I often hear “wow, your son has your eyes” or “aw, your daughter looks like you”. Every time, I truly don’t know what to say. “Thanks”? “I know”? “Makes sense”? If you think about it, it’s kind of an awkward thing to respond to. So typically, I just smile or throw in a laugh or something to show acknowledgement. It’s always a nice “thing” when your family looks like one another or is easily placed with you by looks alone. 

But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, smacks you upside the head more than when your child looks like you while you’re in the middle of disciplining them. I hate to admit how many times I have caught myself mid-correcting my child of something they “absolutely should not do” and realize that they learned that very thing from me. THAT is when they “look like me”. Most often it comes when they talk to their sibling or myself/my husband in a negative tone or using a negative phrase – not cursing, but more of “UGH” or “I’m getting really frustrated” or saying literally anything in an annoyed tone. 

I say these phrases at least twice a day:

“Don’t talk like that.”

“We don’t say that.”

Once I even said aloud, “Where did you even learn that?” only to realize in the very same moment that to quote *Travis Kelce’s girlfriend* – “It’s me, hi. I’m the problem, it’s me.” So how can I expect my children to not talk like “that” when WE do, in fact, say “that”.

It’s no secret that our kids are watching our every move. The first time I experienced this was when my oldest was 20 months old. I was in my first trimester with our second child and let’s just say… my son walked around making vomiting noises for at least two weeks. It’s funny now, I promise. 

Being a stay-at-home mom, I am my children’s largest “influencer”. Which, of course, is such a blessing. I am able to be in full control of what they’re exposed to and what they consume. (Which is why sending our son off to Kindergarten this year was terrifying!) But being the number one influencer in their sweet, little lives also comes with those “smack you upside the head” moments where you’re quite literally disciplining yourself. 

Kids bring out your greatest “flaws”. I never realized how often I say “ugh” until my daughter started doing it every time she was asked to do something she didn’t want to do. I never realized how terrible my tone of voice can be when I’m upset. It took watching my children doing things that I didn’t want to see them do to realize that I’m the one they learned it from. 

I also frequently find myself telling our oldest these phrases:

 “Trust me.”

“I have it under control.”

“I know what I’m doing.”

These are the phrases that truly get to me. Because I have a hard time trusting that my Father in Heaven has it all taken care of. I have always been a big worrier. I see the same thing in my son. And just like when he starts to ask for a rundown of the next day or gets a little nervous when something “different” comes up, I also like to know well in advance what is going to be going on so I can have as much planned out as possible to help myself feel like I have “control”. 

So as I discipline or advise my children, I should truly be taking a look in the “mirror”.

“Trust me.”

“I have it under control.”

“I know what I’m doing.”

Because God does know what He’s doing. And despite all of our own flaws as mothers, He has entrusted us with the gift of caring for His most precious gifts – our children.