I'm getting softer as a parent as we march along this journey with our kids. For the most part, this is really good; I was not the most compassionate and kind mother when it was just Elizabeth. Lately, however, I've found myself not wanting to bother with many training and discipline moments, because I feel maxed trying to keep up with the basics of family and home management. Some of my attitude is a reaction to having a highly active and assertive toddler in our home. And some of my response is old fashioned selfishness, I can't deal with a tantrum or whining right now, so I won't invite them in.
I don't know about you, but I am always wondering if I'm getting anything "right" as a parent. I believe this comes from being a parent in an environment that gives the impression that we have to figure everything out, have a plan and system for every eventuality, and if you don't, your children are doomed. Maybe that's just my interpretation, but I imagine some of you know what I'm talking about. I feel the pressure from both secular and Christian influences and can tie myself up in knots trying to sift through all the information and expert opinions. In the process, I completely miss out on enjoying family life.
How does this all relate to yesterday?
The house was a mess. Tons of out-of-place toys, books, games, shoes, and clothes needed to be returned to their proper homes. Often I find it easier to deal with the picking up myself, because it's faster and I don't have to listen to anyone potentially complain about helping. I knew I needed to get the kids in on the action yesterday evening, however, for their good and mine. Katherine was watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood; the window of opportunity was open.
I asked the kids to help.
They did! Without complaining!
Elizabeth tackled the living room and wanted to do it on her own. Brian helped me prepare pizza dough, then assisted me in picking up and vacuuming the kitchen while the dough rose.
I was interrupted by grace at how God helped me to get over myself and get my kids in on helping. And I was interrupted by grace that they did with such vigor and enthusiasm, which I believe was God's way of assuring me that everything's gonna be okay.