President Hinckley said, “Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these little ones. Now, love them, take care of them. ...nurture and love them with all of your hearts”
I am constantly around children. Whether it's at home with my own or at work. I care for my own children and I care for other's children. However, these children aren't really ours. These children are Heavenly Fathers. My example not only affects the lives of my own children, but it affects, greatly, the lives of hundreds of children. whoa. I do sometimes wish I was a stay-at-home mom, sometimes I really wish I was a stay-at-home mom. There is so much emphasis on women staying home with their children, in the church, and maybe that's why; because I know what an impactful influence that can have. However, what a huge blessing and privileged I have in loving and nurturing and teaching so many other children of Heavenly Father's. I am humbled that He has trusted me, and has this much faith in me to give these children the love and guidance they so need in their lives, because their parents have to work as well, and I have been given the gift of nurturing those kids as well.
Spencer W. Kimball said, "Most parents protect their children with shelter—they tend and care for their diseases, provide clothes for their safety and their comfort, and supply food for their health and growth. But what do they do for their souls?"
Often times, for me, whether it's at work or home, things can get a little chaotic. Buttons can be pushed, patience tested, tears, "thinking times", messes, dicipline etc...it's not all sunshine and daisies 100% of the time. It wasn't meant to be. Some days all you feel like you can do is the basics, make sure the kids are fed, clean and feel safe and loved. This has nothing to do with the children, and everything to do with us as the parents.
Patricia P. Pinegar said, "Do I leave my children exposed to danger when my example is not the same as my words or when I don’t share my love in such a way that each child feels it deeply?"
The children are most likely acting out, because they sense frustration on our parts. They often have a tendancy to disobey when they don't have enough choices and/or freedom. Let them paint and get it all over themselves. This can cause a lot of "no's and oh please don't spill......that!" But again, our frustration isn't with the child. Our frustration is all us. Who cares if they get paint on themselves? Strip them down or put a smock over them while they paint, make sure their painting on a surface that can be easily cleaned up, and let them go to town. When your two year old tries to get a box of rice crispy ceral out of the pantry and it falls on the floor only to leave a kitchen floor covered in rice, what do we do? Well we could switch our calm tone of voice into an annoyed one and say, "ugh. Why did you do that?" Which, in turn, makes the child sad, when in reality he or she was probably so excited that they were helping mom out by getting down the cereal all by themselves. We are the ones who chooses how we react to situations. We could just as easily smile and say, "Oh thanks for helping mom get out the cereal, but uh oh it kind of spilled a little bit, huh?" Why don't I help you clean this up, and then you can help me pour you a bowl, ok?" So just with that little situation, depending on how we control ourselves will make or break the rest of our day and our child's day.
President Hinckley said: “Of all the joys of life, none other equals that of happy parenthood. Of all the responsibilities with which we struggle, none other is so serious. To rear children in an atmosphere of love, security, and faith is the most rewarding of all challenges. The good result from such efforts becomes life’s most satisfying compensation”
Again, I feel so honored to have the responsibility in nurturing so many of His children. I've started to realize something significant that has helped me so much. I believe Heavenly Father has guided my life. His hand has very much been in it. I may often feel like I want to be a stay-at-home mom, but Heavenly Father needs me elsewhere, too. He may have seen that if I had the oppurtunity to stay home then I would probably take it. So He saw fit to place me in a situation where I need to work; because He needs me to help Him. He needs me to nurture more than just the children he has given to me and Aaron. He has so many other children that need my example and love. I need their examples in my life to help me become the person I need to become in order to become more like Him.
I am around so many children every day; whether their my own or the children of other's. Often times it can be a lot, and when I look at it through this perspective can be overwhelming. We all have our own talents and gifts. I would say we all have our limits as well, but I don't like to look at it that way anymore. I believe with the help of our Heavenly Father much is possible. We can handle a lot more situations with His help, and with our Savior's example. I've learned, especially lately in my job, I have a very high tolerance for a lot of things involving children. I worry about stepping on toes a lot of the time, but I am who I am. I am a huge advocate of the development of children socially, emotionally, and creativity. Their feelings towards me, their friends and themselves are huge for me. I can't worry if I'm doing things right. My job, whether with my own kids or the kids of others is to make sure they feel good about themselves and know that they are loved while staying safe.