There are moments when I actually feel so overwhelmed that I just feel like shutting down. Let’s face it life is full of unplanned circumstances and stress. Sometimes it feels like we are swimming against the tide, just trying to reach some peace.
As parents, we can feel this way even more at times. No matter how beautiful and rewarding parenting can seem with moments of sweet sleeping children, joyous laughter and milestones, we certainly do have moments of feeling like we’ve failed or feeling like we are just not cut out for this job of raising our little kids.
I forget to turn in permission slips. My kids lose their shoes on a daily basis. I help them clean their rooms only to wander in a day later and find its turn into a disaster area again. My car looks like one on an episode of Hoarders. My life feels like one giant mess.
Sometimes, it’s not easy being so responsible. Recently, my head was swarming with thoughts of “I’m not good enough.” “I can’t do this.” “Maybe my kids deserve a better mother.” These words attacked my very core.
I was lying in my bed wondering if maybe I am just one huge failure. As I cried, I heard little footsteps coming down the hallway. My youngest decided it was time for his nightly escape from his bed to come and snuggle with me.
He whispered sleepily, “Mommy, can I sleep in here with you?” I couldn’t help but smile. As I lifted him into the bed next to me, he grabbed my neck and just hugged me as tightly as he could.
He quickly fell back asleep. I stared at my tiny little human, this child who still needs me. I prayed to God that I could be a better mother, that I would always be the most dependable person in my children’s lives. I went to sleep that night feeling a mix of emotions: sadness, fear and yet so much love.
The next day, I was in the store with that same child. He was running around and stressing me out. I was standing next to an elderly lady, who was watching him intently.
She looked up at me, smiled and said “You do know God only gives you the children you are meant to handle, right?” I laughed and replied “Sure but I’m not so sure I’m living up to my job.”
She came closer to me and shared that as a young mother she had four children, all very different. She said her husband was away a lot. She told me how her children would run around and make her feel out of control and she said that sometimes she felt so alone, even with all the noise. Then she said something that gave me goose bumps, even now writing about it I can’t help but tear up knowing that God put this lady and her words in my life for a reason. He listened the night before as I prayed and went to Him with my fears and failures.
She said, “Sometimes I would lie in bed at night and just cry, feeling like a failure. But Honey, I wasn’t, I was the mother that my children needed. Not all moms are the same. We all do things different. We are blessed with the children that need that, need us as we are.”
I just stared at her. I’m sure she thought I was crazy. I had no words, no explanation for her about how much that conversation really meant to me. That simple interaction healed a lot of hurt and fear. I thanked her and finished up my shopping.
When I got into my car I broke down, but not because I was sad or fearful this time. I thanked God for His mercy and for the beautiful souls He entrusted me with as a mom. For the first time in a long time, I thanked Him for making me who I am.
We all have feelings of inferiority. Still, we must believe that we were made for a reason and that we are exactly who God intends us to be.