It had been a rough week in the mommy department. I had a melt down of sorts. Like most things that push me over the edge, it is actually a build up of several things over a long period of time.
Can you relate?
I thought so.
Neither one of my kids are perfect (just like everyone else’s) and they each have their own unique set of challenges; but right now, we are neck deep (sometimes eye ball deep) in the terrible 3’s. I don’t know what else to call it.
Lately, parenting seems a lot like this: Remember that scene in Nemo when Marlin warns Nemo to not touch the ship?
“If you put one fin on that boat…..Don’t touch the….. Nemo!”
Whispered in utter disbelief, “He touched the butt!”
Can I just say that I love my Little H. To pieces!
But this mama was at the end. of. her. rope. It seemed like I was just fighting the same battles with my little guy over and over. Day after day. Every day.
Parenting Is Hard.
I laugh when I type this because I know that I’m not breaking any cutting edge news here. There is just no other way to say it. Plain and simple, in your face, HARD WORK. For Pete’s sake, it’s an emotional roller coaster!
I was simply exhausted, frazzled and frustrated.
My husband doesn’t “come home from work” in the evenings. He wakes up, hangs out with us and then goes to work. So, by the time the hubs woke up, I was curled up at the end of the couch, in the fetal position, sucking my thumb and rocking back and forth.
Okay, okay, maybe not quite like that……….. but I was done.
Here’s the thing. My day hadn’t actually been that bad. It was one little act. It was one, “No, I’m not going to”, with arms crossed. It was one, thin, slivery piece of straw and the camel collapsed.
It was a build up of several challenging days that led to what I felt was one big colossal fail as a parent. I had gotten angry. I had yelled. My patience was non existent.
After I had explained my morning and my frustrations in general, my husband then said the best words he could have ever said to me. He said, “You need to leave. ”
I did. I needed a break.
“And don’t come back until you feel ready. Take as long as you need.”
Yup. Marrying him 14 years ago was THE BEST decision I ever made.
Sometimes a mama just needs a break! The afternoon away didn’t solve all my problems. I didn’t come back with a full-proof plan to make my 3 year old obey and stop throwing fits. The afternoon did give me time to be alone, to cry, to pray, to take a breath.
I PRAYED A LOT.
I told God everything that was on my heart. Since He knows what is there already, there is no use in hiding it.
I told him, “Lord, I don’t have a clue what I’m doing! I think I used to, a little. I have a very strong willed, passionate, stubborn child. How do I parent him?!”
Guess what? He showed me some real truths and encouragement from His Word. And just turning to God’s Word, not a parenting book or friend, set my heart in the right place.
Psalm 38:15 For I hope (wait) in you, O Lord; You will answer, O Lord my God.
God promises to give us wisdom and discernment when we ask. He loves my children more than I do and want me and the hubs to be the best parents we can. Hoping in the Lord isn’t the kind of hope where we “hope” we get a better job or “hope” we can go on a fancy vacation someday. Those things are nice wishes but are definitely not a gaurantee. God’s promises in His Word are our “hope”. God’s promises are a sure thing. If He says He will give us wisdom, He will.
Psalm 56:8 Record my lament. List my tears on your scroll. Are they not in your record?
That day I was crying, literally, over what I viewed as my obvious lack of parenting skills. I was lamenting over my feelings of frustration and tiredness. There have been other times I’ve cried, though. Over broken relationships, loneliness, uncertainty, fill in the blank! God knows about every single tear and He cares.
Psalm 13:2-3; 5-6
(2-3) How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and everyday have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death.
I know my troubles do not compare to those of David’s; but bringing those troubles, whatever they are, is what God wants us to do. David is a clear example of that. David had some very formidable foes in his life. Right now, parenting is kicking my butt! I’m feeling like the enemy is triumphing. That simply cannot happen, right?
(5-6) But I trust in your unfailing love, my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.
Praising God through trials. Yes!! David did it. He had trials galore. No matter how terrible, how horrible, how no good and definitely very bad my day had been, at the end of the day I could praise God for his goodness and for saving me. Honestly, these verses filled me with comfort and joy. Had it changed my bad day? No. Was I still worn out? Yes. Were all my questions answered? Absolutely not. God had reminded me, though, that He’s given me whatever I need to be the mom that Lily and Henry need.
Is my Little H stubborn and strong-willed? Ummm…… yes. Can God used these things in his life to do fantastic things for Christ? Yes, Yes, Yes!!! Do the hubs and I have work to do? Yes!! We have two little sinners in our care who God has given us to raise. And we are sinners ourselves, big ones!!
Mamas, we need those breaks from time to time to keep at this parenting thing. I’m just at the beginning of my parenting journey; but there are a couple of things I know for sure:
- I need some time to myself. Yes, I need time with the hubs and the girl friends; but I also need time to be quiet. Reboot and Recharge!
- I need to keep my quiet time appointment with the Lord, every day. God’s Word is powerful and shines truth into my life.
- I wouldn’t trade being a mom for all the peaceful quiet, uninterrupted meal times, crumbless carpets or sleepless nights in the world.