you KNOW the MIRACLES they do I;)
"I let them know that I like them, that I want to spend time with them, that I miss them when I am away--even while we are separated by sleep." I have ALWAYS felt that way...I've WANTED to spend time with them, foster a life long relationship..not some tolerable thing...real CLOSENESS you know..

How sweet is the "lipstick" girl to say those words..."your baby in your belly grows bigger..and bigger..." THAT is just so precious! They WILL be better through it...the Lord is teaching them too....

I've been praying EVERYDAY girl...just wish you were closer and we could visit...I'd bring the sitters and we'd could sip tea...:)


Elizabeth said...

Close... I'm in northeastern Minnesota :)

Elizabeth said...

The cold has definitely taken some getting used to! Brrrrr! I grew up here but 7 years ago, I eloped to California. In 03, we moved to Las Vegas. We just moved back here last April and this winter has been something else! I don't miss living in the southwest because we didn't have family there and felt very lonely... but I do miss the weather!

Deborah said...

I hope that you are feeling better. You know that not being able to really "be with" your mom never really gets any easier to deal with. My mother has been sick for several weeks and can't talk but for short minutes on the phone. I miss our time together.

Your questions: How to change topics when mothers are kid bashing? Be ready with praise for your child. Encourage them to find something they can share as a praise about their child.

How to create inviting environment for our children? Let them create their own environment. It may not be your style, but let them decorate their rooms with their style. Let them create their own safe place.

Of course my babies are 15 and 20...but I've allowed them to paint their rooms however they wanted and do whatever they wanted to their own area. I'll admit...I cringed over some things...but they loved it. And even when I their music is not my style or their shows are not my taste...I let them be them and I make an effort to be in their environment with them. Hope that makes sense.