So, I’ve been a mom for nearly 10 years which should lend me a nice veteran title or something. But I have never felt more like a total newbie than I do right now!
The crazy thing about raising kids is that you’re also growing as a parent. Constantly changing and pivoting and relearning new skills to effectively deal with the next “stage” or age of your child. This is especially hard when you have children of multiple ages or of different genders. Add in a diagnosis of any kind and it feels close to impossible to know how to go about it all.
- Should I spank my child? I mean it has worked for generations before me. Right?
- Should I try gentle parenting? Or does that make me seem like a pushover mom?
- What do I do about all these toddler tantrums? Am I crazy for wanting to just join in on the meltdown?
- Do I yell at my kids too much? Please don’t actually ask them that…
- Was I right to put my child on medication? Is that taking the “easy way out”? They really do need it though. Am I a terrible mom for being unable to deal with their symptoms?
The questions are quite literally endless and absolutely overwhelming. I know every parent has their own running list of questions, self-proclaimed failures and guilt stretching a mile high.
But is this really how God intended for parenting to be? I don’t believe that. And I’m tired of not enjoying my motherhood to it’s fullest potential.
I’m tired of letting my guilt and insecurities and overwhelm and anxiety convince me that I’m failing as a mom with the children that God hand-picked for me to mother!
Whew. Let me just pull out that truth real quick…
God has hand-picked each child for me to mother because He knew I would be the best mom for each one of them. Not by my own strength or knowledge or “super mom abilities” (though I seem to think I have them) but by His strength, His wisdom and His ability through me. That is how I know my motherhood is meant to be so much more. Because it is God-ordained, God-blessed and God-managed.
And in case you need to hear it, God has hand-picked each child for YOU to mother because He knew YOU would be the best mom for each one of them. The babies earth-side, the ones you’ve yet to meet, the sweet babies in heaven, your biological or adopted or foster child. All of them. Chosen. You are capable of an incredible, beautiful and powerful motherhood because of the God who lives in you.
That’s some holy blessing and powerful truth right there. My call or purpose or mission, whatever you want to call it, is to love God and love my children. If I am seeking God and listening to His wisdom and truth, I will naturally raise my children in a way that honors Him and is best for their well-being.
There are a few verses I have been memorizing to help me remember that I can trust in and run to God when motherhood gets a little hard:
“Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! I say, “The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him.””
Lamentations 3:22-24 CSB
We will fail as parents. But God’s mercy never will. God’s love is not conditional or finite. The weight of perfection is not mine to carry. I will keep my hope in the Lord because I have learned He is all I truly need.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.
Philippians 4:4-5 CSB
I will rejoice in the Lord. Whether I am washing a sink full dishes, running barefoot in the yard playing tag, or tucking in my child for the 3rd time at 11pm. All of this is holy and beautiful and worthy of praising God for. When I focus on the blessings and joy in my life, I am less likely to become upset over things I do not have or cannot do.
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 CSB
I will not let my anxiety become my identity. When my child is running fever in the middle of the night, when I wonder if I’m teaching them the correct way to read, or when I worry about possibly screwing them up for life, I can trust in God. I will never have all the answers, but I know the One who does. I can trust Him with my child. He is working all things out for their good and His plan for their life is better than my best imagined scenario.