Tuesday, July 04, 2006

raising children

When I got married, I knew I wanted children. I had always wanted a family of my own and was afraid I would never have one. So, BOOM! We got pregnant.
Joey was born 10 days before our first anniversary. He turned out to be pretty cool, so a year later we had Ben. We liked him too, so we added Jimmy and Matt and Gillian.
Never, in all my maternal day dreams, did I ever imagine how hard it would be to raise the beautiful babies. They don't always agree with me! They, sometimes ignore their responsibilities (cleaning their rooms, doing their chores and/or homework) in favor of television or video games. And sometimes they are just plain stinky!
I worry when I punish them (was I too severe? too lenient? did the punishment fit the crime?) I worry when I don't (is talking to them enough? are they playing me? am I doing them a dis-service by letting them walk?) I worry when they follow the crowd and worry went the do their own thing. It is really, REALLY tough being a mom!
Over the years I have come to a few conclusions: Pray! God can fix all my screw ups and turn my mistakes into positive outcomes for the kids.
Tell them you love them. Over and over and over and over. Tell them. Show them. Hug them. Kiss them Make sure they KNOW they are loved.
Build them up. Praise their accomplishments. Tell them how proud you are of them. Encourage them. Help them to learn from their mistakes and failures. Don't allow them to think they have to be perfect.
Spend time with them. Nothing means more to them then your undivided attention. They need their mommy. Even when they're almost grown up. Talk to them. Listen to them. You both could learn a lot.

I don't know how these kids will turn out. I only know that they are beautiful, smart and talented. I know that their father and I will do everything in our power to help them build a foundation for a healthy, happy life. I know that as hard as raising all these kids can be....as expensive as it is....as frustrating and heart wrenching as it can be... I wouldn't give up one minute of it. These boys and that beautiful girl are my life. They are the greatest things I have ever done or could ever hope to do. They are my blessings from God. And their dad ain't half bad either!

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