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Stay STRONG, mamas.

The other day, I took all the kids to Target. On our way there, I told them we were not browsing the toy aisles, the activities, or the dollar section. We were there for groceries, and that was it. While in the car, of course they all agreed and said, "Yes, Mom!" But of course, Target is smart, and they strategically place all the little toys, aka junk, as I like to call it, right at the check out counter. Layla was in the cart, and the boys were waiting alongside as the cashier scanned our groceries. But then, the boys spotted a cute little doll toy, and of course, had to show their sis. (The doll was actually adorable, haha, and super cheap, but I had already told them no toys!). Layla saw it, and started screaming with joy! I was handing the cashier our stuff, preparing myself to grab the toy from Layla and getting ready to hear crying.

So, we got to the end. I said, "Ok, honey, let's give the nice lady back the doll!" and of course, that was a hard no, haha. Layla started crying and screaming, as I handed it back to the nice lady. The nice lady then proceeded to say, "Oh, come on, Mommy, she wants it! She is crying! Just get it for her and make her happy!" The boys chimed in, too. "Mommy, it's only 3 bucks! She loves it!" I stood my ground. I said no to the nice lady, and the boys, and grabbed the basket and headed out. Layla was screaming and crying, which I knew was going to happen.

But, here's the thing: Kids are crazy! haha. They are so overwhelmed with immediate and instant gratification, and quickly forget how they felt just minutes before. I grabbed the cart, hopped my feet on the step, and said, "Let's race!!", as I took off pushing the basket super fast. Within seconds, the screaming Layla was now laughing uncontrollably, so full of joy. The doll was completely forgotten about. The crying was done. And I was able to say I stuck to what I had told the kids at the beginning! Being a Mom means doing a lot of that, a lot of times. Really, all day long. If I give in to everything they want, or everything they cry for, how could I expect them to respect me, my rules, or the way God wants me to shape and discipline them? I'd be doing them a disservice if I gave in, just because it was "easier to give them what they want." Sometimes, as a tired mama, it IS in fact easier to just stop the crying and give them what they are begging for. But I've seen time and time again, it doesn't only affect THEM, it affects ME, too. They take advantage, they get more spoiled, they don't learn how sometimes life's answer is NO. I want to raise kids who are okay in their circumstances, whether or not things go the way they want. God has given me these kids to raise to be more like HIM. I am not and will never be perfect at this, but when I see the way they respond to rules, discipline, and grace and forgiveness, I KNOW God is working in their lives and their hearts. (Funny thing is, we are so much like kids. We want that next best thing, get upset and disappointed when we don't get it, maybe even pout and complain.....knowing that that "thing" really won't even satisfy us anyway!) When God grabs hold of your heart, you remember that HE is our example. We are given the task of parenting our babies, and we cannot sit back and watch them living half-hearted, lukewarm lives, and be okay with that. We gotta keep working, and giving it our best, because in the long run, WE are the ones they will be learning LIFE from. What example are we giving them?

What disciplines can we be more intentional about?

How can we be more of an example of love and mercy?

How can we show them that we are just like them, but that God calls us all to a higher standard?

This week, don't give up with parenting gets hard. It IS exhausting, but remember the big picture. Remember that the thing you are giving in to will probably be forgotten about at the sight of the next shiny object! Walk away, pray, and ask for even more superstrength patience, haha. Stay strong, because even though those babies may fight or cry, it WILL grow them into even more amazing adults! 1 Corinthians 15:58 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


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