I had myself convinced for a long while that I was doing myself and my kids a favor by being very firm with rules and by carrying through with punishments for every rule infringement.
Recently I read an article about parenting and it reminded me that I am not just parenting. I'm not just a mom who is raising little citizens. I am charged with training them up in the way that they should go. I was forgiven and saved by grace DESPITE my constant rule infringement.
So, I am letting more grace slip into my parenting. More gentle forgiveness, more understanding of the human condition, more reflection of the beautiful man who is God and sacrificed himself for me and for them.
Even though I want my kids to learn to sleep in their own beds and to rest when bedtime comes, I will let them come and talk to me about their day and their fears. Even though it is their bedtime and I want some me time, even though I want to slip into the kitchen and sneak junk food, even though they've been acting like jerks all day. I will choose to love them and be compassionate, to forgive them because God forgave me and not because I have had me time.