Speak to Your Children
I had the kids at the shoe store yesterday for back-to-school shopping and was promptly reminded why I don't do things like that. Every other mother with small children had the same idea, and as we waited to be fitted for shoes, I was trying not to pay too much attention to the mom in front of us who was badgering her young son about the price of his shoes.
"Of course you like those shoes."
"You've really graduated to big kid prices now."
"You're lucky I love you."
At our next stop, the pharmacy, a man cut in front of us in line (do you not see I am juggling three small children?) and then later almost hit us with his car in the parking lot.
In trying to give these people the benefit of the doubt, maybe money is tight for the shoe store mom, which is of course stressful. Maybe the line-cutting/reckless-driving man was picking up medicine for a sick person in his family--also stressful.
As I went about my day the above quote popped into my head. I am far from perfect at doing this. But I believe that if we all did this, the world would be a better place. If we all ran our households more peacefully, the world would be more peaceful. If we all tried harder to fill up our spouses, children, and those around us, they would overflow and go on to fill those up around them.
I really believe these formative years are critical to shaping our children, and I am so thankful that I can be their primary influencer. When we venture out I am often reminded that there's a reason I keep them close to the nest--it is a jungle out there!
The days are so (so so so) long, but I really do believe this work of mothering to be my life's work. It is lasting, eternal stuff. I'm trying not to mess it all up. And I think one of the best things I can do for my kids is to speak to them kindly and lovingly. Next time I want to yell or say something nasty, I will try to remind myself not to be the shoe-store mom.
If I give life to my children, they will give life to others. It's all connected.