I love real friendships. I love those friends, those moments when you can drop your guard and be vulnerable, letting your real emotion show. As moms, I think this is vital to our health and well being.
Today I was reminded of the battle that we are really in. This is hard. We want the best for our kids and we feel that we bare all the weight. What an overwhelming task! Us women are such comparers to begin with, but then add motherhood to it, and we do ourselves in. We question why our baby isn't sleeping through the night at two weeks like all the other babies. We wonder why our toddler is still not potty trained at three when all the other toddlers are at six months old. We get frustrated when our kid isn't speaking fluently like the little girl next door. And we so often put all the weight, the guilt and the frustration on our shoulders.
Now of course it doesn't help when you have outside voices reminding you of all the things that you are secretly concerned about yourself but don't want anyone else to point out. Different generations did things differently, some things drastically different, and well, our kids aren't their kids. Our kids are our kids. Our kids are going to develop the way our kids are going to develop. I don't think we can put a gold seal standard on parenting and call it good. Kids are unique, God knows we are, and so things are just not going to be the same. Yet we forget, get into the rut of comparison and become frustrated.
However, thank God for friends who are other mothers that are honest and say they are right there in the struggle with you. Thank God for mothers who have tried the thirty different techniques before they found the one that worked for them - and are willing to admit it. And thank God for the mother who is honest with where God is working on her so that other mom's can stand with her in that and take it on as a challenge for themselves as well.
But one thing God whispered to my heart this morning as I was sitting with a group of wonderful women who love their little ones with all their hearts was that these kids aren't ours. I've learned that lesson the most when my kids have been sick. When Will was born and he landed himself in the NICU for the first two weeks of his life, it seemed my heart was ripped out of my body. I wanted to protect him, save him from whatever was eating at his lungs and I couldn't do a thing. I couldn't spend all day and night in the NICU because that wouldn't achieve a thing let alone accomplish anything for my other children who were dealing with their own uncertainty of the the situation. I wanted to control it and I couldn't. God reminded me then that Will was His. He was taking care of Will. Will was in His hands - not mine. I found peace in that during that trial.
And now Will is healthy and starting to crawl all over the place and join in the chaos that we call family and now we have the day to day trials. And I find myself forgetting what God reminded me. These kids, these wonderful amazing human beings are not mine. They are God's. Now, God entrusted me to take care of them, raise them, train them in the way they should go - but when it's all said and done, they belong to God. And what freedom there is in that realization! God created them, God knew when they would learn to sleep and talk and go to the bathroom in a toilet. God knows all this. God really does have it under control.
There is a new song by JJ Heller called "Your Hands." The chorus goes like this, "When my world is shaking, Heaven stands. When my heart is breaking, I never leave your hands." There is so much uncertainty in parenting, but God really does have it under control. When we feel like we are out of control and discouraged, God has it under control. When we can't see past our own circumstances that hour let alone minute, God has it under control.
And thank you Jesus for my mom friends who can remind me when I forget, as I can remind them, God really does have it under control - and He has this parenting thing figured out.