Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I Am That Mom: Audra

My Mom used to say, “ You should be able to throw away the first child and start over.” She didn’t mean it LITERALLY! She was referring to the fact that with your first child you are learning as you go and when the next child(ren) comes along, you are more prepared. Rest assured, our oldest child is alive and well and on his way to adulthood. However, we have found that we have learned a lot over the last (almost) seventeen years of parenting.

I am a mother of five children (three homegrown, two born of my heart). Bob and I got married young-ish (barely into our 20th year of life!) and wanted to have children fairly fast. We waited three years, but felt strongly that we wanted our children to be born soon enough to really KNOW our parents and to have a strong relationship with them. So, child number one, our oldest son, was born and we started this thing called parenting. He ruled the roost. Not literally, we had boundaries, but I wish we had been more intentional about the teaching part, the training. The only REAL training we did was potty training! We were not necessarily permissive, just very flexible.

Fast forward to five kids. Over time we have come to see our role as parents as our divine calling. For this season in our lives, our highest priority is to raise our children. What’s on the list of lessons?? We have determined that our children will leave our home (rumor is that this happens eventually) with some specific character traits and abilities. They will have a knowledge of God and hopefully a relationship with Him. They will be people of integrity, able to live independently and be employable. They will know how to: plan, shop for, and prepare a balanced meal, make a bed, do their own laundry, clean a bathroom and run a vacuum, compromise when necessary, make an apology, serve others, show compassion, be thankful, be content, and stand up for what is right.

 How in the world, in the busy-ness of life, do we get this done? It is a daily effort. We don’t sit down and have lectures or lessons, but it is acted out in our every breath. We demonstrate through real-life opportunities. Every Saturday, the kids clean the house. They have come to the point that they divide it up cooperatively (believe me it didn’t start so congenially!) and get the job done. They each have a day of the week (convenient with five kids) that is THEIR day. On their day, they do their laundry, set the dinner table and say the prayer at dinner. After dinner, the rest of the kids clear the table. With five kids, you can imagine that some topics get more attention than others… like apologizing! One situation that can be difficult to teach/demonstrate is saying sorry for something you don’t think you did wrong. For example, Kid #1 makes a playful remark that Kid #2 isn’t in the mood to receive and therefore is offended… Kid #1 didn’t intend for the comment to be mean! Kid#2 shouldn’t be so sensitive. Perceptions. Teaching Kid#1 to say “sorry you were offended by my comment, I didn’t mean it to sound like that” is TOUGH! However, this is a valuable skill. This skill alone will mend broken relationships throughout his/her life!

I suppose the TAKE AWAY from this is that as parents, we have a great BIG job! We have to make MAXIMUM impact in a relatively SHORT amount of time. My suggestion… if you are asking… 

                            S L O W   D O W N .... 

 Be LESS busy. Pull out of some activities (your and the kids’) that are complicating your schedule so that you have the availability to take advantage of opportunities. 

 The moments are there to have that MAXIMUM impact, don’t let them pass you by.

God Bless,

**Thanks to McCall for the opportunity to be linked up!  She is a fellow World Changer and I just love her!**

You can read more about Audra and her life as a mom (and fellow Noonday world changer here). 


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