After my husband left me last year I was overwhelmed with responsibility. Our daughter Nevaeh, three at the time was displaying signs of frustration and was acting out her emotions quite severely. She needed constant supervision and stimulation which at the time I didn't have the energy to do. Jiedyn on the other hand, was angry after being shunned from the only father he had ever known and was bottling his anger until recently speaking in a hateful way to me, swearing and feeling the point of wanting to run away. I was lost. Both of my children needed me at the same time for completely different behaviors and all I was focused on was rebuilding my marriage.
I called Family Services for help soon after the break up. I knew I wasn't coping and needed support on what to do to give my children what they needed. I was then introduced to a community worker who asked about what I wanted out of their services. I had all the answers. I needed my son to have a father figure, a man to look up to. I needed help with parenting Nevaeh, ways to stimulate her and keep her occupied while I did the housekeeping etc. I needed confidence, not counselling. I needed to regain control.
The service was great, over the next few months they really met my needs. Jie was enrolled in karate and was seeing his father again. Nevaeh was in childcare and I was part taking in a cooking class all thanks to the lovely ladies at Centrecare. I was inspired to start eating healthy at home and I could see the kids both getting their needs. But there was still one massive problem. I was still not in control at home. Nevaeh was running all over me, Jie was frustrated because I wasn't getting much time with him and I was fresh out of ideas on how to make it all work.
But worst of all, I was told that my support had now achieved all the requirements I'd asked for and was now looking at closing my case.
I was stressed and overwhelmed.
For a whole week I was unmotivated, depressed, overwhelmed, out of control, uninspired.
Nevaeh took advantage of the situation and ran all over me. She is smart like that. Everything was such an effort. I had a picture in my mind of how I wanted my children to behave and my house to be run but I had already made up my mind that without a father I couldn't do this on my own. I always thought that I had to have the answer, if I didn't know it, I googled it.. If I couldn't meet my children's needs, I had to put more effort into it, if I still couldn't control it, it was Matt's fault for leaving and I made sure he knew.
It wasn't getting me anywhere. The following week, my two community workers sat me down to let me know that they were closing the case. That day Nevaeh was meant to go to her Dad's but he hadn't picked her up. It was the fourth time in a row that he hadn't had her when he was meant to and so Nevaeh wasn't happy. She was whingy and wanty and wanted all my attention all of the time. A few things happened that day like Nevaeh snatching my purse for a ride on a car machine, like Nevaeh pestering another mum for lollies, like Nevaeh refusing to come to me earning smacks and like Nevaeh throwing a tantrum because she lost a reward I had promised her to encourage good behavior. This is all in a few hours of motherhood. As we were leaving, nevaeh threw a tantrum over the loss of her reward. So seeking good behavior once again I gave her another opportunity to earn her reward back. It worked and so she was happily by my side, we went home and she went on to earn her reward before Jie got home from school.
Two days later, the community workers called an emergency meeting. I thought it was to close the case but instead they came three hours later to tell me that I had it all wrong. "We'll get strait to the point with you. We wont be shutting your case as we feel that you still need our support on a couple of issues that happened on Tuesday. We believe that if you hadn't of taken your purse away from her she would have stolen money from you" and "We also believe that Nevaeh would have followed that lady home with those lollies had she not asked her where her mum was and that is a great concern for us". They also went on to tell me that they think it would be inappropriate to smack my kids and that by rewarding her I'm giving her what she wants.
I was bawling. I was then asked after shrugging off a few other questions if I was depressed.. I mean, after people coming into your home, judging the hell out of your parenting, asking if they could come maybe twice a week instead of once a week or once a fortnight how did they expect me to respond? I was angry.
After offloading their judgments, they asked me what I'd like out of this. I asked for parenting courses or something that will give me the strategies I need to raise my kids well. You know, since I was doing it all wrong.. After that, they said that they would refer me to some lady who professionalizes in this area and so they left. I bawled and bawled. They cast judgement and pretty much left me to it.
For the first time in my whole life I felt like I didn't want to be a mum. I felt like if I have it all wrong well then maybe I'm not whats best for my children. I wanted to scream or talk to someone but the one support I had just told me I was useless.
I sms'd a few friends for prayer. For god to take control of the situation and lead me in every area in parenting and homemaking. After the kids went to bed that night I grabbed all the parenting books I own and just read until I could read no more. I wanted change. I wanted control. Every book had different strategies and it all just had me confused.
The weekend soon filled with people wanting to support me. A friend invited me for a movie night slumber Friday night, Jie had karate Saturday morning, we were scheduled to see his dad but he didn't show up so we had lunch then went out with my brother and sister in law to look at a few houses on the market before spending the rest of the afternoon at a tupperware party. I spent around half an hour at home of my whole weekend. No time to cry.
Church on Sunday was amazing and spoke right to my heart. It was a turning point for me. I realized that I don't have to have it all together all the time. I don't have to worry that my kids don't have their needs because God is in control. God will provide them with all their needs. I not have to worry. That just because the rest of my family are generations of unbelievers and are and were cursed, that I am a new creation and can live in an abundance of His love and righteousness. That I can lead the next generation to him and start a whole new generation directed to God. Initially that felt like so much pressure, but trust and faith will direct the to Him and our heavenly father will guide me. I know that now. I need not be afraid because he promised to never leave me.
So who is ready for my life changing miracle? Who is ready to be see god in action?
So, everyone on the prayer chain at church have been praying for God to direct me with parenting. I was lost and was also seeking Him. Last night I prayed desperately for him to show me how I should parent. What He wants me to do and how he wants me to do it..
Long story short, a friend downloaded a sermon on parenting she had on her phone on Saturday night. At lunch time yesterday I sat down while eating my lunch to listen to it. I got about half way before my attention was directed away with Nevaeh wanting to play with lego. So I paused it and saved it for later.
After the kids went to bed I pressed play again and was blown away at this guy speaking of the lords prayer. (Matthew 6:10). He was saying that as Christians that should be our vision. As mothers that should be our vision and that anything does not look like heaven then we should know better than to do it. Pastor Mark said something similar at church on Sunday about not wanting to rely on medication to heal his hurting daughter but on God alone. There is no medication in heaven. So it that is my vision, why am I smacking my kids? Why am I naming and shaming their sin? Heaven is sinless. Why am I getting angry? I don't have to be in control. God is. The strategy is to give them choices..
Garden of Eden.
Adam and eve.
One wrong choice.
A zillion good choices.
World of today
Millions of people.
A zillion bad choices.
A few good choices.
So the point of that example is that you need to prepare your children for the world. Kids should be free to make whatever choice they want. That is how we live here on earth. Wise or foolish. Those choices come with consequences and hopefully they are quick learners. But there is no one threatening to hurt them or to say that it is their job to make them make good choices. I don't control them. They always have at least two choices. Freedom is the ability to tell yourself what to do. And you'll obey you. If you don't have the ability to control yourself you feel out of control and being controlled causes so many issues in a relationship. God doesn't force us to anything. We're always given choices. When parenting we cant force our kids to be righteous only lead by example as Jesus did. I asked God to show me how to parent my beautiful children and I believe with all my heart that his answer was "Matthew 6:10b, as it is in heaven"