family pic

family pic

Monday, February 10, 2014

Thou Shall Not Use Pull-ups

I think I'm not alone in wishing that God included a book in the Bible called "Parenting 101".

Almost 9 years ago I became pregnant with my first son. I was young and had no clue what life would be like as a mommy. After hours of labor they placed him in my arms and I remember thinking "what am I supposed to do now…". I couldn't wait to get home and once I got home I wanted to go back to the hospital where I had "professionals" giving me instructions!

My firstborn son
 Since then I have become better at the whole keeping them alive part. I learned how to nurse my babies, treat their runny noses, change diapers, and even developed mad skills at tossing diapers into the trashcan from across the room. But I still catch myself thinking from time to time that I have no clue what I'm supposed to do as a mother.

For example, my oldest son was completely potty trained after a week of running around naked in the house without ever using a pull-up. I had it all figured out. Parent's who couldn't potty train their children were obviously using pull-ups and just needed to leave them naked… like I had done. So then my second son came along. It was time to potty train so I used my tried and true method. He peed on the floor for 2 days… and I threw the towel in after he peed… in his TOYBOX… while LAUGHING!!! At that moment I realized I had no CLUE what I was doing.

Potty training my 2nd born son.
(Convinced him that Batman uses the potty ;)
Potty Training my 3rd born son
(Naked, in front of the tv, with his favorite toys)
Now those thoughts are multiplied times 2 as I have added 2 wonderful stepsons to my clan of boys. We now have 5 different personalities, with different needs, and different tendencies. The Lord has blessed me with a husband to process those thoughts out with and is willing to lead our family, but we both have times when we just don't know what to do. 

During those moments I find myself wishing that God would have included detailed step by step instructions in the Bible on all different kinds of parenting scenarios! (Could you imagine turning to Parenting 101, chapter 5, verse1.. "Thou shall not use pull-ups. If thy child pees in his toy box, thou shall put superhero clothes on thy child and convince him that batman pees in the potty.")

But I've been realizing that if God had included step by step instructions in the Bible, I wouldn't be so dependent on HIS direction. Instructions would enable me to successfully parent on MY own. He wants me to talk to Him and seek His direction. He wants me to pour myself into His Word and learn more about who He is. As I learn more about who He is I'm drawn to love Him deeply. As I love Him deeply, I become more like Him. The more I'm like Him, the better example of Christ I can be to my kids.

So I guess I want to encourage my fellow mommies that it's okay… no I think it's actually GREAT, to feel insufficient as a mother. The key is how we react to those feelings. Do you allow those feelings to draw you to dependency in Christ, or do they leave you with guilt and cause you avoid problems with your children? The most important thing your children need from you is to see a real life example of what a relationship with Christ looks like.