Just after I had my first-born, I remember telling my husband I’d love to bake for people in need. I specifically said I’d love to bake for people in the hospital but wasn’t sure if that was even a thing. The next week I saw an advertisement looking for bakers to make treats for our local NICU and Children’s Ward at the hospital.
It’s so important for me, teaching my children to have a heart for others. In a world where people are consumed by their own needs and desires, I want to raise children who go out of their way to think about others. Kindness, compassion, caring for others—these are all traits that I must model to my children through real life, practical examples. Baking for moms and dads in the NICU is one of the ways I am teaching my girls to think about others.
I’m one of the fortunate ones—my journey into motherhood was relatively easy and I am so thankful for that. Many people, though, have a much more difficult journey into parenthood, and require a little extra love and care. I want my family to be one who puts their hands up to help, who chooses to step out of apathy and love on those who need help.
As I have intentionally sought out opportunities to help my children develop these character traits, I have seen glimpses of it paying off. Recently, I witnessed my 3-year-old stop in the middle of a tantrum to get up and help me. She saw that I was hurt and took the initiative to come and care for me. I’m supposed to be the one teaching and guiding her, yet sometimes I am astounded by the lessons I learn from her.
As she learns how to deal with the big emotions that overwhelm her tiny frame, tantrums will continue to be a regular feature in our household. But they do not define her. But compassion? Teaching my children to genuinely care for others? To love and care on someone who is hurting? That is the important stuff.
I will continue to teach my children that compassion is always a good choice. I will teach them that caring about others in spite of their own imperfections says a lot about their character. I will teach them that small acts of service, motivated by a genuine love and compassion for others, is beautiful.
Even as a stay at home mama to little ones, there is still so much I can do to impact the world around me. And even though my girls are still young, I truly believe I am raising little girls who can change the world.
“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.” – Mother Teresa
Written by Sina Steele, New Zealand