Being a stay at home mom is hard. Sometimes I find myself wishing I could have another title besides “mom”. But at the same time, I would not give up these precious years with my babies for anything in the world.
I am finding this stage we are in right now to be somewhat trying. Especially to my patience!
Parenting a newborn and just-turned 2 year old was difficult. Especially because I wasn’t just dealing with the typical newborn and learning to juggle the needs of a newborn and toddler. But we got Sweet Pea’s tummy troubles under control and life fell into a predictable pattern. I got both girls on a good schedule. Everyone’s needs were met and life was pretty much smooth sailing with these two until we reached the stage of 3-year-old and 1-year-old.
These two keep me on my toes daily!
I still have them on a predictable schedule and, honestly, I can’t imagine what it would be like if we just flew by the seat of our pants each day.
It’s the 3-year-old antics that get me most days. Little Bug requires me to be on top of my game (my “game” being parenting) every single waking moment. She leaves me weary and giving a HUGE sigh of relief nearly every night when I tuck her into bed and tell her goodnight. I’ve gotten to where I look forward to bedtime for her every night, just so I can regroup and prepare myself for another day of her 3-year-old antics.
She is one tough cookie to parent! And last week, I was so discouraged. To the point where I felt like I was losing control over her, losing her respect and we were destine to raise a brat that would grow up disrespecting us and disrespecting all authority in general.
I found myself even saying things like “Dave, she’s yours. She doesn’t listen to me anymore and I am at a loss of what to do…”. Not good. And I knew it wasn’t good but it was almost like I was giving up.
And when I realized this I knew I could NOT give up! Even though I am tired and worn out and discouraged and feel like I am not making any difference in this child’s upbringing, I knew I could not throw in the towel and give up on disciplining my wayward daughter.
It is my job, my responsibility to train her in the ways of the Lord, so that when she is old, she will not depart from it.
And so I jumped back into the game, telling myself, I have to keep doing what the LORD has called me to do – parent my children.
I woke up the next morning and knew what had to be done. I had to clearly tell Little Bug what was expected of her and what her consequences would be if she chose to disobey her mother. We talked about the Bible and how it tells children that they are to obey their parents in the Lord for this is right. We talked about how when she obeys Mommy and Daddy she is honoring the Lord and honoring her parents. We talked about how the Bible tells parents that they are to train their children up in the ways of the Lord.
There were five instances of deliberate disobedience, sassiness, and outright disrespect towards me from Little Bug from 8am-10am. She received her consequences consistently with each offense and then, after the fifth offense, it was like a light went on or a switched was flipped and this new child entered my home.
One of her biggest offenses lately has been arguing with everything – and I do mean everything – we tell her to do. Sure, there are times when she can state her opinion about something and about what choice she’d like to make – but there are times when she just simply needs to say “yes mam” and do what her mother has told her to do, no questions asked.
So that morning I made it clear to Little Bug that she was to just say “yes mam” when I told her to do something. No more arguing. No more debates. Just say “yes mam” and do it.
Well, like I said, there were five instances in a span of two hours where Little Bug chose to deliberately disobey me or was outright disrespectful to me. After being consistent in the consequences Little Bug and I had talked about that morning and following through with every offense, I suddenly had this sweet, obedient little girl on my hands and I could hardly believe it.
Children so need this. Children need discipline!! Here I was about to give up on the very thing my child needed from me most.
There was even a time in the morning when Little Bug told me, “Mommy, say, ‘Put on your shoes, Little Bug.’”. I said it and Little Bug immediately said, with a HUGE smile on her face, “Yes mam, Mommy” and went to do it. Here she was asking me to tell her to do things simply so she could delight me and herself by first-time obedience, and most importantly, with a happy heart!
I could hardly believe the transformation in just two hours of direct training and discipline of my child.
I know my job in training this child in the ways of the Lord so that when she is old she will not depart from it is far from over. After all, she is not even four years old yet.
But I certainly have a new perspective on my role as mother in her life. She needs me to train her. She needs me to discipline her. She needs me to intentionally parent her and train her in the Lord.
And I will do it. Even when I am at my wits end and wondering if I will ever make a difference in this child’s life.
I will parent my children.
Because, right now, in this stage of my life, this is one of my most important roles in this life. And I will not give up.