I can clearly remember being pregnant with our eldest son. There were so many emotions stirring around with those darn hormones that hit you like a freight train...feelings of excitement, wonder, nerves, expectation, and fear to name but a few!
Aswell as hormones and emotions, there were also many many unasked for opinions, "words of wisdom," from people who had been there, done that and a whole flurry of books all wanting to tell me how to be a mum to our newborn.
But, actually, for me...as my children get older...especially our eldest son...I'm now VERY grateful for the little pearls of wisdom that comes from mums who HAVE been there, done that! My husband and I find ourselves in new territory as parents!
Let me tell you people, parenting REALLY begins once the little cherubs are out of nappies, bored of playing with duplo and are in the big wide world of school!!! It's a whole new journey...especially once they reach Joshua's stage of nearing the end of Junior school and are behaving like a PRE-teen already!
Whilst I still have a strong confidence in my ability to parent, I've really learnt and embraced that actually the best "manual" for parenting advice is my bible- whilst it doesn't have a chapter titled "how to stop your children whining," it is full of words of encouragement, hope and wisdom for me which ultimately help me handle those whining moments. I also know the best voice to gain affirming words from is that of my Father God...who is the ultimate parent over both my children and I - He chose me to be a mummy to these 5 little people and is ready and full of the right guidance and direction for us all.....and lastly that the best reality check is to humble myself and speak with trusted friends and mums who have been through parenting a child of Joshua's age....And beyond! Of course I know every child is different, and mine totally are. Yes, the four boys are typical boys, but each has their own character, interests and behavioural traits. As for little
Today, I just want to encourage other parents that we don't have to have all the answers, and we don't have to fit a certain mould as a parent, but what we do need to do is unconditionally love our children just as God unconditionally loves us and to stand by what we believe is right when it comes to being blessed with being parents.
I'm learning the older our children get, that there is an overwhelming worldly pressure to buy them the latest gadgets, a certain brand of trainers, coat, stunt scooter (yes really!) and that whatever bedtime you set, just isn't as late as Percy Pickle from class 5B!
I want to tell you, we don't have to succumb to being told how to parent our children and provide for them by the worlds view...we can be the best example to them by setting our own safe boundaries, playing fair and meeting them in compromise at times when compromise can be agreed on and mainly for those of us who have faith, by living as best as WE can to be the example of a Godly parent to them.
The bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it!"
Being a parent is challenging for anyone...but add the mix of being Christian parent into all those door slamming, stomping up the stairs, "it's not fair" moments and you learn a whole lot more about having the same grace that God shows us! It's testing, it's tiresome...and I know I'm only at the beginning of this part of the journey!!!!
I think the biggest part of the challenge for us as Christian parents is to be able to pass on and share our faith with our children whose priorities could easily become the latest fashions, gadgets, video games and so on. And lets not ignore the fact that peer pressure and media would welcome our children to at a young age experiment with alcohol, drugs and get involved sexually. These things could scare me when I think of my children growing up...but I put my trust in knowing that if my husband and I continue to live out our faith in our own family's lives- by this I mean showing love, compassion, kindness, generosity, sharing Gods word together, praying together, worshipping together, chatting together, and attending church together....our children will (and do) see this and it will become a natural way of life for them too.
The bible says in Deuteronomy 6:6-9 "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates."
Simply this means, wherever we are, whatever we are doing...we should be living out our faith for all to see...not compromising what Gods word tells us and always being that example to our children.
Not always easy, this I know...but lets be encouraged and up for the challenge of not losing heart and keeping God in the centre of all we do...around and for our kiddies!
For us...this works and our children love us, respect us and know the behaviour that is expected from them. and of course, we allow our children to correct us if the need arises. Just the other week I uttered a word at a driver that I shouldn't have who dangerously pulled out on me at a turning. Having forgotten my eldest two boys were in the back, it made me jump to hear a voice say "mummy, you just said a naughty word. That's not good!"
"Oh Grrreat!" I thought to myself, but told my boys "you know, you're so right, that wasn't good of me, and I'm really sorry I said that word. Please forgive me and don't repeat it!!!"
That simple heartfelt sentence allowed my children to know that mummy does make mistakes too, and that by me allowing them to correct me on my behaviour, I'm showing them the respect I want them to show me, and that Gods grace can flow through us all.
I know I don't have a clue what the next
Be Blessed :-)