So this weekend I have been reminded (very blatantly) of some of my faults as a person, wife and mother. As the tension is getting high in my family's current situation and with baseball season quickly approaching and the time commitment Chris will have to put into it, I wanted to prepare myself and our family but laying some ground work and getting things straight and ready. It all started with a question of how I could be a better wife. This led to the discussion of my life and my many faults and how I could improve on these traits and/or habits. There are many traits and habits that have been brought to my attention but none as important as the comment and statement of "You are not a good mother". This has been told to me on various occasions and I would usually think about it and then just tell myself "I am a good mother". But this time it cut a little deeper.
It was brought to my attention that a member in my family has told my husband that I think of Natalie as just a doll that I like to dress up and show off to people but not a real person. This family member said that I don't discipline her the way I should and often just "fluff" off the important topics that come up in Natalie's life. They continued to say that I am not bringing her up biblically and this is because I am not a biblical wife and these leads to my mothering skills.
Now this person may be completely right and perfectly on target for all I know. I personally am just not sure at this time. This overall topic has been brought up before and I thought about it and then went one with my current way of parenting and never thought twice. It became more noticeable when Chris and I announced we were pregnant and some family members were so shocked they didn't even acknowledge what was really going on. This was a little depressing and I still ponder and think about this daily.
I try and have always tried to be the best mother I can possibly be to Natalie Grace. Since her birth I have always worked and I have had a career in teaching. For the first 7 weeks of her life, I stayed home with her and gave her my all. In fact, I was so anxious and nervous about being a mother and taking care of her by myself, I was sick and fragile for about 1 month. Shortly after I returned to work, Chris was laid off of his job and he began staying at home with Natalie. This has been the biggest blessing of his and her life. He ended up spending the next 22 months with Natalie at home. They have a bond that will live on forever. It is for this reason that I think some people forget about me also being there and therefor don't see all I do as a mother and all I do for Natalie.
My typical day of spending time with Natalie begins when I get home from work at 3:30pm. I try to spend as much time with her as I can before I start to make dinner. We usually play with dolls and "babies" or we watch Natalie on my iPhone. She likes to help me cook dinner sometimes and she will sit on the counter and stir the dish or help me put it in the pan or bowl. Other times she will watch a DVD on her portable DVD player. Either way, we spend the afternoon and early evening hours together doing whatever she desires. We also try to eat dinner together at the table as often as possible. When we are not at the table we are eating together at a restaurant. By this time Chris has made it home from work and he now has time with Natalie. It is during this time that I try to get her stuff ready for the following day at MDO or Gigi's house. It is also during this time that I work on daily household needs and cleaning issues that most women do in the evenings.
Chris and I usually take turns on who will give her a bath and who will read her a bedtime story. We try to alternate to where whomever gives her the bath, the other will read the bedtime story and tuck her in. This is a wonderful system that allows BOTH of us to be a part of her bedtime routine.
During the weekend we try to have a family night or family day when we can where we go out to eat or do a special activity together. There are sometimes where I will take Natalie with me to do errands such as go to the grocery store or the mall. This has also been brought up as a detriment to Natalie and her overall well-being. Again, this is my first time to be a mother but I feel as if LOTS of moms out there do this same thing with their kids as needed.
Now just like with any parent of a toddler or two-year-old, there are times where I have to discipline her and help her improve her behavior. We BOTH have tried to keep a firm grip on her tantrums and try to keep them at bay whenever possible. Again, I am sure ALL parents who have had a 2 year old know this feeling. Sometimes, it gets frustrating and I will admit, I have lost my cool with her on occasions. However, I also come back and make sure she understands I am only frustrated with her behavior and I am trying to help her. I guess this has come off as not being a good mother as well.
I feel so blessed to be Natalie's mother but now I feel as if I have not been doing a good job. I am praying and seeking God and his grace and mercy in this area of my life but I know he gave her to me for a reason and I want to make sure I am fulfilling this reason by being the best mother I can be for Natalie Grace and David Luke.
Thank you Lord, for your continued blessings and please help me to turn to You and Your words to help me be a better mother for my 2 children.
God is Good... All the Time!