A mother’s love is a powerful thing, but it’s not always something that is easy to communicate clearly. Oh but I want my children to know! To know how deeply and completely loved they are by their flawed and sinful and human mother.
I want them to know that it’s no mistake that we got stuck with each other! Though all our struggles and growing pains and failures, I try to show them in every way I can the unending depth of my love for them.
This may seem silly, but a smile is the simplest way I let my children know that they bring joy to my heart. Sometimes I have hard things on my mind. Sometimes I’m in pain. Sometimes I’m anxious. It all shows on my face. It’s just the way I am, I guess.
But I try and smile at them whenever I can, and I find that when I smile, I actually give myself a minute to be happy they are mine. It’s a small and perhaps a silly thing, but I pray that God will help me remember to just feel the joy of being their mommy, and give them a real smile.
I want to notice the little things
I just try and let them know that I see what they are doing! This ain’t always easy! Around this homestead, we get. stuff. done. I work hard and I make it happen. It’s easy to just let all the little wonderful details about their lives kind of slip out of my notice.
It’s not that I want to be gushing over them all the time, or making a big deal out of every little thing. I just want to notice and acknowledge the ways they are changing and growing, the progress they are making and people they are becoming, little by little. I want them to know that I see them.
I try to keep my promises
It’s terribly easy to break a tritely made promise. If I promise my children that we will go for a walk, then I need to take that seriously and make time for that walk, even if I have to sacrifice something else I had hope to accomplish.
Also, I must remember not to make promises that I don’t know if I can keep. I don’t want to promise them that we are going for a walk if I’m not sure how the day is going to shake out.
Basically, I want them to know that they can count on me in what I say. Of course, I also want them to learn to be flexible and know that sometimes plans have to change.
But mostly I want them to know that if I tell them something that is important to them, I won’t forget or dismiss it. I want them to trust my words.
I want to let them know that I’ve got their back
This happens often when they need some discipline. They need a mother’s instruction and guidance, the “laying down of the law” so to speak.
But I REALLY want them to know that I’m bringing them up so to know how to think and act properly now, when they are little, so that they will have a whole life knowing how to exercise self control and behave themselves.
One thing I often tell them after they have been corrected is “I’m not going to let you grow up to be a rudy-tudy.” It’s a family joke, but basically it means that they can count on me for instruction and guidance in how to live.
Even when I must discipline them, I want them to know that it’s my deep love for them that will not allow them to act out. I will always let them know that they don’t have to figure out life on their own. I am here to guide their path as best I can. I won’t be perfect, but I will be present.
I don’t want to pretend I’m perfect
My kids already know that I’m a sinner. Obviously. So why do I slip into thinking that I can fool them into thinking I’m perfect?
I know this is a temptation for me, because it’s hard to admit fault to anyone, and sometimes especially to my children whom I am in authority over. But authority does not mean that I can do no wrong. Indeed, only God can do this.
I’m not saying that I bare all my faults before my children. That would not be appropriate either. But if I am frustrated or angry or selfish, and they see this, it’s important for me to admit fault, and if necessary ask for their forgiveness.
It’s easy to think that they are little and they will soon forget my wrongdoing. And while they may forget the specific incident, they will also learn that I pretend to be perfect when I’m obviously not.
My hope is to be an example for my children. When they do wrong, I expect them to admit it, and make amends when necessary. I will demonstrate to them how to do this by owning up to my mistakes, and apologizing when I’ve acted badly.
I try to speak well of them in public
Have you ever heard someone talk about their children’s struggles or faults when the child is standing right there? Ouch! I would be shocked and horrified if someone started doing that to me as an adult! I won’t disrespect or embarrass my children by discussing their shortcomings in public, and I’ll be very careful about who I discuss them with in private, too!
I know that it builds up my children to know that their mother is speaking well of them to others!
I try to show genuine affection
I hug and kiss my kids all the time, even when I’m not feeling all the cozy happiness of a Hallmark card.
Being intentional about showing affection isn’t disingenuous at all. My heart is filled with love for my children even when if we’re not having the most snuggly moment. and they should know that I’m not embarrassed to show it in front of other people! I hug and kiss them when we pick them up or drop them off, there’s no stiff nods or cool salutations ’round here!
Every family displays their love differently, and while some families are more physically affectionate, all children should know that the world can see their parents particular affection for them. It may be high fives or secret handshakes instead of hugs and kisses, but the message is the same…”These are my special people.”
Let your love shine!
The seemingly small ways that we interact with our children can mean the whole world to them.
I love these little people, each of them more precious to me than anything this world could offer. And I’ll never stop try to show it in every way I can! It’s a little different for every one of them, what things fill up their little love tanks, and as they grow I’m so excited to discover all the ways I can fill them up!
Don’t be shy, let your love shine!