My child exposed my heart 

It is amazing when the bible says that children are a gift from God. They truly are and they are a gift to help us parents become better persons.

Lately, I am losing the battle with my temper. I thought I am pretty patient but my buttons do get pressed when my son over reacts by whining and having meltdowns. When trying to talk it out why he cries, he would prefer to scream with wild tears on his eyes… I start feeling upset. Then when he does not obey or tries to fight his baby sister, I burst from the inside.

  
When I burst, I don’t like the image of myself. My husband also pointed out that my helpers are watching how I treat Joshua and giving them the license to follow my style. Ugh… How I hate how I have not controlled myself. 

So now, I’m writing my prayer because I am so discouraged. I need God to work on me from the inside out.

Lord Jesus. I need you.

I need you to help me raise the children you have bestowed to our care. Give me patience to train my babies. 

When they whine, and uncontrollably cry because they can’t get what they want… Give me a calm spirit. 

Give me wisdom to just ignore the cries and encourage them to talk. 

Give me strength to discipline them when they disobey and disrespect me or others. 

Help me Lord to do it with grace. 

Keep my tongue from sending out hurtful words that might curse them.  

Keep me Lord from blanking out when I see something displeasing. 

Help me hold myself from screaming or reacting in anger. Help me react in grace rather than aggression. Lord, I confess this is so hard for me… 

But by your grace and the Holy Spirit you can make me a good mother to my children.

Lord, you give me hope because you are not done with me yet, and you promised to complete me in Christ Jesus. 

Please protect my children from my weakness in parenting. 

I have faith that you have good plans for them. Lord Jesus, please help me live a life that will bring them closer to you, not farther. Amen.

My children have exposed an area in my life that I need to surrender yet to God. I need God to help me control my anger and my pride.  I confess this sin and surrender it to Jesus. 

  
I know there are mothers like me who need this time out and restoration from God. The only thing holding me now is the truth that God draw nears to us when we draw near to him in a broken spirit and contrite heart. He will refresh us when we humbly ask and He will enable us to do what is right.

I also trust that God loves my children more than I can and could. So in total surrender I rest my soul to the hands of our Creator. I know with courage, God will enable me to start over with the right attitude and a renewed heart when a similar situation passes.

Age of Discipline

This topic could be very trivial to some moms. I know some parents do not believe in physical discipline. But after attending parenting seminars, I am convinced that discipline help train up a child.

When my son started showing tantrums, I had to assess if I should start giving him the spank or not. Many times when he was 11 to 12 months I would tell him “no” to certain things (such as not placing his hand on the electric fan). I had to make him understand that there could be situations that he could get hurt. But his explorative stage made it a little confusing. So, I had to stand firm when I say “no” and remained consistent with it. It was repeated to him over and over, so he began to understand.

Joshua had limited words as a one year old. I feel that he would get frustrated because I don’t understand what he is expressing to me and he would have some angry fits. Initially, I did not know what to do when my little boy would get angry. I would try to calmly talk to him, but that did not work. Soon, his anger would now include him throwing things on the floor or at me. I would talk to him in my angry voice and say “no! Stop throwing”. Oh that worked for maybe 6 times only. Soon, it did not bother him that I raised my voice. He would throw things on the floor, and look at me. I would say “no!” again. He would get another book or toy and throw it and look at me with his little angry eyes. You may think I am exaggerating. I am not. I could not believe that my little angel would have that kind of angry fit at that age. After letting it go for about 1 week, I decided not to delay discipline any longer. If I do not bring this to Joshua’s attention, he will try to overpower me with his tantrums.
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So, I learned from parenting class that discipline should be for 2 reasons only. It is for DISOBEDIENCE and DISRESPECT. With Joshua, it was his disobedience on my instructions of not throwing things when he was told. That first time I spanked him it was a epic failure. He got his tantrum because he did not get the toy he wanted to play with. He was angry and started throwing things even when I told him not to. Then I decided to call him and told him, “Come here, I am going to spank you.” I then panicked because I had no object to spank him with. I have no heart to use my hands. I learned that our hands are used for loving and embraces so I needed another object to spank/discipline him with. Guess what I found?… a Lei with a button pin that says “Philippine Councilors League”. (Yes you can laugh at me now!) I made my little Josh bend over and I took a swing with that lei on his butt. However, I forgot he had diapers on. So it hit only his diapers! Talk about a capital “F” for failure! Hahahaha!!

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My spanking object

So, the very next day, another incident made my son start throwing things in his anger. After I warned him and said “no”, he again continued to throw things at me. This time, I told him, ” Come here, I am going to spank you”. I had the lei with the button pin ready and put down his diaper and gave that swing on his buttocks. Joshua cried and looked at me, and ran towards me in tears. I hugged him and I kissed him, and I told him “Joshua mommy loves you, so please no more throwing. If you continue to throw, I will spank.”

Joshua learned after 2 more spanks that I was serious about the no throwing of things when he was upset. Don’t get me wrong, I allow my son to feel angry or frustrated. I am just not allowing him to throw things at me when he is upset. After teaching him that, I only have to say, “Mommy will spank”. He automatically changes his mind about throwing that toy or book. I also can just pull out that Lei and ask him, “you want spank?”. Then, he would walk away from that item he intended to throw at me.

I had to also ask my other mommy blogger friends how old they started disciplining their kids. The result of the survey is as early as one year old! Even one year olds, can challenge their parents on how far they can get their way. If discipline is not applied, we would be raising spoiled and whiny kids. We had a great discussion on the reasons and styles of discipline. I honestly felt like I had a support group that agreed with this method.

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SoX Women & Mommy Bloggers

Just last night, Joshua was whining and he was again tempted to throw his book at me. I whispered in his ear, “Please do not throw. If you throw, mommy will spank”. He became quiet, looked at me, and with laughter he turns to embrace me. My 1 year and 4 months old understands discipline! Here are some encouraging verses from the bible about discipline.

Proverbs 13:24 (CEB)
Those who withhold the rod hate their children, but the one who loves them applies discipline.

Hebrews 12:11 (CEB)
No discipline is fun while it lasts, but it seems painful at the time. Later, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness for those who have been trained by it.

Momzilla attack

For about weeks, my schedule has been so hectic… From Elections, traveling to Manila for work,attending Nick Vujicic’s event, Sarbay Fest, and the other activities that come in between. I really sometimes don’t know how I do it… When I tell other people, it seems like they feel stressed for me.

Rest is so important for a nursing mom. When this is violated, certain personality changes happens. I must admit I do feel embarrassed to share this story. Well, this will be an example of what not to follow…

It was the last few days of elections, we had family and friends over. They were so kind to not bother me so much, but I cant help myself, because I want to entertain. During the day, I would nurse and work (so I dont get to nap). At night, when Joshua is asleep, I try to make myself available for my husband too. I make time for us to catch up because he would come home late from campaign. Then, my son’s schedule. I have to make myself available for him because he is still asking for milk around 3 am and wakes up at 5 am everyday.

The evening before election, my son woke up wide awake at around 1:30 AM. It was my time to catch sleep because I was still up around that time. Everytime I would put him to sleep, he would cry. When I lift him up, he would smile and hint he would want to play. Usually this did not bother me. But that evening, I was tired. I wanted my sleep. My son wanted to play. I kept telling Joshua, “Josh, mommy is tired, please go back to sleep.” The response I get is his playful smile. He would try to talk too by cooing and he would smile. But mommy, was not happy. I felt physically too tired to play. So I tried to rock him back to sleep. My son would complain and cry because he was unhappy to go back to sleep. Grrrr….!!!!

Suddenly, I felt upset with the situation. So I sat my little boy by his toys and I told him, “Since you don’t want to sleep, you and I are going to stay up till 5 AM. Do you understand me?” I suddenly lost it. My mind just snapped and I turned into the “mother-no-child-would-wish”. I was upset that I took out my anger on the toys and with all of what is left of my strength I took the Dinosaur toy and played all the music and shook the toy up and down, side-to-side hoping this would make Joshua dizzy. At first he enjoyed it. I kept on saying, “we are not sleeping. We are not going to sleep”!” After playing for about 20 minutes, I saw Joshua wiping his eyes. I knew he started to feel sleepy. Instead of letting him sleep, my anger took over me. I brought him to the bathroom and let him play with his squeaky fish toys. I still kept chanting, “you are not sleeping until tomorrow!” For another 20 minutes Joshua obliged to play. After a while, he started to wipe his eyes and yawn. All the more, I chanted, ” you are not sleeping, do you understand?”… Like a crazy woman I brought him to his lighted drums and insisted he plays with it. The poor little boy again tried to play but this time he was moaning and started to cry because he was tired. But still I forced him to play.

I later started to feel guilty and caught myself. What on earth am I doing? Im making my son suffer because Im too tired to care for him and so I’ll make both of us miserable. Ohhh myyy…

I saw Joshua was really tired from my Momzilla episode, he actually fell asleep after a minute of nursing. He was that tired! As I was putting Joshua down in his crib, I started to pray. I asked forgiveness from God for my unbecoming behavior. I laid my hands on my son and asked God to protect my son from any consequence of my temper.

Im just so thankful God is full of mercy and grace, and they are new every morning! My son wakes up and looks at me with his big, loving eyes without a grudge.

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I never want to see Momzilla attack ever again. I have learned my lesson! I need to discipline myself to rest. This is a season in my life to slow down. I can catch up with the world later.

I shared this story with my other mommy friends and they cracked up laughing at how I lost it. Truly, its funny now… but what a sobering event for me. I pray God to help me be less childish and be a good mommy that Joshua can love and respect…