I like to think of myself as a pretty good, laid-back mother. But the reality is that I'm strict, unreasonable, and just awful sometimes, especially when I'm stressed out.
How would I react if my nieces and nephews' babysitter or teacher acted the way I do? Ouch. That's a painful thing to think about.
I would want these precious children's caregiver to be more gentle, more patient, more kind, more fun, more relaxed, more loving.
My kids deserve a better mother. This is how I'm going to make that happen...
1. Make personal morning and evening scripture study and prayer a priority.
2. Whenever I am stressed or worried about something, turn to my Heavenly Father in prayer first.
3. More diligently study and apply the 12 Steps. This includes getting back into my nightly Step 10 journal.
4. Get more sleep. Go to bed earlier.
5. Print out this blog and post it several places so I can read it over and over again.
Notice how none of my list says anything about doing more crafts with the kids or baking more cookies or anything like that? Those superficial things aren't going to make me a better mother.
Boyd K. Packer, an apostle of the Lord, said, “The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." Also, the Lord says in Ether 12:27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
To be a better mother, and really a better person, I need a fundamental change of heart. I'm stuck in a pattern of bad attitude and bad behavior (much like an addiction.) I need to turn to my Heavenly Father and ask for His grace. Through the Atonement of His son, I can become closer to Him.
And the closer I become to Him, the more gentle, patient, kind, fun, relaxed, and loving I will be. I won't change overnight, but I know that I can get better with my Heavenly Father's help and guidance.