Note: This post was originally published September 28, 2010. I thought it fitting to re-post it because I’ve been reading Easy To Love, Difficult to Discipline again and well, a re-post will sure help me get through this week at least and figure out how to work out my schedule. But the words I wrote last year still ring true and I hope they inspire you to look at areas in your life where you operate from fear and not love, especially in the area of mothering. I know there are lots of instances that I do behave out of fear and I think becoming aware of those is the biggie first step. Oh, and please ignore the Challenge below because obviously I’m in no shape to do something like that right now. But maybe, just maybe I’ll start sharing my thoughts as I go through this book again. Have a good Monday.
The once in a lifetime opportunity to truly stand nose to nose with our Fears. But instead, we let Fear whip us into Mothers who manipulate our children (be it ever so sweetly), scare them into submission, reason with them to death or reward them into good and acceptable behaviour.
Into Mothers who discipline out of emptiness, out of guilt, out of our past.
Into Mothers who cop out and declare that bad is the new good.
Into Mothers who rise up to the challenge of Perfection and make us all look bad.
Into Mothers who are always insecure about our choices so we draw lines to define who is. and who is not.
We think of Motherhood as this Destination we’re supposed to Have Arrived At Fully Equipped and Perfectly Functioning.
Oh. How. Wrong. We. Are.
To Be A Mother is To Grow. To Fail. To Learn. To Become. To Be A Mother Is To Be Fully Human, Yet Have Moments of Being An Expression of The Divine.
We don’t need to spank or scream our children into submission. Instead, we show them we too have a hard time with yielding. And we trust they will see the moments when we do surrender.
We don’t need to control our children in any way. Instead, we show them our ability to control our own self. And in that strength, we lead them with courage and humility.
We don’t need to shame our children away from misdeeds. Instead, we show them our own capacity for rebellion and our propensity for mistakes. We show them what it means to forgive and grow in grace.
We don’t need to come up with logic and reason to teach them how to live. Instead, we show them that the Truth is Written in our Hearts and that to live by the Spirit is more than enough.
Fear. Sucks. Life.
As Mothers, Life-Givers, Nurturers of God’s Children, Fear has no place in our household. Nor in our hearts.
And so perhaps, our most important job is to learn how to stand nose to nose with our fears until they are no more.
And it so happens I stumbled upon this book a few days ago by Becky Bailey, Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation
The title does not give justice to what she covers in this book. She approaches her discipline “techniques” in a way that deeply resonates with me. Her philosophy (and mine) is this: we must move from fear to love in the way we discipline our children (uhm, wow. My words exactly.) She calls it, “loving guidance.” Intrigued?
If this is something you want to explore further, then join me here on Radical Hospitality Tuesdays. Starting October 5 for 8 weeks. We’ll be reading one chapter a week, and I’ll be posing questions (and sharing my own journey) here. Buy the book or borrow it from the library or a friend.
::This post is part of Steady Mom’s 30 Minute Challenge::