A popular meme lately has the quote “you’re making it very hard for me to be the mom I always thought I would be”.
Before having children it’s easy to have all these ideas about how children should behave, how parents should react to situations, and even imagine how wonderful of parents we’ll be, because of course, we’ll never make “those mistakes” or be “that mom”.
Suddenly, along comes children, regardless of if you have 1 or 8 of them running around, raising children is hard!
All of a sudden there’s this actual human being within your care, yes, YOUR care… Holy crap. That alone is a pretty steep change and thought. Then there’s all these decisions to make. Epidural or med-free birth? Breastfeeding or formula? Cloth or disposable diapers? When do you start solids? But they have guidelines for those things right? Doesn’t the APA just hand out a manual to new parents to answer all their questions? Oh, not quite, oops.
So what makes this parenting thing so hard? People have been doing it forever, right? Shouldn’t we have all the kinks worked out by now? Oh, that’s right, every child is different. Just like us “grown-ups” they have different needs and wants. Most especially it’s that even that little baby is still a sinful human being. Hello selfishness. During those first few weeks (or even last couple months of pregnancy) it sure would be nice to get a few hours of consistent sleep. Then that cycle might just repeat itself when the toddler is teething. Molars suck!
And sometimes it’d be nice to just wash the dishes or cook dinner without the toddler screaming at your leg. Or maybe the worst of all, getting those dirty looks from the other customers at the grocery store when your child is acting up and you won’t give in just to quiet them down. You’re constantly trying to keep your child alive, fed, entertained, and well behaved. On top of it all, we’re commanded to ”Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.
Wow, that seems like a heavy task to top it all off, not that the other tasks are easy to begin with. Some days these tasks are easier then others, but no day is easy. Suddenly you’re no longer the mother you always imaged you would be, you make “those mistakes” and become “that mom” or have “that child”. Mother’s are expected to do so much and it’s just not possible to do it all alone. If you’re like me, there are plenty of days where you know you can’t handle anymore alone. Thankfully, we’re not alone. Some of us have spouses to help raise our children, which is a huge blessing. Some have friends nearby to help out, others don’t. Some mothers are single, have husbands who travel all the time for work, etc.
But even so none of us are alone. All of us have the help we need, the only help that matters. Regardless of our struggles for the day, our weaknesses and failures, we’re not alone. Christ is there to guide us along and comfort us. He picks up those loose ends and bears our failures upon Himself. Our weaknesses are made perfect in Him. When we need a little extra encouragement we need only to turn to Him in prayer or by reading His word. But even when we fail to do so, when we forgot or feel like we don’t have time, He’s there. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. So when you’re having that especially bad day and you know you just can’t “do it all” anymore, know you don’t have to. Christ has already done it all for us on the Cross and He overcame death for US! So remember that you’re not alone.