Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Lesson for Mom

I realized something about myself today. I tend to see the negative in my kids faster/more often than the positive. Emelyn came home from school with a letter from each child in her classroom saying what they like about her. Over and over, the children wrote that Emelyn is compassionate and caring - she "rubs their back and makes them feel better" when they are upset. They wrote that she is very smart, but doesn't brag; that she is kind "she would never hurt a fly;" that she is caring and a good listener; that she helps the other kids with their work. These themes repeated themselves on almost every page. It was amazing. But here at home, so often, I focus on her faults. That she didn't feed her bunnies on time; that she was mean to her sister; that she's cranky or demanding.

Tonight, we have 2 little friends sleeping over b/c their mother is having surgery early in the morning. Each time I walked past the room, Abby was leaning over and talking to the littlest girl. Now normally Abby is our most rambunctious one, our clown. So I assumed she was goofing off, and keeping the others awake. I reprimanded her and told her she would be in big trouble if she didn't lay down and go to sleep! I went in a little later and the littlest one was out of bed again and I saw Abby sitting up. When I told Abby to lay down, she started to cry. She explained to me that she was checking on the little girl. That she was making sure she could hear the bedtime music and making sure she was comfortable. Abby's little heart was broken b/c she got in trouble when she was trying to be kind.

I get so busy - laundry, dishes, putting the baby to bed - I didn't take the time to figure out what was really happening. I just assumed the worst. I need to give my children more credit. I need to take the time to find out what's happening in their lives more often. I need to see their good qualities.

I'm thankful for reminders like these. I want to be a better mother. I want to teach my children love and respect for others by example. I need to start with them - with remembering that they are just little people, who need my love and respect more than anyone else in this world.


Sarah said...

What a great lesson. This is one of those things that comes more easily when you just have one - but I am already seeing how quickly it gets lost as work and pregnancy "take over". I can remember one of my teachers used to talk about how you can either spend your life melting ice cubes or fanning flames. And as a parent you can spend your time trying to correct faults, or encourage virtues. This was a good reminder - thanks!

Bridget said...

Awww, Jess, that was such a sweet and touching post. Sometimes the fatigue and emotional drain of parenting takes a toll on us and we just forget to really "hear" our children. I'm guessing this is why we'll look back sometime in the future and wish we had these days back. I'm also guessing this is why being a grandparent is so much fun! :)

Anonymous said...

Jess well worded! I have been recently discovering similar things with my boys. I am so quick to snap and criticize and so slow to realize how sweet, caring and talented they are.

It's nice to know I'm not the only "imperfect" mom out there.