Enjoying vs. Enduring Life with Littles

 IMG_3588 I know, poor baby has a hole in his knee. Missed that!! LOL

Do you truly enjoy the season of life you are in or are you simply enduring it? This is a tough question and I think if we answer honestly, most of us can say that at times we do both. I know exactly when I am enjoying my life with littles and when  am simply enduring it. I want to have more enjoyment how about you?

Physical You

Often as a mom (or as a woman in general), we put others before ourselves and rightly so because doesn’t the bible teach us to esteem others more highly than ourselves (Phil 2:3)? Um, kinda. I’ve flown enough to remember the stewardess’ instructions in case of an emergency. Moms, put on your own mask before putting on your little ones. One of the things {and I am still learning this!} is that you need to make sure that in the busyness of life, your physical needs are being met and the only one who is going to make sure they are is you! We all know exactly what I am talking about: proper rest, proper hydration, balanced eating and {ugh} exercise. For the sake of time {30 minutes goes quickly!} I won’t elaborate but trust me on this; taking care of yourself will go a long way to enjoying the season, your littles and you life!

Praying You

You can’t do it on your own. You can’t do it on your own. You can’t do it on your own. What have you learned so far? Hopefully the answer is, “you can’t do it on your own.” I’ve tried and tried and at times I’m sure you have to. We can’t and why do we try to? Why do we want to? Why do we want to burden ourselves and carry it alone when Jesus invites us to cast our cares upon him (1 Peter 5:7)? As the creator of all things (us and our littles included!), he knows us intimately and knows just what we need. Taking our burdens, struggles, cares, concerns and heartaches to Him in prayer eases our load and is a huge leap towards living a life we enjoy; one in sweet communion with Him!

Priorities

Do you know what yours are? Write them down. I know what mine are but often I forget and I need a tangible reminder written down in a prominent place. At times I get distracted by the looming laundry pile or the never-ending dishes. This calls for my attention, and that does too. Next thing you know, I’ve spend the day pursing things that won’t matter in the long run but have accomplished nothing that further my ultimate goals.

In this season, my goals are simple: be the wife DH needs, be the mother my littles need, enjoy my family and teach my littles to love and obey God and to obey authority. If that is all that I am accomplishing right now, it is more than enough for I know what my priorities are. It is easier to enjoy life and be joyful, knowing that I am accomplishing things that directly further the priorities and goals DH and I have for this season.

Politics

What kind of political set up is in your home? Who’s in charge? Is your home child-led? Parent-led? God-led?

Our home functions in accordance with the bible which means mommy and daddy are in charge. While tots may thing they want to dictate and control, they don’t and that is why God gave them parents! Now that is not to say that their thoughts, feelings and wishes don’t get taken into careful consideration when decisions are made but simply that mom and dad are the final authority in our home under God.

Our children are easy to enjoy when they understand who the authority is. When they get confused (and sometimes forget) about who is in charge, then parenting them is something akin to enduring (and looking forward to their bedtime!)

IMG_2086

Policy  and Persistence

What are the house rules? How are they enforced? Are they enforced all the time, some of the time, none of the time?

I’ve only been a parent for 3 years. I’m new to this, I don’t have all the answers. I call tell you that I enjoy my little ones when they obey. There are two main keys to having this happen:

  1. They understand the policies and rules
  2. They understand that they are enforced

When I am consistent and persistent in laying down the {reasonable!}expectations for behavior, then following through with an appropriate discipline when there is failure to comply, a couple of things happen:

  • Repentance – understanding wrong behavior and the desire to change it leads to
  • Restoration – to right relationships with parents, friends, siblings etc.
  • Remembrance – they are little and often forget but being consistent in correction and discipline helps them to learn, understand and remember not to repeat.

So What am I Saying?

I am saying that when I take care of myself, spend time in prayer, accomplish  daily activities reflect my priorities, ensure that I am lovingly consistent in correction and discipline with my children {resulting in obedience}, I find my life enjoyable. Yes, with littles there will always be phases that do register on the “endurance” scale but enjoyment reigns!

  • This post took 40 minutes to write but I did stop to snuggle John who woke up from his nap and needed a little bit of “mommy cuddling”. I’m still entering it in the 30 Minute Challenge at Steady Mom.

 

6 Comments

  1. Great post! The past few days I have been not just happy to be a mom to little ones, but thoroughly thrilled. I realized that the difference between these days and the days when I struggle is that I am rested. Sleep truly is a gift of God!

  2. I love this post, thanks for sharing. It reminds me of Charlotte Mason’s advice on habit training, that you are laying down the railroad tracks for smooth and easy days by teaching children about authority, obedience and good habits. And mommies can’t forget to take care of themselves. 🙂 I am going to be mulling over the things you wrote all day, thanks again!

  3. Great post and wonderful reminders. They work with both little children and great big ones!

  4. I just found this post! I definitely needed this, because sometimes, and lately, almost all the time, is starting to feel like enduring, and not enjoying 🙁 What a sad place to be in! This has given me a new mindset and the tools (all of which I have, but seem to forget!) necessary to help me enjoy my littles! Thanks Jenn!

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