When I was young, newly married, but not yet a mother, I loved 4 year olds! I taught 4 year olds and could handle a class of 18-20 with ease. Fun, energetic, exciting times I tell you. Then I had one. Whew!
Working in the church nursery growing up – always in there when there was some church a happening! Loved rocking babies, putting them to sleep, and feeding them bottles. Loved playing with them and changing diapers. Sweet, serene, innocent babes I tell you. Then I had one! Kiss sleep and innocence good-bye!
I was a Children’s Pastor for 8 years with 5-12 year olds. Loved them! Laughed, joked, taught, explored the Bible and life with them. Loved leading them and teaching them. Then I had a 6-year-old of my own. Oh my goodness!
So yeah, I think I like your kids better than mine. Doesn’t it seem like that at times? Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my kids, but sometimes it’s kind of difficult to LIKE them.
It’s funny, we like other people’s kids so much better than ours. At least it usually looks like that. How much easier is it to have patience with “Johnny” than our own 6 yr. old? “Shelby”, our BFF’s daughter gets a gentle word from us, but when our 3-year-old asks for something, we snap back. Ooh. Ouch. I think I just stepped on my own toes with that one. It’s just so much easier to show love and patience to other children than our own. Our own use up every inch of patience we have, test us to our limits, and push us over and over again.
BUT we are the blessed ones to be given the children we have! Love ’em. Try to like ’em. They’re two different things! It’s okay not to like your children sometimes; they’ll do things to drive you crazy! Love is the aim. And remember that most other children look good to us when we don’t live with them day in and day out. Truly children only show who they are with those they feel most comfortable and love most. So consider those irritating behaviors a payment for love. Hmmm… not sure what I think about that!