Tonight the kids and I were sitting around the table discussing the usual and the homework that needed to be completed. My eldest started his whining and burst into tears not wanting to do it and listing all the reasons his life was miserable, homework being number one. At first I started in with my usual of that is life and that is what we have to do and then I stopped. I let him cry and wallow for a bit and then I felt compassion and begin to sympathize with "YES, I get it. Life is hard and I am so sorry, I wish it were different for you." I let him cry for a few more minutes and then he looked at me deep in the eyes and his tears begin to stop. My compassion was all he needed in that moment. A mama who understood and said she was sorry for him and sad for him. All the lecturing in the world and the reasons of why would have only made it worse in that situation. It was a good moment for me. A good reminder that sometimes compassion can be far better than a list of reasons or telling him to get it together, like I generally do. And the homework got done and I sat with him and cheered him on.
A lady shared last night at a meeting that she had learned in her child rearing years that being critical and teaching do not have to go hand in hand. You can teach and not be critical. That was my goal today and I failed many times before we got to the dinner table, but in that moment God gave me grace to bestow to my son and it moved me. Thank God it wasn't over a cocktail or cocktails and that I could be present in every way for him. Just another moment of grace that I am grateful to have. Tonight I was engaging, loving, not rushed, and in the moment with and for my children. Tonight I was the mama I long to be every night for them. May God give me the grace to do so more often.