Sometimes I feel like I am failing it with this whole mom gig. Not only is it a lot of work BUT it’s also a lot of responsibility too. God gave me these three precious blessings to nurture, shape, discipline, teach, train and love.
I make plenty of mistakes along the way. I lose my patience and speak unkindly to my kids or yell. I am inconsistent with discipline, especially if I am tired or sometimes I just turn on the TV for them because I just can’t muster up the energy for one more activity.
Thankfully I’m not alone in this whole motherhood journey and the mistakes I make on a daily basis can be redeemed by God as He guides me down the path of mothering my children.
After some time in prayer last week, I spent a few minutes jotting down some things in my journal that I really wanted my kids to see me doing on a daily basis.
Creating a list helped me to lose some of the guilt of things I thought I should be doing based on what other people where doing.
10 Things I Want My Kids to See Me Doing Daily
1. Reading my Bible
My kids need to see me practicing what I’m preaching. If I’m speaking Scripture over them or telling them how important being filled with God’s Word is, then you better believe I need to be in the Word too.
During this season it hasn’t been realistic for me to have a quiet time in the morning before the kids wake up. Most of the time my quiet time isn’t actually quiet at all, but instead of complaining I’m using that as a teachable moment.
In the morning I have them get out their Bible book basket and we read a few stories together and talk about God. Then while my kids are playing, I read aloud from my daily Bible reading plan and spend some time writing in my prayer journal.
Not only are they seeing me read the Bible and making my devotional time important but they are also hearing God’s Word. Some of it may be over their heads but I also firmly believe children are sponges and those precious words are the beginning seeds of a deep faith and love for God.
Along with reading the Bible, my children need to see me praying. Prayer should be modeled to them so they can come to know and understand that talking with God is natural.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Prayer should be modeled so our kids can come to know that talking with God is natural. ” quote=”Prayer should be modeled so our kids can come to know that talking with God is natural. “]
We pray together before nap and bedtime, we pray together during our morning Bible reading time. We pray together during times of discipline and correction, and sometimes they even see me stopping what I’m doing and praying for God to grant me patience or help during a difficult morning.
My son had been anxious about going to school, so we have been praying together on the car ride to school as a reminder that God is with him all day long.
I want to show my kids that prayer is conversational, it’s casual and we have access to God all the time through it.
3. Loving their Father
My marriage is the most important relationship. Solid marriages also provide stability for children too. I want my kids to see what a Godly marriage looks like and the friendship that exists between husband and wife. My husband and I have a relationship I pray they will have with their future spouses one day.
I want them to see us flirting with one another, respecting one another, supporting one another and even see conflict and resolution between us so they have a healthy example of conflict resolution. I don’t want them to see me complaining about or talking disrespectfully about him in front of them.
Simple things such as telling them how great Daddy is or explaining why I’m cooking one of his favorite meals are examples of showing my kids how much I love their father.
Some day my sons and daughter will live on their own and probably have a family. They need to know the value of work, both inside of the home and out. As much as I would love to spend every single moment of every single day sitting beside them reading and playing together… there is a house to run and maintain.
I’ve been starting to introduce chores to them and about how to pitch in and help around the house. If I want them to actually help with the day to day tasks of cleaning then they need to see me doing it too. Just as in any learning situation, I am their first teacher and this includes things of the domestic nature.
I want both my sons and my daughter to know how to maintain a house which includes the cleaning and cooking. They also watch my husband do the yard work and several other home improvement tasks.
Along with modeling household tasks, I want to model a strong work ethic too. They will be in school soon and someday will hold a job. There are just basic life skills and responsibilities kids need to learn and where better to learn them then from home?
5. Smile and Laugh
My personality tends to lean towards the more serious side when I have tasks to be completed. It’s easy for me to get so caught up in my chores and tasks that I forget to smile or stop and laugh at something silly.
I want my children to know I adore them and think they are fun. I want to stop and laugh at the adorable, silly and, sometimes, even downright annoying. I want our home to be be filled with love and laughter and often times that mood is created by me.
6. Being Present with them
As I mentioned above, it’s easy for me to get caught up with my daily to-do list that even though I’m in the same room with them, I’m not really present with them. There is a time for chores and completing tasks, they make the home run more smoothly, but there is also a time to put aside work and get down on the floor to play with them.
[clickToTweet tweet=”There is a time for chores, but there is also a time to put aside work & play with my kids. ” quote=”There is a time for chores, but there is also a time to put aside work & play with my kids. “]
I want my kids to know I value them and I enjoy spending time with them. It’s also a good lesson to model balancing work and play.
To me reading is my favorite leisurely activity, it fills me up. But reading is also very important educationally too. My grandfather always used to say that reading was the most important thing anyone can learn to do, I agree.
Children who have parents who read to them daily generally have better grades and a strong sense of self worth. Not only do we read a ton of read aloud books together, if I want to create little book lovers my kids need to see me making the time to read for myself.
8. Being Fair
I am very guilty of telling my kids no to a special treat only to then drive through Starbucks to pick up a special treat for myself.
How fair is that? Soon enough my kids will be old enough to call me out on that.
Or sometimes because I am tired and don’t want to spend the time figuring out who was truly in the wrong, I punish them both my taking away the toy. Again not very fair.
There may be certain times and events where things may not always be fair, it’s a part of life, but I want to make sure I am being very diligent about trying to be fair in my interactions with my kids.
I believe in the importance of rest and slowing down. My kids are still young enough where nap time is a part of our day. Every afternoon from about 1 to 3 my kids go down for a nap.
I am diligent about using that time to do something that fills my tank and refuels me for the afternoon and evening rush. Most days I work on the blog but I also make it a priority to rest. If I’m tired and worn out, I won’t try to tackle other projects, I will make myself rest instead. That might mean reading, watching a show I recorded or even taking a little nap myself if I need it.
10. Saying I’m Sorry
Admitting we are wrong and asking for forgiveness is a hard trait to learn and it usually has to be modeled to our kids for them. I’ve apologized to my children for several things but the main thing I ask for forgiveness from them is when I acted unloving and lost my cool or yelled at them.
I humbly ask them to forgive me, just like I’m teaching them to do with each other when a sibling conflict arises. Saying I’m sorry is sadly a lost art in our society so there aren’t many positive examples outside of our home to teach them.
So this is my list. Yes, even after writing it all out I am still aware of my shortcomings and failures, but at least I have a baseline to help me truly balance my days with my children.