16 Apr 2012

My child taught me a lesson today

My daughter taught me a Very Very Important lesson this morning. I'd given her an autobiographical poetry assignment similar to the one Jo did last week. It starts with "I may be..."

Initially she couldn't think of lines that would describe herself. I then recommended, "Why not list down words first, that would describe you?"

 She wrote down the words pretty quickly, and showed them to me. My eyes popped out and my heart stopped beating for a moment as I read her words. On her list were negative words I'd used on her in my fit of anger. Let's not even mention the words she wrote....except for perhaps lazy and greedy.
During moments where I've lacked patience, I'd said stuff like "Stop being lazy, hurry and finish your work." Or "Leave some cookies for your dad, don't be so greedy."

There were other words on that list.....and as I read them, I thought to myself, "How could I have ever used such words? Mean mummy!" Furthermore, I've taught my children, never to call people names, and I realise how often I've contradicted myself by doing the exact opposite on my own children!

I asked my child, "Why did you even think of all those words?"
"Well..mum, you just used some this morning, you called me greedy just this morning," she said with a grin. I suspect she did this all on purpose, to send me a message.

I shook my head, thinking to myself, "And what did I just tell a friend last night?" Just last night in conversation with a close friend I'd confided, "I used to be such a patient person, happy usually. When did I start piling up on all these negative traits? Where did they come from? I need to unpile them, I need to unload them and throw them away so they do not become a permanent part of my personality."

"You've been too busy Martha," said my friend. I agreed, and realise that an over busy mother, with an overpacked schedule can really, surely become a mean mother. And I am praying, that God will help me with this, to reschedule, to loosen up more time for my children, to prioritize, to be the mum God has destined me to be, to be a powerful positive influence on my children and not a meany.

Back to my daughter, I then kidded....Well Nel, you could write a poem about your mother that goes like this:

My mother says I'm Lazy
But doesn't mean I lie in bed all day
Doesn't mean I am a bum
Doesn't mean I don't bathe
Doesn't mean she's right.

My mother says I'm greedy
But doesn't mean I eat all the time
Doesn't mean I finish everyone else's food
Doesn't mean I am fat
Doesn't mean she's right!

My mother says I'm this and that
Doesn't mean she's right, Doesn't mean she's right.

Strangely, my daughter started laughing...and then tearing at the corner of her eyes, as I started tearing too. And she said, "Mum, sometimes you make me cry out of anger, but sometimes you make me cry in a good way like now, coz it's too funny."

She took out some tissue, one for her, one for me. We wiped our eyes....and I said, "A lot of those words do NOT describe you. I am mean sometimes, and not perfect. I make lots of mistakes. Let's talk about the wonderful things you are Nel." And we just rewrote the whole thing, where I told her what I really thought of her- Gracious, kind, compassionate, animal lover, crazy about food with cheese, bookworm..etc.

 I've learnt a very important lesson today. I've a lot to think about, a lot to get down on my knees to pray for, especially a prayer that goes like this "God CHANGE ME for the BETTER, so I can be a Better Mum!"



gail said...

Some of the things you said were not bad but accurate. I guess it is in the way you say them.

You are a wonderful mother! We can all learn from our children.

Carolyn (Lil' Dahling) said...

Don't beat yourself so much ya. I think it happened for a reason for you to realise, for you to reflect. Your daughter is a gem and you both have a very precious and wonderful relationship. I don't think you don't spend enough time with them. In fact, despite your busy schedule you have managed to spend so much time with them enriching their lives!

Martha said...

Thank you G and Carolyn. :)

eddiesherene said...

aw~ nice! the best part its to willing to admit our mistakes to our children right?


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