Thursday, April 30, 2009

On Mothering

You’ve heard of Stephen King’s, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft? Today I’m going to give you a glimpse of On Mothering: A Memoir of the (it took everything inside me not to write the rhyming word with one less letter).

Really though, my pastor’s wife always says, “the proof will be in the pudding” when I commend how she’s raising her children. I’m newer on this road of parenting. My children are young. I cannot claim to spout off untold wisdom about life as mother. I can only tell you where I’ve been and what I’ve learned so far.

Before I do that I want to put something out there in cyberspace. I sometimes avoid detailing things on my blog that are closest to my heart. I’m careful when I write about my children and will continue to be. Also, I don’t see parenting as a job. Is it work? YES. Is it harder then I ever dreamed it would be? YES. Yesterday I wrote a blog about most engaging and most repulsive jobs and you’ll notice I neglected to mention my role as a mom in both (though at times I question if it could fall into both) categories. Why did I omit this role, this job that I hold so close to my heart? I did so because parenting feels more like a mission or a great assignment (as does writing, actually) than a job. But mothering is a mission I will always give the higher value to.

It’s sort of like what Paul wrote in Philippians. Without revealing details, I can tell you that in regards to motherhood, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.” Knowing this makes me appreciate my great assignment as mother all the more.

Now, onto the advice part…

Allow yourself to fail (Did I just write that? Yep, I did. Stop having an internal dialogue on the page).

I mean, you can allow yourself to fail while not allowing yourself to be a failure as a parent. There’s a difference and it’s a big one.

We’ll make mistakes as parents. It’s inevitable. Did you know that a child can learn so many things from how we handle our own mistakes? If we yell too loudly, act crabby to a stranger, unfairly accuse our child of something, we can accept the fact we made a mistake…AND THEN…we can: Say Sorry. Apologizing can be such a teaching lesson for our children to witness. I’m convinced children need a human authority more than they need a robot one. When we do this, we still maintain our authoritative role; accepting responsibility, showing humility and modeling being forgiven all in one lesson.

Besides, being able to say sorry shows your child that you’re willing to grow too, that you care about impressions they’re receiving and finally, that you follow God’s lead first in your life.

Good Parenting to You!


  1. Just popped in for a visit from another site and read this article. It is very good. Yes, we do refer to parenting as a job, but you are right, that isn't the best way to think about it. Parenting is a relationship, and while relationships can be work (ok, they are work!), they aren't the same as a job. We leave our job; we don't (ideally) leave our relationships. And, yes, we will make tons of mistakes. But, if the relationship is in place, the mistakes kind of get rubbed away in that "iron sharpens iron" process (Prov. 27:17). Not only is parenting a ministry to our children, it is a character-building journey for the parents. God job on this post!

  2. So true, parenting is a relationship, always! Interesting how you said children need a human authority. When my children were young, I loved just being with them in the day-to-day of life, out and about with errands and such. They do learn from observation, and the little respectful lessons they learn daily from us, the manners and courtesies, are a foundation for them to grow from.

  3. Parenting *is* a mission. I think the adversary does everything possible to make it seem menial and demeaning, precisely because it is such an essential and fulfilling part of life.

  4. Stopping by from SITS to welcome you. Great post

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  6. I didn't read this post closely at first and thought it was a book you were reviewing... see what kind of a hurry I'm in? Talk about failure!

    I think you have some really good advice here. I make mistakes every day and my daughter sees them. I like to explain to her what happened and why and what we can do to try and avoid mistakes. But as that's impossible to do all the time, I mostly try to show her how we can fix our mistakes - and how our faith is an important step in that.

    Hmmm, you should write a book. :)

  7. Wendy, I absolutely agree, parenting is a God given assignment, a mission, an honor and a blessing. Doesn't mean we don't fail in it like we do every other aspect of our life at times, but it's not a job that can be quit, or snuffed off to be fired from.

    And saying sorry is one of the greatest gifts we can offer our children when we've failed. It's humbling and honest. Our kids deserve that!

  8. I fail a lot in the daily life of parenting. But I like what you said, that it doesn't mean we're a failure. Sometimes it sure feels like it! But then God gives me glimpses of his grace working through my failures when I see one of my children glorifying him by sharing or apologizing or truly repenting over something they've done wrong. Then I realize God uses even broken vessels like me!

  9. Warren, I'm thankful you stopped by and for your encouraging words. I'm glad you mentioned the word relationship. You reminded me by that verse of the conference I'm planning to attend next fall...Iron Sharpens Iron. I'm excited for it.

    Joanne, I learned so much from my own mother in the small things...those little kindnesses she performed for others.

    Luisa, It is so fulfilling, isn't it?

    Thanks, Cammie. Glad you stopped by.

    Lady, (I'm going to call you that b/c I like how it sounds in my head when I write it) I love reading your have a contagiousness to you that is ALL good. About the book...not so much feeling it for parenting my pastor's wife says..."I'll let the proof be in the pudding."

    Eileen, thanks for following...I'm looking forward to checking out your site. I agree, our kids do deserve that.

    Jody, you mentioned one of my favorite words: GRACE...Thank God for it!

  10. Beautiful thoughts, Wendy. I agree- parenting is a mission - a calling - an opportunity for God to make more of us than we could ever do on our own :)

  11. Thanks for your comment today, Wendy! I am thoroughly enjoying your blog as well. Love how you shake up the topics - some serious, some thoughtful, some just downright fun! :-)

    Today's post really pulled me in. I agree, motherhood is definitely a mission in and of itself. I really saw that this weekend as I was teaching my oldest about how to make godly choices in her life. It's definitely "work," but the job never stops.

    Oh, and for the record, I've apologized 4 times already today to my kids. Sigh. ;-) So I guess the upside is that I'm giving them lots of opportunities to learn, right?!?


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