Monday, September 19, 2016

A Change of Heart & A Little Mess

Life as a mom to two under two has serious ups and downs. Some moments I love, some moments I cry. Some days I want to relive (and often do after bedtime by looking back at photos and sharing fun highlights with Tyler), and some days I wish we could just start over. But all in all, it's a joy and it certainly is a privilege!

In the past month as a Mama of two, I have learned that:
>my oldest is very empathetic and in tune to emotions--she doesn't like when her baby sister cries (and sometimes cries with her)
>my youngest sleeps through almost anything, even toddler fingers poking her face
>my oldest likes when her sister is awake (and calm!)
>my youngest LOVES to be worn--hallelujah!
>my girls both need me, and unfortunately, sometimes simultaneously
>my two hands are often not enough
>my own strength, patience, kindness, & gentleness DOES NOT CUT IT and I desperately need Jesus to {lovingly} get through each day
>the saying "the days are long but the years are short" is totally accurate
>I am more flexible and selfless than I ever imagined I could be

And I could share more, but I won't bore you with my progress report. I do, however, want to expand on that last lesson...
I recently opened an email from iMom with this fabulousness in it. I was really challenged reading Dr. Gary Chapman's thoughts on correcting behavior. He writes,

"In a healthy family, we are seeking to correct only the kinds of behaviors that are destructive and detrimental to the child’s development. We are not trying to destroy the child’s unique expression of creativity."

And oh wow! I so often choose to correct a behavior or am quick to say NO if whatever it is will be inconvenient for me, make a mess, etc. So, taking Dr. Chapman's words to heart... One day last week, my oldest was digging in the pantry. She pulled out A TON {plastic utensils, boxes of broth, unopened mayonnaise, grocery bags, vinegar, paper plates, cups, crushed red pepper}...and stuff was EVERYWHERE. I embraced this disaster, recognizing that Peighton wasn't in any danger. I died to myself and let her discover. In doing so, I got to experience this--

Pictured above is my 20 month old baby girl setting the table--forks, plates, cups, napkins. I about fell over in amazement when I saw this! The hostess in me was thrilled to see what my daughter has picked up through observation. And she was SO proud of herself!

Sure, I had a mess to clean up that day but man was it worth it! Seeing my daughter explore gave me great joy--because she was having an absolute blast. I'm sure there will be days that I don't allow her to express her creativity fully, but I'm hopeful those days will be fewer as I continue to learn how to die to myself and let her thrive in toddlerhood.

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