This weekend I was able to think a little more about another aspect of mothering.
We were away this weekend with the young-adults congregation that my husband ministers to. It is the only time each year we spend time with this congregation together as a family - as the children & I do not attend the 7pm congregation on a Sunday night.
It is a weekend of potential high-stress: my kids hyped up, surrounded by adults who like them but do not generally much spend time with children, different food, different beds, Dad is present but not really able to play with them, etc. And this particular weekend, a lot of rain, preventing most fun activities.
However, I was surprised to find myself quite calm throughout the weekend and feeling relatively under control. Part of it is also because I went into the weekend knowing what to expect, knowing that I was managing most things with the kids, because it was work for Husband - so I knew the routine. But I do think it was more than that.
Which got me thinking - was I ensuring I was coping well because I was being watched? There were about 70 pairs of eyes watching us parent all weekend, so I was extremely unlikely to let myself become 'Angry Mummy' or any other bad connotation of her.
Now, if being 'seen' makes me a better mother, I will go out more! However, it's much more than that isn't it? Our Heavenly Father sees us always, and knows all of our thoughts and desires - good or evil. If I can be a better parent because a lot of 20-25 year olds are watching me, surely I should be a better parent daily, knowing that my Father in heaven watches too.
I am humbly reminded of Jesus' words in Matthew 6, talking about prayer, fasting and acts of righteousness:
6:1 "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven... [Jesus goes on to say, do them secretly]... 4b Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.