If you have not checked my blog in a day or so (!!Oh the Horror!!), you will want to skip down to November 9th's post so that this will make sense.
A comment like that might provoke a couple of answers:
1. something modest, like “well, they are really good kids”
2. something insulting to the kids but tongue-in-cheek, like “this is unusual – they are usually monsters”
3. something more helpful, like “I just try to be as consistent in my parenting as possible and expect a lot from them…and read lots of good parenting books. My favorite these days is…”
4. something “godly” that may come back to bite me in the bum the NEXT time that person sees me, like “I spend lots of time with my kids, bring them to church, and we memorize lots of scripture, and when you do all those good parenting things, that’s just what happens…” (you know that the next time that person sees you, your kids WILL embarrass you).
I have probably used each of these answers in the past - granted, I had many more opportunities when I only had 2 kids to manage. Fewer complements have come since adding #3, and even fewer since being pregnant. (smile)
So, I thought about it and if I EVER receive a complement like that again, I think I would like to have some sort of better answer ready… And the truth is that sometimes my kids are really good, and sometimes they are really hard. Sometimes I look like a mom who has it all together, and sometimes I am a laughing stock. The truth is that parenting is really, really hard. How do I do it? Honestly, I cling every day to the promises of my God - especially on the harder days. And because of that, I have hope. And because of that hope, I can do another day. Even when the day ends in a blizzard of tears and yelling, I wake up the next day with a renewed hope (God’s promises are new every morning!). Without my God and my Hope, I couldn’t do it.
That’s a long answer to someone who might just be looking for a quick “thanks” from me. What’s the shorter answer that might still give God the credit? Maybe something like, “How do I do it? With the help of my God and the husband he has blessed me with!”
Did you think about it? What would YOUR answer be?