This year I have had reason to fly much more than in the past. Twin grand-daughters living 15 hours away will do that to you! I’m one of those nerdy people who actually listen to the safety speech as the plane taxis to the runway.
Every single time the flight attendant instructs the passengers that if we lose air pressure in the cabin, the oxygen mask will drop from above. We are to put our own mask on first before helping others.
I’ve heard this analogy before – take care of yourself so that you can properly care for others. Never is this more true than when you are a young mom taking care of preschoolers.
I see young moms all the time who are barely hanging on. They give and give and give to their children until they have absolutely nothing left – and then they give some more.
I want to encourage you moms – you do not have to be a martyr. I would even go so far as to say that being a martyr doesn’t make you a better mother – just a worn out one.
I know you don’t want to disappoint your precious little ones. I know you get tired of their whining and pouting. I know they will wear you down with begging and pleading. I get it. I was there one time. I had 3 boys in 3.5 years. I promise – I KNOW!
Yes, your kids need you. But they need a healthy you and a healthy you can sometimes tell them no, or wait, or you can do it yourself.
Do your kids give you a hard time when you try and drop them off at their classes on Sundays? Do you give in and have them come sit with you only to be distracted and unable to listen to the message? I’m not talking to the parents who feel led to have family worship. I’m talking to the parent who really wants their child to be in children’s ministry, but gives in because they don’t want to disappoint their child or hear their whining and crying. To that parent I say, drop them off and leave. With a pat on the head, a kiss on the cheek, a reminder that they can trust you to return and get them after service, GO. Our children’s ministry staff is ready, willing and able to handle separation anxiety.
Are you exhausted because your children are being clingy, demanding or pouty? You do NOT have to listen to whining. Whiny children were tired children at my house and tired children went to bed early or took a nap. It will NOT kill your children to cry or be upset. You are doing your children a disservice if you never allow them to learn to work through disappointment. Giving in to every whim will only exhaust you and make your children learn what it means to be entitled. Let your no be no and your yes be yes. Walk away and close your door and allow your children to learn that you are in control and they can trust that you have their best interest at heart.
Do you need a rest time? Train your children to sit on their beds and have a quiet time. Start early. Nap when your children nap. Rest when your children rest. The laundry will still be there when you get up. Dads – pitch in when you are not at work. Do not expect your wife to be on 24/7 if you aren’t as well.
Moms – you are the adult. You are in charge. You get to call the shots. You have earned it and the best gift you can give your child – aside from teaching them about God – is to teach them respect and obedience. The sooner those lessons are learned, the more joyful and peaceful your home will be.
So, take care of yourselves Mommas! Physically, Emotionally and Spiritually. Fill your mind with truth from God’s word. Fill your home with respect and honor. Model for your children what it looks like to take care of yourself. Early on, more is caught than taught. Make it easy for your little ones to “catch” what you want them to know and how you want them to behave.
You’ve got this Momma! I believe in you!