Remember those annoying alarm clocks we used to have that would go off with that super loud beep, beep, beep, beep? Ugh, I hated them, especially because it felt like they went off at the crack of dawn! I remember setting the alarm and snoozing about 100 times before dra-a-aging myself out of bed to get ready for school or work.
Well, these days I have a very different alarm clock, and I can’t push snooze on this one! Nope! While the sound of my alarm clock may be a little less annoying, it still feels like it’s going off at the crack of dawn. I am talking about my daughter, of course. I shouldn’t complain because she really only wakes up between 7 and 8 but when you go to bed as late as I do, some days it’s too early! I used to be a morning person, but since I had kids, that slowly went away with the sleepless nights.
These past few weeks–and by weeks I mean months–(and by months I mean since the time changed in the fall), I have had a hard time getting up in the morning. Really hard time. Baby Girl not only wakes up “early” but she wakes up with way too much energy for me. There are some days she wakes up, comes in my room, and says “Let’s play mommy!”
Seriously kid? I just woke up! Needless to say, I was having very grouchy mornings. I was mumbling and grumbling while making breakfast, and when we sat to eat together (which wasn’t often because I can’t eat as soon as I wake up) we would sit in silence as I tried to wake myself up. I was also getting annoyed when Miss Chatterbox was asking me a lot of questions. If I drank coffee I would be one of those people that you don’t talk to before they have their morning coffee. Since I don’t, I am more like, Give me at least 30 minutes to wake up before you talk to me.”
Baby Girl, of course, doesn’t understand this, nor do I expect her to, but I decided I didn’t like Grouchy Mommy anymore. I was snappy and irritated and I could see what it was doing to my daughter’s attitude. I could see in my daughter’s eyes disappointment, as she was so chirpy, and I wasn’t responding. Although she can’t voice her feelings very well, I could tell she was feeling alone, and maybe even that, “Mommy wasn’t happy to be with me in the morning,” which, of course, is the last thing I would ever want her to feel. I thought if I just didn’t say anything, it was better than being snappy but sometimes our silence says a lot more. This was definitely an area I needed to improve in.
Way back when, I used to read my scriptures before I got out of bed and I can’t tell you what a difference this made in my day! I faced the day with a better attitude– happier, and feeling like no matter what I was faced with, I could conquer it!
But life gets to you and I fell off the wagon and haven’t been as consistent. I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s easier to remember the daily things like saying my prayers and reading my scriptures when I am struggling. When things get better, I just kind of start letting it go and little by little I forget until I am not doing it at all. So, I had reached a point again where I wasn’t happy how things were going, and I found myself on my knees pleading to be better. I remembered that reading my scriptures made a difference only this time I thought what would happen if I studied my scriptures with my daughter? Not only would my day start off better, but I would be killing two birds with one stone and incorporating a little bit of the gospel in my daughter’s daily life. She learns a little on Sunday, which I am so grateful to her teachers for, but as Latter-Day Saints, we are taught teaching our children begins at home. Our children can learn all they want from their other teachers, but if we are not building that foundation at home, and being that example, they will not understand the importance of the gospel in their lives.
Last week I began our “scripture study” in the mornings, and it has gone so well. Baby girl loves learning about Jesus! She is so full of questions, and I can just see her soaking it all in. Most importantly, we are learning together. I am reminded of the simplicity of the gospel principles we are taught every Sunday, and baby girl is learning them also, and learning that it is a part of our lives every day, not just Sundays. Together we are also much happier and Mommy is much less grouchy! So, what exactly do we do? Well some days we watch a short video clip. We head over to www.lds.org and watch a video together.
(Here’s the link—watch a sample free video at the bottom of this article. All the videos are free!)
Baby Girl also has a little collection of simple Bible story board books, so some days we pick one of those and read them. There are a lot of great ideas and resources. I want to do finger puppets soon or felt story boards. It’s nice to mix it up, but the best part is that we discuss, discuss, and discuss! It’s amazing to see how smart she is and how her little mind works. I am surprised at how well she grasps the concepts, and surprised at the questions she comes up with. It doesn’t have to be fancy or long by any means! I was worried, being the perfectionist I am, that I would need to be all fancy with it, but I decided there would be no pressure!
Sometimes I just pick a gospel topic. For example, our first day we discussed prayer. I didn’t have anything prepared but we just talked about it. (Those cute handouts they get from Sunday School are great resources!) We talked about what our arms and hands do when we say the prayer. We talk about how we pray, and how we thank Heavenly Father for our blessings, ask him for what we need, and end our prayer. See? Simple! And she loves it.
Now we are to the point where as soon as we sit to eat breakfast, she asks about Jesus. Not only does it make for a better morning, but you are getting your food for the soul and your children are learning the basic principles that are so much needed in today’s world. The world is constantly evolving, and changing. Our youth are being faced with harder challenges every day, and they will need this foundation that can only be set by you to go forth and stand firm. In a world where there seems to be so much competition about how soon your child knows their ABC’s or how to count, let’s instead take the time to teach them the important things in life: how to be kind, how to be compassionate, how to love and serve one another. Let’s teach them to be an example of Christ. I will leave you with a quote I read the other day..
“It is not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel, heartless world. It is our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless–L.R. Knost.
Krystal is a latter-day mom and Holy Homemaker to 3 beautiful kiddos who is striving to find joy in the everyday trenches of motherhood and life! Her passion is sharing her experience of decluttering with a purpose to help others create a Holy Home where the messes subside and the Spirit resides. She is a lover of books, nature, music, food, the gospel, and all things Texas! Follow her at her website, Latter-day Mom!