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Å finne veien i kaoset

Av: Jackson, Lynne
Publisert: 27.02.2009
Jeg hadde full kontroll. Helt til jeg fikk barn. Da brast den vellykkede fasaden, og jeg måtte gjenoppdage min hensikt og mine verdier. Ikke minst måtte jeg lære meg å se barna mine gjennom Guds øyne og ikke som en refleksjon av meg selv og mine prestasjoner.

 My toddler, Bethany, screamed for ten minutes, “No brush teeth! No, no, no, noooooo!!!!” Another meltdown. A simple thing such as tooth brushing was torture for her. Her big brother screamed, “Shut up!” and tried to cover her mouth. She wailed louder. The veins in my neck popped as I yelled at them both. Had this been an isolated incident, I’d have been fine. But this way of life was becoming the norm. This time we were late to drop them off at Grandma’s for a while … like maybe a month?! Why is parenting so hard?!! I lamented again.

 
Before my kids were born, my life had been smooth and enjoyable. I’d held leadership positions at work and church. I had more friends than my schedule could bear, some of whom admitted they were intimidated by how I seemed to have it all together. I kept a clean house and organized my time efficiently. The pinnacle of my success was being named “Employee of the Year” at a large rehabilitation center.
 
Then I had children, and they were NOT impressed.
 
As my controlled, predictable way of life collided daily with the chaos of three sensorysensitive, hyperactive children, I found myself in a tangled mess of difficult, even dark, thoughts and feelings that made wise, patient parenting nearly impossible. Anger, frustration and even bitterness became alltoo- familiar companions. I clearly remember the day I lay face down on the carpet in desperation and tears.
 
My façade of achievement and control had crumbled. I faced a real test of faith. Could I learn to be peaceful and confident, even when my children are out of control? Dr. John Gottman, psychologist and family researcher, wisely stated, “The path to becoming a better parent — like most every road to personal growth and mastery — begins with self-examination.”
 
Over the next weeks and months, I prayed, journaled and sought wise support. Throughout this process, I began to realize my challenges were an opportunity for personal and spiritual growth beyond anything I’d ever experienced! While this was no easy journey, I knew it was the right one. I developed some “truth phrases” to refresh my perspective
during times of struggle:
 
My children were created for a specific reason and are a gift to me!
We’re on a good journey despite our ups and downs.
God will use these difficulties for his good and wise purposes!
I can be OK, even when my children are not.
 
I decided my most important work as a parent was to start putting these new thoughts into practice. This discipline was far more helpful than any parenting tip I’d ever learned. Little by little, my anxiety decreased and my reactions became more rational — even gentle. When the children had their inevitable spats and meltdowns, I learned to stop, take a breath and remember the “truth phrases.” I could settle down and handle my children with a little more wisdom and a little less anxiety.
 
In the wild ride of our kids’ tantrums, defiance and conflicts, we can still learn and grow. When we start letting go of preconceived notions of parenting and control, we grow in freedom to love our children for who they are and to enjoy the exhilarating ride of parenting.

 

 

© Copyright 2009 Christianity Today International - this article was first published in MomSense magazine.

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