Tuesday, July 1, 2014

this parenting thing is hard...

I want you to know, my parenting this last week or so has been the best it's been probably since my sweet baby girl was born 7.5 years ago.

I haven't yelled at either kid, lost my temper over the little stuff, been impatient, zoned out when they told another long story, or pretended to listen.

Maybe that has something to do with the fact that my kids aren't here right now. They're spending this part of the summer in Arkansas, going back and forth between grandparents' houses and having a blast spending a month on the farms.

I miss them and I can't wait for them to get back--my house is entirely too quiet--but I know one thing for sure:
it won't take long for me to lose my temper, no matter how hard I try not to.

This parenting thing is hard.
Why isn't that something they talk about in those "what to expect" books?

It's filled with stress and anxiety and messes and endless loads of laundry and sinks full of dirty dishes and tears over nothing and fights and arguments and "why?"s and legos to step on and piles of toys on the stairs and complaints about dinner and...

Some days, it's easy to get overwhelmed.

It's easy to get pushed so many times that you finally snap, even though you promised yourself that you wouldn't today.

It's easy to respond with sarcasm when you know that's not the way you should answer, even though it's your toddler's millionth question before 9 a.m. 
It's easy to want to be hateful back when your little drama queen is glaring at you and daring you. After all, I've got 22 years on her with that whole "moodiness" thing. Doesn't she realize that she's an amateur dealing with a professional?

But then, a dirty little boy brings you a tiny flower in his grubby hands--just because he thought it was pretty and his mommy would like it.
A rebellious little girl crawls up onto your lap and snuggles against you, saying "I love you" in the sweetest voice you've ever heard.

And you're overwhelmed again.

How could you love someone so much?
How could someone so little have such a huge impact on you?
How in the world did God choose to bless me with the chance to be their mom?

And you whisper a prayer, saying thank you to the One who gave you such an amazing gift.

And them another thought crosses your mind:
How in the world am I ever going to raise these precious souls without completely messing them up?

And the prayers of thanksgiving turn into pleas for help, because you know that you can't do this. You aren't strong enough to stand firm for these little ones you've been entrusted with. You see them cry tears of pain and realize that you can't protect them. You have to drive away and leave them behind at their grandparents' for the summer and you know that you can't always be there to stand guard.

And somehow, God reassures you. He tells you,
"You aren't strong enough, but I am your foundation and I will always stand firm. I am a fortress for these precious little ones, and I will be the only protection My children will ever need. You can't stand guard, but I have put My hedge of protection around them. I have entrusted them to you for a reason, even if you can't see it.
Lean on Me, believe in Me, and rely on Me;
they will learn to do the same."

So when my babies get back, I'll love them with everything I have. I'll mess up and I'll apologize and I'll mess up again. And I will rely on God with all my heart, mind, and soul--because He's the One who gave me these precious, obstinate, spirited, amazing babies, and He's the One who will keep me from completely messing them up.

"Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me."
Psalm 63 : 7 & 8

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