Saturday, December 17, 2011

10 years of struggle...Discipline vs Grace and TASKS vs TIME

It's the first day off of my normal routine and my heart is already struggling.  I'm trying to figure things out that have been growing on my mind for the past 10 years!  I can't get it out of my head and days like today just give me more of a reason to keep it there.  Stuck.  In that part of the brain where it likes to stay and then randomly shoot off and drive you nuts.
Today I felt both annoyed and painfully sad at my reactions.  I was so focused on making sure I could prove to myself, "I can do this!"  Look how well I am able to manage this!  In the mean time I didn't get a chance to engage really at all.

Let me explain for those of you who can't read my mind.

I've been watching everyone elses kids for 10 years.  I have showered them with love, adoration, energy, and well myself!  So that all of you parents could work, take a break, or whatever.  I've watched your kids in the following (for you one of these and some others in mulitple ways) : a day care senting, church nursery, Sunday school class, VBS, dancing, babysitting, their nanny, and last but not least their aunt.  Overall I can say children our a gift to us sent from Above to learn more about Him.  He loves them.  We should have child-like faith...etc etc.  Kids ARE a gift and a blessing.  Sometimes we just don't always see it that way until later....

Today (through tomorrow) my sister is/was counting on me to watch three of her four boys (ages 6, 3, and 16 months).  My husband is here for help (and support).  My brother is also chilling with us also.  (Who am I kidding?  Just chillin' with kids around?)  Moving on.....
Sorry my mind is mumble jumble right now.  Like I said, thoughts for 10 years now!
I love, adore your kids I do...I promise.  And no, when I become a parent I won't say "whoops you were right!"  Because I have nothing that I am saying that you are doing WRONG about your parenting.  Yes, I discuss with my husband, "What would we do if we had a child with this personality...etc etc?"  We also talk about how we plan on "talking" to our kids, and rod vs no rod etc. 

But can I be honest here?
Is it okay for me to say, I would do some things differently if I was in their shoes? 
Why should I get "the look" from people/parents if I say that (or if something like that gets mentioned)?
How is it any different then any thing else that I would do differently in my life compared to yours.  Like how I spend my money as an example.

Okay now that I have explained that thought I can move on to the next one.....
I really want to be a parent that doesn't give "one more chance" after I already said it was the last chance.
Yes I will leave a store if that's what I said I would do.
Yes I will say no even though I'll end up with a tantrum because of it.  Yes even if it wakes up the baby when it lets loose.
Yes my kids are homeschooling, and pj's will be a definite option. :)  (had to add that thought)
Yes I will spank my kids if they disobey.
Yes I will apologize to them when I make mistakes so they learn, authority (parents, government) isn't perfect.  It's a great lesson to learn WHICH authority is Perfect!
Yes I will feed my kids fast food from time to time.
Please don't give me the guilty look down.
Yes I plan on breast feeding.
Yes I plan on my babies not always sleeping in the same place.  Can't miss out on small group! :) Right guys? :)
The list goes on.....but you get the idea right?  I have these things I'm sticking to you.  Go ahead and laugh now....."Mary you will change them!  Especially when you are a parent."
You know what.  Of the things listed above...the ones I am able to do to kids even though they are not my own...I'm sticking to them.  I don't go back on my word!

The struggle in parenting is....
grace versus how much judgement/discipline?

Let God be the answer of that.

I prayed tonight on my way back from Target thinking....I better talk to my little nephew Sam tomorrow.  Make sure our relationship is okay.  He wouldn't go to sleep tonight, kept yelling out.  Making excuses.  It's his thing he does.  Manipulater is his middle name, sometimes.  But if you stick to your guns, he will eventually drift off to sleep.  And that "scary monster by the closet because you won't let the room be bright enough" is not there anymore.  By the time he heard "spankin" out of my mouth he was brought to tears.  That poor boy.  When do you find the right way to do things when he's the boy who called wolf?

Later when I see you in person you mention how you follow my blog!  Thanks for letting me know that I'm not just writing a journal online for myself. :)  Please comment so I know you know what's been on my heart these past 10 years.  And sorry, I kind of took you on a wild ride to get to my point!  Or maybe you are still confused.  Either way, leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  And parents, this was not meant to dis you or anything.  I love spending time with children (yours too)!  And Melissa, I love your boys!  I just wish I got more time to spend with each one like I used to so I can focus more on a relationship versus the TASKS of the day!  But I know we as mothers and/or caretakers struggle with tasks and busyness of the day vs quality time with children.  Please let me know I am not alone in this!


  1. No, I didn't follow all of that.
    Yes, I think I somehow got the point...maybe.
    Is it ok to say that I would have written it a little differently if I was in your shoes? I'm not saying that the way you wrote it is wrong.
    Yes, I also had ideas of how I would parent before I had kids...and yes, they change(d).
    No, you aren't the first person to
    Yes, you have a lot of things you are able to stick to now with the kids you watch.
    Yes, I will be one to say "Mary you will change them! Especially when you are a parent."
    Yes, I think you WILL go back on your least from time to time. But, not because you'll lack resolve or a bad parent. No, I think you'll be a great mom (and Jon a great dad, too)!
    But as you know...
    Kids are unique. Kids are complex. Kids are irrational. Kids are human...imperfect, and without fail, are prone act in ways that defy even the best parenting methods.
    You may have a situation where abandoning a cart full of groceries in the super market isn't an option...and NOTHING you do will calm your child.
    There may be a time when your baby has finally slept for the first solid hour in days, and satisfying a whining older sibling is in the best interest of the baby's health.
    One of your kids might have a high tolerance for spankings, defying you to keep them coming, but think it is the end of the world to loose a favorite toy, food, or routine.
    You might have an infant that, for medical reasons, cannot nurse.
    And, as if your kids' human nature and life's unpredictable situations aren't enough...
    You are human too.
    You WILL find yourself in a situation where you just don't know what else to may just outright fail as a parent from time to time.
    That's OK. God is the only perfect parent. Since the Fall of Man, all earthly relationships and systems are imperfect.
    I'm glad you have a lot of great convictions, experience with kids, and a (clearly evident) strong desire to be an awesome mom. Just don't be surprised if parenting catches you off guard from time to time. When you fail, don't beat yourself up about it. Be willing to change your methods as situations or individual kids dictate. I'm not saying to sacrifice consistency; just don't let your plans and expectations for yourself keep you from being inflexible when there may be a different or better way.
    Yes, I'm sure you and Jon will be great parents!

    “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
    --Dwight David Eisenhower

  2. If you were in my shoes....that's exactly how you would write it. It's exactly my thoughts. :)
    A few other things....
    I know we (us and the kids) are not perfect. I never stated that I was. I'm not saying that I'll never give too many chances to my kids, or always walk out of a store. I just wont get those threats if that's the case. If my kids are super tired and for some odd reason I can't go without stopping at the store than I will know in advance it probably won't be a good trip. Otherwise I just wont go.
    Kids are unique I know. Some (like my nephew) don't really care that much about the "pain" in response to spanking or get the point of it. However there's plenty of other discipline you can use there. I like my sister's example of....I tell you to stop being silly, you continue. Now you get to scrub my kitchen floor! :) I say these comments in my post stating I will spank my kids, but that doesn't mean I'm saying that's the only discipline option out there. Some parents don't spank at all.
    Thanks for your encouragement. I hope I can be more clearer for you in the future. :)