There is no other role like that of being a mother. What an honor and privilege it is to mold the life of a child. There are a lot of powerful things we can do as women, but no accomplishment, position, friendship, or success could ever hold a candle to the power of the influence we have over our kids (whether we gave birth to them or not).
I’m in the transitional years of motherhood, with one child on his own, one child still home and a middle child half-way there as a college student. He just returned home for the summer, which has me keenly aware of the fine line that we must walk between nurturing and nagging.
When our kids are little, the things we did for them were nurturing, but as they grow independent, those same acts of love–like making their meals, washing their clothes, tucking them in–could be considered threats. Their growing independence doesn’t want to be told what to do anymore and if we are not careful to respect that, we can easily lead them into rebellion. I know; I did that with my first child. I did not recognize when my role was changing. As he was “testing his oats” I was taking responsibilty for his choices. Instead of allowing experience to help me guide him as a young adult, I allowed fear of failure to send me into panic when he made poor choices. In fact, because his choices were so drasticly dangerous, I went into a bit of a crisis as a mom and as a woman. Honestly, I was the one who needed to grow up.
Every mom has her strengths and any strength out of proportion becomes a weaknesses. Recognizing the power of our influence over our children is key to becoming a confident mother who can truly nurture her child throughout each stage of their lives. If we lack confidence, we are more likely to try to force on our children what we see is best for them.
The strengths you have to offer your children is a big indicator of your Img.ID: C: wisdom, independence, education (The Classic) N: Support, acceptance, encouragement (The Natural) D: Inspiration, motivation, discipline (The Dramatic) I: Encouragement, compassion, inspiration (The Ingénue) R: Love, comfort, cookies (The Romantic) G: Protection, provision, motivation (The Gamine) Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.
The difference between nurturing and nagging is confidence.
This morning as I was making my college kid’s lunch, I found myself walking that fine line. I’m concerned about his health and want to “nurture” him while he’s here, but I know that my suggestions can become “nagging” and he won’t hear a word I say. He survived nine months of school without me constantly suggesting he make “good choices” and “eat healthy” yet I still felt compelled to nag him, “take your lunch, honey…” I know, now, however, that my loving concern for his diet, would only be rejected by his frustration at my apparent lack of confidence in him.
The truth is, the place I really lacked confidence in, was in myself.
I’ve lost a child; the fear of losing another can make me very insecure. I’ve been ensnared with the devastation, disfunction and fears of having one child choose drugs; the desire to control all them has made me obsessed. It’s hard to have confidence when things have gone so drastically wrong; but it’s even harder to strive for confidence.
Confidence is a choice.
I almost didn’t make that lunch this morning, because I still fear rejection, but I made it anyway but I left it on the counter and let him know it was there if he wanted a home cooked meal. I think I found the fine line because I have a peace that isn’t concerned with what he decides. My confidence is not in him or in my parenting style. It is in the fact that God has carried my family through extreme difficulties and He will take care of us no matter what else comes our way. Maybe I have finally grown up.
No matter how old our kids get, they still need love and nurturing, but we must respect that they receive it differently. This Mother’s Day let’s be confident in the influence we have over our children , being careful to use our strengths as an encouragement not a frustration. If your child is in a rebellious season, I encourage you to remain confident that you have taught them well and that God will complete the work He has begun in them. He is able to make even the ugliest of circumstances beautiful. May you, too, find the joy and peace of letting go.
For the Lord will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught. –Proverbs 3:26 NKJV
As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference in the lives of women and girls all over! To be part of this movement, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.