I have a love-hate relationship with children.
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!
With love, coffee and blessings!
p.s.s. My friend Angel wrote an excellent piece on this very topic so if you love children, want to learn to love children or love random wedding pictures do check her site out. :)
p.s.s.s. If you're reading this and I've babysat your children before ... please don't freak out thinking I hated watching your precious babies! Ha! Not true. Every child I have watched (and there have been many) are special bundles of personality that I love and appreciate and I look forward to watching in the future.