Sunday 11th March was Mother’s Day in the UK (Mother’s Day will be celebrated on 13 the May in Ghana and America) Motherhood, in my opinion, is a blessing, but sometimes the challenges in life make it feel like a “burden”.
A writer once described motherhood as a “beautiful storm.” I have two children, an eight-year-old boy who is easy going and just goes with the flow and a high maintenance, assertive 6-year-old girl, who speaks her mind without fear or favour.
As both kids are so different, parenting becomes a challenge. It is no secret that every child is different and unique. Despite your best efforts, sometimes as mothers we do question ourselves whether we are good mothers.
In this current climate, where children are exposed to so much at school, internet etc, parenting has become more challenging.
I think our parents got a better deal with us! I always need to give my children further explanation why I need them to do something or when I said no to them, the phrase “because mummy says so” does not work anymore! How do I bring up my children in a way, so they exhibit good behaviour and manners when am not around? How do I train my children to have good values and principles? How do I make church and Christianity a way of life, not a chore, so they do not stop attending church when they turn 18? Or become adults.
The first “ammunition” to combat parenting challenges is to Pray for your children. Praying for your children should be a daily thing, but an occasional activity. You need to pray for them every day, pray for them for God’s guidance when they are not with you especially when they go to school, pray for their friends as well. At a young age, friends can influence the behaviour of their peers easily. I remember at the age of 10 my elder brother was writing his A levels examination, I recall my mum praying the whole day for him. She called me to join her pray for him. We knelt in her room and prayed every hour. At that age I did not really understand the full impact of her action, becoming a parent has really enlightened me.
I have a personal testimony, my son, does not like to do any form of reading, I have tried everything from forcing him, pampering him, nothing was working. A couple of weeks I decided to pray about it and guess what he has now developed an interest in reading. And now he will come to me with his story book to tell me he wants to read! It is a miracle.
We need to engage our children in conversations. As a mother is important to show interest in what is happening in your children lives. You can do this by asking simple questions like how their day was, who they played with at school. This is a good way of getting to know what they have been up to in school. It is important for a parent to make it a point get to know their children friend’s names and their relationship with these friends. I have noticed my daughter will tell me everything that happened in school to the tiniest detail and how many times she went to the bathroom.
However, my son will just say school was fine when I asked him how his day was. A good trick that I have developed is to ask him about his friends. As soon as I ask him about his friends, he begins to talk and give me the rundown about how his day went. By so doing I get to know whether have been good at school or otherwise or if they encountered any problems that need my urgent attention.
Discipline is also important in parenting. Do not be scared to discipline your children for the fear they will not love you. Discipline should start from when they are toddlers. Children are smart and always want to push the boundary to test how far they can get away with been naughty. Discipline should not be left to fathers alone! My husband used to travel for work a lot; sometimes he goes away for 6 months.
During this period, I had to be both the mum and dad, I was not going to put disciplining on hold for 6 months until he returns! I always tell my children your actions have consequences, so you disobey mummy there are consequences, I will accept your apology, but there will be consequences.
Have fun with your children, do things together that are fun.
I must admit my husband is the more fun parent. I am starting to make a conscious effort to have fun and play with them. My daughter will bring her dolls and we will have a role play. Even though initially I found it really boring I have discovered through the role play I can teach her some values in life. In a similar way, my son like video games and will ask me to play with him! When playing together I use the opportunity to ask him all manner of questions which will never give me an answer if I asked in a different environment.
As mothers, we need to love our children and make the children experience that love. Never stop loving your children, even when they make the wrong choices in life. This love and support must continue through their teenage and adult and even married lives. The greatest gift a mother can give to her son or daughter is to love their spouse.
My dear Ethan and Eliana you are both 8 and 6 years, I do not know who your future spouse will be, I will pray for you each day for God to grant you a good husband/wife and by the Grace of God I will just not be a mother in law to them, but rather a mother to them. Happy Mother’s Day to all.