Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tender, Tough, and Strong

It seems like there's hardly time to stop and write here. When I think about what keeps me grounded most, it's time in God's word, exercise, and creating. Usually that creating is writing. I need it in my life. There has been a lot of stress this past year and the busier I get, the more out of my control everything feels. The kids are at trying ages. Abel is in that wild stage of the terrible twos and Kinley is a strong willed, whiny three year old. I love them and they're fun, but they also have a way of making me want to pull all my hair out. Merit is still at the sweet baby stage that makes me think I could have a few more kids if they were all like him. I know I'll be singing a different tune in about a year! Anyway, these days are long and I often feel I'm bad at my role as Mom.

But I know I'm not. 

I know I'm not because I think about it all the time. Is this what God wants me to do with my children? Is this how I'm supposed to treat them? Reprimand them? Should I teach them this? Or that? Or both? 

How, how, how do I do this? No, really- HOW?

I look back to life with one and it makes me smile. I thought Kinley was a difficult baby (he was!) but I had no idea what was headed my way. Handling three babes three and under is a whole new adventure that I felt ill prepared for. Now that I'm in the trenches, there is some clarity that one day the pitter patter of little toddler feet on the hardwood or the newborn cries of my youngest won't wake me up in the morning. I know I'll miss hearing Abel jumping in his crib in the early morning and then giggling in his room all by himself. These boys are my life.

They are. I don't care if I've lost a little of myself because I'm pouring as much of me as I can into them. I'm trying to use a strainer, though. A little of this patience and none of that anger. It's such a hard, thankless job raising kids and I know as a sinner I'm bound to screw up daily. But just as God picks me up, forgives me, and loves me when I veer off in the wrong direction, I'm the same with the boys. I put them down at night and feel totally and completely emotionally tapped out. I can still easily recall all the  mischievous happenings of the day yet as I watch them sleep there's so much love in my body for them. I can't explain it. They make me want to be better for them. 

I was reminded of this song when I saw it on Good Morning America last week. The guy who wrote it performed it in my hometown and dedicated it to me when I was pregnant with Kinley. I think it means even more to me now that I know how incredible it is to be mama to three wonderful little boys.

Cue more tears. 

Thanks for listening, y'all. I know there's more of you out there who feel like I do. I make it a point not to sugarcoat how tough this job is because so many of us pretend to have it all together. I promise not to do that. Is being a parent difficult? Yes-in so many ways. It's difficult if you care...and I do. But these three boys have changed me, God is changing me, and in that regard, I couldn't be happier. I never knew I could love like this.

 "Hush now baby. Don't you cry. Because there's someone down there waiting whose only goal in life is making sure you're always gonna be alright- a loving angel, tender, tough and strong. It's almost time to go and meet your mom."


Jen said...

I have to say that you are a remarkable Mom. You are inspiration to everyone around you.

JG said...

"Using a strainer." I like that image. You have to be one of the strongest moms I know! And I think you've hit it - you're a great mom because you care. A "bad" mom wouldn't care at all. You are awesome :)

Jenn said...

you are one of the most amazing moms I know. Your strength, patience, sweet spirit, and heart for the lord are all things that I admire about you. You are an excellent example of great mom!

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