Motherhood is hard. Hard isn’t necessarily bad.. it’s just… hard. I didn’t think it would be a piece of cake when my husband and I would dream about our future family. I knew it wasn’t going to be all fun and games. I knew that. But I didn’t realize how hard some days would be. Maybe I’m the only one.. or maybe I’m the only one who thinks it’s hard. But I kinda have a feeling I’m not. They didn’t give me a handbook of directions to follow when my children were born. Didn’t let me know there would be days that I’d feel like I was completely failing them. Days that I’d worry they wouldn’t turn out and it would be my fault. Whoever coined the phrase “terrible twos,” never had a three year old! On top of having a 17 month old who has more attitude then a preteen girl! Anyone else living in this?
Last week I decided we needed to get out of the house. It was a gorgeous fall day. I quickly fed the kids lunch, got their stuff together, and loaded up the car to go to the park. I wasn’t sure if I was making a good choice, because all morning I’d been breaking up squabbles and listening to whining. I thought a change of scenery might do us all a bit of good though. Before we even pulled out of the driveway, they were fussing with each other. By the time we got to the park, I was about to turn around and go home. A frozen yogurt shop just opened up around the corner from the park we were going to, and I decided it would be fun to stop in and get a treat first. After arguing (yes.. with a 4 year old) over the fact we didn’t park in the “right parking lot” for the park, I let Reagan know we were going for “ice cream.” After repeated warnings about listening and no more fighting and whining, we walked over to the shop.
I don’t even feel like I’m giving that day justice. I’m not even sure what possessed me to leave the house.
So after all of that, we get our frozen yogurt and sit at the kids’ table to enjoy it. That was pretty uneventful. We were the only ones in the shop, which was helpful. After we finished, I started to clean up our mess and Kinsley’s face. Reagan decides he needs to walk up to the toppings bar and check it out. I tell him to come back by me and not to touch any of it. I guess the temptation was too great because he proceeds to say, “marshmallows!” all the while grabbing one and sticking it in his mouth. What?!? We then had to have a lesson on stealing and how we had not paid for it, that he needed to tell the owner sorry and pay for what he took. The owner was so sweet and didn’t want to make a big deal about it, but I knew it had to be taught right then and there. It took a bit of coaxing, but he finally paid and said sorry.
Then she said something that took me by surprise… “You’re doing a good job momma!”
I sheepishly said thanks. Ha! Did you see me today?! No she didn’t. But she did see me teaching my son a lesson he needed to learn. She did see me teaching them to be orderly in a restaurant. She did see me loving them by giving them a fun afternoon. And, in the process, she reminded me of something.
We ARE doing a good job. YOU are doing a good job.
Sometimes we feel like we are failures, or that maybe, for whatever reason, we weren’t quite meant to be a Mom. It’s not true! We won’t be perfect, but if you are loving your kids (Titus 2:4)… teaching them (Proverbs 1:8-9, Proverbs 22:6)… helping them to grow (Ephesians 6:4). .. you’re doing what you’re supposed to do. You’re doing a good job!
We are all born with a sinful nature. Our children don’t have to be taught to do wrong (Proverbs 22:15). If it pleases that nature, they will try it. It is our job to love and teach our children. To do our best with the blessings God has given us. But, we cannot control our kids’ actions or what the future holds for them. Stop allowing yourself to believe you’re doing a bad job! Pray God gives you wisdom (His word says He will give it to anyone who asks!), pray He helps you get through the squabbles and fussing, pray He gives you grace to teach them to love and grow into people who will make a difference. He will.
Be encouraged today. You are doing a good job, momma!