I have a friend on Facebook that sometimes posts videos of her little boy dancing and having a blast in the pouring down rain. It’s obvious that this little guy is having such a great time without a care in the world.
Often times, I watch these videos and I think about the Mama. She was willing to let her son savor life for a few minutes. She was willing to deal with the wet clothes and mud that would come after the play time was done. She sacrificed her time and energy to allow her son to simply enjoy the rain.
I began to be inspired by her. I could of easily fell into the comparison trap and allowed this video to make feel like a mean mom.
When was the last time I let my kids play the rain? Or the dirt? Or make an art project? I tend to avoid messes instead of embracing the mess. But motherhood is messy. We all learn this from day one.
Instead of feeling down and horrible as a parent, I began to ponder on what I could learn from this sweet mama.
Let go and have fun.
Oftentimes our kids would rather run around outside, help us in the kitchen, or read a book then watch television or play on an electronic device.
I realize this many times and I make it a priority to do these fun things with my children, but am I actually having fun? Do they see their mom enjoying that time or barking orders and acting interrupted by the tasks on her to-do list?
So often, I feel like I need to schedule quality time with my children, and then I rush that time to get back to what I need to do. I pray that God would remind me to let go of what “needs” to be done around the home and focus on what my children need from me.
The next thing I began to think about was, am I too strict and too caught up in getting my kids to follow the rules? When I do this I begin to hate my job as a parent. What kind of example are we setting when we are constantly yelling at our children instead of showing them the happiness and joy that comes from serving Christ as mothers?
So, why are we so serious all the time?
We want our children to be obedient and to have godly character. We teach them to say “please” and “thank you”, “yes ma’am” and “yes sir”. It’s tempting to get so caught up in the rules that we forget that our children desperately desire our attention and affection.
While expectations and rules are important to raising children, there must be more. I must be an example of the Gospel for my children.
God doesn’t want us to be miserable as parents. He doesn’t want us to get together with other moms just to bash our kids and talk about how horrible they are. He wants us to love them like He loves us.
We are sinners just like them and we need God’s grace. On days when I feel like I’m doing everything wrong, I can stop and remember His grace for me as a mother. He loves me and my children unconditionally. He gives us the chance to repent and start over. Instead of feeling like you can never change, focus on being intentional with your joy.
So, the next time it’s pouring down rain and my girls want to splash in the puddles, I will (try to) say, “yes!”. I will overlook the mess and recognize the giggles. I will remind myself that they won’t be this little forever.
Then, I will ask God to give me this simple joy that comes from dancing in the rain. That I wouldn’t get caught up in the mundane of motherhood but that I would embrace the journey and always turn back to Him in every circumstance.
I pray the same for you today. No matter what struggles you are having with your children, try to enjoy them today. Surprise them with something unexpected and exciting. Love on those babies no matter what their ages are!