Sometimes, being a parent is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. In fact, it quite possibly THE hardest thing.
I say that with all the love in my heart for my children, as I am sure many of you understand…but the truth is, parenting is just not easy. It doesn’t come with step by step instructions, and it changes daily with the ebbs and flows of life. One day, you feel like you have it all together (those days are seldom for me), and the next day you think…how in the world am I going to survive?!?! You feel me???
I waited several years to be able to have children. The Lord saw fit for us to go through infertility…and while I did not understand it at the time, I can look back and see His hand in every minute of the waiting.
What is funny is that during the waiting and pleading to be able to have children, I don’t remember ever thinking about exactly how hard it would be to be a parent. I just thought about how I would be the best mom and have it all together (too funny) and love them with all of my being…and show them God’s love for them and be there for them and laugh with them…and show them right from wrong…and all of the good and happy things.
I didn’t think about those super hard days that were sure to come. Sure, I wasn’t naive. I was very aware that those days were eminent…but they weren’t in my thought process for the most part.
As my children have grown (they are now 6 and 8), I have realized more and more that each day is not only a blessing, but each day is also a day that HAS to be prayed through. Each day has its own set of struggles along with laughs, giggles and fun times too.
Sometimes, those struggles feel like they overtake us as mothers. Sometimes, I feel myself sinking into a puddle on the floor, thinking…”what am I doing wrong?” “Why can I not handle a 6 year old tantrum with grace?” “Why am I not the mother that I always thought I would be?”
This is not me downplaying my ability as a mother or even the fact that I KNOW I am a good mother to my children. This is simply me pouring my heart out about how it truly feels to be a mother sometimes…or a parent in general. We DO have those times and those feelings…all of us do. We DO scream out in frustration to God because we don’t know what to do or how to do it. THAT is what He wants from us. He doesn’t want us to do this alone. We were never meant to do that. We were meant to call on His name and let Him guide our families. We were meant to let Him guide our hearts and feelings with wisdom, so that in those hard times, we can fall back on Him.
Can you imagine having to do this alone? I can’t.
Last night, me and my son had a hard night.
He is the sweetest little boy. He has a heart of pure gold, and he loves with everything in him. He is hilarious, and he wants to do good. He is all about family, and his favorite thing to do is cuddle and watch movies with his family on “movie night”, which is every night. He has me wrapped around his finger, and when you ask him whose boy he is, he never fails to say “both”…(mom and dad) *We KNOW he is really Mama’s boy, but it is sweet that he says both!*
He just really is a great little boy, through and through…BUT, he is not perfect. He is like all of us, he struggles sometimes. Sometimes it is more than I can take. It is more than HE can take. Last night, it was more than either of us could take.
He struggled bad. It boiled down to him wanting to lay with me by himself, without his sister in the bed… plain and simple. It was a small thing (what we would think of as small), but to him- it tore him into pieces. He couldn’t handle it. He cried. He shouted. He pleaded. He was at a point that by himself, he could not take control. It is just the truth.
I was filled with frustration. I tried to stay calm…and I did for a little while…but not as long as I should have. I got angry. I got upset. I couldn’t understand why this was such a big deal. His sister felt sad…because he showed so much disregard to her even being there. She stayed calm with him. She laid there quietly without hardly speaking. Me and him tried to keep working through it, getting nowhere.
I felt as though I had no idea how to mother him at this moment. I didn’t know what to do to help him understand how this was not acceptable. I tried everything. Nothing helped. Until…..
Until finally…I did what I should have done from the beginning. I laid down, quietly. I took a second without talking…and then I simply said, “We are saying our bedtime prayers now.” He was still crying.
Eden said her prayer, and I assumed he would keep crying and not want to pray. But I was wrong.
He prayed. He prayed from his little heart…and then…he stopped crying. He settled in while I prayed, and he started to calm down. He moved closer to me for me to comfort him…and he fell asleep, in the moment where he felt loved and understood. He knew he was wrong. I knew he was wrong. But, what he needed was to just talk to God. To tell Him his frustrations and He heard…for it to settle him…to it to allow him to sleep peacefully and be ready for a better day tomorrow.
Isn’t that what we all need, many times? Simply to just talk to the Father and feel His presence. To feel that calming peace that only He can give us? Why is that sometimes our last resort when it should be the first thing we run to?
This morning, I woke up, and as I turned on the light, this is what I saw.
I saw these 2 precious kiddos, wrapped closely around each other…full of innocence and love. It melted my heart, and it is what brought all of this to my heart today. It made me realize so many things. It made me realize that even when things are at their hardest, if we just give it to God, HE will always provide that peace that it will take us to settle our hearts. That peace was found on this earth in the form of an older sister…the one that he didn’t want to be with, or so he thought.
But, in the end, she is his sister. She is his best friend. They love each other immensely. They fight just as strongly, but their love is precious and their bond is unbreakable. Family is so important.
Despite what the night before held, may we all remember that when we lay it all at His feet, joy can certainly come in the morning. Parenting is hard. Marriage is hard. Life is hard. Nobody ever said it would be easy.
But, when we can give it all to Him…He can and will provide a warm place to land…even in the arms of the one we resisted the most.
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