Sunday, 22 November 2015

Parenting = hard...but I wont give up!

My family when I began this blog, our children in this photo are ages 3, 19 months and 3 months.
Back in 2012 I started a new blog with great gusto. I loved the idea of sharing all my wonderful parenting tips and advice with what I believed to be the BEST and only way to raise those kiddos right. Only as time went on, only a few years mind you but still it was enough time, I began to realise in a humbling, frustrating, head scratching way that in fact I don't know much at all. About how to raise children that is. You see I have read many a parenting book, read many articles and spoken to lots of wise ladies so I thought I had it pretty well figured out. I mean, how hard could it be to raise, obedient, amazing, God fearing children. it turns's extremely hard, and I try and try and try with all my strength to raise my children right.
In the hospital after our 3rd baby Savannah was born.

 I want more than anything for them to become Christians, devote their lives to The Lord and live productive lives being a blessing to others. But you see, it doesn't matter how hard I try...because in the end it's completely out of my control how they turn out. They are individual little people, they have their own wills, they have their own personalities complete with strengths and weaknesses. I realise now though that it's okay that it's out of my control. Actually it's  FANTASTICALLY FANTASTIC that it's out of my control, 

 because my God has control!
They are in his hands.

I realise now that all I need to do is take a deep breath and devote myself to The Lord, spend a lot of time in prayer and reading His word and he will gently direct my own unique mothering path. I no longer have a 'one size fits all' approach to mothering as I meet all kinds of new people who have raised children into healthy, God serving adults. 

Waiting for the cookies a few days ago, from left: Savannah - 3, Arrow - 4, Francis - 6, Holly - 15 months

God has also given me my own unique personality too, complete with my own quirks, strengths and weaknesses. There will be things that other mothers will do better than me. There will be ways that come naturally to other mums that is a real struggle for me. But like wise - there are areas of parenting that I have a knack and natural ability to do well in and I thrive in. It's so important not to get caught up in the trap of trying to compare ourselves to other mothers, for all have our own personalities, abilities and circumstances to deal with. I'm learning to understand my own personality God gave me more lately. I'm cheerful, enthusiastic, and a creative dreamer. I'm people orientated and have great social skills and I love to write lists and plan and dream big. I'm trusting (sometimes too much), have a gift for giving encouragement, forgive quickly and try to see the best in people. However I'm very easily stressed and overwhelmed (I hold it in and don't show it externally much). I can literally feel my stomach tying into knots when stressed and I forget to breathe. I procrastinate. I excitedly begin projects often only to get bogged down with the 'middle' of it, and often don't finish what I start. And when it comes to house keeping, I desire orderliness and a clean home but I'm naturally messy - well sometimes just a down right slob really. Talk about being frustrated with my personality!

Also what I've been learning is that I can slowly work on my weaknesses one by one. And I'm seeing results. I'm way tidier and more organised than I was a few years ago. I'm also working with my personality more than against it, and giving myself grace to just be myself. Relating this back to parenting - when I feel over whelmed, I give myself grace to take a break and simplify my life more. I have learnt that I'm not the kind of mum that can 'do it all'. I tend to not join committees, ministries, volunteering, or take on many projects, not because I don't want to or because I don't desire to help, but because I can quickly become stressed, overwhelmed, anxious and my mind becomes a jumbled mess. I have found that just taking care of my families basic needs is enough for me at this current stage of life I'm in. I need slow and steady. I need to focus on one-thing-at-a-time. For example, next year I am having another baby, which I'm overjoyed about but I have learnt from past experience that when I have a new baby I need the house quiet and calm. And I need zero other commitments during this time or I'm at high risk of becoming so stressed to the point that I feel I cannot cope. So next year my lovely two sons will be attending our local primary school. Reception and year one. This will give me a breather from the great joy yet high demands of homeschooling. I do hope to home educate them again when they are a bit older, we will see what happens and the direction we feel God leading us. But for next year, I can enjoy my new baby and the rest of my family and just be mum instead of 'teacher and mum.' 

So no matter what happens, school or home school, I continue to commit my family to the Lord. And having flaws and weakness only humbles me more into realising I need God and I need Jesus. Really I'm nothing without Him. I'm going to stop trying to copy other mums or trying out all the new information of this parenting style - or that parenting style. I'm going to look to the Lord more for direction, seek out what the Bible has to say on raising children. And not give up. 


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