Isaiah loves art. He’s full of imagination and he LOVES to create. (The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)
The other day I complimented him…telling him what a good painter he was.
“Yeah. I am.” he replied.
His response tickled me. And then it made me think. If only we could all have that kind of confidence. If only we could share that same sort of self-assuredness out loud, and not feel any shame.
There’s a quote floating around on Pinterest. Have you seen it?
It goes something like this…
The first time I saw it, I was all…how fast can I pin this?! A resounding YES came over me. It reassured me, and made me feel like my crazy was somewhat normal.
But the longer I thought about it, the more it started to bother me.
The “why” hit me the other day at lunch. We were all sitting around the table, when I realized I forgot to turn in some important school forms.
“Ugh. Mom of the year.” I said out loud, sarcastically. (Because three-year-olds understand sarcasm, right?)
Minutes passed, and I still couldn’t let my “Mom fail” go.
“I CANNOT believe I did that. I’m such a bad Mom.” I said, under my breath.
It wasn’t the first time those words had come out of my mouth. But this time, something wrestled with my heart.
I looked at Isaiah. My little sponge. Sitting there, eating his peanut butter and banana sandwich. Listening to every word I muttered, and sensing every bit of shame I was projecting onto myself.
He understood it all.
All of a sudden, the emotions came flooding.
Our children are born with this inherent sense of confidence. And we worry, as we send them off to school or out into the world, that their confidence will be broken–that others will make them feel like less than they truly are. When really, it starts right in our very own homes.
When we berate ourselves for “screwing it all up”…our kids are there. Watching. Listening.
We’re teaching them to doubt themselves, before anyone else gets the chance to. We’re teaching them to break themselves down, in a world that is waiting to do that for them.
The thought of my children learning to punish themselves for their mistakes, all by watching me? Heartbreaking.
So to the Mom, like me, who’s pretty sure she’s screwing it all up…
STOP. You aren’t. In fact, you are doing an amazing job. You are loving your children. You are tending to their needs. You are doing the best you can. Know that, and BELIEVE it.
Let’s teach our children to believe in themselves, by believing in ourselves first.
Let’s show them how to love themselves, by loving ourselves…even when we mess up.
And most importantly, let’s model the importance of God’s grace, by showing ourselves a little every day.
Because I know I could use some.
Today, Isaiah and I did some painting.
I told him I was a good painter, too.
Alli Aars (You have your blog, we have Aars)
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