By E. Tyler Rowan
A note from Lisa Cherry: I’m delighted to introduce my friend Tyler Rowan from Canada who is guest posting for us today. Wife, mother, blogger and conference speaker are a few of her roles. She has a good word for us, Frontline Moms, and I know you will identify with what she has to say.
I am a busy mom of five, an aspiring author and speaker, and an active volunteer in my community. (When I say that, I like to imagine a small chorus of angels applauding. Just kidding!) But you see, being busy sometimes gets me thinking “I’m too busy.”
Imagine me sitting at my computer, working on an article…
“Mom, will you sit and watch America’s Funniest Home Videos with me?”
I’ll be there in a minute. (Which often translates into ten minutes.)
“Mom, can you get me a drink?”
Just a minute, Sweetheart! (Which usually results in a reminder much, much later.)
“Mom! So-and-so isn’t letting me have a turn!”
You guys need to work it out; I’m busy! (Which typically results in an all-out sibling war.)
“Mooooooom!!!!” accompanied by sobbing and tears.
Why can’t you guys just get along?! Come on already! I’m trying to work here! (At this point, my words are delivered in a nasty tone and a loud, booming voice. Mommy is angry!)
When I buy into the hype that I’m too busy, I turn into a sideline parent. My work takes the frontline. My kids begin to feel like sideline kids whose needs and wants are an interruption to their sideline Mommy’s “real work.”
It’s a trap that many of us fall into, unfortunately. Busy is a lie from the enemy, and when we believe it he has us just where he wants us – on the sidelines. Because when we’re on the sidelines, he’s got easy access to our kids.
Proverbs 31:28 tells us that, in the life of the Godly wife and mother, Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
Her children and husband do not arise and call her…busy.
So, how can we pull ourselves up off of the sidelines and be the frontline parents our kids need us to be? The frontline parents God has called us to be?
Change our Thinking
Since our actions are a reflection of our attitudes, becoming frontline parents starts in the mind. I need to continually remind myself of what my priorities are:
* My job is to be the best God-honoring wife and mother that I can be.
All other jobs (even the most good and Godly ones) are secondary to my #1 priority.
* My writing, my housework, my women’s ministry duties…these are all interruptions to my real work.
* My children are not the interruption. They are the priority.
Change our Actions
We’ve all heard it said that we ought to “act the way we’re supposed to feel.” If we behave in a joyful manner, for example, we will eventually begin to feel joyful. So even if my heart and attitude have not fully made the transition to frontline thinking, I must choose to take the actions that a frontline parent would.
When my children ask for a few minutes of my time and attention, I will set aside whatever it is I’m doing (be it laundry, dinner, or writing) and sit down with them. I will refuse my natural instinct to say, “Just a minute.”
When I’m tempted to holler rather than discipline, I will instead make the choice to stand up, go to the source of the problem, and deliver firm and immediate consequences for wrong behaviour.
I’m tired of being a sideline parent! I’m tired of treating my kids as though they’re sideline kids! We’re in a battle for our families, and the victory is won on the frontlines!
Who’s with me? Are you ready to get up off the sidelines and step into the battle? Will you join me in becoming a true frontline parent?!
Tyler loves blogging, and writes openly about her struggles with anger in parenting, as well as a variety of other real-life topics for Christian women. She truly enjoys her roles at home and in the community, with the exception of her role as “housekeeper.” She spends every day flat-out conquered by the laundry pile! Check her out at Titus 2:3-5 (her blog), on Facebook, or on Twitter!