Our second son just turned one last month, and the past year leaves me with bittersweet, nostalgic memories. It has been a challenging year albeit, but not without many sweet moments and lessons learned. I strongly believe that one of the reasons why the Lord gave us children is to not only teach us about His love, but to refine and sanctify us. If you think you've got it all together, children are there to bring you humility. Never have I been stretched beyond the limit when it comes to love and patience, or feel so emotionally and physically tired that it's like I am living in another person's body. Never have I been pushed to the point of anger and rage that I scare not only my children, but myself. On the flip side, never have I experienced such joy and love for another human being to the point of willing to give up one's life for the sake of another (and I don't know if the Hubs even qualifies, jk).
The life of any Mama is never a walk in the park. For me personally, being a full-time stay at home Mama to a baby/toddler and toddler has had its challenges and moments. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful and grateful that I have the opportunity to stay home with these precious children before they are off to school, but it has taken me awhile (and it's an ongoing battle) to settle into my role as a "Mommy." I constantly struggle with Mommy guilt -- wanting to stay home with the littles to teach them and watch them develop, but I also covet developing a career and the life we once lived before kids came into the picture. However, having children in our life was the path we decided to take, and the challenges come with the package.
Being a Mama can be a thankless job, and often times is made even more difficult based on the criticism you receive from those around you. Everyone (and I am sure most mean it from a helpful standpoint) seems to have an opinion when it comes to how you rear your children, and I have difficulty letting the opinions and judgment of others not get the best of me. And at the end of the day, only a Mama knows her children best. Everyone has a background story, and we strive to do the best we can.
So why do we do it? The fruit of our labor is often unseen or delayed, but we do it because we hope and pray that one day there will be fruit-- and that our children will grow into their full God-given potentials as selfless, respectful, giving, loving and hard-working individuals. For me, my prayer is that they would love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength (Mark 12:30), and to love and serve His people. It's a mammoth of a task, which is why people say it takes a village to raise a child. However, it seems as though our world and communities are growing further and further apart. Families are spread out, and in the midst of our busyness we isolate ourselves, using social media as our source of superficial connection.
Perhaps if we all made an effort to be mindful of other Mamas, to be part of this large "village," it would make a world of a difference-- to encourage rather than discourage, to empathize rather than to judge, to bring up rather than to tear down, to offer a hand to a Mama in need, rather than walk away, and to keep one's opinions to themselves unless asked. So the next time you see a screaming child or children accompanied by a frazzled Mama (or even Papa!), offer them a smile or word of encouragement. Our words and actions can make a bigger impact than we may realize.
|Our overly energetic, creative, sensitive, sugar addict -- wonder where he gets that from? ^^|
|How could you not love a face like that? ; )|
|This silly, giggly, joyful, laid-back boy has been such a blessing. As long as he is well-fed, all is good in the world.|
|I think every Mama struggles with the idea of wanting their little ones to grow up and become independent, but when we realize how quickly they've grown, we wish we could take back time.|