I can’t tell you how many times I have seen images portraying what people imagine motherhood to be like, including a mom and young children dressed very “proper” and laughing at what clearly must have been the best joke since the original “Knock knock.” They are just loving life. All is well. There is always a second picture below it with the caption “what parenting really looks like.” It usually includes a battle between a T-rex, an exhausted mother who can barely keep her eyes open, sitting between mounds of laundry, and a child or three sitting on her lap crying at the top of his lungs.
We have three kids and I found myself on several occasions crying on the floor when my husband left for work and then again when he got home. It was just too much. I felt like I was fighting T-rexes all day every day. Why would I put myself through that? It just doesn’t make sense. Our youngest needs help with emotional regulation. How on earth could I take care of two other kids and help him learn to regulate his emotions when I couldn’t seem to gain control of my own?
I have been trying to find the right words to say this. Being real, but not too negative. It’s a hard combination to find and what I keep coming back to is that being a mom, wife, and homemaker is really hard. It’s ok to say that.
It’s not what is portrayed on Facebook and Instagram very often. Why do MY children fight like rabid raccoons and THEIR children are teaching each other how to speak a different language fluently? Okay, it might not be that extreme, but have you felt that before? There isn’t a mother on this earth that has not had those feelings. They might not admit it, but I will.
For SO long I was focused on the fact that having a family was too hard. That people didn’t have it as hard as I did, and people would think differently of us. Especially after observing a glimpse of our son’s emotional dysregulation that we were seeing four different therapists a week to work on. It’s hard to come to the understanding that the family you have prayed for can bring you to your max in .2 seconds. I believe Satan has a field day with this. I know he did with me for a long time.
“I can’t do this anymore.”
“When will this stop?”
“What will people think when they see that behavior and hear the things coming out of my child’s mouth when he is angry?”
Satan fed into those lies. Is he trying to whisper them to you? If so, please know that you are not alone and Satan has no authority in your life.
It took me so much longer than it should have to realize that my view of the day often coincided with how my kids acted on that day. Things were really hard for a couple of years. Our youngest would hit his head for multiple reasons. The days led into weeks that led into months and led into a couple years of intense life. Every time my hopes would go up, a bigger meltdown would come. I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t answering our prayers to help our son feel better. My prayers were constantly for our son to be safe and to have joy. They seemed reasonable enough, right? But after coming out of that blur I realized I was putting my hope in something that was as unpredictable as life itself.
Trust God’s Plan
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18:
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.2 Corinthians 4:17-18
What are you focusing your eyes on? I am still learning how this works 🙂 When I start each day focusing on the Lord and expecting there to be tough times throughout my day, my day takes a completely different direction. Seeing God’s plan unfold in our lives and seeing the way he has used our challenges to encourage other families to know that they are not alone is a beautiful thing. We couldn’t look them in the eye and tell them with complete confidence that those moments are going to end if we didn’t hit bottom and experience those moments for ourselves.
I love the musicians Shane and Shane. I love the music they write. They speak to my heart. One of my favorite songs is “Though You Slay Me- featuring John Piper.” I am not trying to tell you that my children slay me. Or that your children are slaying you. I will not add humor there although I am sure we can all insert a little on our own. What I am telling you is that these hard times are momentary. They are going to pass. Giving these feelings a name and walking through them are ok, but I challenge you to set those feelings aside and trust God’s plan as you parent your children. Give this song a listen and know that God’s plan is good and God’s plan is bigger than you can imagine.
There can be purpose in the pain if you surrender it to God and wait for him to show you the plan.
“You do not realize now what I am doing. But later you will understand.” John 13:7. That’s not easy, but that eternal glory………..it far outweighs any suffering we might see.