I first heard the phrase “a mother heart” on a friend’s blog, and later heard it used in this talk. The idea stuck with me. I’ve thanked God for my mother heart at times and prayed for it at others. I’ve been listening to Jim Gaffigan’s “Dad is Fat” over the past month. While in many ways its comforting to realize that there is great commonality in parenting. Everyone’s kids are loud, whiney, messy, forgetful. This morning, I realized that the book hasn’t been good for me. While the book is meant to be sarcastic, and has given me a chuckle form time to time, the negativity has crept into my parental lens, and clouded it. Now to be fair, Gaffigan is certainly not entirely to blame for this shift, but listening to his book has only affirmed feelings of frustration and apathy. I want to return to the days of early motherhood when it was exciting, fulfilling, comical.
Instead of noise- let me hear energy.
Instead of mess- let me see creativity.
Instead of fighting- let me see interaction.
Instead of spills- let me see trying.
Instead of anger- let me see neediness.
Instead of stains- let me see a love of the outdoors.
Let me wonder at the expanse of the human spirit- and teach me how to support it, encourage it, learn from it, instead of stamping it out.
In an effort to convert back to a perspective of positive parenting, I’m going to make a goal to post a few things that I love about my kids each night.
-Last night, as we were tucking Anders in for bed: “I need my phone! I need my keys!”
-Anders: “Baby is my princess.”
-Scotland finding “inner peace” during our sword fighting play. (We just watched Kung Fu Panda 2.)
-Chiara was crying while we were driving home from a friend’s house this evening. Anders started thinking through ways he could help her. “Do we have baby’s passy?” (Nope) “I have a blankie in my pack pack.” (I check and he doesn’t. But find his favorite stuffed animal- Chippers.) “Baby can have my Chippers.”
-Scotland sweetly coming up with a system of turns so his friends could try sliding down the hall on their knees using his tae kwon do pads.
-Doing math with my boys. Building “stairs” with the cuisenaire rods, which turned into building earthquake safe buildings, which turned into watching youtube clips on marshmallow straw structures, which turned into an eager desire to make the same. Too bad we didn’t have any marshmallows!
-Helping Scotland compose a song on the piano.
-Watching Chiara’s long blinks, as she fought sleep.
-Chiara’s combo of wide-mouthed smiles and flapping arms.
-The way Chiara immediately calms and nuzzles into me when I pick her up after she’s been crying.
-Dancing along with the flamingos with Scotland each time he finished a segment on his learning app.
-Marveling at the diversity of animals on this earth as looked through the Animal Encyclopedia Dev and Jess gave us. Anders saying “Look! Cute!”
Too often at the end of the day my mind fixates on the moments of failure- the tantrums, the emotional outbreaks, the defiance (from both my kids and myself.) Those things happen, and heaven knows we’re doing our best to work through them. But when I fixate on them, I tend to escalate the small things, and in so doing- incite further furor.
I’m so grateful I’m homeschooling so far. I feel like I’ve accepted a more demanding position in my line of work, but a position that will bring more fulfillment and joy.
 

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