The best part of having your own blog is you can say whatever you want... your own little corner of the internet to vent ;)
And I hate to use the term vent, but my heart just felt so heavy this morning. Sarah Mae, one of my absolute favorite author/bloggers reposted one of her most shared blog posts. It is entitled, "Maybe Your Two Year Old Just Needs You" and it got over 92,000 shares. And as I sat thinking about it I realized why I believe this article got so many shares... it was a breath of fresh air.
As moms we are hungry for encouragement. We are hungry for older women to live out the Titus 2 mandate and teach us to "love our children"... because we have been starved for it...
When I first found out I was having a baby I do not remember getting any advice or encouragement to love my baby. I had books and discipline methods shoved at me from every angle. I was told if I didn't "sleep train" my child I basically don't want to raise my children to be Godly people... But, no, I wasn't encouraged or trained in any way to love my child.
I think it is because people assume that loving your children is a given. And to some degree it is. I naturally loved my children. But, I don't think we always know how to "act" like a loving mom. Or how that all plays out. So, we default to the practical advice that is heaped upon us.
And I believe in our self-centered, me-driven culture, a lot of the advice we are given appeals to us. It is applealing to have perfectly well behaved children. Having kids that don't inconvenience our way of life and cause us to have to sacrifice in any way does sound good. Being able to train my baby to sleep through the night as soon as possible and have a toddler who never throws their Cheerios on the floor is what we want when it comes down to it... We want to live our lives with as little inconvenience as possible.
But, what if the reality is that motherhood is really about sacrifice? Sacrificing ourselves. Laying down our own lives. And loving. And maybe that kind of sacrificial love DOES need to be taught. Maybe we need to be trained how to love our own children. I know in many ways it did not come naturally to me. I am sure thankful for women like Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson who are breaking the mold as "parenting experts" and are putting discipline aside and teaching love.
And I know discipline is important. I see the value of practical advice, and yes, disciplining our children is part of loving them. But, out of the context of loving and sacrificing I think it can do so much more harm than good. And while Jesus doesn't lay out a sleeping regimen for infants in the Bible he does lay out a pattern of love and sacrifice. And whether we like it or not the command is to teach the younger women to love their children.
So, here it goes for what it is worth... Let's LOVE our children today. Let's make sure that they are tickled and snuggled and laughed with. Let's tell them they are valuable and beautiful and wonderful. When they spill the glass of milk let's help them clean it up. When they interrupt what we are doing let's stop and give them our attention rather than rolling our eyes. When our babies cry let's comfort them and rock them rather and feel blessed for the opportunity rather than feeling "put out". And when we have the opportunity let's teach another mother to "love".