Soul Scratching Motherhood
So I do college ministry and have for many years. I have gone through seasons of frustration but overall I absolutely love that God put me where He did. I mean, I REALLY love it. It seems like all my gifts and desires are used and fulfilled by doing ministry. I love teaching God's Word and helping girls love and walk with Jesus more and see themselves as sent ones to the world.
And then there's parenting. I'm just gonna be real here with what I believe the hardest thing to bring into the open because of the good intention-ed but hurtful comments. So, I am asking now, as I bare my soul to please don't tell me how much I am going to miss this season and to enjoy it. And if you have that perfect kid who never disobeys please stop reading because I don't think it would be healthy for you or I if you kept reading. You're doing a great job, keep up the good work.
Ok, with that out of the way...
I'm just not a kid person. I went to school to be an elementary school teacher until I sat in on some classes and came home crying everyday because I hated it so much. I think kids are cute and love watching them sing in church performances and love to hear the cute things they say. And my kids, I am thankful God gave them to me and I love them so much. I would do anything for them. I can not wait to see what God has in store for them. And I love their little personalities. But if I had the choice to hang out with college students or watch a classroom full of 3 year olds, I would choose the college students.
Online it seems like everyone who has kids just loves being a mom, so I have never thought about talking about this, since I thought no one could relate. Then a sweet friend of mine got in touch with me to ask how I did it all. She thought I was this model wife, mother and missionary, and was overcome by her inability, and frusterated by not enjoying being a mother. I shared with her that I struggle being a mom. I don't wake up every morning excited I get to be a mom. Because the reality is I spend my days having whining scratch my soul (the feeling of nails on a chalk board, except on my soul) 90% of the day and discipline 75% of the day. Not exactly the dream job.
I had a misconception that everyone enjoys their kids so much and thought I was a freak. A few weeks ago I had to ask my accountability partners to pray for me to actually like being a mom and to enjoy the season God has me in. Since then I have had moments of joy but I was honestly questioning if kids really were what the Lord had wanted for me "What if I was suppose to be single and never have kids. Maybe that's why I could never get pregnant in the first place. Maybe I talked God into giving us kids." I knew that wasn't true, but the thought crossed my mind. It's embarrassing to admit, but that is where I was at. But the Lord, In His grace helped me see that if He honestly didn't want me to have kids, He would have told me and aligned my desires to His at that time. I was walking with Him and He is totally capable of showing me that if that had been the case. So, here I am, realizing God really does want me in this soul scratching place.I exist for His pleasure and sometimes that might be at the expense of mine.
But for now I need to make sure I am getting an outlet. Getting on campus to disciple girls was my outlet two afternoons a week and Saturday afternoons from 1-4 Austin stays with the kids so I can have time to be alone. I get my energy from being alone and I've learned I do not function well without it. If I am around people all the time, I can't sustain a ministry to people, my kids, husband or college students. It seems that so often something comes up on Saturday afternoons and I have to remind Austin how much I need those few hours and how valuable that time for both of us. (This alone time is not my time with the Lord. Have that in the morning before kids get up. I would seriously go crazy without that.)
So, if you can relate, know that you are not alone and that God is pleased with this season. A season of opening our eyes to how desperate we are for Him. A season of realizing life is not about us, but about Him. A season of refinement. And He will be with us every moment (Because isn't it really moment by moment we need Him. lol. I never really understood a moment until being a mom of young boys. Now, thinking in terms of days in terms of patience seems crazy) each step of the way.
And this picture, a example of what I'm talking about. Don't they look like such non-wild kids who sat there for 3 hours painting. Well, the reality is they sat there for approximately 60 seconds and then the paint was all over Eden's hair and Uriah was running off to the next activity. lol
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3/24/2012 03:11:34 am
I can totally relate. This has been the hardest, toughest season of my life and if you know my life story, that's saying a lot. There are days I have also wondered if I was wrong. I don't write on motherhood and I honestly, don't read blogs about motherhood either. They make me feel inadequate and shameful. That's next week's post actually. Just getting the guts to post it. I love my kids more than anything but I don't get them. LOL Really, give me babies and even toddlers but once they get about 5, I'm a bit clueless and that leaves me feeling exasperated. So thank you sweet friend for touching on a subject no one wants to talk about.
Thank you for sharing! I also don't really write or read on motherhood and totally understand about having guts to post your next weeks post. I never would have posted anything like this if my friend hadn't messaged me. She had said she broke down crying after reading I didn't really like this season b/c she was so comforted. So, I figured I guess there must be other out there like me. (And I had a group of girl friends from my old church that told me they were not kid people but had 2-5 kids each. That was the first time I felt freedom to even admit I wasn't a kid person even though I had kids and realize it was ok. Thank you so much for coming along side me.
Sweet sweet Laura, I love you! I love how you are willing to be imperfect because you know that Jesus is your imperfection. I love that you're willing to let others in to your life and lay down truth with the chance of being hurt. You really are a great mother, even though you don't feel like it. I see you walk through the hard parts and train up your kids in the way of the Lord. (I mean really, what other 3 and 4 year olds do you know that share the gospel as much as your kids? And seriously they are the most encouraging ever!) This is a great post from a great mom! xoxo
3/24/2012 03:32:51 am
Laura your honesty is so refreshing. Thank you for baring your soul. I admire you in so many ways-including parenting :)
3/24/2012 04:24:26 am
3/24/2012 05:44:00 am
Thanks for the post!! while I am reaching a season I LOVE with my son...he Just turned 9months (shhh don't tell him I can't wait till he's one!!!) I have felt guily guilty guilty for not being totally in love with being a momma of an infant. I have to admit I despised before 4 months...(didn't know it until I had my own wee one...and he was an EASY baby) and until 8 months I still feel out of my element!! He hit 8 months and it ws like AHHHHH this is starting to be what I dreamed off all those 6 years of infertiltiy when I despaired over never having children. It's taken a lot of soul searching and realizing I'm just human to not feel overwhelmingly guilty about not loving it considering what we went through to get our little bug. And I want more kids but am working up the courage to go through the newborn infant stage again. All that to say,,,you are not alone momma!!!
I can't wait to get to 5, maybe 6 and up. I really am excited when I not cleaning poop and pee off everything... I didn't realize how much I love love self-control. When people are self-controlled you can do so much!! :)
Laura, thanks so much for your honesty. I'm sure your honesty about this will be a huge encouragement to many moms. I'm a mom (and grama) who loved the years with young children at home, and had a more difficult time mothering when they hit the high school years. But I think that God crafts us for His purposes (not our own) and God has you the way you are for His purposes, as you said in your post. I cannot even imagine all that your children are learning from you, even at a young age, as you model for them what it looks like to impact people for eternity. That is so exciting to think about. And you are serving them and loving them, and learning to deeply depend on God each and every day. That covers the most important stuff of mothering.
Thanks Cherry. I have a deep hope that they will really love and walk with the Lord. And I want to help them in that. Asher has given his life to Christ which is just so incredible and he shares the gospel with people which I love overhearing. Except he kinda freaked out when he realized Uriah doesn't quite get it yet. Anyway, I look forward to conversations with them about what God is teaching them and doing in their life as they get older. I look forward to so much life with them. When they can stop whining and disobeying every 2 min. and we can actually have fun together. It's just these preschool years that are tough for me.
3/24/2012 09:47:33 am
3/25/2012 11:15:43 am
I am not a kid person and never wanted them..but got three. And they were the greatest joys of my life. I dedicated my whole life to them and now feel lost now that they are gone. They were my purpose in life and now I feel like I need a ministry!!! I wrote a very honest post on Friday about where I am now they are gone.
4/17/2012 10:30:00 am
I can totally identify with what you are saying in this post. I distinctly remember a Saturday afternoon where I had this overwhelming feeling of "I don't even want to be around these kids. Somebody needs to take them somewhere - away from me." I loved my kids, who were then 3yrs old and 6 months old and absolutely could NOT understand why I felt the way I did until I realized that I measured myself against "ideas" of what I thought a good wife and mother was. The thing is, the ideas I measured myself to weren't reality. My ideas were images I "thought" other people lived up to, and I was greatly deceived. They were just that - images.
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