My husband was back at work after a two week paternity leave, my oldest two were back at school and nursery and there I was sitting on the couch breast feeding my newborn baby feeling utterly shattered. I instantly felt the oxytocin hit my blood stream and I was comatose. My eyelids were drooping and my body felt almost paralysed. So my son decided it was the perfect time to stand on the coffee table and dance and sing twinkle, twinkle little star at a screaming pitch with the door just out of reach for me to close. Too tired and occupied to get up, I just sat there. My dad, who was trying to work upstairs, could hear nothing but screaming and stomping and so made his way downstairs and into my lounge and instantly addressed my son gently but firmly and told him to stop shouting. He then turned to me and said, “Jenny it’s not his fault that he’s shouting all the time.”
Did you read that right? You might need to read it again because, oh yes, he just told me it was my fault and not my son’s that he was standing on a coffee table stomping and screaming at the top of his lungs.
And this is where I’m heading – by sitting on the couch and allowing my son to behave inappropriately I am the one in error. Not my son. I am the parent, I am the one responsible so therefore his attitude and actions are a reflection on me.
How could you possibly put that kind of guilt on a mother with a newborn baby? Surely there’s like some sort of 3-6 month pardon from parenting when having a newborn. But no matter what the circumstances I am still a mum to not just my newborn baby, but all three of my other children. I don’t get a maternity leave from my family. I still have to be their mummy.
“The rod and rebuke give wisdom. But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” Proverbs 29:15*
“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. The rod of correction will drive it far from him.” Proverbs 22:15
Just like in leadership your teams performance is a direct reflection on the leader. That’s why consistently showing up late, low performance and productivity will get you fired. But have you ever thought about how this works in family? Our child’s behaviour is a direct reflection on our parenting. Parenting is so much more than keeping them dressed, fed and clean. Ignoring our children’s behaviour is not parenting and will bring shame to us as mother’s*. Action is always required. Do I want them to let me know they don’t like their food by throwing their bowl on the floor or stomping and screaming on coffee tables once they’re a teenager? So let’s stay focused on the task at hand – raising our kids for Christ.