Motherhood: A simple way to love my toddler
Loving your toddler isn't made easy when he throws a tantrum for not being allowed to watch "car car" on the telly (or phone).
I am only a couple of years into motherhood so I can only imagine how difficult some situations will be in the future.
Instead of immediately getting fed up by his behavior, I thought it would be wise to seek resources on how to love him, regardless of his unwanted tantrums. I mean, loving my child is not something I only do when he's a sweet, bubbly guy.
So, my efforts of preparation started by searching for a Bible plan. I found one on the Youversion app that struck a chord with me.
The writers of this plan obviously have older kids but that doesn't mean I can't learn from them. As the title suggests, they have made the lessons in their plan so simple to understand and easy to apply that it makes me eager to use them when Judah is older.
There was one lesson in particular that I find worth sharing. In the plan, the writers mention the Stop-n-Hug.
Basically, it's stopping anything that you're doing to give a hug to your son/daughter (or hubby---why limit it to your kid(s), right?).
It communicates that nothing is more important than a short, physical interaction with your loved one, regardless of what you have going on. It says: you are more important than anything that I'm doing right now.
The love coming from that gesture is enormous, in my opinion.
I picture my heavenly Father doing the Stop-n-Hug.
As I am writing this blog, I just imagine His eyes falling on me and His hands reaching out to embrace me. Without Him saying a word, I know that I am loved and that I'm not alone.
That's what I want for Judah. And for my daughter who's going to arrive soon.
I want him to know that the world can spin however it wants but that my eyes will be on him.
I want him to know that when he's older that I still love him even though we don't always agree.
I want to express my love to him. Specifically to him---next to boasting about him to others.
It's another thing the Bible plan taught me. As a parent, you might be a pro in expressing your love for your child to others but forget to do so for your child.
They want to hear they are loved.
They want to feel they are loved.
They want to see they are loved.
They want to experience they are loved.
Naturally, we all speak a specific love language and I have yet to find out if the Stop-n-Hug method fits Judah's.
But based on his love for "mama cuddle" paired with slinging his arms around me, I figured it might be and I'm already practicing the method.
There are more ways to love my child. Right now, they might be focused on the primary needs like giving him healthy food, going outside often, and getting him to socialize.
But later on, when he's more independent, he might just long for the knowing and feeling of being loved. And I can start with implementing that from this moment on.
I can write him letters, telling him how much appreciate him. I'm a writer after all.
I can spend time with him, either on longer weekend trips or just doing some quick grocery shopping and asking him to tag along.
I can buy a gift that he's been wanting for a long time and let him enjoy it when he opens it.
Love can be simple and yet it's so challenging at times. Love isn't just about the other.
It's also about you and how you handle situations.
It sometimes lets the other person suffer only to let them come out as a better person.
Love is tough. It's gentle, it's kind, it's more patient than you can imagine---so yes, also during those tantrums, there's love I can tap into.
Note to me:
As a mother, I will fail at times, but love never fails - 1 Corinthians 14:4-8