3 November 2011

I Chose Relationship

I chose relationship - over first time obedience. I chose love (the kind freely given for no merit other than *being*) - over control. I chose co-operation over being the boss. I chose joy and freedom and grace over mistrust and regulations and punishment.

Sometimes, I doubt my ability to live up to those choices. Sometimes I wish I had first time obedience, and the ability to pull out the "because I said so" parental red card, and just *not* have a discussion about what needs to happen next.

But I chose. I chose relationship. And that's what I got.

I got a seven year old who forgives me as readily as she sometimes stomps off upstairs declaring how unfair I am, who notices when I have a down day and comes to tell me she thinks I'm doing just great. Who defends her little sisters when they don't have the words.

I got this four year old who says, "I know!" and giggles, and snuggles into my shoulder when I say, "I love you." Who comes to me with every hurt. Who tells me, "That wasn't nice, mummy" when my tone of voice is off or when I intervene too roughly to separate warring children.

I got a two year old who indignantly tells me not to shout, and who tells me, "I'm really crying, I am still so sad," in her most articulate way, when I'm keen to hurry along the process and have her stop crying... I got her sunshine, got every last moment of unhurried babyhood, every cuddle that I could have traded for a lie-in - the cuddle always won.

When I just want to squash them all, or trade them in for cats, I wish I could remember these things. They are confident and loving and true to themselves. They are open with me, and tell me when I'm messing up, they forgive my temper and help me deal with it.

I couldn't, really, have chosen anything better.


  1. That's so beautifully put. :)

  2. LOL Cameron and I had a conversation last night where we agreed that while in principle we were keen on the idea of raising children who could think for themselves and didn't blindly follow, in practice a little tiny bit of blind obedience from time to time would make life so much easier ;)

  3. Ahh, if you saw my kitten you wouldn't want to trade them in for cats, lol!

    I love this post, I have to remember these things too. Sometimes it's so easy to go back to what I grew up with, even though it DOES NOT WORK!! just yesterday Ingrid started crying for something silly and instead of saying oh quit crying, I said I know you're sad, I'm sorry you're upset, and she just smiled and hugged me. You are a good mom, and you have three girls to show it!

  4. This made me teary. Thank you so, so much for sharing this. <3

  5. I love this post! I have three daughters who are unafraid to express themselves freely, the good and the bad. Like you, I choose to parent respectfully, seeking joy in our relationships. It's not always an easy path to take, but it is so worth the floundering moments, when you see these little people free to be themselves in our presence.

  6. Thankyou all for taking the time to respond. <3 I have had a really rough week, and remembering the important stuff is hard at times like this!

  7. I chose relationship too, but gosh I could do with some first-time obedience from time to time. Especially when my mother is watching...

  8. Thank you for this, in a heated discussion with my MIL a few days ago, I wish I had read this for prep about why we do things the way we do. I didn't realise there was a term for 'choosing relationships'. I love it.

  9. Thank you Sarah. Just what I need to read right now, as I struggle with Rye, being a shouty mama, when I really don't want to be and well... feeling very sorry for myself at the moment and doubting my ability to parent this beautiful boy of mine.

    Definitely what I needed to read.


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