Have you ever read those blog posts where someone (usually an already busy mom) chooses a “focus word” for the next year of her life? This theoretical blogger will often research ways to incorporate this focus word into her life on a weekly basis through reading, practice, prayer, etc.
I am not that kind of blogger.
Obviously. I have a hard time posting weekly, let alone selecting a theme for my entire year.
I have however had ample time for thinking and prayer over the last few months, and without very many social and work engagements, I’ve found my mind has the ability to delve deeper into things it normally wouldn’t.
I have been praying and seeking a better way to mother. I am, after all, a true full-time mother. Without a part-time job or even an entire home to care for, much more of my time is spending teaching, guiding, and correcting the girls. Lately I have been noticing habits in my mothering that I don’t like: being easily distracted, being short-tempered, being sarcastic, and a few others. I know these are not habits that will help my children to thrive, and I know that there is a better way. I can improve, with help of course.
During one of my quiet times this week I was given one word in relation to my mothering:
My husband and I work hard to make sure that our children feel well-loved but that they also know they are not the center of our world. We are trying to instill in them the value of selflessness.
The question, though, is whether I am modeling selfless behavior to my children. Is there a correlation between how hard we have to work with the girls to keep them humble and my selfish behavior?
Sometimes, friends, the truth is warm and fuzzy, but this time; oh boy, this time the truth hit me over the head like a 2×4.
Some of the selfish behavior I see (and am annoyed by) in my children is a reflection of my own selfish behavior. If I want to properly teach my children to be selfless adults, I have to first model selfless behavior.
Although I do not have a plan, and I do not have a cute graphic to go along with a weekly chart to help me focus on selflessness, this one word will be my focus for the next several weeks and months.
As I step into a season of sleeplessness, busyness, and much less free time, I know I will need to practice being selfless. With the demands of two little girls plus a newborn, finding time for me will definitely be a challenge. I am, however, determined not to let this define my mood and my behavior. I have been entrusted with three little people to shape, guide, and care for, and it is a huge undertaking. I cannot take this task lightly. I cannot expect regular breaks like one would at their job; my job will demand a lot of me for a season, and that is okay.
If I can grow in selfless behaviors, I will be better able to serve my family in this season without burning out. After all, it isn’t necessarily my workload that will cause me excessive stress, but my attitude about the workload. If I can look at all the things I have to do to care for my children as blessings, I pray they won’t seem as difficult to tackle. If feeding, diaper changes, cooking, bathing, teaching, and correcting become privileges of a blessed mother instead of the chores of a tired mother, imagine the difference there will be in the way I perform these tasks.
I tend to blog about things before I fully plan them, so to speak. I haven’t often thought through my lofty ideas fully before I share them with my readers. I hope to, though, continue to post more about my journey to becoming more selfless in the coming months (and years!) as I feel led. In the meantime, I would like to leave you with a verse that I find both motivating and encouraging in this season of my life:
Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well.