Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Being a Thermostat Mom

With the recent celebration of Mothers Day, it’s given me more time to ponder the role of mom.

I’ve had the privileged of being raised by a woman who loves God, prayed (still prays) for me, single-handedly took 3 active siblings on many, many adventures, put up with my teenage moods, doesn’t complain or whine, is loved by all who know her and who adores her grandchildren.  And a double blessing for me: my maternal grandmother was all things my mom is and more. 

Now I’m on the other side, having the joy of being a mom for 7 years.  Granted there were painful years of infertility that preceded the joy of children, but I’ll save that for another time, another place.  In all these 7 years, I find myself constantly learning, ever growing right along side of my boys.  Not sure that's a great thing for the boys, but they are troopers and I hope they won’t remember every single mistake I’ve made. I have to trust the grace of God to use the good and the bad to train them up in the way they should go.
You’ve heard the saying “if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”.  I’m realizing just how much truth there is in that humorous little quote.

I’ve been contemplating that while dads are thermometers, and quite essential to the well-rounded emotional health of a child, it’s the mom who is the thermostat in the family. My moods, my emotions, my energy determines the temperature of the rest of the family. If I’m tired and grumpy, my kids are grumpy. If I complain, my kids whine. If I’m critical, my kids follow suit…and usually in public. But when I laugh, when I play silly games, when I have tickle tournaments and pillow fights…the entire mood of my family is buoyed. 

When they leave my presence and head off to school each morning, I want their minds and hearts to be filled with positive words of affirmation. I want them to know that they are the most amazing boys, created by a God who knows every detail of their life and who loves them with an unconditional love. I want them to know that whether they have a green day…or a yellow…or a red day…that they live in a home with a mom who will always love them.

Back to the heading them off to school each morning…I’m realizing to do so takes effort and pre-planning on MY part. Sometimes I need to go to bed earlier the night before. Sometimes it may mean I need to stay up later and pack lunches after putting them to bed. But often it means, this non-morning-body may need self-discipline getting up earlier…early enough to get ready AND to have an unhurried quiet time prior to waking them.

Essentially, I’m acknowledging that much of their attitude for the day lies with me: the thermostat mom. 

There is only 1 week of school left: YAHOO!!! I love summer.

And so this summer, I resolve to take my responsibility of being the thermostat seriously. I’m going to explore life with them; I’m going to laugh often; I’m going to build forts and roast s’mores and splash in the river and throw water balloons. I’m going to pray early in the morning and breathe in the truth of scripture. I’m going to get myself into a routine so that by the time September rolls around I’ll be prepared and in the groove.

Beginning now, I’m setting the temperature for my family.