I haven't always liked my children.
Truthfully, there were times I questioned my love for them.
I have felt they would be better off without me.
There have been some phases of motherhood that have been more than I could handle. There have been so many times I have questioned what on Earth I was doing raising children. There were so many times I felt like giving up.
There was the having a baby, toddler, and preschooler stage, immediately followed by the pregnant and sick with a baby, toddler, and preschooler stage. That merged into 3 in diapers (Hello 4 under 4), 2 not walking, and me completely overwhelmed trying to pretend I had it all together. How about 3 potty training at the same time? Thank goodness my last baby was a girl who got to underwear first and inspired her older brother to give up his diapers! I am pretty sure they all did half a decade of the "terrible twos" together, and then have some moments now that remind me of those times. We have spent most of their lives without their father in the house, but we are all thankful for our military family. The children didn't really get to know their father until we moved to our current home, a year ago. It has been a long journey for our family already. We are finally in a really good place.
I spent most of their childhood being the only person taking care of every aspect of their lives. They have spent some time in public school, but never all at once. I thought it was my job to take care of all of their needs, maintain a spotless home, cook incredible meals, keep a well stocked freezer full of meals to share, bake up a storm to share at my husband's work to make him look good, volunteer anywhere and everywhere I could, say yes to anyone's plea for help, take care of all of my friend's families and their children, have extravagant holidays all year round, do crafty things daily with the children, teach and participate in every Bible study offered, and somehow be happy all the time. At times, I could pull some of that off, but never, ever all of it. That isn't possible. We aren't meant to do everything for everybody. we aren't mean to be everything to everybody.
You know who is? God
Trying to take the reins and control everything cost me so much. I was worn out. My body, mind, and soul were just done. I didn't want to be home with my children. I didn't want to spend time with friends. I just wanted out. I thought I wanted to work, to have my own life, finally. I thought that everything I had ever done at home meant nothing. I still struggle finding the value of being a stay at home parent. I just was lost. I missed out on so many opportunities to get to know my children. I missed out on experiences and fun I could have had with my husband. I was living a wasted life. No wonder I felt like every day was just a race for survival.
You can't live like that.
Boy, is that the truth. It is impossible to maintain that. I HAD to change. I HAD to find a way to make my life worthwhile. I had to find a way to see my children differently, and to be involved in my marriage.
One baby step at a time, I started to get better.
I gave over the things I had no control of to The Lord. Guess what? He handled it! All I had to do was realize that I am weak and broken in my humanity, and give up the control.
It sounds simple.
It was worth it.
I began speaking truths over my children. I referred to my most frustrating child as my "dependable and big hearted" one. My absent-minded child was called "smart and creative" when introduced to new people. I started making sure that I took what I was frustrated with, or what I saw as weakness was turned around to be positive. The result? I started seeing my children in a different light. I think they started seeing themselves and each other differently. Our home became more peaceful. We had harmony.
I began looking for things to be thankful for in my life. It's funny how much more you love your life when you constantly see little things to be thankful for. Look around? Even in the trenches of motherhood... when you haven't had a moment to yourself in days, and you smell like baby vomit, there is something to be thankful for. I asked The Lord to show me, to make me completely aware of the things in my life I should be thankful for. He has remained faithful.
So What is the point? I am not the most amazing mother. I might not even be a particularly good mother. I love my children. I like them now that I have a different perspective. Hearts can change. People can change. Life is beautiful, if you look for the beauty. Turn to heaven... often.
That is all.