“Mooooom, I need you!” That can either be a glorious call or words that make you want to hide. As a mom of seven, I have often heard those words. Being a mom isn’t an easy task, but it is a blessed one.
My goal has been to build a life-long relationship with my children. It is easy to get caught up in the chores of the day, or even to be counting the days when they will be old enough to be on their own. However, as moms, it is important to remember that our influence and investment can and should continue throughout their lives. I have found an acronym for the word LIFE to be helpful in accomplishing that goal.
Listen—Listening to your children is so important. Focus on them one on one, and make them feel like you care about them and want to hear what they have to say. Be excited when they are excited and sad when they are sad. Talk to them as if they were big. And when they are big, make time when they come home to ask them about their day, their friends, their future, etc.
Instruct—Children need rules and guidelines to help them feel loved and secure. Never yell at them; instead, train them to listen the first time to a normal, soft voice. When you yell, they associate that with you being mad, not that they were wrong. After correcting them, remember to hug them and go on—never remain mad. Remember, you correct and discipline them because you are against the wrong they are doing—not against them. Teach them the right way by your example!
Fun—Your home should be fun. Make it a place where your children want to bring their friends—a happy home where you play together, read together, and enjoy being together. Be real with them! It is ok to be silly and do crazy things together. One of our family’s favorite activities is to have marshmallow wars in our living room. Find time to take them one on one to get ice cream or their favorite drink. Enjoy them, and they will enjoy you and will want to be with you.
Encourage—There have been times when I felt like I was always getting on to one of my children. It is in those times that they especially need encouragement. Smile at them and find ways to let them know how much you love them and are proud of them: simple notes on their pillow or in their lunch sack go a long way. Take time to share a struggle you had when you were their age and what you learned from it. Maybe they are overwhelmed with homework or chores; this might be the perfect time to help them.
There is no other role in this world like that of a mother! Time is too short to waste. Listen to your children, instruct them, have fun with them, and encourage them. Most importantly, enjoy your kids and choose to be a happy mom.