Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Mother's Heart

Why is being a mom sometimes so hard?  There are many reasons that parenting is a difficult job, but I think the hardest part for a mom is that so much of parenting requires us to go against our mother's heart.  What is that, you ask?  My mother's heart wants to protect my children from all harm, from evil, from hurt, from emotional and physical pain, from any sort of hardship.  My mother's heart wants to give my children love and comfort all day long.
Unfortunately, I often have to go against my mother's heart and give my children what they need instead of what they want.  A simple example is the stove.  My daughter wants to touch the hot pan on the stove, but no mother is going to let her do what she wants at that moment; instead, we tell her "HOT!  No touching!"  Maybe she cries because she doesn't get to touch, but we know that is best for her, even though she doesn't realize it.
My two year old daughter has a bad habit of slamming doors shut.  She has hurt every single person in this family by doing so.  Every time she slams a door shut, she has a consequence, and she knows this very well, yet, she continues to disobey and slam doors on people.  My mother's heart would rather just reason with her.  My mother's heart tells me that she just needs more love and gentle guidance to understand that she is hurting other people by slamming doors on them.  However, my mother's heart is wrong, and as much as I hate going against it, I have to in order to teach my daughter that her "fun" is causing other people pain, and that is not acceptable.  Sometimes that lesson is painful for both of us, but it is necessary in order to train her to be a responsible adult.
If my husband is home, I ask him what I should do if I am doubting.  If he isn't home, I pray.  And I always get an answer (though not necessarily the answer I want!).  Because, even though my mother's heart wants to just ignore a behavior or give a mild consequence, my mother's head knows that I need to do what is best for my children in the long run.  I have to remember, I am raising my children to be responsible adults, not irresponsible children.
Don't be afraid to go against your mother's heart when it is necessary.
Post Script a year later: My now 3-year-old daughter is very good about not slamming doors (she often apologizes if she does slam a door on accident).  I love it, and it makes my mother's heart proud that she's taken the lessons to heart.