Ten Things I wish I knew before I became a mother.
1) They will survive me. Due to my own issues/insecurities I have had serious anxieties about doing irreparable damage to my children. My husband has to to remind me often that the kids live a very safe and secure life and they are blessed. They will look back on their childhood positively.
2) They will grow. Simple and obvious but when you're in the throws of several young children all in a row just being reminded that this is temporary brings hope and excitement for what's to come. Your 2 year old will grow into a witty, loving 11 year old...eventually.
3) This isn't child's play. Raising children isn't for the faint of heart. It's a difficult road that will wear you out and hiding in the closet is not only ok, it's required at times so Mom can catch her breath and refocus.
4) God loves your children more than you could ever hope to. He is in control and has their best interest at heart. Allow Him to lead you in your parenting and trust them into His care. Pray for their present and their future.
5) How you parent them now determines the rest of their lives. You can't wing it, you have to plan. Show them how to interact with a spouse, show them how to love and respect others, show them discipline and honoring those who are in charge. Be the kind of parent you want them to be some day. Live and parent proactively.
6) Tell them no, often. Work hard to raise a child that will be able to endure the hardships that will come in their lives. Be kind, but be just. Teach them about grace and forgiveness. As adults we are often told "no" to the things we want or desire. Helping them learn what's truly important when they're small will make them happier and content adults.
7)Stick to your guns. No one benefits from you not standing your ground. Sure the temporary issue seems to be relieved but it will come back. Follow through on your punishments. You will gain peace and your child will respect you. (This was the hardest for me especially with the first couple).
8) Children are sinful. They are fallen just like all of mankind. They will be selfish, they will manipulate, they will lie, and they may even bite :) No one has to teach your child to do wrong. It comes naturally. Treat other families and children with grace. Your child is not perfect and neither are theirs.
9) Read a Proverb a day, every day and when you're done; start over. God has granted a lot of wisdom and instruction in His word. He even put it in quick little doses that are easy to understand and easy to consume.
10) Seek wisdom. No one is perfect and those who have gone before us have some helpful instruction. Take help from others, evaluate it. Use what is helpful and discard the rest. Parenting is a learn as you go process and learning from others experiences saves you (and your children) the pain of learning the lesson on your own. Be humble and receive corrective criticism with an open heart and mind.
These are all things that I'm working on. I believe that I'm 9 years into an intensive hands on education on parenting. Most of this list are things I have done wrong. I am so thankful for a loving, forgiving God who's mercies are new every morning.
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!b]">[b]
His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him.
26 So it is good to wait quietly
for salvation from the Lord.