Children Don't Come With an Instruction Manual

Today's guest post comes from my blogging friend Jaime, from Welcome to the Madness.    She shares awesome preparedness tips, great recipes, and fun homeschool ideas among other things on her blog.  Remember the Proverbs 31 woman?  Jaime's showing us how it's done!  She loves buttons, books, seed catalogs, and most importantly her family.  I'm so excited to have Jaime share her thoughts on motherhood with us today, and I hope you feel as encouraged as I do by her.
Three years ago our family made a life altering decision to homeschool.

I considered myself a good mother before, but Woah Nellie! when my kids were all home, ALL.THE.TIME, well that was a whole nother story!  I had to change my whole life and attitude and as such learned some valuable lessons about being a mother.

In The Family: A Proclamation to the World there are a couple lines that really stand out to me.

  1. "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. " 
  2. "Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children."
How was the yelling, impatient mom who I had turned out to be going to rear her children in love and righteousness?  How was I going to nurture my children when all I wanted to do was have a break?

Here are a couple things that I learned about myself and about being a mom.
  • It is OK to take a break.  I often just retreat into my bathroom and take a long (HOT) bubble bath and read a book just for me.  Sometimes it is fluffy and funny, sometimes it is a cookbook, but whatever it is, it is a book I want to read.
  • It is OK to give yourself a time out.  Sometimes when I am really frustrated I find myself snapping at my children (please tell me I am not alone...) and I need to just go to my room, pray and calm down.  I give myself a 15 min break and return a better Mom.
  • Some days just don't go according to plan.  I needed to learn how to be flexible.  I needed to learn that some things are important, and some really aren't. 
  • Some days are lazy.  It is OK to take a day off and just be lazy.  Some of our best memories are the days we have just taken a break and walked along the river throwing rocks.  Or exploring a new park.  Or checking out the new museum.  It is OK to do this.  Life will not stop if the laundry is not done that day, or if the beds are changed tomorrow. 
  • Once in a while it is fun to just be a kid.
  • Read to your kids.  Not only does this give you some time just with your children, it is such a wonderful teaching time as well.  Our favorite reads are totally interactive and the whole family can take part in them.  We especially love discussing the scriptures and the treasures we find there.
  • Music really does calm the savage beast.  Sometimes we just love to put on the music, close the curtains (important step there!) and dance around the house.  When we are otherwise unhappy it is impossible to stay that way after dancing like a silly person around the house.
  • Love your spouse.  This has been my biggest learning thing ever.  You would think after 15 years of marriage I would know this and not have to re-learn it, but I do.  When Mom and Dad are happy, kids are happy.  Trite, but oh so true.
Being a Mom has been my greatest blessing and my greatest learning experience.  Children don't come with a book, they don't have care labels and they for sure don't have an instruction manual.  We learn by doing and loving. 

I am so thankful that I have been blessed with three of the most amazing little men a mother could ask for.

Anonymous –   – (May 11, 2012 at 10:23 AM)  

so sweet Jaime and oh so true! :)

JRoberts  – (May 13, 2012 at 9:47 AM)  

Just got Internet and came to check out your blog....

You are so kind in your intro. Thank you for the fun series, I am enjoying the ones I get to read. This was a great idea, and I love the uplifting messages you and your posters have shared so far.

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