I feel as though I am constantly messing up as a parent. It’s a really hard (but so very blessed) job. I find myself changing my tactics all the time, after learning or reading something about studies showing how harmful that particular tactic is. It’s exhausting. And I’m sure it is for Bigs and Smalls too. One day Mommy acts like this, the next day, a different Mommy. You’d (I’d) think that I’d have it “down pat” by now, but the truth is, I don’t. I don’t know what I’m doing. Probably in life either. But, I love that life (and my boys) give me second, third, fourth, etc. chances. Even if I have a particularly horrible “Mommy Day”, the next day is a new day, a clean(er) slate, of sorts. I was going to write mostly about biscuits and meatloaf today, but I read another article on “correct” parenting behavior this morning and how the antithesis of that negatively affects them. It’s so much pressure. And there are so many articles. I am actually sitting here feeling bad for myself and for them. But there’s hope. There’s ALWAYS hope.
I think I’d like to try a more “Back to Basics” approach, since I literally cannot possibly keep up with all that I am supposed to do. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Surely that is enough to get me ‘started’ on this whole parenting thing (that which does NOT come with an instruction manual), right? Here are some other verses which are helping me.
Psalms 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Sure, my kids are supposed to obey me. But they also see my reactions and imitate. That’s something I need to constantly work on.
Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
I am taking this to be directed at ME, as well, not just “Fathers”.
This isn’t saying that we shouldn’t discipline our children:
Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.
The Bible says, in fact, that we SHOULD discipline. I think it’s just how we go about it.
Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.
My job as a parent to Bigs and Smalls is to provide structure, discipline, my love, kindness (and a million other things). I need to bring them up as God wants and build up their confidence in this world.
[CAVEAT: I hope you take this as I intended – as a Biblical guide that can be a starting point. I am (quite, humbly and obviously) not a perfect parent (SO far from it) and am learning everyday.]
[CAVEAT II: I was discussing this with my husband and he was telling me that parenting does not come with an instruction book (as I mentioned and you all for sure know) and that all these articles cannot tell us exactly how to parent. We just change the things we want to change. Ahhh so simple – men see things so very differently!]
You know what else I don’t do so great (even though I HAD instructions)? Gluten free, dairy free biscuits. Or “hardtack”, as I am now calling them.
I thought I’d “whip” up a batch for us for dinner last night. The dough wasn’t so bad.
I did like that I could over-mix the dough without the fear of making it tough.
Oh, I SHOULD have had the fear of tough biscuits, however.
Those suckers came out like baptism wafers. The hard kind. Luckily, my husband sort of likes those.
Don’t let this picture fool you – they were still white as snow. And hard as rocks.
But so very strangely addictive. Especially with butter and honey.
Look at that height (LOL)!!
Seriously. Weirdest things ever. I had to make them dairy free as well (the recipe was just GF) so I am not sure if THAT is where things went wrong? Who knows. Did I have ALL the proper ingredients? No. But whatever!! I’m the Queen of Improvisation and Replacements!
Here’s the REAL recipe, if you are interested:
(I used almond milk and vegan butter and coconut oil since I, naturally, ran out of vegan butter.)
Some adjectives I heard around the dinner table: hard, white, chewy
By the by, they get harder. I went for one this morning and almost broke a toof.
I served it with some gluten-free (usually I use breadcrumbs and remembered too late that I had cornflakes I could have used instead) meatloaf. I used about a pound of organic, grassfed ground beef to which I added fresh parsley, dill, and rosemary (from my neighbor’s garden), and a Mrs. Dash seasoning packet. I made the beans and carrots I always make. I also served it with sliced pears, cranberries and candied nuts.
And we’ve really made an effort to get back to the Simple Life these past few days.
The kids plucked our very own (SOUR) tangerines off of our tree.
We tasted those sour little boogers.
And my husband grilled out while the boys and our dog pretended to wash the pool deck.
It really is the simple things.
Also, today is Police Day in Bigs’ class!
I cut out “P O L I C E” on a piece of bread and made a PB&J (always) on that bread. I used my Food Writer to make a “reds and blues” police light boarder. I served red tortilla chips (sorry, I KNOW these have mega red dye in them!) and corn. And for dessert, I picked the red and blue Smarties out of the little package I’d frozen since Halloween and some peppermint yogurt covered raisins. On the baggie, I wrote, “Police Lights Dessert – Eat last or go to jail!!”. I hope he likes this lunch! 🙂 It was a fun one to make.
Remember that we are never too old to learn, and there is always hope – to grow, to change, to make things better.
Hope you eat your healthy food first today!