Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I definitely have down days as a mom. The contrast between ideal and real is all too evident sometimes. As mom's we can't help but have a vision for our kiddos that involves their success in school, sports, friendships. We want to walk around every day as people notice how amazing our kids are, to the point that they can't help but stop us and say, "Your kid is just so wonderful!" Then in response, you desire to remain humble so you say, "Oh you are too nice," then they reply, "No really your kid is just the most beautiful, and amazing, and smart, and well mannered kid I have EVER seen!" Maybe some of you do get to hear that and that is great! I am truly happy for you.
I spend many of my days apologizing on behalf of my kids. I love them dearly! They are truly awesome to me. Sometimes I feel my heart might burst from the amount of love I feel for them. I have hugged them and kissed their boo boos. I have sung them to sleep, read to them, and enjoyed playing with them at the neighborhood pool. I have sacrificed time and sleep and my own needs for them, because I wanted to.
Then there are the days you are apologizing to your assistant pastor for the fart noises your daughter is making as she hides behind his chair. Or the time you are praying that the doctor's office doesn't call Family Protective Services because you have brought your child in for the second time that they gashed their forehead, and needed stitches. There are the days your kid has a massive meltdown in the grocery isle and you wonder what your options were, "Should I abandon my cart and go home, yell at my kid, keep walking and pretend I don't know them?"
It's tough when your school keeps calling to talk about how your kid is falling behind in class (especially when you know you have spent lots of time with them helping them learn), and later when you are sitting in at the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting where they talk about your kid in front of you with a special plan to help her. Granted, I was thrilled to have a team of people who were eager to help her. I wanted to hug them all for their interest in how they could help!
It still was challenging to hear all of the negatives and all of the challenges my ADHD kid faces. I know for a fact I have spent hours helping her with homework, reading to her, teaching her. At my kids' old school the teachers would just complain about your child every day that you picked them up (later I learned I wasn't the only one who endured this torture). It got to be so bad that I would get an upset tummy every day before school pick up. One of my friends held her son back a year just because she got tired of hearing it. We tried everything from writing apology letters to the teachers, to taking away privileges at home, and time-outs. Still, the complaints came in and my heart would get very discouraged.
Really we realized that part of the problem was that the class sizes were too big and the school had fewer resources then they used to, so they turned to the parents to see if they could shame their kids into sitting still and listening like perfect little angels all day in class. My kids aren't like that. My son's kindergarten teacher said she even moved him next to the kid who spoke only Spanish (to help him focus on her), and somehow they two boys would still manage to have full conversations during class. She was amazed at my son's ability to converse with anyone that came near to him.
Anyway, all of that said, I still absolutely LOVE being a mom, even when it is hard and when I get discouraged and when I wonder what I am doing wrong. I know that God has designed their little (or large, depending on how you look at it) personalities, and that He has a plan specific to them, problems and all. I trust that He will guide them when I cannot, or when I get too frustrated to be productive in my instruction.
We have great days too, and great moments. My daughter loves to hug, and my son loves to talk about his favorite books. They both are social, artistic, athletic and smart in their own ways. We have a blast together. For all of us who have challenging kids this prayer is for you.
Prayer: Lord help me to be patient with my kids, and to trust that you have a plan for them. Help me to remember that I am not perfect and neither are my kids, yet you love us all dearly. Help me even when things seem discouraging and frustrating to remember that you will take care of my kids as I entrust them to you. Amen.