Today I’m thankful to have Shelley Gallamore sharing her heart about motherhood and the fatigue that comes from it (yet the joy too!) Thanks, Shelley, for writing your excellent post!
Today the littlest one cried a lot.
He cried when the bigger kids ran faster, he cried when the rules were too hard for him to follow, and he cried when he didn’t get his way. He tattled on the Daddy to the Momma, and sobbed when the older ones wouldn’t let him play their big kid game. The supper menu made him cry and the mention of baths made him get louder. He cried a full half of his conversations which is amazing when you consider the depth of his ability to talk non-stop.
It was a hard day.
And yet, he has been tucked, bathed and sweet smelling into his jammies and is falling asleep to the memory of the quick bedtime story read. The day ended happily and the I have no regrets tonight.
There have been plenty of nights of regret through the years, the years that brought experience and perspective to my life. The years I lived when those around me thought more of themselves than me and explained that to me through their tears.
So, what has changed?
I have realized the value of a soft and firm answer. Saying things once with a calm tone and an immediate consequence brings peace to everyone. In my youth, my default was to yell things that I had no interest or intent in enforcing. I yelled to express my frustration rather than address my frustration and the results were simply… frustrating.
I have realized the value of choosing my focus. Other people will often get on your nerves. Children are driven by their own agenda – and it often competes with ours. In the heat of the battle, we can choose to focus on the problem of the moment, or we can choose to focus on the blessings of the moment. Children who cry loudly usually have healthy lungs and a determined spirit. Being grateful for those assets gives me perspective as I deal with them.
I have realized that this too shall pass. When I was a young momma, it all seemed never ending. I was always going to have a baby that spit up, toddlers who accidently soiled their pants and preschoolers with a continual question “why?”. Each stage brought something new to fret over and I often failed to rejoice over the ending of the previous hard things. Looking back, I can now recognize that the years pass ever so quickly.
Children are a blessing from God. Realizing the preciousness of the here and now sustains me during the long, tough days and draws me to seek refuge in the Giver. It is a gracious gift to be a mother even on the hard days.