I am always learning things from my children. I’m learning what it’s like to be a mom to them as they grow into different stages of their lives. It seems with each new day, month, and year, that they change just enough that I have to adjust how I speak to them or how I treat them.
When they feel like they are grown up at age five, I try to talk to them with the respect that they feel they deserve. I am constantly reminded of what life is like through their eyes, but most importantly, what I learn the most from is the interaction between my children and I in our everyday lives that helps me learn how to become a better mother and peacemaker.
The one example that I’ll never forget includes my twins, Braden and Brianna. This experience happened in December of 2004, a few days before the twins turned three. I was six and a half months pregnant with our youngest, Bridgette. I had had a horrible first six months of that pregnancy, feeling very nauseated and sick and not able to hold down much food at all. If I recall correctly, I was just starting to feel better after not doing so well. Anyway, this is what happened.
Brittany was already at school and Stu had just left for work, and Braden and Brianna were fighting over who got to shut the door after waving good-bye to Daddy. I was in the kitchen, listening to the fighting and yelling between the two. I thought to myself, “Oh no, here we go again.” I had interfered many times before and told them to stop without hardly any reaction from them at all as a result. So this time I decided to not interfere and just see what would happen between the two.
After a few minutes of listening, I started singing a children’s church song, “Jesus Once Was a Little Child.” I was overcome with this warm, peaceful feeling and I kept singing it over and over for I didn’t want that feeling of love to leave. As I was singing, Braden came into the kitchen crying, so I picked him up, still singing, and he stopped and I held and hugged him for awhile. Then I set him down, and Brianna came in (not crying because of course, she had won the battle with the door), and without me saying anything to her, she offered to let Braden go open the door and shut it again so that he could have a turn.
Sometimes I yell at the kids if they are fighting and it makes the situation worse and there’s a bad feeling between us, but this time I think I learned a valuable lesson. Not that I shouldn’t interfere and discipline, but that I shouldn’t raise my voice and that I should conduct myself in a manner that would bring that warm, peaceful, and loving feeling into our home. Just by simply singing a church primary song to my children, they chose for themselves to change their attitudes toward each other.
Now I wish I could say that one of my kids was the one with the idea of singing a song to bring the spirit into my own, that they taught me what to do in that situation, but they didn’t. They were there for me to learn from in the way that I had to learn how to deal with them, to even learn how to handle situations like these in a manner that is positive to everyone.
I know that when we make good decisions as mothers, we are blessed in our journey through motherhood, blessed so much that we are able to handle all of life’s challenges. I just want to say that I am so happy to be a mother, so happy to learn from my children how to be a better mother. I’m thankful for the knowledge that I have been blessed with that helps me understand and love my children.
QUESTION: What ways can you bring love into your home?
CHALLENGE: Try to find a new way to cope with a difficult situation where your children are concerned.