Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mothering From My Knees

I totally impressed myself this morning.

Katie was pleased, too.

I went in to Fitness Together for my workout and did more than I ever have before. Katie's goal for me has been to do three pull-ups. (Not so hard, you think? YOU try it!) Previously I have managed to do two, maybe two and a half. Once Katie gave me credit for two and three-quarters.
But today?
I did a-l-m-o-s-t four!!!
Then we went into squats. Katie said, "Last time you did these, you did it with 115 pounds. And you did three sets of 12." (Katie knows I have a bit of a competitive spirit. She just has to tell me what I did last time, or what someone else can do, to motivate me to try harder.) "Today, you're going to do it with 120 pounds."
I did.

And then there were the upright rows. Katie was counting my reps and wanted me to go to 15. But when I was at 14 she asked, "Can you do 20?" I said, "I don't know. Maybe."
I did.

I got lots of high-fives from Katie this morning. It felt good to work hard and make progress. I know I am getting stronger.

Even so, I am fully aware that no matter how many pull-ups I do, no matter how much weight I can carry when I do squats, and regardless of how many reps I do on my upright rows, I am a complete weakling when it comes to mothering.
Even if someone says to me, "Mrs. Jones kept her cool yesterday when Bobby was throwing a fit. She sent him to his room for a time out and baked a pie while he sat there thinking about his behavior," I cannot rise to the occasion and do "better." Competitive spirit, or not.

I have realized, the only way I am going to survive motherhood - the only way my children are going to survive childhood - is if I am mothering from my knees.

Two nights ago Matthew was very upset with me. He was mad that I wouldn't let him have "more" ice cream. I'll skip the gory details. But he ended up in his room banging on the walls and his toy box. I had sent him there because of the words he was using with me, and then found myself going in to talk to him more.
Really, all I wanted to do was tell him that if he truly felt the need to bang on things, it would be much better for him to hit his pillow. No chance there of breaking anything or hurting himself. But that sent him off on another tirade and I just was not up for listening to it.
So I went to my own room.

And I dropped to my knees.

And I begged God to help me through this thing called motherhood.
I prayed for Matthew, and I prayed for me.

And I cried a few tears.

Later on in the evening Matthew came to me and apologized for the way he had been behaving, and I thanked God for working in his little heart.

When bedtime came, I told Matthew I was so glad that he had thought about his behavior and apologized to me. I reminded him that I love him, and even when I am irritated by his behavior my love for him doesn't stop. He smiled at that thought and then wanted to know if I was sorry for dumping his ice cream. (Part of the gory details I skipped. But I did it thoughtfully and calmly. And believe me - it was an appropriate response to his behavior!)
I just looked at him and said, "No, honey. I'm not. Remember what we're learning? Bad decisions result in bad consequences. And losing your ice cream was the bad consequence of your bad decisions to yell at me."

I really think he "got it."
And I am so thankful for the strength God is giving me while I am mothering from my knees.

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Mrs. Sidney said...

:) I love this.. parenting from your knees.

luvmy4sons said...

First off.. that is amazing you can do that many pull ups. I do push up every day and can only do one! It is very hard. We have a pull up bar between the kitchen and school room. My boys do SO many of them. My 17 year old does like 30! AND secondly...I so often wish I had just stopped and dropped to my knees. There have been many times I have while schooling my two with learning disabilities because I am so beside myself with no idea how to proceed and feeling so overwhelmed and helpless and despondent and clueless. You know sometimes after that things got worse before they got better...but they always ended up far better than when I fought the battle in the flesh. We wrestle not against flesh and blood! Amen? Amen. Hugs to you..and yeah..a female canine's a great thing! Just don't let your kids read my blog! LOL!

Amanda said...

Amen Jesus!! I often have to sit with a screaming child in my arms or lap and beg the Lord for guidance and mercy. I just don't know sometimes, and thankfully, He does.

GREAT post Karen!! Very fitting for me as always!!

God bless-

Becoming Me said...

THis post really got me. Thank you

momteacherfriend said...

I for one am harassed by my 7 year old son for not being able to do a pull-up, who can do many in many different hand holds. So I should be working out harder and finding away to improve that.
And I agree mothering from our knees is the place to be. Not always the most comfortable though.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Well, congrats on your progress in the gym...fantastic!

And I have to get this "parenting from my knees" thing deep in my heart. Encouraging as always!

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

FOUR?! I am duly impressed!! Thanks for the encouraging certainly does take going to the knees. I know for me, there is no other way I (or my kids) would survive.

momteacherfriend said...

Thanks Karen! I will seek you out on Sunday to borrow the book.

Iris said...

After 17 years of mothering, several of them difficult, I am learning that the only way to mother is on our knees. Your post today was so timely and I needed it. God is faithful.

screamofcontinuousness said...

good for you! on all counts.

I don't even think I can do one pull up anymore. really.

Teresa said...

I am beyond impressed with the pull-ups!!! Way to go!!!
And thank you for sharing your victories and stuggles with this thing called motherhood...

I love it...
parenting from your knees...believe I'll join you...
then maybe we can help each other up because I'll be down here a long time..(my youngest is 7 and I'm not a young chick!!LOL)

Dakota's Mom said...

Thanks for the reminder that's o so timely to so many. Dakota is smack in the middle of terrible twos. I think we're going to be singing Jesus Loves Me again!

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Mothering from my knees is something I need to do much, much more. Thanks for the encouragement my friend that even after an upheavel, especially after an upheavel is the best time to pray. It's easy early in the morning when all is calm and my little spitfire is in bed sleeping like a sweet little child. It's in those heated times where I'm ready to boil over... take it to the Lord in prayer.

Staceystace said...

I can do zero pull-ups. I can barely do the monkey bars at the park. I am way impressed.

Praise God that Matthew "got it"!! Is that not the greatest high of parenting... and of course, it only comes when you are crumpled up sobbing on the floor, thinking they will NEVER get it. Then they shock you. At least that is the way it happens around here. =)