I am so thrilled to have Chrissie Grace from In His Grace with us today. She is wife, a mother to 4 adorable children, and an artist. She made the pillow in Lauren’s room and I have admired her blog and her work ever since.
When Melissa asked me if I'd like to write a guest-post for Mothers Day coming up, I was honored!
Being a mother is one of (if not the greatest) joys in my life. And then I read the line-up of the other mothers. Seriously, I have to go after Shawni from 71 Toes? She has it all...she is like Mom of the Year...no literally, she is!
I got a little nervous and insecure...little ol'me with my flaws and my never-ending mistakes. Who am I to talk about motherhood? Let's screech all that to all a halt right now.
And so I come to #1 on my top 5 list of things I've learned by Becoming a Mother:
1. Don't compare yourself to anyone else...
It starts when we're pregnant...we feel bad if we can't breastfeed. We look at our neighbor's 8 month old walking and get embarrased when our 18 month old isn't yet.We feel pressured to buy our daughter cute Gymboree clothes to fit in when we can't afford it and have been blessed with a set of hand-me-downs.
You know the drill... we compare ourselves (and our children) to what "everyone" else has or is doing. What an unfortunate deal to pass on to our kids. Let's stop that nonsense now. Let's teach our kids that God makes everyone different for our reason.
There is so much beauty in that.
2. Magic Erasers really are magical.
(No, I was not paid to say that. Trust me. Think black permanent marker on your white leather couch)
3. Be Loud and Proud.
(My kids ever-growing art gallery)
Yes, I know it can be a little obnoxious to brag about your kids. But guess what? The world can be a little tough sometimes. It's nice for a child to know that they will go home to their biggest fans. Sitting in the 90 degree heat watching baseball isn't my idea of a great time, but I will dang sure try to be there when it's my son on the field. My husband is not a big ballet fan, but what would a recital be without Daddy showing up with flowers?
We celebrate the little things too. When an anxious child steps out of her comfort zone, she is praised for being brave. When a child who tends to be a little self-centered shows generosity, he is thanked for his kindness. When one studies for a test and tearfully brings home a C, we gently remind him that he was responsible and showed great effort.
4. Play outside every day.
Yes, this is a big one for me. It's probably a little easier living in Florida, where we don't deal with snow and freezing temperatures. But as the world becomes more and more dependent on electronics, I insist that kids get off the dang T.V. (computer, ipad, nintendo 3ds etc.) and GO OUTSIDE! Ride bikes, scooters, jump rope, run, swim, play soccer, baseball, tennis, play with sidewalk chalk, climb trees, search for frogs, and more. I want my children to love the outdoors.
5. Read this book.
This book changed me as a parent.
Because I am completely and totally not qualified to give advice on having grace.
Because I lose my patience and hide in the bathroom sometimes.
Because I wonder sometimes how I will get through a particular moment, or a particular day.
Because I forget to be the tooth fairy sometimes and feed my kids sugar laden cereal for breakfast 20 mornings in a row.
Because I need to remember that God is in ultimate control, not me.
But mostly because I love my children unconditionally. I want to love them like God loves me. I want to parent them the way He parents me.