As a mother of four kids in four and a half years I know what it is to be overwhelmed. By devoting your time and energies to your kids other things fall to the way-side. ("Other things" being pretty much everything).
No one knows how truly tough mothering can be until they become one. It's so tough that those of us blessed with the reward of children
are left wondering at times why we've dreamed of being a mother our whole lives! It truly can be that
Couple non-stop child-bearing, pregnancies and the raising of infants, toddlers and preschoolers, all at once, with a non-supportive spouse, a spouse with medical issues, a spouse whose job takes him away more than he's present and/or the inability of having trusted relatives providing extra-helping hands and it's no wonder that you've barely been able to keep your head above water!
The last thing we need than is to feel degraded. To have someone visit our home and to make the not-so-subtle comment of, "I had a friend, who had five children, and even in a brand new
house it was never clean." With a slow shake of their head as if to say, "What a shame," while looking about at the mess of your home.
To have comments offered up of cleanliness, or the lack thereof, or to have people remind you that if children, in general, (not talking only
kids of course), spoke to their parents in the way kids speak today... Well, let's just say it wouldn't have happened. Rather than offering up comments that make a mama feel less than perfect - (as if we don't judge our own selves harshly enough)! - it would be so much more beneficial to pitch in with love!
What does a mama drowning in housework and children need more than anything? The answer surely isn't judgement, it's help! Help, not found in subtle words of ridicule but help, from another's heart of love, that comes forward offering a solution. Not a solution merely spoken either but one set forth in motion. After all:
To those who look about a messy home and ruefully shake your heads, surprise a mama with cleaning services, paid in full, (for a year's worth of cleaning), as a gift wrapped up with a bow, card and all! Without judgement explain you can either imagine (or know) how hard and taxing life can be and so you wanted to encourage by showing support through help. A gift, you, yourself would have loved to have had at different times in your own life.
For those that look at a child's behavior as woefully dysfunctional. Don't stare with mouth agape; instead, choose to love that child fiercely. Children acting out are a product of their environment but are also desperately seeking attention. A child would of course prefer attention that's complimentary, patient, kind and good; however, ultimately, they'll be satisfied with negativity if it means someone spent time focused on them and them alone. (Take it a step further and love their parent's fiercely too)!
The answer of how to improve a situation, from the outside looking in, is never degradation. Instead, the answer is always a simple one, and it's one word: Love.
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