As a mother, I strive to teach my son the importance of mindful living. Show kindness, do not talk back, put things where they belong and for the love of God do NOT make a scene in public (something that I am positive NO OTHER nearly 4 year old child would ever do). He is aware of his choices and he will be rewarded for his good choices and reprimanded for negative ones. Because of this my expectations of him are high. This is a common goal shared by parents everywhere. However, how often do we practice this example?
Now, I will start by saying this is in no way an attack on anyone’s parenting or character, I am simply sharing my epiphany of the day about myself and that is this; I need to choose better. How often do we expect others, whether it be our children, spouses, even our friends to respond to situations in better ways than we do? We love others so we want them to eat better, watch their tempers, take care of themselves, while we ignore our own flaws. Sometimes we don’t even realize some of our toxic character traits that are obvious to other people. It was brought to my attention today, that mine, is my mouth. Your girl here has a tendency to just TALK, this causes drama, and hurt. When I was in elementary school there was a sign that said “Before you speak: THINK; Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Inspiring? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?” Wow. Adult Toni needed that more then little Toni. This means there is a lot of power in what we say. We have the ability to make someones day or ruin it.
The magic of time management is something that I have always marveled at. Some people seem to do so much and never burn out. When I ask them how they manage to juggle it all, the answer is typically “prioritizing”. This means allowing the laundry or dishes to wait until maybe after bedtime in order to spend time playing and investing in our little ones bursting imaginations. I can not express how often my boy has asked to do a puzzle together and was simply “too busy”. I was never going to be that mom, but here I am, shamefully admitting my faults. The thing is, chores will still be there, errands to run, bills to be paid. If you are like be and being a mom, employee and student, there is the never ending stacks of homework and reading and that will never change, meanwhile our babies will continue growing. So, personally I will choose to manage my time better and not let my sons childhood pass me by.
I have to start asking myself daily what example I need to be. My son is watching me, other Christians are watching me, friends, even strangers. In today’s society there are always eyes on you whether its in public or simply social media. Each and every individual has an impact to make in this world. From here on out, I will humbly remind myself of that fact. Every action I make has rewards or repercussions. Am I being an example of what my son should look for one day in a partner? Would my Family or my God be proud of the words I spoke or the actions I made? Am I raising those around me up in a positive way? All around, am I being the woman, mother, friend, daughter, or colleague that I know I should be? If not, I will mindfully choose better.