I am kind to my children. This wasn’t always the case.
I recently had my third baby and in preparation for her arrival, I went through the Hypnobabies program. Now I’m not really into hypnotism at all but I had several friends who had recommend this program as a pain coping technique during labor. In addition to the actual hypno-tracks that are part of the program, they also include a Pregnancy Affirmations cd that’s just meant to help you relax. This CD features a series of positive affirmations about pregnancy and birth set to some dreamy music. I would fall asleep to this every night.
And amazingly enough, I really did feel very positive about my pregnancy and my labor. Even though it was by far my hardest pregnancy, I found myself saying happy things about it instead of constantly whining like an entitled whale with endless hunger and uncomfortable joints.
This was my first experience with affirmations. Previously I had a negative impression of them since they are often used with the idea of attracting wealth and success. “I deserve to have abundance.” That is just not for me. I love Jesus and I’m grateful for what He gives me. I don’t deserve anything except death for living a sinful life. So these Laws of Attraction affirmations made me uncomfortable.
But these pregnancy affirmations really did help me to have a positive attitude. I missed them after I had my baby and stopped listening to the CD. So I looked for make-your-own affirmations app to put on my phone and I found one. It’s called ThinkUp.
It allows you to create your own affirmations, record them in your own voice and then it puts them all against a track of music so you can listen to it. I created a whole bunch of affirmations about my faith, my family and my attitude. I have almost 50 affirmations but here are a few examples:
I am in tune with God’s will for me today.
I make healthy eating choices.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I am in tune with my guardian angel.
I seek intimacy with my husband every day.
I am kind to my children.
It’s this last one that I want to talk about today. It’s a simple idea. I want to be kind to my children. I didn’t think much of it as I recorded it but after four weeks of listening to these, this is the affirmation that has changed me the most. I find myself almost always using a calm and kind tone of voice with my children.
Even when I’m feeling very frustrated because let’s face it, living in Toddler Land is extremely frustrating, I can manage to speak to them with kindness. We can speak about serious things and I can even discipline them but do it in a kind and gentle way. And I see this rubbing off on them. They are more respectful to me and to each other. I am modeling the idea that even when our feelings are hurt or we are angry, it’s not an excuse to be rude. Parents don’t like to admit that we are rude to our children but most of us have been at some point. Sometimes we think it’s okay because we are teaching them a lesson or they have done something wrong. But really, it’s never okay to be rude.
We should speak in a straightforward way and even when we’re saying something strong, we should encase it in kindness. I still don’t always get it right but these days I do a lot more than I used to. I find that I’m a happier mom and my kids are happier too. I imagine this is the type of mother that Mary was. It’s not that she didn’t have to deal with difficult situations but she did so with kindness.
The other day I started to use a rude tone of voice with my eldest who was making a mess by simply being careless but I immediately caught myself. I apologized to her, “I’m sorry I was rude just then. Let me say that again,” and I repeated myself in a more gentle and loving tone.
Mamas, we can do this. You can do this. Don’t fall for the excuses that lead you to scream at your kids. (Note: I do still use a loud startling voice for safety issues because hey… there are cars on the road.) Don’t think that nagging them or being rude and sarcastic with them is teaching them to be strong. It takes strength to be kind and it’s a skill that we should teach all of our children.
Think of what the world would be like if we all worked extremely hard to raise kind citizens. Not people who are pushovers and who don’t stand up for what they believe in but rather adults who know how to fight respectfully for what they believe in. Think of how powerful that could be. I think that’s what Jesus wants us to do. That’s the kind of mom I want to be. I don’t always get it right but I know it’s important enough to keep trying.
God bless you, mama warriors. Be strong. Be kind.
Copyright 2015 Emily Jaminet.