Mum Moments 11 – Top Three Priorities – Part 2

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Welcome back! I look forward to sharing Part Two with you!

What are my top three priorities in this season of life?

2. Our children

I am incredibly blessed to have seven charges to love and care for. They are each their own unique blessing in my life. The bring with them their own personality and God-given heart which is expressed in all that they do. All have hearts that were designed for love but each of them actively shows us how differently love can be expressed. They are all beautiful and amazing.

I would like to say that loving our children is easy and, in many ways it is. Beyond the natural instinct I hold to love those who need to be loved, I see love as a deliberate choice that is made each and every day – that even if it gets hard to love them through their behavior and choices that I will do so anyway with a heart to meet each of them where they are at. It is what a love that gives is about. However, there is the part where you need to love them through their challenges in a deliberate way too. This occasionally requires significant effort and there are days where you simply have to draw deep to find what you need to do it.

There are a few key secrets that I will share with you today as to how I choose to love our children. I write them as a reminder to myself to keep my focus on these tools as we work through our current circumstances. The three main ones that I will touch on today are role modeling & relationship, fun & joy, and being there to encourage.

Role Modeling & Relationship

Image source: Lynn M

Image source: Lynn M

We know that children often learn behaviors from what they see lived out in others more often than from what they are told. It is important that we as parents role model what it is like to overcome challenges. It is also important to find opportunities to share age-appropriate challenges with our children and to let them see how you as an individual or as a partnership work together to overcome them.

A significant part of this is the issue of ‘relationship’. It is important in relationship with your partner that you work as a team. When things become stressful it is very important to demonstrate love and support of your spouse rather than exhibiting behaviors that are divisive and argumentative. What your children will learn from healthy negotiation through challenges will give them skills for life. These are not just in their own future intimate relationships but also in their current relationships with their siblings and peers, as well as for when they enter the workforce.

Fun & Joy

Image source: Lifehack.org

Image source: Lifehack.org

You can’t control what life serves you or how it is served. Life can throw some serious cow excrement at you. It is true, and there are times when you just feel you have gotten a handle on one thing and the next load gets dumped on your doorstep. What you can control is how you respond to it.

Choosing to find joy in spite of challenges is about teaching ourselves, and those who observe us, to enjoy the journey of life. None of us are exempt from challenges but it makes a difference when we choose a path that allows us to find a positive perspective, which allows us to find a path to overcome those challenges. The sweet taste of finding a best possible outcome for a problem and being able to make it happen is something I want our children to have a taste for, as it is a skill for life.

Being there to encourage

Image source: City Farmhouse

Image source: City Farmhouse

Sometimes children carry doubts. They doubt their strength, they doubt their courage, they doubt their abilities, or capability to learn, and, perhaps hardest of all, they doubt their own perception of who they are. It is a mystery as to how these are seeded because we work our hardest to be our children’s greatest encouragers.

Being a great encourager in your child’s life starts with simply being there. Investing quality time with each child creates comfort and security. It is a chance for them to know they are loved and that they will be heard without judgement. The follow on is to actively live that expectation out, to love them where they are at. The task then is to help them scaffold new life skills onto the healthy ones they have already built and then, carefully, challenge the unhealthy ones they have learned from less appropriate role modelling.

All in all, parenting is a tough gig. However, the effort is so very worth it so we can see a child grow into an adult who doesn’t just survive in society, but, rather thrives in it. This is our goal for our children.

If you are with me in making your children a priority in your life then you might be interested in following us on Pintrest. Have a look now at our board ‘Loving our Children‘ to decide for yourself.


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3 thoughts on “Mum Moments 11 – Top Three Priorities – Part 2”

  1. Some of those beautiful children have a mother – their own mother. Who gave birth to them, loves them intensely. Misses them hugely. Whilst it’s lovely & honourable that you care for another mothers children – as though they are your own ( I commend you for this ) … Please do not at any point, exclude THEIR own mother . She adores them , cares for them and they love her. Imagine if someone totally ignored your presence in your own kids lives ?
    How would that make you feel?
    There’s a beautiful mother out there who is crying softly , looking at empty beds, missing her kids.
    All because of a man … Swapped.

    There is grief . Loss of their own family dream. The kids grieve. Please at least acknowledge the complexity ! The messyness.
    The nuances . The highlights despite challenges . We live in complex times . It’s not simple. Embrace that another beautiful mother – her own children – and please share the love .
    They are hers.
    Please acknowledge and at least respect. Not all these kids are all ‘just yours’ . Their have a wonderful mother who loves them, cares for them, misses them like a piece of her own heart.
    How hard would that be? .
    Good on you for opening your heart to others children. I respect that !
    But … never , ever disrespect / ignore / block another mothers access to her own real children …
    Please . Peace xo love and reality

  2. Dear Mother (Kate)

    Thank you for your very heartfelt comment. I hear your heart and, honestly, this comment of reply will not do it justice as it would take a hundred posts to cover my heart’s sentiment on the role of all biological parents in their children’s lives.

    Yes, some of these children have a mother, which is not me, the others also have a father who is not Jeremy. I, too, have children I gave birth to who’s absence is noticed and who are definitely missed.

    We talk about these children as being ‘ours’ in the sense that we have them in our heart. That we love and care for them. We do not use ‘his’ or ‘hers’ as it can be isolatory and can cause a division in our family that we never want to occur. We treat each others children with the same respect, rewards and encouragement as we do our own – that is what blending meant to us.

    I understand that when a relationship falls apart that the determining of care arrangements and the absence of children brings a season of tears. What is normal, though, at the stage we are at now (many years on) all parties should have adjusted to the final Court Orders. (For us the most ‘recent’ orders have been in place for over three years.) It is sufficient time for people to have adjusted especially when new lifestyle choices – repartnering, establishing new homes on all accounts has occurred.

    Nothing we contribute to our family web content can detract from the value that both these other parents play in the lives of the children. However, it would not be appropriate for us to make public any of the aspects of the other biological parent’s lives without their explicit permission, even if it is to give them due honour. We also have to respect their privacy and their personal right to choose the disclosure around their own lives and their relationships with their children. This is not an act of ignoring a person, it is an act of respecting boundaries that have been put in place.

    Given that there are orders in place that give all the children time with their other parents, it is never about excluding them from their children’s lives either. What I learned, as a mother, who also sees empty beds is that each of us has a choice. We may not be greedy and selfish enough to try to rob the other parent, however, we do have control over how we choose to spend the time that we do have.

    Jeremy and I have made very active choices to be there for our children, to be available to pick them up from school, to invest time in them and to be engaged in their interests as they grow. This has been our choice, to make our children a priority, for the time in which they are with us, because, yes, every single one of them is missed when they are in the care of the other parent.

    We have to recognise, as well, that not every parent is going to make the same choices we have. It is not our place to tell any person how to live their lives. It is not our place to force our priorities onto anyone else and to tell them how to live their life. Our blog, though, is about sharing how we choose to live and what our life looks like so that people can use it to pick those things that they like about our life and bring them into their own and, then, discard the rest.

    With the highest regard for both the other biological parents of our children,

    Always,

    Kristy

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