Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Intentional Family - Reinvent Yourself

Based on parts of Len Schlesinger’s lecture on Entrepeneurship
      They say that you have to reinvent yourself 3-5 times in your career. You cannot ride one business model throughout your career. Hmmmm, this concept really struck me as a mother. We cannot be the same mom to a 3 month old that we are to a 13 month old. Nor can we be the same mom to a 3 year old that we are to a 6 year old! As mothers, we must reinvent ourselves perhaps every couple of months at first, then a few times a year! There is a constant learning curve, and a constant “reinventing” of ourselves! (Not to mention the reinvention that comes when all the children are in school or when we become empty nesters – but I’ll save that post for another 15 years!)
      Sometimes it’s easy as a mom to get very nostalgic and want to hold onto our babies and even though they continue to grow up (without our permission!), we are stuck treating them like babies. This can show up in the way we talk to our children, they way we discipline them, the way we feed them, even in the amount of freedom and responsibility we give (or don’t give) them.
      I’ve really seen this as my daughters have started kindergarten this year. I’m realizing that with this huge change in their life, I need to change some of my parenting with them so that they can fully live into this season and grow and thrive with all that is being offered to them. They are learning responsibility through weekly homework. They are learning to work hard through getting graded on their performance. They are learning how to make tough choices through choosing new friends. With all of these new things in their lives, I realize that I need to step up my game as a mom and start teaching some of these qualities at home through using examples in the Bible and my own example.
      This all sounds so obvious, but I think if we are not intentional about identifying the changes our children are going through and changing ourselves to meet their needs, then we miss out on some great opportunities.
      It can be exhausting to keep up with the changes our children go through – I think it’s exhausting for them too! Change can be hard. Luckily our core values can be a stable force that is a strong foundation that anchors the inevitable changes that show on the surface.

Here are a couple of steps in this process of “reinventing” ourselves as Mothers:
1. Acknowledge the developmental changes in your children.

2. Identify how your structure, plan, discipline or parenting style can change to fit their changing needs.

3. Get some friends with children a stage or two ahead of your children and learn from them. Ask questions. Trouble shoot ahead of time.

4. CHANGE! (how ever small the change or adjustment you need to make, do it completely)

5. Remember that although your children are constantly changing and growing, and therefore your parenting and mothering must also, you remain the same because your identity is found in Jesus Christ, not in your role as a mother! Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and if you are found in him, then your identity as a child of God never changes either. So, hold fast and take heart!

Walk through steps 1 & 2 over the next few weeks and ask God for wisdom and guidance. Invite your spouse to pray with you about the possible tweeks in your parenting that need to happen in order for your children to thrive.

How are you doing in helping your family be appropriately challenged this Fall?

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