I had a parenting insight this morning, and it wasn’t a positive one. I have not been a very good mom to my teenage son lately. I treat him in ways I would never treat anyone else: I tend to be extremely harsh with him. I have a quick temper and can hold a grudge against him. When I feel like this, I know I’m in need of some mom wisdom.
There is one person I look to quite often for bits of mom wisdom. She has raised five children, confessed to her mom-shortcomings, and shared the lessons she’s learned the hard way. She’s also a friend of mine, and you can consider her a friend too—she’d like that. Here are 3 beautiful mom insights from iMom founder Susan Merrill.
“My purpose is to do all I can to help my children grow in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man.”
“What is the purpose for your mindful parenting?” With that question, Susan directs moms to the beautiful heart of parenting. “Believe me,” she says, “having a clear purpose will help you with so many aspects of your job as a mom.” Susan has three questions to help us find our purpose as moms. With this insight, we then can filter each of our mom-choices through our purpose. Is what I’m doing or saying in line with my purpose in raising my children? If the answer is no—like it is often with me—then I need to regroup.
My purpose is to do all I can to help my children grow in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man.
“You are your child’s first love.”
As your child’s first love, he or she will look for people like you when they date—even if subconsciously. “If we can teach our children to be kind, they’ll hopefully choose a kind spouse, because they’ll know what kindness looks like and feels like.” Susan’s insight into why I need to be kind to my children hit home with me, especially today, in the light of how I have not been especially kind to my son.
Susan writes about patience in parenting as a foundation of kindness. It takes a mom of great patience to quietly and steadily persevere through provocation, misfortune, delay, and anger,” she says. “And since all of those can be part of a typical mom’s day, we have to work really hard at being patient and kind.”
“Motherhood is as much about you as it is about your child.”
Just as children are a work in progress, so are we, as mothers. Susan says: “Motherhood has taught me to love deeper, tearfully celebrate joy, profoundly appreciate peace, struggle to be patient, selflessly exercise kindness, implicitly rely on God, nurture with gentleness, and fight for self-control.” Motherhood is about us because we are the conduit through which our children experience life. As we grow, our children grow. As we rebound from challenges and failures, so do our children. As we love, our children love.
What mom wisdom can you add to this list?