I am learning. Life is all about learning for me. Often that learning is very painful.
Being a home educator, learning is the primary goal for my children. As long as I see progress in their skills, thinking, and manners, we are right where we should be. I often am asked how I know my kids are where they are supposed to be. To me, progress and learning is the answer.
Today the learning I am thinking of concerns me. Most of my life has been spent striving for goals far beyond anyone's reach thus making most of what I do extremely difficult. Nothing ever seems good enough. And today I realized (again, though more profoundly) that I am transferring this over to my children. I am most likely exuding to them that their performance on school work and house work is not good enough. This may be carrying over into their attitudes as well making them feel they are a horrible person when I constantly remind them of their rudeness or bad attitudes.
In reality, my kids are amazing!! They are such creative, talented, loving, expressive, thinking boys. They like to tell us all their new ideas and show us their creations. They do their best to meet our expectations even when they are unsure of what our expectations really are. Every morning and at least one other time each day, they tidy and/ or clean their given areas of the house. When I read to them and when they read alone, they absorb far more information than I do.
It is in the house cleaning and attitudes that I seem to pick and pick at them. If the job is not done as well as I could do it, I point out how they missed it. This might be acceptable if I could do it gently only finding one area to improve on at a time, but I tend to tell them everything that is wrong. I also point out almost every time I feel they have been rude. How many times do I point out the good things? Probably not enough to make them feel like the fabulous, special person they are to me.
I think they feel that they are a burden. They often wince and say, "Please don't cry, mom!" I don't want this anymore. I never wanted my children to feel the way I fear they do, that they are not good enough for me.
So, today I learned during tears and questions to God privately in my room that as an adult I am still very hard on myself. It stems from the desire to do what is best in all areas of my life. I don't think that is a bad desire, but I often find myself feeling less than my best. I want my family to be healthy, to honor God with our actions and thoughts, to take good care of all God has given us. I want us to have great relationships with one another and be thoughtful of each others needs. I want us to serve others willingly. I want us to enjoy being together. I want these things so much that when we don't measure up I feel that I must be doing something wrong. I am doing something wrong. We all are. We are not God!
I have to find a way to stop being so rough on myself. It doesn't feel good. It makes me tough on everyone else. I want to loosen up. The only way I know how is to ask God to guide me in this. A personality change is not easy. Not that my whole personality needs changing, but the unrealistic standards I set for myself and my family sure do. So, please join me in prayer for this change. Pray that God would gently show me how to be ok with, no, that I would be joyful about where we are as a family as long as we are walking with Him. I want to learn how to strive for the best while accepting my humanity and showing mercy towards the humanity of others, especially my children.