A mother's heart is very much wrapped up in her children. (I know this is not new news to anyone, I'm just working my way through what I am trying to write) When things aren't going brilliantly with their behaviour, we feel this is a reflection on ourselves and our mothering. These thoughts can be extremely harmful and can be the start of a really vicious circle inside our heads.
"look at how he's behaving, I thought we talked about that, obviously I'm not able to teach him better, well, I can't go anywhere if he's going to behave like that, other children won't want to play with him, other mothers won't want to have anything to do with us, I'm such a bad mother, I don't even like my child" etc etc
In the end, you dislike yourself, your child and other people and feel very depressed about the whole thing.
I think for me there are three major areas I need to focus on to help myself with mothering.
- My attitude
I need to love my boy for who he is. I need to see the goodness in him and I need to embrace and understand those times when his behaviour isn't all I want it to be. I need to not let what other people think about my son's behaviour create in me an unfair attitude towards my boy. And let's face it, there are times when all of these rational thoughts aren't easily held on to. There are times when we just want to check out on the whole deal because it is just too hard.
Here's a little snippet I read this week which slapped me in the face with it's relevance.
"The longer I live, the more I realise the impact of attitude. It is more important than education, money, circumstances, failures, successes, and whatever anybody might say or do. It is more important than appearances, giftedness or skill. The remarkable thing is that we have the choice to create the attitude we have for the day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the way people act. We cannot change the inevitable. The one thing we can change is the only thing we have control over, and that is our attitude. I'm convinced that life is 10% what actually happens and 90% how we react to it"
- I need to spend quality time with God to help build myself into the mother God would have me be.
Actually this is the first thing I need to do - because I believe if I make time for God, He will help me with my attitude. I believe that God is our source of strength and without Him, we can accomplish not much at all. And I also know that God loves our little ones far beyond what we can imagine and we need to trust Him more with our children.
- Help others to accept, embrace and even help instruct other children who they feel may not be behaving appropriately.
But one of the main things to remember is that behind every child who is being wilful or disobedient etc. there is a mother whose heart is breaking. A mother who is trying her best to love her children and raise her family with all the guts, determination and strength she can muster. A mother very much like you. A mother who just desperately needs to be told "your child is beautiful and you are doing a wonderful job".