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Why Do My Kids Have to be So Much Like ME?

Why do my have to be so much like me?

It’s an hour before Sunday School begins. Everyone is busily brushing hair, putting on shoes, and finishing up their breakfast cereal.

Suddenly, my 8yo claps her hand over her mouth and frantically announces that she has GOT to memorize the books of the Bible, PLUS the 12 apostles for Sunday School.

Today’s Sunday School? Like the one that starts in under an hour?

Yes, she tells me. Today. She needs to recite the books of the Bible and the 12 apostles aloud in class that starts in 45 MINUTES.

How long have you known about this??? Never mind. Get the Bible and let’s start singing the song together.

It turns out she did fine and got the promised reward, but I can’t help feeling that familiar pang of regret.

Why do my kids have to be so much like me?

I know exactly where she gets it. It’s the same scenario that plays out when I remember at the last minute that I am supposed to demonstrate a complicated science experiment today at co-op, and HURRY, jump in the van kids because we have to run by the store to get the supplies.

Or when I put off deep cleaning the house for that big Memorial Day party we always have. No use cleaning it too far in advance because it will just get messy again, right? And then the morning of the party, I’m cleaning like a whirling dervish on fast speed.

Or when I have to make a 10pm trip to the grocery store so I can make the homemade cookies I signed up to bring to the bake sale in the morning.

Really, it defies the laws of logic, but I have always hoped beyond the realm of the probable that my children would somehow, miraculously have inherited traits that are nowhere in my DNA.

Traits like being patient and naturally organized and tidy and whatever the opposite of a procrastinator is called.

But, alas, they did not get these traits because I had no way of passing them down, since I don’t even possess them myself.

No, they got the messy, impatient, procrastinating line of traits right from me.

It seems so unfair that I didn’t even have to spend hours teaching them these things, like I did with their multiplication facts. It’s almost like they were preset to inherit them.

Why do my kids have to be so much like me?

I want to tell them I’m sorry. I really am. I wish I could be the mom who is organized and tidy and patient so that they could see that modeled each day, and they would learn those things first hand. And sometimes I try to pretend I am that mom, although I can never really pull it off for more than part of a day.

Instead, they got the mom who is a procrastinator and impetuous and immature enough to laugh and dance along with them to 80’s rock songs.

And like me, they will have to rely on God’s grace to cover for their weaknesses. The weaknesses that will be all the more apparent when they have children of their own.

And if my kids are anything like me, that grace will be even more precious because of their shortcomings. It will be a balm for their wounded pride at not being able to will themselves to achieve perfection.

A lifesaving, precious, soothing balm.

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Comments

  1. This was so me this week! Realizing my children’s struggles with anger came from . . . you guessed it. . . ME. I’m not angry very often, so I’m often bewildered by where their tempers come from. Then, when I do get angry, I understand what happened to them, poor souls! They got it from ME. {As they hit the jackpot in their father and got a man who is not angry.}

  2. This is so true. I needed to hear this. It is not easy to be perfect. I’m usually pretty good at not procrastinating but my weakness is a little bit of laziness sometimes. I know where my kids get it from when they desire to take to many breaks in their day. Then I have to reason and struggle with them to take the appropriate action at the desired time sometimes. The beauty is that we are on our own schedule and not someone else’s schedule. So a little delay doesn’t seem to cause to much damage while they are still very young. By the time they are in high school though, there is really no room for too much delay. Hopefully they will receive this same precious grace for their shortcomings. What a beautiful thought.

  3. It’s scary how you so perfectly write what I have been contemplating the past few weeks in my brain. Thank you for pointing so clearly to grace.

  4. I’m right there with you. Right down to the 80’s music. At least we have something good to listen to while we scramble to clean the house for the people coming over in 30 minutes, right??!! LOL!!

  5. Thanks for being so real.

  6. I know how it is to feel that you are not really being the typical role model in the eyes of kids. But in spite of imperfections, it is really very important to look into the positive side of things. The things that some may look at as flaws can actually be the one that links you to your children. You can also rely on weaknesses to build strong ties with people you love.

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