Today, I am going to share what intentional choices I have made to raise happy babies! Join me in this process of learning how to teach your baby joy!
I know every parent says this…but OUR babies are the most beautiful, sweet, happy babies in the WHOLE WORLD!! Josh and I are so proud of them!
BUT…we are also filled with such a realization of the responsibilities that rests on OUR shoulders.
One of the first things a parent looks for from their new baby is a smile! Even those first couple smiles (that all the studies agree are just gas) warm the heart of ANY parent!
But, as I began taking our oldest, Heidi, to nursery on Sunday mornings, as a baby, and passed the older classes, I began to wonder…what happens?? They start off sooo sweet and happy, naturally smiling at anything funny or ridiculous, but somewhere along the line, they develop attitudes and get really good at throwing fits.
We understand that there will always be some moods that come and go, but Josh and I began brainstorming about what could be done NOW to help determine our child’s more permanent attitude in a few short years…
The Little Sponge
As soon as Heidi was beginning to look around and be aware of her surroundings, I began to realize that she was picking up everything she did by seeing someone else do it. And the person she sees for the majority of the day is ME!
For example, at a few months old, Heidi learned to blow raspberries and sing at the top of her lungs. Why? Because she watches her mommy all day.
I began asking myself, what else could she be learning by watching me? Could she learn to have a frowny face on tough days? Get frustrated and complain when things don’t go her way? Be less then grateful for what God has given us?
My desire is that my children, my little sponges, will soak up God’s joy by watching Mommy! That right now they will see and copy a smile…later on, they will know what eternal joy causes that smile!
From the heart
There are moments when I do NOT feel like smiling. Do you ever have those days? But when I realize that my children are looking at me, I need to CHOOSE to put a smile on my face.
But there will come a day when that isn’t enough. And I have a gut feeling that day will be here before I know it! As my children get older, understand more words and become more discerning of my facial expressions; they will know if I am painting on a fake smile or if I am experiencing true joy.
The Bible says in Philippians 4:4 that we are to “rejoice in the Lord always.” Sounds so simple but in day to day life it is TOUGH!
Think about the word “always” for a moment.
When the little one throws food in your face – REJOICE!
If your good sleeper suddenly wakes up five times a night – REJOICE!
In those tough financial moments – REJOICE!
When you thought you had your cleaning perfectly planned out but the house still became a mess – REJOICE!
There is only one way that command from the Lord is even remotely possible…with His CONSTANT help. Taking captive my thoughts has been a habit my parents have taught me my entire life, but the need for it has become real on an entirely different level since becoming a mom myself. Check out this post to see what I’m talking about.
The most important thing is for my children to learn where my joy comes from and that we serve a forgiving God that is there even when we fail. He will love us through every mistake and continue to give us the strength to grow.
For Our Children – No Excuses
During this time, when our kids are so young, temptations to just think about their comprehension level and not think about what habits are being formed can easily pop up.
Having joy is a habit, a choice, and a life lesson that will only be truly effective when CAUGHT by kids (it is not as effective if only TAUGHT to them).
So I am challenging myself, even today, to:
TAKE CAPTIVE my thoughts with the joy of the Lord EVERY moment of my day!
NEVER give an excuse for why Mommy isn’t happy!
COMMIT to remember that I serve a faithful and loving God that has blessed me in so many ways!
STRIVE to memorize His Word and to share it with my children!
Mothers and sisters in Christ, we have NO excuse for not being joyful. Any trials we face during the day pale in comparison to what Jesus suffered for us. Our biggest responsibility as mothers is to show our children that there is no better or happier life then serving Christ!
Thank you for listening to my heart!
I would love to hear your thoughts!