Monday, March 9, 2009
I Am a Promise-In Pursuit of the Well
Life's storms will come sometimes when we least expect them, how do we give our children a "safe feeling" in the midst of a life storm?
Sometimes chaos is created by our own efforts of trying to do too much, how can we maintain a peaceful home where chaos is prevented?
How can we as wives and mothers actually calm the storm?
I don't know that I'm qualified, in any sense of the word, to even think about posting on this subject, but maybe there are a few lessons I have learned that can help someone else. Oftentimes our house can be described as nothing less than total mayhem. Complete disarray. Utter chaos. Apparently this is "normal" if not desired. I would love to say that I handle all of this with prayer and Bible verses that calm me and therefore my children. But, lying is wrong. But I learned a song when I was a child I Am a Promise that holds true whether you're 3, 33 or 103.
[disclaimer: as I type this we're having a slight amount of chaos in our home right now-over some school work that was not done when it was supposed to be done.]
1) A schedule is necessary, rigidity is not. If your family is having a fun and peaceful time (whether you're at someone's house or playing a game or anything else you enjoy as a family) is it going to hurt anything to let the [happy] children stay up a little late? Prob'ly not. (I'm not suggesting that children stay up until midnight playing games or out visiting, just that you not rush them off to bed in a hurry when something fun is happening). I am learning to ask myself "Is this going to matter in 5 minutes? 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? 5 years?" If it's only going to matter in the next 5 minutes...it's prob'ly not worth a battle. (Of course if you start the battle you'd better finish it and be victorious)
2)On that front:battles that is. Let your children know with certainty that you are the "boss". I think that children derive a sense of peace knowing that someone else, someone with their best interests at heart, is large and in charge. I know when I waffle on a parenting issue or a situation my children become less secure. If mom's not in charge, who is? As much as children fight us to be in charge...they know they can't handle it and it creates anxiety. I've seen it.
3)Keep yourself calm. This is one I must work on daily. Hourly. By the minute in fact. I am not a quiet person-happy or mad...sad or glad. I'm just not that quiet. I wish I were, but the fact is I am who God made me. That doesn't mean He's well pleased with me when I'm yelling or making a bunch of noise, it's something that is a work in progress. But if I get all worked up and loud, do you think my house is full of peace? Nope.
4)Kids don't need to be worried with constant adult problems. If you can't afford to buy them something, tell them. This will teach them that money does not grow on trees. However, if you are having trouble coming up with the house payment or rent, keep it between yourself and another adult (your spouse if you have one). Yes, there are sometimes when children will overhear these adult conversations (mine are notoriously "nosy"--we're working on that one)but they don't need to be burdened with worrying whether or not they will have a home tomorrow. In our life, God has always provided. Even when the numbers did not add up on paper, when income was less than outgo, it all worked out, and believe me, we have never gone hungry.
5)Hugs. Hugs and more hugs. And add in a few kisses for good measure. This is another one I need to work on constantly, for some reason it does not come naturally to me to shower my (older) children with physical affection.
I have to say, this has been a challenging post to do. I don't want to come off like I have it all together (there are too many people that read my blog that know better than that-and remember, lying is wrong ;) ) and I don't want to come off holier than thou. I'm not. I'm just a mom, trying to be the best I can with what I have. If God brings me to it He'll bring me through it, right?