Lately I've been trying to work on myself and somethings that should have clicked long ago finally came into light for me. As usual my revelations are simplistic and obvious answers that God has been trying to give me since the beginning. Knocking at my door for ages, asking to share what he knows while I am talking too much and asking a million "less reputable" sources for the answer and fail to hear his gentle rapping on the door of my soul while I scream dramatically, "Help me God, why are you ignoring me?" It happens to me so often it's pathetic but thank you for your patience and gracious persistence lord! :)
I've been reading Dare to Discipline recently and within the first few chapters I realized that this is exactly how I want to parent. It has a lot of concepts that my mother used on me (thanks for the book mom lol) and the goals and concepts fit my intentions and way of thinking. I'll let you know how it all turns out when I finish it, but I suspect I'll be posting a few nuggets of wisdom from the book in the near future.
Anyway I was thinking back on my different stages of parenting. I actually have a neat age spacing in my children where I gave birth in my teens, 20s and then 30s. I can say that they all had their challenges and as strange as this may seem, in the early infant years my first child was the easiest to parent. I knew what to do. I had zero stress when it came to choosing what was best or right for her and I was confident in my style. I breast fed because it was natural and I stuck with it because I knew it was best. I didn't sweat over co-sleeping, or that she was equal to other children her age. I didn't push her to potty train soon because I didn't know when kids were supposed to be trained. I just listened to her, watches the signs and went with it. Everything with her from the moment I was pregnant felt natural.. I guess you could say I had a mothering instinct from the second she was conceived. So what happened? Why do I doubt some of my parenting skills and intuitions now? Because back then I didn't have magazines, cable, or a computer. I was actually states away from any of my family at all and had a husband that was gone 90% of the time. I had to go on instinct and references from my own mother. I had a total of 2 friends that were in exactly the same predicament I was in (including being young wives and mothers) and we all had the mentality of helping each other because we were all we had. No competition at all. Just help and support.
Now, I still have those same instincts and I still have supportive friends, but I have cluttered up their advice with so much CRAP! I am constantly filling my worries with words from tv, magazines, or looking up how to solve my problems on the internet. I am not saying that those mediums are not helpful at times but I think I have tricked myself into believing that someone always knows better than I do. I have forgotten how to trust my intuition and listen to my conscience, and when I speak of my conscience I believe this to be the holy spirit.
basically this is a long winded way to say that I am going to try and cut out all the "extra noise". I'm going to listen to my instincts and my heart more. I'm going to fine tune my ears to listen to only those that I trust. I mistakenly thought I had to listen to what everyone has to say to be open minded, but really if I only listen to those that I trust, I still get a variety of approaches and advice but from more reputable sources.
Duh right? I totally need God to show me the way, and sometimes he has to use neon lights and arrows to point out each baby step in front of me. I still have so much to learn.