Something that no one ever told me about being a mother is that your children will be your reflection. You will see them do things and think only for a second “Where did that come from?” before you realize it that came just from you! This can either be a really nice pick-me-up (“Awww, I’m so glad that they love to read like me”) or a not so nice reminder of a personality trait that you have that you would rather not have made public.
For instance, I am a rather temperamental morning person. If I have somewhere to go and somewhere to be, I can immediately get out of bed with a pretty good attitude. At least, this was the case when I was younger, I rarely have to get up early for something I’m excited about these days. As an example, when we would have church camp in high school I often got put on the breakfast duty. Which seems like a big bummer but I would hop out of bed and be all chipper as I was serving my friends breakfast. (Just as an FYI, that doesn’t really go over super well with non-morning people teenagers. It tends to annoy them, so if this is you, try to tone it down a little for all of your sakes.)
But now, I guess since sleep is a luxury, it’s rare for me to get out of bed quickly. I like to lay in bed and wake up slowly. For a while Jason was waking me up in the morning’s and he finally had to tell me to set an alarm because he wasn’t liking being my alarm clock (just keeping it real!). So after that wake up call (pun intended), I started trying to be more pleasant in the morning’s and I’m happy to say that we’re back to Jason waking me up without need for a blaring alarm clock. Although, it still takes me a while to actually put my feet on the floor.
Long story to say, a few months ago when I was getting increasingly frustrated with my having to drag both children from the beds in the morning’s, I sat down to think about the problem and how I could fix it. And what do you know? The only place they could have gotten this trait was straight from their mother. Lovely.
This is just a small example of how they reflect mine (and Jason’s) personalities. I knew that when I had kids I would have to watch what I said (who knew that h-a-t-e was a word that I would h-a-t-e to come out of my child’s mouth) and that they would be all ears, but I didn’t really think about the inherent attributes that they would have or how I would slowly notice all of the parts of my personality that I don’t want reflected by my children.
These days, I try to accept every compliment I’m given with a “Thank you” instead of a retort on how I don’t think I look good. Because, you know what? C’s listening and I don’t want her ever to lose confidence in how beautiful she is.
I try to “use my words” instead of simply crying or holding my feelings in when I’m upset because it’s pretty hard to get on to your child for something they just saw you do. And if you think they won’t call you on it, you’re sadly mistaken.
I remind myself to pray when I’m scared and wait for God to help me feel better, just like I ask my kids to do.
I think I always thought that one day I would be a “grown up” and I would know everything and have all the answers and always act the right way and not struggle with anything that I did when I was younger. I’m glad that I didn’t wait to have kids until I “grew up” because I’m realizing now, that day is probably never going to come. And I’m growing so much just by learning to model the behaviors that I want my kids to have instead of showing them negative behaviors that I don’t ever want to see them mirror.
It’s so easy to look at your child and see them as the beautiful creations of God that they are. And it’s amazing to sit and think that my parents look at me in that same way. And even more baffling to think that the God of the Universe looks at me like that too. I need to work on seeing myself through God’s eyes more and less through my own where I can think I don’t measure up. I have to remember that there are four little eyes watching my every move and I want them to see me through God’s filter rather than my own.