Before I got married, I went to college and earned a degree. I'm thankful I earned it and carried through with it as it gave me much knowledge and I even use its practical applications in my life today. But in the last little bit of my life, I've been earning a totally different degree and a completely different skill set. You'll laugh when you hear it. It's called “Motherhood.” Yes, really. I fully believe it's a degree, skill, art, and science. I hadn't thought about it that way until my Mom told me this one day in response to one of my interesting adventures with my little boy:
“Motherhood is the art of flexibility with grace, and the science of behavioral studies while majoring in your children and your husband.”
Isn't that just rich? As soon as I heard that I was scrambling for a pen to write it down. It's written on a note that is stuck to my fridge so I can read it every day and just remember it – both in the fun and amazing times, and during those not-so-amazing times when life is overwhelming and I simply just want to cry or sleep it away.
Before we had our little boy, I thought I knew exactly how motherhood was going to be like. I knew how I was going to raise my little boy, and it was just going to be perfect. Well, it is perfect for our family, but it is NOT at all like how I was expecting. I have had to be flexible and change my theories to practical implementation. I've had to major in learning my son's...and husband's...personalities. Their strengths, their weaknesses, how to work with them, how to help them, how to love them. We are all individuals, and no specific parenting technique is going to work perfectly. For some people it might be pretty close, for our family – it was not.
For one example, I had thought I was going to have a very healthy eating child. Turns out, I have a very picky eater who oftentimes won't eat anything at a meal... I have five foods that I know he will eat...usually. And of those five, I know that I have to serve the grapes before the strawberries. Why? Because he likes the strawberries better. If he knows strawberries are available, he'll avoid the grapes and only eat strawberries. I could get frustrated and cause us both a lot of heartache by forcing him to eat both when I want him to...or I could give him the grapes and wait for him to eat them, and then give him the strawberries. But it definitely wasn't my vision of putting all the healthy vegetables on his plate and him eating everything with no complaints.
If you knew my husband and I, you might not personally agree with our way of parenting and that's fine! What works for our family won't necessarily work for you. But that's the point...you have to personally make decisions for your own family... You have to major in your child, your husband, the art of flexibility with grace, and the science of behavioral studies. You have to ask...BEG...God for help and guidance. But don't be afraid to do something different just because it is unusual and unpopular. Different is not inherently wrong. Wrong is disobeying God, but parenting will have many different looks. If you are following Him, what is right for you is not going to work for someone else and vice-a-versa. Different is simply parenting at its finest because no two families are completely alike! And while we all should reach for that degree of Motherhood while raising our families...none of our degrees are going to be exactly the same.
Sarah is a wife to a Coast Guard officer, and a mother to an energetic 1-year-old little boy. She strives to serve her Lord and King, and a good wife and mother. She loves photography, reading, cooking, exploring, and hiking and has a passion for purity as well as learning about healthy living and eating. Most often you will find her thoroughly enjoying time with her husband and son or making messes in the kitchen.