Death of a Dictator (or, "Learning How To Love My Kids")

Sugary milk clings to her spoon as she waves it over her hair, daydreaming. Again. “Eat your cornflakes dear” She blinks away dreams and drifts the spoon toward her bowl. Hiding the spoon under milk, she catches a single cornflake and watches it float. I glance the clock. Bedtime was an hour ago, and I feel the minutes wasting. She swirls the spoon, watching flakes dance. “Eat dear, Eat!” I wonder if I should start wearing a police hat…

Each night as I scurry the children from task to task in effort to get them to bed, I wonder why we race. But I know. It’s the late evening hours of personal space and complete thoughts and silence. Mommy time.  Why is this nightly road to serenity always so hectic?!

At the end of each day I feel the push and shove – the ‘leave me alone’ of it – and what is that? Why do I ‘punch out’ of availability – of patience – at 8pm?

…When did this become a job rather than a gift and honor?

And I remember his words… “There are two kinds of workers: those who work for the pay check, and those who work for the company.” The pastor continues, “There are two kinds of workers in heaven too: the kind who work to either receive reward or avoid punishment, and those who work out of love.”

If I were to serve as a missionary somewhere, would I maintain business hours?
I suspect I would be available, and gladly. ...something a little inconsistent there.

Nothing wrong with down time or personal space; I’m the first advocate of that. But I sense God clearing away some dirt here, revealing my motives. Am I his servant? Are these children his sheep?  … should I force and push to get my way? (and you know this applies to more than bedtime!)

I wish I could wrap this up in a pretty bow of conclusion. But I don’t have one.

I just feel a nudge in this area to treat these children like I would want to be treated; to love as I've been loved.

… would I want to be hurried through a meal
just so someone could get rid of me for a few hours?

… would I feel loved knowing that my parent
was counting the minutes to freedom from me?

Sometimes it’s a struggle to invest the time. I can think of two hundred things I’d rather do than read Franklin for the third time, or drive trucks on a mat. 

But this is the honor given me

to love
even at the end of my patience
even after bedtime


The Unknowngnome said...

Ah the gift of parenting, eh?

How 'bout getting up earlier in the morning before the kids rise?

It has two benefits. The first is that you'll have the evening without the counting of mommy-time pressure, plus you're likely to crash at night the same time they do.

The second is that you'll put the pressure on yourself to get your mommy-time completed before they get up, unless of course you didn't get up early enough and you begin to resent the kids for getting up to early. :))

From The Heart Online said...

Hmm... can a night owl become an early bird? :)