patience in mothering

I used to be a really patient mother. It was supernatural really. Liam has never been an "easy" child, that boy was born headstrong and stubborn just like his mama. Somehow, though, I managed to keep my cool most of the time. People would be in awe of me...heck, I was in awe of myself! Over time, however, my patience has been wearing thin. Maybe it's because I now have two to care for. Maybe it's because I've been relying too much on my own strength instead of God's. Maybe it's because I'm just tired and sleep deprived and OH MY GOSH another tantrum?! Can I wake up first before we start?! 

And then I, this kid loves me. I mean, he really loves me. I'm basically the person he loves most in this whole world. My fuse has been short, my voice has been loud, my words have been harsh...and yet, he loves me. Sometimes when I yell at him all he wants is a hug. That's it. He just wants me to give him a hug. It doesn't matter that I just made him feel small and reduced him to tears. It doesn't matter that I was unloving or unkind. He just wants a hug.  

I need to take a step back and breathe. I never wanted to be this kind of mother. I never wanted to scream at my kids daily. From the beginning of this parenting journey I have vowed to be gentle, loving, kind, understanding...and I have strayed from that a bit. I don't want my son (or my daughter) to be hard. I don't want to coddle them either, but when they think of their mom I want them to remember how much I loved them, not how much I yelled at them.  

I received this book called "Give Them Grace" a while back ago and I'm going to pick it up and read it over the next couple of weeks. I need to remember what an awesome responsibility it is to be a parent. I need to remember that God has forgiven me of much. He loves me despite my flaws. He extends his grace to me, not because I earn it but because He wants to give it to me. I need to love my kids and extend them grace no matter how many times they mess up. And let's be real, they're so young, so new, so fresh. Most of the time when they "mess up" it's not deliberate, they just don't know any better yet. I need to remember that they are mine to love, cherish, and mold into kind, compassionate, loving human beings. 

How are you all doing on your parenting journey, friends? I know it can be a tough road, but let's encourage each other and cheer each other on to be the best parents we can be.