Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What if the fruits of your labor

is not who your children become, but who you become by having had them? That's what Emily Watts asked this weekend at TOFW. She, as you may recall, also said it's important we learn to react on the principle and not the emotion. She is a mother of 5 and a Senior Editor at Deseret Book. Being as entertained as I was, and the book lover I am, I bought her book "Being the Mom: 10 Coping Strategies I learned by Accident Because I Had Children on Purpose"...let me share with you some of the chapter I read today.

In Chapter 5, Know When To Holler For Help, she comically re-tells the story of how her neighbor helped her take her baby's temperature rectally more than 20 years ago and goes on to say ""blessed was I because I was compelled to be humble in that case, how much more blessed would I be if I could be humble without being compelled? I have witnessed over and over again the amazing way in which doors are opened and bonds created when I'm willing to lay aside my pride and confess that there's something I can't do...sometimes we forgot that in order for service to be rendered there must be a 'servee' as well as a server. It's a grand scheme that provides for some to be given one lift and some another, that all may be profited thereby (See D&C 46:11-12)."

She concludes this chapter talking about her son trying to put his own jammies on and how he couldn't do it despite his best effort. She says "I see myself from time to time as that little boy, struggling and fighting with some situation in my life and making a twisted mess of things, unwilling to surrender control to One who could easily help me resolve the problem and send me happily on my way...He knows our needs stands ready to help us fulfill them, but we have to ask. May pride never keep us from acknowledging our deficiencies to Him. May we stand ready to help one another, and to accept each others gifts of love and service. Most of all, may we acknowledge and accept the sacrifice of our Savior, who truly did for us what we could not do for ourselves," and it got me thinking about the person my children have helped me to having them is an opportunity to serve and be served.

What if Emily is right, what if the fruit of our parenting labor is who WE become instead. Maybe we don't turn into grown ups to teach kids how to be grown, maybe children are born to remind us to be childlike. I mean the good book says "except ye become as little children" right? I suspect that one of the many reasons Heavenly Father gives us children, and all the lessons and reminders that come with them, is to help us be who He wants us to be. Now when facing a difficult time with my kids I'll try to ask "what do I need to learn from this" to myself and my Father FIRST and then maybe I won't need to wonder on earth my children were thinking, or maybe getting through such a time will be easier. I think the next chapter I read will be "If It Can be Vauumed Up, Wiped off, or Washed Out, Don't worry about it".

No comments: