What kind of mom are you? You know, the fun mom, the organized mom, the always put together mom? Some days I am the organized mom. Other days I fall into the category of mom who apparently had a tornado blow through her house.
After a particularly rough week, I was innocently sitting in church on Sunday when the Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder. Ok, not really, but that is what I call those moments when something in the message really hits home for me.
A question was asked:
What’s it like to have you as a parent?
Now, if the question had been “are you a good parent?” I would have taken 30 seconds to reflect and would then have moved on. Because that question is one that us parents ask ourselves constantly. We measure the answer inaccurately often based on how our week is going. We miss a soccer game and that makes us bad. We cook dinner and that makes us good. We compare ourselves with how things appear to be via social media. It’s a constant balance and battle. But this question is different. This question forced me to look at myself through the perspective of my kids.
I paused and thought about what it was like for my kids to be raised by me.
Instead of my usual prayers, I have started a conversation with God and myself around this question, “what is it like to have me as a mom?” How would my kids answer that question now? How will they answer it 20 years from now? My kids were driving me crazy the other day in the car, as they often do. My two-year old doesn’t like it when her five-year old brother looks out her window. (I wish I was making this stuff up.) I was at my breaking point and my mean mommy voice turned on. My two year old started crying because I raised my voice.
Ok, I yelled.
I immediately felt so guilty.
But instead of putting myself in a “bad mom” category for the day, I stopped and really reflected.
What is it like for my kids? How do my kids feel when I behave a certain way?
Asking myself this question made me find a purposeful spot for the guilt. It is not saying I will fill each day with kittens and rainbows. I still firmly believe in raising my kids to have appropriate consequences. I am a human being raising two kids. I am bound to have my moments. But thinking about it through their eyes makes it easier to breathe through those tough moments and think in a different light.
In the light of their eyes.
My challenge to you is to ask yourself this question. There might be some tough stuff that you find realize you need to work through. Maybe you lose your temper easily. Maybe your kids don’t see a fun side of you ever because you are too stressed about work. Reflect on the tough stuff and the stuff you do really well. Parenting is a balance. But we need to make sure we stop to think of it from our kids’ points of view as well.
Start a dialogue with God about what it is like to have you as a parent. How do you think your kids would answer this?