After Tyler was born, I dealt heavily with postpartum depression, and then found after getting through it, I still wasn't myself, but kept going, thinking everything was normal. I mean, what is normal after having kids, right?
Test results found that I had Hashimoto's, a form of hypothyroidism. It explained my constant energy deficit, depression, weight, and other symptoms. Parenting, or disciplining, during all of these times was whatever wasn't going to cause a fight. I was too exhausted to fight or push forward most days.
Fast forward now to the other side and there has been quite the power struggle in our house lately.
(Mmmph....I hate admitting, talking, discussing the dropped ball here because we are still picking it back up....)
We have such good kids. The best. I love them so, but there are certain discipline issues that have got out of hand. I have to repeat myself 10x to get anyone to listen. If I discipline for not abiding or bad behavior, it becomes the biggest meltdown, no one who has ever met our girls would believe, so it's easier to give in and negotiate. And then there is Tyler, who now has full blown, on the floor, tantrums almost every time we visit the grocery store.
I said, ' I will never be that Mom! '
But that's me. Yep.
Disciplining our kids or acquiring their respect has become my biggest challenge. The one I thought would come easiest to me.
We took our dilemma for prayer in our small group and they shared their wisdom and prayers. Someone hit the mark about disciplining them from a place of love. And there it was. I had listened to other's advice, but with no real basis from which I could start because picking a tactic was not supposed to be my starting point.
I first had to realize I forgot my purpose. I lost myself in the every day. I forgot what I was doing. I forgot it's not about surviving through each day, or having my kids listen to me, or get through a store run without public stares. It's about loving them and honoring the Lord.
And then, of course, comes the disciplining out of that.
Gary Thomas, in his book "Sacred Parenting," said it well, "When God does not supply our motivation. We may raise a more courteous and obedient child, but we won't pass on what is of ultimate importance. If parenting were only about behavior modification, Jesus would have praised the Pharisees and kicked dirt on the adulterous woman. In other words, I'm saying that our own spiritual quest must drive our parenting. Unfinished or neglected spiritual business inevitably works its way out through our relationships in a negative fashion: we become more demanding, more controlling, more intolerant, more resentful."
It's been a huge heart sinker.
This week, I'm starting at the bottom up, putting my hands back on the ball. I have been aligning myself to the Lord, asking Him for my purpose each morning and asking for Him to impart more of His love to me and for me to give, playing more, instructing less (Thanks, Dad).
These past few days already feel fuller (in the joyful, purposeful way). I'm noticing a little more listening and already a lot more love. I'm building new connections and communication with my kids that is hope to last. ::crossing fingers::