Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fearfully Smothering Mothering Boys

My mother tells how when she was growing up, her family lived around the block from each other. Her grandparents, and an uncle and aunt lived so close that she could run to see them whenever she liked. When my children were little, I liked that picture. It is how I would like it when my children are married. Having my children and grandchildren close would be so ideal!!

On the other hand, although I would love at least some of my children to live close, I would like to see them serving the Lord. That would not keep them close. I have the privilege of raising these children that the Lord has given me, but it is only for a season of my life. Although this has been something that was inconceivable until only a few months ago, I am seeing how I need to look at this in light of eternity rather than the temporal. 

For some reason, boys today (I know of many young men of years gone by who wrote to their mothers faithfully) leave home and do not write to their mothers often. When my husband was in boarding school growing up, he had to write home each Sunday. Once we were married, he never wrote to his widowed mother who was a missionary overseas. I did because he didn't. I haven't figured out why but I have figured out in the past six month that this happens, often. 

Things are complicated today with social media and texting, tweeting, messaging, and whatever kids do on their phones. Today at church, six boys sat in a row (after church) on their phones, with each other, but not. I don't know why they can't just put their phones in their pockets while they are with each other. I don't know why parents let kids this young have phones. I just don't know. They communicate but not with the writing skills that boys used in writing letters back a hundred years ago.

How do we handle this as momma's?? 

I don't even pretend to know all the answers. I don't have little ones any longer but instead have boys between the ages of 17 and 29. My heart aches inside sometimes in a way that is indescribable. I am emotional and not rational enough too much of the time. Ask my sons!! 

When as a mother you want a close relationship with your sons from the time they are little so that when they grow up  you continue to have a close relationship, what is a mother to do?? 

When boys are little, they are often very cuddly. As a mother, that was so precious to me. By the time my youngest son was 12, 13, or 14, I needed to change in my relationship with him or he would not be prepared for life as a young man. I was smothering him without realizing it, he was reacting to me, relying on me, and then blaming me if he failed in some way. I couldn't *see* what was happening because I am relational and didn't understand how by not releasing him (within reason) I was damaging the possibility of a good relationship. 

Eventually, there was an area that my son desperately failed in and because I had stepped out of the way, he could see how it was totally his fault, not mine. My older son, having been raised by me :-) was able to point out what I was doing and help me focus on the needs of a boy. 

One major thing that I see as more and more important is prayer. It is too easy to be consumed with mothering through those earlier years as a parent. It is too easy to not pray as much as you should. No amount of prayer is enough, yet, it is impossible this side of heaven to know how much evil our children are kept from because a mother prayed. I want to be that mother that prays. I want to pray without ceasing. I have wanted to do this for years. I know God understands my weaknesses as a mother and I am thankful for those mothers a little ahead of me in age who were able to pray for my sons. 

Prayer stills our fears as mothers like nothing else in life. Our Quiet Time as mothers is the most important time in our day. I have seldom neglected spending time with the Lord, daily. Opening up your Bible stills your fears and anxieties like nothing else in this world can. Reading blogs and all the spiritual insights women out in the Bloggisphere have does NOT count for a Quiet Time or time spent with the Lord. Jesus waits for us but does not insist that we spend time with Him. Don't pass Him by, He will not forsake you!!

I often wake up with terrible fears and anxieties for the day. Worries about my children seem huge in the morning. There are some things that I do that still those fears often for the whole day.

  • I pray a short prayer asking God to open my heart to what He wants to say to me.
  • I open my Bible and start reading. Reading a Psalm a day before reading your regular reading is very calming and uplifting.
  • I praise the Lord, thanking Him.
  • I spend some time in prayer for my family
  • I T-Tapp for at least 15 minutes. Exercise releases stress and depression putting a better outlook on life with boys :-)
Joy in mothering is better than smothering any day!! I tend to smother which only leads to a strain in my relationship with my sons. 

What have you learned about mothering boys?? Have you learned to trust the Lord with your boys??


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  1. I want to be a momma that prays too! I'm always talking to God about my DD but I need to remember to pray for her future too. :) Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Those boys all in a row in church were probably texting each other! I agree, prayer is a vital part of parenting. Thanks for taking time to look back on how you mothered your boys. Those of us coming up behind you are learning!

    Thanks for linking up!

  3. I remind my boys at least once a week that I pray for them everyday...i know that information is sinking in....


If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back --
Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.


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