Friday, March 06, 2009

{ On the Battlefield }

This week has been a dozy. And for no single or big reason really. And it's seems a little whiny for me to even say so. It's just been a hard week, with the little Miss 3 year old of the house. As David mentioned last night, if this is 3, than it makes age 2 look easy. We have had more little catastrophes this weekend than I can count on one hand, but the little intentional accidents are nothing compared with the sadness and disappointment I have felt, watching her choose to not honor the boundaries Mommy and Daddy have clearly and repeatedly laid out, knowing there will be consequences. So much of it I know is my fault. I have consistency issues. And as many times as I have observed that letting her "get away " with stuff only makes her miserable in the long run, not to mention the rest of us... I do not want to continue to take the easy way out, and overlook, or excuse her actions away. What I am beginning to realize is that it is possible ( by the grace of God ) to tenderly stick to my guns with her. Which is what I had determined to do with her this week. Hence the title for this post. Neither David or I have ever seen such a strong will in a little person. ( Mom and Dad, are you having flashbacks? ) With that comes a enormous passion for life. We love that God made her that way. But how to channel that energy and make sure it results in a happy, obedient child... that is the fine line that I so badly want to learn as a mommy. So I pray that God gives me the gumption and wisdom to become more consistent. Tenderly consistent.

Unlike the last few days, this morning has been so delightful. Ordinary in every way...starting out with snuggles and giggles in bed and then a story or two. She is on a Beatrix Potter kick right now. A request for oatmeal. Sleep in her eyes, sweet little bed head do, with three of her morning favorites. 1) Dora spoon from Auntie Greta 2) Small heart bowl 3) Little milk pitcher, both gifts from Granniebelle's. All smiles. Not a single meltdown, talk-back, incident, or battle. She has been nothing but sweet.

Not only is that the grace of God to me, but it only fuels my determination to be consistent. Such a pay off, makes it all worth it in the long run.

A big thank you to the lovely friends/examples who are Mommys around me, who daily encourage and model to become exactly the kind of Mama that God wants me to be. You know who you are, and I am so grateful for the ways in which you bless my life.


Anonymous said...

You dear girl!First I want to say that YOU AND DAVID ARE ABSOLUTLEY WONDERFUL PARENTS!I would agree that age three is challenging. And add, that with your little girl being full of life in every way, and you being full of Jack ,as dear as he is, is tiring for you in every way!!!!!!I wish I could be closer to you to share this "stage", like we have so many others.I love you Chelle, Deb

Cottage Mommy said...

I remember having some of my toughest times with Eli when I was pregnant with Addison and he was two going on three (he turned three right after she was born). Something about that age....he had a will on him too. We used to battle it out and I was disappointed in myself over and over again with how I handled things. It has gotten much better as he has gotten older but it is a constant everyday struggle to reinforce the rules and combat bad attitudes and such. Raising a child never really stops and I too need to focus hard on consistency. It is hard but you have such a big heart and love for Jesus that I don't doubt you are doing a fantastic job! Be encouraged...we all think you are great!

Ace said...

Oh Chelle,
Please know that it is not you who have failed her. I could so easily write "AMEN" to all that you wrote. I remember someone telling me a while back that 3 is the new 2. I never really knew what that meant until now. My almost-3 year old is no different.
I know it is so hard right now for our dear little ones who are so spirited and full of life. But our efforts, frustration and sometimes tears are not in vain. They will in the will of the Lord be strong, influencial, Godly women someday.
Be encouraged! you are not alone

Rachel said...

Precious Chelle. . . Hang in there!! This, too, shall pass, and when it does it will be so worth the tears and wonderings if you're doing the right thing. I am right there with you on consistency (or lack of it!), and know that when I am, she's so much happier and secure because she knows her boundaries. You and David are a great team, balancing each other out so beautifully, supporting each other. And Annabelle is such a dear little free spirit. . . God bless you, and give you (and all of us parents!) wisdom, grace, and patience for each new day. I love you so much!

Noah and Ryders Mommy said...

Oh...My dear sweet friend! For a second there I felt like maybe I was reading a post about my own life right now. I can so very relate with consistency issues, three has been the biggest challenge for us thus far as well! Two was pie in comparison!! I do pray that God gives you the strength and determination to be more constistant and help you become the Mommy he wants you to be, though in my heart I just know you are such a good and loving Mother! You and David sound to be the most God loving souls and I just know that Annabelle grows to see your example.
The paint is still imprinted in the carpets, but a huge reminder to me that God is in control and that with faith and prayer he is going to get us through these trying times!
That sweet little gift did cheer me up in the midst of it all. It was perfect timing. But more so, I could not help but to keep thinking of how great of a friend you are to me!
Love you dearest!

Cat said...

I have often pondered why I am so consistent with eating, with shopping, with cleaning,with gardening, etc., but not so in some areas that are really vital. I don't even have little ones anymore, and I have compassion and empathy for what you are doing right now. Before Jack comes it is important to get this one figured out, huh!

shabby girl said...

Chelle, Even though my kids are grown, I remember exactly what you're talking about!
There is a book called Parenting with Love & Logic, by Foster Cline.
Oh, how I wish I had read it when my kids were really little. May have saved some heartache later on.
Please, please, please read this book!
Hugs to you!

Connie said...

The thought to keep in front of your vision right now obedient child is a joyful child! It is not only important for her well being that you tackle this now (no matter how much time and energy it takes) but also because when baby arrives you will soooo need Annabelle to respond to your voice immediately and cheerfully.

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Three for us was FAR worse than two. Two was sweet. Three was - something else all together!! :)

I have one just like you are describing. With a zest for life like none you have seen, but a will so strong your own can falter.

How I pray for you and relate with you and appreciate you.

Thank you for this post.

Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging said...

Anyone who says parenting is easy could not possibly be a parent! Hardest job of my life, with, of course, the greatest pay off.

Being consistent is so difficult. But it is worth it when you see a day like that. We've not seen much of it since Anna has been born. Little miss Lilla has had a difficult time, but there are moments. Oh, the sweet and tender moments. Definitely the best payoff for being a parent ever!

Fairlightday said...

Oh my dear friend, I wish you a much better week this week. I've have wondered where you have been. Now I know. :)
Three has been our toughest year out of 5, so far. The struggle for independence vs. obedience is so hard. But also, so worth it. I agree with your Mom. We struggle with this daily, even still. Hang in there dear, it will all be worth it and you will have a joyous return on your efforts.
You and David are such wonderful parents. God would not have given you something that you couldn't handle.
I love you and miss you ever so much! Maybe a phone date this week? Hugs to you dear friend!
And prayers for love, patience, and tender consistency are headed your way. <3

Anonymous said...

It seems that something that humans have had so much practice at is still so hard.......the question I have is that is it harder because we are seeing how far we have to go ourselves? I mean our babies are really in another world, one that is new everyday, but when we hit the new spots we freak! They really are quite marvelous at how well they do, considering they are learning so many things compared to us. Chelle, here is some consolation, you are experiencing no new trial, that you yourself were the same way as our little girl, it is just life, good, bad and ugly. When our little boy comes along, she will not be the focus as much, this will only do her good. Keep striving to do right, it will all work out in the end. Poppy

Lisa said...

you are an amazing mother - I am sure this is something everyone struggles with!
I love what you Mom said - I guess it really is true, our Mothers DO know best, huh....

Hang in there sweet girl - this too shall pass!

Hope you are feeling well, only a few more weeks to go!
Thinking of you...

Dawna said...

You are one of the best mommies I know, and I have a feeling I'll be asking your advise a lot in the future as Miss Em seems to be following in Annabelle's footsteps. I love her passion for life, but boy can she try my patience! Loves to you all!