This post was written by my lovely and talented wife who has a message for you and me. I hope you enjoy it, reflect on it, and take it in the spirit in which it is intended. Did I mention she’s wonderfully blunt? Okay, here’s Andrea…
Stop the whining please.
I am a mother of 3 children, a pastor’s wife, a high school math teacher, and a foster mom of two toddlers. Yes, I’m tired. I feel like my world spins out of control on a daily basis, sometimes an hourly basis. I do not have enough hands or brainpower to meet every demand. This all occurs on the inside though; based upon people’s comments I appear to have everything together on the outside.
But I’m walking in what God has called me to, and I know His grace is more than enough. I lean on His strength to carry me through.Â I also workÂ hard to watch for those little things to take joy in (like picking berries and making pies with my kids).
When we opened our home to be foster parents again, I thought I was prepared and fully cognizant of what I was doing based upon my experience of the previous seven foster children we’ve had in and out of our house. But it has come to my attention that nothing can prepare me for a 22 month old who operates on a 10 to 12 month old level and a 3 year old who is operating as if he were a 2 year old. Their verbal skills are almost non-existent so that leaves very limited means of communication: cry, hit, and whine.
I guess when the kids evaluated these limited choices they choose all three with an extra dose of whine to be used CONSTANTLY. Now, I have been known to exaggerate on occasion so let’s be clear, by “constantly” I mean out of the 9 or so hours a day they are awake, they will be whining 7-8 hours of them.
I believe myself to be competent in my child rearing skills. I’ve taken lots of classes, read the best books, tried out methods that worked (on all those other kids). I was the oldest child growing up so I take anything I do to the excellence hilt. But I’ve found myself slowly being ground down by this whining, until my mind begins to wonder, “would it be ok to tape their mouths?” (No, I don’t). I don’t know how others parent, but I try to reward the no-whining requests to reinforce that positive behavior so as to say, “this is what we want!”
For some reason, I find myself not wanting to give that second cup of milk because I don’t want them to think throwing the cup at me, pounding their head on the table, and going “ahhh, AHHHH, AHHHHHHHHHHH” at me is a proper way of communicating.
I love these children, but the whining is driving me crazy.
On a side note, have you noticed some facebook user’s updates that are continually negative and whiny? The negativity and despair seems to ooze from their updates. I love you, but please, STOP THE WHINING! This moment has been brought to you by Andrea’s last nerve (now in cinnamon!). Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
All this aside, I wonder if this is how God feels. He is taking care of all His children, teaching them valuable life lessons, loving them, showing the way for eternal salvation, and so many times all He gets from us is continual whining on what is missing or complaints on why it is taking so long. God is preparing His gift, something you’ve been praying for and asking for a long time; and if you don’t watch for it, you’re here saying, “if only someone loved me enough to… If I only had… I’ll never be able to…” We’re all able to fill in those blanks.
We have to be consciously thankful for what we have, where we’ve been, and where He’s leading us.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Do you find yourself whining too much? What do you do to flip the switch and focus on God and the more positive things?