Another week conquered! PRAISES!
Last weekend I went to a book study group that my mom is teaching on the book Shepherding Your Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp. My mom is pretty awesome. Since I was heading out the door, Zion was doing the bedtime routine with Liam that night and I was getting ready to leave. Liam’s at the age where you can’t really slip much past him. It’s much better to be straightforward with him, tell him where I’m going, why, when, etc. So he and I were having some time together before I left and bedtime started. He asked what I was getting ready for and I told him that I was going to a meeting for mommies. We were going to learn how to be better mommies. Thankfully, he accepted that reason (likely thinking to himself….’shooooot there couldn’t be a better group for you girl!’ Ha!) and I sensed his little brain was churning. So as I reapplied powder, concealer and lipstick I asked him…what do you think we’ll learn about being better mommies? His instant, did not take a moment to think, reply? “You’ll learn how to talk nice.”
Out of the mouth of babes……
(At his first dentist appointment!)
Such a little window into his soul those words were! Truthfully, I give myself multiple pats on the back every.single.day. because I KNOW how many times I want to be rougher with my tone or a little harsher with my words than I am. I KNOW how much resistance and discipline I am exercising to not lose it at least once a day. But this little man soaks up every single moment of communication we have. His heart is waiting and watching. And when I do lose it – you can see his heart in his eyes instantaneously.
Which, truly, is that not maddening? Honest mom moment alert. Don’t ya just wish that you could go bonkers/lose-it/scream as loud as you’d wish in some moments and not cause little hearts to break? No? Just me? 🙂 Sometimes I just want to let all the ugly come sprinting out and spill everywhere – loudly. Like I really really want to.
We talk about talking kindly at home a lot. It’s as much for me as it is for him! No matter how justified we feel in being harsh, or mean, or bluntly frustrated – little hearts are listening. And big hearts are listening too!
If there is one thing I’m not, it’s a perfectionist. Frankly, I know that I am going to lose it as a mom. I am. I know that it is simply not realistic that I will or can avoid all moments of freak out entirely. I had a mini-lose-it session last night over a toy filled room and a tripping occurrence. There’s really nothing like a toy filled room to all of the sudden push my buttons. And it’s not to say that I aim to have a sugar sweet voice all of the time because I think it’s pretty important for little ears to be able to quickly tell when something is serious. But, I have been given little hearts to steward. To shepherd.
Sometimes I just need to remember that the way I use my voice impacts a certain three year old. It’s funny because he doesn’t seem to react when I need to suddenly get very firm with my voice because he is disobeying or in danger. But it’s the dang ‘lose-it’ moments that seem to penetrate his heart. The moments when he wasn’t in the wrong…he just happened to be there when my limit was met.
So what’s a not-perfectionist to do when I know it will happen again? I just keep reminding myself that there is GRACE for me to step into in the moments when it seems that my limits have been far surpassed. That there is literal grace for my mouth to stay shut. For me to lean into Him instead of letting my mouth run. And then…I humble myself and directly and clearly apologize to the little heart that all of the sudden became insecure because I felt I had to let it all out.
I’m sitting here a little amazed because this was not the blog post I sat down to write! But as I wrote I realized that I missed the apology part last night! So – listen – this one is for me. This mama has an apology to make to a three year old after he’s buckled in from school pick up.
So here’s to the weekend! Full of family which means full of opportunities to receive and give grace. Full of opportunities to ‘learn how to talk nice!’ We can do it!!!!!!
Happy weekending y’all,
PS….Talking nice does not equal a lack of honesty or firmly dealing with discipline issues as they arise :). Two different things! And all the mamas and papas said amen!!!