It’s the end of another day and you’re tired. Your eyes are straining and your muscles are aching. It’s been a day of endless negotiations with the toddler and multiple outfit changes for your baby. After more negotiating and tickling-that-is-border-line-wrestling, your toddler is asleep and your baby is finally down for the night.
You have a moment. The moment you’ve been waiting for all day. To sit back and take a minute for yourself. A moment to think. A moment that is ALL YOURS. Where you don’t need to give anything to anyone else. The moment is immanent but it catches the tail of a cycle of thoughts that begin swirling out of you. They’ve been bustling around inside all day, squashed down every time you needed to handle a situation. But now there is no external force to hold those thoughts in. Thoughts that need to be thought of because they bubble up from within.
What could I have done differently? I just can’t believe she behaved that way after all that I did. I tried my best to plan but then everything went pear-shaped. Will things ever get better or will they always be like this? Or, God forbid, could things actually get worse? What would I do? I already feel like I’m losing control of the situation. I’m in over my head. They definitely don’t teach parenting at university.
Why is that? After all, being a mother has to be the most popular career worldwide. We’re here, day in – day out, trying to figure out what on earth we are doing. When they sent us home from the hospital, in place of an instruction manual, all we got was a brochure for safe sleeping arrangements. That and the flyer with photos of newborn nappy colours for the first 5 days.
No. None of us has any idea what we are doing. And the ones who say they do, don’t. The truth is we are all just figuring it out. Don’t believe anyone who tells you any different.
Every child is a miracle. Every child is unique. Truth be told, parenting is simply a game of trial and error. Try, try and try again.
But whatever you do, don’t give up. No matter how loud your child screams or how mad you get. There is always hope for a fresh start tomorrow.
Let yourself reflect on the day. Let yourself evaluate what happens but don’t get stuck there. Don’t beat yourself up and perpetuate the issues. Assess and try again. If every day is a little better than the last, then surely there are blue skies ahead!
If you’re at the end of the rope and you’re in over your head, please know that you are not alone. You are not the only one struggling. There are other mums in the same boat and WE are here for you. (Honestly, if you feel like this, please leave a comment or head over to Instagram and send me a message @thatproverbsmamma).
But even more than that, in those moments when no one else is around, God is. He is quick to listen and his mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). We may not understand the paradoxical ways of our toddlers, but He does!
You were given your child on purpose for a purpose. God hand-chose you to be their mother out of all the people in the world. You are the best fit for them. It’s quite a responsibility, isn’t it? And sometimes that can feel like a lot of pressure. But the truth is that He never asks us to do anything alone. He is always just one prayer away.
Just as we expect our children to listen to us and follow our instructions, God expects us to listen to his voice and heed his call. We know how frustrating it is to be ignored or spited and yet if we are honest, how many of us do the same thing to God?
The truth is, some days, we are no better than our toddlers. We are immature and still need guidance. Thankfully, the Bible says that God is eager to give us wisdom.
Wisdom is the key.
Parenting styles change from year to year and generation to generation but you know what never changes? The wisdom of God. You can read all the books you want, but nothing will really quite measure up to the impact of taking a moment to ask God for wisdom and listening to his still small voice in that moment.
Have you tried that? Pausing and asking God to reveal to you the actions you should take? It works!
So tired mamma, make yourself a cup of tea and spend a few moments bringing your concerns to God. He is more than able to take our mistakes and weave them into a masterpiece.
You’re doing a wonderful job and God sees your efforts.
In Christ’s love, Nicola
“My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life.
I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths.
When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble.
Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.”(Proverbs 4:10-13)