I will not give up.

Sigh.

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.

6 thoughts on “I will not give up.

  1. Oh Elaine…I can completely empathize with you regarding the 3 yo issues. That is when things got really really tough with our son. He is approaching 5 now and has gotten much better….but we still have a lot of times where I feel like I am failing as a parent because he is such a headstrong young man. With our busy lives we often fail to be as consistent with consequences as we should. Things then start getting out of control so my husband and I have to re-group…make a plan and follow through. And everytime…he shapes up and does so much better….we just have to remember to ALWAYS stay on our game too. And sadly…this is where we sometimes fall by getting a bit lax once we have the immediate situation under control. Parenting is HARD….but oh so joyful.

    I sure wish more people would understand that children NEED this training and guidance…and it needs to be done with a firm, loving hand. There is so much psycho-junk out there telling people that they will harm their kids by being firm parents these days. It just KILLS me because all I see are a bunch of brats running their parents ragged. I was raised in a firm, loving home where there were consequences and I turned out just fine. I intend to do the same with my children. You can be an awesome, loving parent and still be in total control….I just wish people would “get” that and start setting more boundaries for their kids…..there is a whole generation out there right now that has no idea how to take care of themselves because they never learned how to behave, how to be kind, how to even conform when necessary. Now they want everything handed to them on a silver platter and the rest of us are stuck with the bill. I will not allow my children to be a part of that culture….I would die first.
    kd

  2. I feel ya! Being a mom is so hard. It’s just a lot of work and it’s so important, so it’s not like we can take a day off of work, you know? I’ve been feeling a sense of mom-failure lately with my 2 year old. I know I need to read up on some things (have got to get back into reading Shepherding a Child’s Heart and some other books) and I also need to pray and be obedient to the calling God has given. Hang in there! I think with consistency we can see beautiful results.

  3. And that’s the beauty of having your little bitties at home so that you can train and disciple them when they need it the most! I’ll be praying Galatians 6:9 for you this week: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

  4. I miss Maddie after she goes to bed man man, I yearn for her bedtime most days. I’m just so exhausted after the day with her. I even said the other day that if I HAD to go back to work now it would be hard but I would be ok with it. I need this reminder, that it’s an honor and privilege to be given my little girl to raise up in the Lord.

  5. I am also curious to know what sort of consequence you carry out with LB when it is necessary. We have three toddlers (all adopted internationally), and two are particularly strong-willed. We have been trying to parent peacefully (no yelling or spanking) and offer logical consequences as much as possible, but we get very mixed results. Our newest addition is particularly sensitive to being left alone, so no time-outs for him, but if we hold him on our laps in his room as a consequence, he just kicks and thrashes forever and we can’t get past it. He’s been tough to figure out because I can’t seem to find anything that really produces a change in his behavior despite consistency on our part in communicating our expectations and carrying through with gentle and logical consequences every time.

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