Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mothering cliff's notes

You know those little yellow and black striped books you can buy to summarize just about any classic?  What if you'd gotten the cliff notes on classic loving mothering? A way to keep necessary lessons close as you began your journey on the sea of mamma-hood.

I've been irascible lately.  I want to blame it on the end of a long winter.  But we didn't have one.  I could blame it on my husband's six day business trip.  Though I'm positive it started before he left on a jet plane.  

The most obvious example is my instruction giving routine.  It goes from kind and encouraging to shrill and demanding in less than 60 seconds.  These are my harshest, graceless and un-evolved mothering moments.  There's no way to convey the remorseful regret that follows each time the drill sergeant in me emerges.  Like I studied and reviewed my dogeared mothering guide, but all the pertinent information evaporated at the crucial moment.

So I've been thinking about cliff's notes.  What if I could make a useful summary to remind me that my most important job is to Love and recall Who I'm working for.   

A paraphrase of some original instructions sprang to mind:

When they were made another quesadilla and cut it up into the shape not specified the first time and you didn't grit your teeth or tell them to eat the original misshapen one anyway. 

When they were provided four different drinks in four specific cups to each one with a smile.

When they acted liked strangers, monkeys, cowboys, aliens and anything other than a resident of earth....... you encouraged their imagination and you welcomed them home with open arms.  

When they were naked and couldn't find their favorite jeans or had a melt down because their socks felt remembered  little details to you are big deals to them and that your own closet is strewn with clothes you didn't like at the last minute either.

When they were sick........ you rose at 2 am without any selfish frustration, ran a warm bath for the ailing one, grabbed a vomit bucket or helped them gag meds down.

When they were in the prison of mean, hurtful and selfish exhaled and reminded them nothing they did could ever make you stop loving them. 

I'm not claiming to be magically back into the land of even-keeled mothering, but the cliff's notes are helping.  My self-made study guide is helping when the inevitable moments of forgetfulness arise. 

Back to the Original classic mothering instructions: 

Whatever you do for the least of these...

Linked here:
Rachel,  Kristen 

and the lovely new Grace party here



Richella said...

Liberty! I love this!! "Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these. . . " (I can quote mostly from the KJV!). Wow. I love your determination to follow Christ in your mothering. The sheep (not the goats!) know their Shepherd's voice, right?

A beautiful post. And yes, I remember Cliff's Notes very well! :)

Ange said...

Great reminder for us as mothers who do yes, we do, get exasperated and lose our patience. I love how you worded these! Maybe you could make it in a printable format for my wall? ;)

Courtenay@Creek Line House said...

The sock thing! The shape of food thing! Yes! How is it that the more time I have to spend with her and to take care of these things for her, the more exasperated I act towards her? Great thoughts. Thank you!

Michelle K said...

Thank you for your kind words about my Father. I had to come and visit your site and you would be amazed how timely this post was for me. As an emotionally exhausted Mom I also feel I am going from zero to sixty on the grouch scale far too easily and this was exactly the voice I needed to hear today.

Mrs. Meson said...

The "two in the morning without any frustration"--I needed that. Thank you for reminding me that "the least of these" applies first of all to my own family!


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