I’m a lazy mama.
Now in my defense, I had just given birth to another sweet little baby a few weeks earlier (she’s our seventh!). I deserved that nap.
But that’s not the kind of lazy I’m talking about.
I don’t sit around watching TV during the day eating Doritos. I don’t sleep in till 10:00 every morning while my kids watch cartoons. And I definitely don’t eat bon-bons while my maid does every bit of housework for me.
Think of a different form of lazy. It’s important because you may quite possibly be a lazy mama too.
A lazy mama takes the easy way out when it comes to training her children.
A lazy mama says, “Oh, he’s just going through a stage – he’s usually such a sweet boy.” But a purposeful mama says, “This behavior may be temporary, but regardless, I need to train him to do what’s right.” Because a purposeful mama knows a slightly naughty stage in a little child turns into a really big, nasty, rebellious stage in an older child.
“She’s just tired today,” sighs the lazy mama when her child throws a tantrum. But a purposeful mama knows that her little one needs to learn to have a pleasant smile and spirit even when she doesn’t feel her best. Then she makes a point of giving her child a nap on a regular basis and never giving into foolishness.
“Stop fighting!” the lazy mama yells. But a purposeful mama takes the time to talk with her children about who was at fault and to gently train them that selfishness is at the root of nearly all fighting and bickering.
The lazy mama makes excuses for her child (commonly known as a “brat” by others). She may say, “He’s so strong-willed!” But when the purposeful mama realizes that the Lord has given her a particularly stubborn child, she determines to work even harder at training him to obey. And she frequently prays that her hard-headed child will get his will under the control of the Holy Spirit.
The lazy mama gives her children many chances to do what she says. “Maybe he didn’t hear me the first time; maybe he didn’t understand my command.” Yet the purposeful mama knows when the child is taught first-time obedience, everyone benefits.
I can be such a lazy mama. It’s so much easier to ignore character issues in my children’s lives — hoping they’ll improve, hoping they’ll grow out of that stage, hoping I can just get my own things done while their foolish behavior corrects itself.
But it doesn’t work. In fact, the lazier I am, the worse things get around the house. Children fight more, they have worse attitudes, I punish out of frustration and exasperation, and their hearts are turned farther from being sensitive to the Word and to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
When I am purposeful in my training, children obey cheerfully, they show love to their parents and to each other, and the parents can lovingly discipline in a manner that is pleasing to Christ.
Don’t be a lazy mama – be a purposeful mama. Your family will thank you for it.
“Oh, that my ways may be established to keep Thy commands, then I will not be ashamed when I look upon all Thy laws.” Psalm 119:5,6
Tell me today – do you find yourself falling into the trap of being a lazy mama?
Guest posted by…
Gwen Toliver fills her days with seven beautiful children (ages 1-13) and one wonderful husband. The Toliver family spends many days on the road for their ministry with Wycliffe Associates – sharing with others the work of Bible translation. Gwen finds that traveling with nine in a van is the best way to accumulate great material for her blog – Tolivers To Texas – and to appreciate the flexibility of homeschooling.
This is a wonderful post! I think we can all fall into cyclical patterns that go from vigilant to lazy!
Congratulations on your new little baby!
When I first saw this post in my reader, I thought it was Heather that had given birth a few weeks ago and that somehow I missed it!
Debbie S. says
This is a great reminder to be diligent in our parenting. And, YES, I am a lazy mama at times.
This post is very timely, as I've seen some "not so pleasant" attitude coming out of my 11 year old lately.
Thanks for the boost!!
What truth this is. Thanks for speaking it, Gwen!
Awesome post! I find myself falling in to this trap when I don't make my homelife a priority – especially now during soccor season. Or if I haven't taken care of myself and I'm too tired, I let things fall through the cracks. I call it baby boot camp, Charlotte Mason calls it Habit Training, but whatever you call it, it is the most important thing you can do for your children
Gwen Toliver says
@ westoftexas – great reminder – Charlotte Mason's instruction on habit training is so vital whether we're young or old!
i can definitely be a lazy momma! and then i totally lose control and get to the end of my rope. that's when i realize that it's my fault for not being diligent. i am humbled and convicted! especially when i see myself (the not so good side of me) in my children. oi.
What a great post. Thanks Gwen.