So today was not awful, just a bit challenging. We had a new couch (new to us anyway!!) to put in our lounge room, so our Saturday morning involved lots of cleaning and lifting and grunting and swearing. It was also a bit tricky due to other-people related stuff, plus the fact that Shane is out tonight and I'm a bit snarky. Not because I begrudge him a night out- lord knows he needs it, and he rarely goes out. But more just because I'm a bit tired of the same old. Especially the whole... clean... get dirty/messy... rinse and repeat cycle that I feel like I'm on lately. Plus I'm all strung out from end of term uni stuff.
Hence tonight when I put the kids to bed we were all a bit out of sorts. We had a bit of chaos because we couldn't find our story (currently reading tales of Brer Rabbit in our house) so instead I decided to tell them a story.
It involved a little boy who, when he was cranky or frustrated, would throw things and hurt people, and a little girl who wanted everyone to do what she wanted them to do all the time, and who tried to arrange everything. Those children had a choice, they could go to bed, and wake up the next day and continue getting cranky, and try to organise things, and have a not good day, or they could wake up, and try to make different choices the next day, and have a good day. Like for example, when the boy was angry, instead of getting angry and throwing things, he could get angry, then take a big deep breath and use his words. And the little girl could try trusting her mummy and daddy's decisions, and remembering that sometimes people don't want to do what she wants them to do. (I know, I'm a moralising prig.)
Anyway, it was at this point in the story that my girl got upset. "I don't want you to be angry with me!" She wailed. So we chatted about the fact that mummy does get angry sometimes. But that when I get frustrated with them, that the fact that I get frustrated is something they could help me with (by not driving me flipping crazy!) but that when I get angry, that is a choice I make, and mummy needs to work on not getting so cranky, and the fact that I am angry is not their fault.
This lead us into a discussion about how wonderful it is that mummy will always love you, no matter what silly, or naughty, or angry things you do, and God will always love you too. And then I talked about how nice it is, that when I'm feeling sad, or angry, or mean, or bad that I can go to Jesus and tell him about it, and say I'm sorry and he helps take all of it away. We prayed, and as I prayed I was hit anew with how good it is to be able to to lay down all my burdens and my shame, and have my slate wiped clean.
I think it was good. I may have started off with the wrong intentions, and I felt like crap when Georgie got upset. But I think God really worked with me to make it good. It wasn't planned (at all!) but I think I did ok. Parenting, while trying to point your children in the direction of Christ can be really hard at times, and I know I for one feel like I'm doing a terrible job at it. But hopefully, these little conversations mean something.