I love the idea of children, the joy they radiate and the feelings of motherliness I get when I tend to them.
But I struggle with the real deal, the in-your-face with peanut butter and jelly stains, rambunctious and sometimes naughty reality of children.
p.s. I’m laughing as I write this article. Just so you know, I don’t hate children (at all). But I am terribly, awfully, painfully awkward around them … let’s proceed with examples.
Growing up, my sister and I babysat as a team. Allie was the fun, game playing, diaper changing, order-keeping sister. And while she kept the children at bay I enjoyed cleaning the house. Having inherited my dad’s fear of holding small, plushy babies I didn’t learn how to properly change a diaper until I was nineteen and hired at a daycare. (Can you imagined my boss’ thoughts when she learned her employee didn’t even know how to change a diaper!? HA!) At twenty-five I battle being irritated with the quirks of students.
Some women seem to love everything about children … I get cranky after one hour of babysitting.
My mom encourages me that it will be different when I have my own children. And while I am grateful for the encouragement I can’t but wonder what I can do to change. How can I learn to thoroughly enjoy children, to discover the joy in the mess? How do I change a twenty-five year old habit when I’m serious minded and more prone to adult conversation than play?
Prayer and time.
I’m convinced that these alone will change my attitude. I don’t want to just be tolerant — I want to accept unreservedly.
Coming up, I will share how God has been changing my heart toward children. I’ll also write a little something on the patience in waiting for a child. Both are relevant to my life today.
Question: Do you relate well with children? If not, how have you learned to overcome? I’d love to learn from you — and laugh with you too!