“Mom, Mum, Mommy, Momma, Ma, Mom….”
How many moms can relate to Lois’s reaction to Stewie’s continual calling of her? That scene from “Family Guy” is funny and very familiar. I remember the frustration of trying to find five minutes of quiet during the day. One of my littles would call my name as soon as I’d lay down, or stare at me until I could feel their gaze. I’d open my eyes to a little voice asking, “Momma, are you awake?”
I am now!
It’s funny now, and I miss those eyes staring me down and the very loud voices. All our kids are adults, on their own, and Ed and I are “empty nesters.” I love this season together, but I do miss my kids being around. Time goes by so quickly, and thinking back on those years, I remember my impatience and wonder, “How much did I rush those years?”
“If only they could do it themselves instead of me always having to do it for them.” “If only they could read, then I wouldn’t have to teach them.” (side note – Stephen insists he homeschooled himself! I did a good job teaching him, right?)
And now those “if onlys” are years later, and I have what I thought I wanted: peace and quiet. I didn’t understand how much I was wishing time away, and I have learned there will be frustrations and challenges in every season of life. What matters most is my response, and more importantly, what I am teaching this next generation of mine. More often than not, I was reacting instead of responding. I was reacting from emotions, like being tired or overwhelmed, which honestly had nothing to do with them and were more about me and what I was dealing with.
We live in a world where we can access things immediately. We can microwave a meal in three minutes and the internet is available 24/7 for instant satisfaction. This instant gratification can easily bleed into every area of our life. And if not monitored, that expectation can move into our parenting where frustration builds if we fail in any way, or our children don’t meet our expectations for them.
I have learned there will be frustrations and challenges in every season of life. What matters most is my response, and more importantly, what I am teaching this next generation of mine.
When they first learned to walk, we stopped everything and recorded this lifetime moment. They took a step and they fell. Did we get frustrated? No, because they were learning. We clapped and cheered them on to do it again knowing that they would get it someday. And through the years, if we’re not careful, we can stop being encouraging and start to expect immediate results. We don’t do it intentionally; it just happens. More than likely, it comes from life struggles we’re dealing with, frustrations in what we’re going through, and even expectations of ourselves and how we see God.
Galatians 6:9 in the Message says, “so let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time, we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.”
Honestly, there were times I wanted to give up. I didn’t feel adequate or good enough to be a mother. It was painful especially when our second child died at two months old. Life certainly wasn’t like I had planned. And as normal as it is to grieve, I couldn’t stay there. As a Christian, I’ve learned that life isn’t about me but about the One I reflect and represent. I was looking at what I didn’t have or how it wasn’t working out, instead of looking at what I’d been given with many more children to come. If I’d given up when it was difficult to feel or even breathe, I wouldn’t have this beautiful life with this amazing family!
I wanted it the way I had imagined it, and as good as that was, God had something better. I had to get my eyes off myself, off my pain and frustrations, to see that clearly. Life is an incredible journey with challenges along the way. They can’t be avoided. But if we don’t give up, if we keep pressing forward, if we continually look to Him with a grateful heart, we’ll see life is pretty amazing. And these kids that sometimes frustrate us and get on our last nerve? They are worth it! We’ll see them become amazing adults with great purpose that God has allowed us to be a
part in preparing them and access to front row seats on their incredible journey! I’m believing this Mother’s Day will be full of life, love, and laughter for you amidst the many, “Mom, Mum, Momma.” And for those praying for motherhood? Continue to trust God. He loves you and has good things for you. It just may not look how you pictured it but trust me, it’s even better!