“We’re living in the dark ages of our lives”, I jokingly told my husband a few weeks ago. And by dark ages I just mean that we’re raising a very strong-willed 4-year-old and a very clingy 2-year-old in a new city far from our family. Don’t get me wrong, there’s so many reasons to love this time and enjoy all of the wonder and fun of their ages! I always want to soak in every moment. But it can also be extremely hard.
The Challenges of Parenting Littles
If you have kids, you know. It’s not just the diapers, the messes, and the terrifying screaming fits over the most simple tasks like getting dressed, eating a meal, and bathing. It’s all of the normal things that you used to do that you’re now unable to do.
- Restaurants? Once a regular part of our life, it is now literally a form of torture for everyone. Chick-fil-a has our back though!
- Grocery store? We’ve got 20 minutes top from walking in the door to checkout. Thank God for Walmart grocery pick up.
- Entertainment? If my kids can’t run around like wild animals, it’s probably a no for us. So we stick to open spaces, usually outside.
- “Me” time? What’s that, again?
Seek Help When You Have Extra Challenges
To be completely honest, the past year has presented a lot of extra challenges for our family because we moved to a new state. Almost a year ago we left our home and our families to follow God’s plan for us to Baton Rouge, and we might have underestimated the impact the move would have on our kids.
We have a 4-year-old named Priscilla Faith that we call Cilla. She’s a tiny lovable little thing that has always been extremely confident (a true girl boss), but in the past year she’s been needier than ever and enjoyable, routine activities like going to church have suddenly become a struggle. We also have a 2-year-old named Silas Lee that is a total mama’s boy (and I love it). Currently he is demonstrating complete dedication to living up to the “Terrible Two’s” status.
The struggles of moving have given us a new urgency to seek outside help to grow in the area of parenting. At the start of 2018 this year my husband and I decided to do a lot more intentional reading, studying, and praying about our marriage, parenting, and family, so what we can handle these challenges better.
Your (Parenting) Help Comes from the Lord
While I am NO expert in the field of parenting, and I fail in some way every single day, I do know one thing: my help comes from the Lord.
Just this morning, I was driving after dropping off Cilla at school. She had a complete meltdown the past two mornings in a row because she didn’t want to go to school after the long Christmas break and she wanted to stay with me. This mama’s heart was broken.
Meanwhile, my husband was at home with our son who had to be picked up early from daycare the day before because of a fever. They were getting ready to rush off to see the doctor.
This was a particularly chaotic morning in our house, one of tears and mommy guilt. It hurts to admit this, but sometimes I throw a mini pity party for myself because I don’t have much “help” here since all of my family lives hours away. It feels like we do a lot of scrambling trying to figure out what to do with the kids when one of them gets sick or school is out, and I always feel a certain amount of guilt that I’m not able to be home with them as much as I used to before the move.
On this morning I had those crazy mommy emotions swirling inside, felt the pity party coming on, and squashed the party before it could start. Instead, I turned my heavy heart to God to ask for help. I then felt a gentle whisper, a familiar scripture that suddenly came to life in my situation, “…my help comes from the Lord”.
God was kindly reminding me that He is my source of help and He can handle the challenges of this season. In my years of following Christ He has only shown me goodness and complete faithfulness to meet my every need. Why do I try to do this on my own?
God’s Grace is for Your Lane
“Momming” as I like to call it, is both so beautiful and so hard. I think every mom either wishes they were at home with their kids more, or wishes they were at home less and had a professional life outside of the home. It’s a messy balancing act that I don’t think anyone really has figured out yet.
Plus, social media just makes it even harder when you can see what every other mom is doing better and what you wish you could do for your kids. (Like those moms that create amazing faces/art with their kid’s breakfast every morning… Who does that?)
Que the mommy guilt.
When I start comparing myself to others, I’m learning that’s when I need to put down my phone, delete the app until I’m able to get my thoughts grounded again, and remind myself to stay in my lane.
I get myself in trouble when I start comparing lanes and wishing I was in someone else’s lane, wishing I was a mom like so-and-so. Because God’s grace and God’s help for my life is for my lane only. Looking at other lanes just slows me down and holds me back from loving the lane He’s given me.
To the overwhelmed parent: whatever parenting looks like for you, whatever your lane looks like, God’s grace is sufficient for you and He is your source of strength. Stay in your lane, be faithful to what is in front of you, and love YOUR journey. It’s beautiful isn’t it?