I'm not a model mother.
My kids would concur. I think every one of them wished I would take a flying leap on Saturday. Frankly, it didn't sound like a bad idea to me either. This mom gig is tough!
Last week I growled into my husband's shoulder saying I needed a break from being a mom. I love my kids, I really do. They are awesome, no angels, mind you (unless you count the youngest the rest of them call "Perfect Baby Angel Child" who never gets in trouble. When will they quit beating that old drum?!). It's just that sometimes I get tired of the commitments, the laundry, the appointments, the money being shelled out, the late nights, the early mornings, the endless questions and minor crises I'm supposed to address at a moment's notice.
Don't say it. I'll say it for you. My whiny baby syndrome is kicking in again. You think God resists the urge to smack me the same way I do with my teenage daughter when hormones take over her mouth?
Believe it or not, my reality check came through a television program. A couple was divorcing and the husband was awarded temporary custody of the kids for two weeks. As the wife was getting the children ready to go with their dad, she put on a happy face, trying to make it easier on them, telling them how much fun they were going to have, assuring the older of the two it was going to be okay. But the minute the front door shut, she fell to the floor. I've never faced this kind of trauma personally, yet I couldn't help but cry along with her. As much as they wear me out, I can't stand the thought of living without my kids.
The truth is I prayed to be a mother. I yearned for it. And God answered my prayer, four times over. Despite my feelings of inadequacy, it is no mistake these kids live in my house. Though I'm going to mess up every single day, though I'm bound to lose my temper and get frustrated, though my body is consistently weary, He chose me the same way He chose Mary. It is a divine appointment. I am the best possible mother for each of them. No one else can give them what I can. When it gets overwhelming, I need to remember His promise:
There is hope and help. I can do this mother thing as long as I hold His hand.
I pray as my children sit around with their friends and talk about the stupid things their parents do or did, they are gentle. I pray as they become parents themselves they will understand. And I pray for strength for mothers every where. May His spirit empower us to be exactly what our children need.