A popular topic of conversation among myself and my friends whom are usually also mothers is the subject of parenting. Parenting includes a plethora of subject matter, from discipline to play time activities, to sleeping habits, to forming their character, and the list goes on. One thing I did not expect as a new mother was the vast array of opinions on parenting methods. Everyone seemed to have a certain way of doing things and many believed it was the only way of doing things. Or at least that was my impression as a new mom. I've since learned most moms don't actually feel this way and many struggle, like myself, with feeling like they are not a good enough parent and that the job seems at times to be impossible.
I have a lot of growth to do in order to become a better mom. I am not perfect and I have identified many areas in my own parenting style which need special attention in order to become the mom I want and hope to one day be. I've learned there really is no magic formula in parenting because every parent is unique and every child is unique. However, I have found one key in helping me to become a better mom and that helps develop better children.
To be a better mom we must be the person we want our children to be. Do I want my kids to be more patient? Then I must be more patient. Do I want them to be better listeners? Then I must listen to them and give them my full attention. Do I want them to be less whiny? Then I must whine less and glorify God more in my words and actions. Do I want them to love others and serve in their community? Then so must I.
Our children are going to learn the most from watching us. They will respond to life's challenges like we respond. They will interact like we interact. They will love like we love. They will also argue like we argue, whine like we whine, judge like we judge, hate like we hate. We are not perfect, nor are they. As much as they need our discipline, we must discipline ourselves to become more Christ-like as well. We must deny ourselves and become truly selfless in the giving of ourselves to God and others. Lastly, we must draw ever closer to Our Lord, for only by the strength and grace He provides can we hope to be the moms, and people, He asks us to be.