Expecting Your Child to Act Like an Adult

By Brittany Rust

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It was time to change yet another diaper and I certainly didn’t enjoy it any more than he did, but it’s part of the life of a toddler. Roman hates—and I mean HATES—diaper changes. It was a poopy one and as I opened up the diaper, Roman started flopping around in protest. I then proceeded to say, “You do know that when you fight me it takes longer, right.”

You can fit on both hands the number of words he can say so expecting him to understand the complexity of what was happening was too much to ask for this 19 month old.

So often I find myself expecting Roman to act older than he really is. I attempt to rationalize and convince him to be beyond his years. At times, I snap or yell in frustration because he doesn’t understand. I’m expecting him to act like an adult and in response, often end up acting like a child.

How often have you found yourself treating your child beyond his or her years? We don’t plan on it, do we? But in the trenches when patience wears thin, sometimes we find ourselves expecting too much from our little ones. Or our children or even teenagers. We want them to be on our level—or at least, on a more mature level—that they just aren’t at yet. And in response to their lack of maturity, we lash out with an attitude that is more like that of a child.

Remember: you are the parent. You are the mature one. You mustn’t expect your child to be beyond their years and act in a way you struggle to act yourself at that moment. I’m not an expert in maintaining poise in these tense moments but I do know we must watch our responses. Walk away, take a deep breath, and return to respond appropriately.

Your child is but a child for a short time—don’t make them grow up too soon. Let them live in their child-like wonder while they can. And you—well, if you want to embrace the posture of a child in any way, then do so with the faith and humility a child has. Now that would be the exception.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’
— Matthew 18:1-4

Parenting is hard and we all have our moments that we’d like to redo or at least, forget. But as we talk about often here, there is grace and strength for your moments of weakness. Let your kid be a kid. And act like a child in faith and humility.

Finding Balance (and Rest) in Motherhood

By Brittany Rust

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Finding balance and rest in motherhood is perhaps one of the hardest things to master as a mom. Sabbath days are like most days. Vacations are trips. An outing becomes work. It can be challenging to find balance and rest when your little one keeps you on your feet. Parenting is exhausting, am I right?!

I'm still trying to find a good balance here. I work from home which means, when Roman takes his two naps each day, I'm working. I try to fit in cleaning and laundry in the few moments he's occupied with his toys and cooking dinner usually means him attached to my leg, begging me to pick him up.

How have I found balance? Good question! Honestly, rest doesn't look the same now as it did before kids. I've had to redefine what it means and how it looks. Let's be honest--rest just looks different now. Here are a few ways I do try to incorporate balance into my life now:

  1. A Devotional Time: I've found that if I don't incorporate a devotional time early into my day, I'm a mess! It was hard for me to carve out time as a new mom with a new way of life, but now I've found a groove. As soon as Roman goes down for his nap, before I get to work, I take thirty minutes. I put on worship music, read Scripture, and pray. I have to! But don't feel pressured to do it the same. For a while, when I was working, I found ways to incorporate this time at work, in the car, or as I was doing tasks around the house. It can look different for you, too. The point is, find time in your day to connect with Jesus. The good news is, you can do this multiple times a day in ongoing dialogue while cleaning, doing laundry, or rocking your baby. 
  2. Retiring to Bed Earlier: I use to go to bed around 10 PM every night, but now, I retire to bed at 9 PM, read for thirty minutes, and then it's lights out. Holding to this allows me to soak in some mental and spiritual edification and get to bed at a reasonable time so that I can hit the ground running the next morning!
  3. Not Taking on all Responsibility: Sometimes as moms, we feel the need to do all the things. To be supermom. But I can promise that doing it all will leave you empty. And not doing it well. Don't be afraid to ask your husband to help with some things around the house or to do errands on the way home. I remember I use to get frustrated with Ryan because I felt I was doing more. But in reality, I was taking on more myself. Finally, one night when I broke, he said he had no idea! If I would just ask, he would be happy to help. Boy, was that a relief! People may want to help but if you don't ask, they don't know how to.
  4. Taking Time for Yourself: Mamas need downtime, too! Take a bath after bedtime. Go watch a movie at the theater on a Saturday afternoon. Go get that massage once a month. Add in little indulgences and find ways to get some time to yourself to replenish. Treat yo' self, mama!

These aren't for everybody but they are examples of what I've done to implement better balance into my life that perhaps spark some ideas for how you can too!

Honestly, the only real answer that will refresh you is found in Matthew 11:28-30:

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

The rest and balance you seek are found only in a life surrendered to Christ. Here you will find freedom and a refreshing outpour of His love. Life won't be carefree and easy, but it will certainly feel a bit less chaotic and tiresome. Get with Jesus, confess your exhaustion, and receive the power of the Holy Spirit.

We want to know: how do you find balance and rest as a mom? Let the community in on what you've learned so that we can edify each other as mamas!