I am a firm believer that moms should be each other’s cheerleaders. Motherhood can be delightful, but also stressful, straining and heartbreaking. Since we are all in the same boat, we ought to lift each other up, not tear each other down.
Sometimes, we are able to encourage through our own life experiences. I happen to think that I have the golden response for moms who think they are doing a horrible job with their kids:
At least your kids didn’t climb on the roof.
Really. When I recite this, I have never once had a mother disagree. The usual response is, “Yeah…”
Little do they know that this really did happen to me. Truly. No kidding.
Let me begin by saying I love my kids and their personalities. They are strong willed people because they have strong willed parents. Although, the study of epigenetics may reveal more than that if you talk to my good friend Julie…. but I digress….
Strong willed kids. I remind myself that they will make great adults someday. I just need them to be good children now!!!
We have many issues because of these personalities. And sometimes I need a break to decompress. Things can get intense.
After a morning of intensity with Ethan and Sophie, I decided to send them to their room. At the time, I had not yet realized that putting them together increased the naughtiness factor. So to their room they went.
It got quiet. As most of you know, that is rarely a sign of anything good. I figured they were coloring on the walls or tearing a book to shreds. The day had been so horrible up until that point that I didn’t care a whole lot about it. A wall or a book are not as important as their safety and my sanity.
Being a mom who did realize that silence is not always golden, I went to check on them. What I found made me lose all sanity. Every last ounce.
They weren’t there. At all. Not in the other rooms or the bathroom. They couldn’t have made it downstairs because I would have noticed. My only clue was a ripped screen from the window in their room.
In disbelief, I looked out the window and there were my two littles, perched on the porch peak that lies just outside their window. They had no fear of the situation, just joy and excitement.
I was paralyzed.
After convincing them to climb back into the house safely (PRAISE THE LORD), I immediately corralled all the kids in the van and went to my husband’s office. I wept the whole way there.
It’s moments like that when you play through the “what could’ve beens.” It’s moments like that when you question your specific call to parent these children. It’s moments like that when you reevaluate your strategy.
By the time we pulled into the parking lot at the shop and I relayed the details to my husband, I was snapped back to reality. I could not have dreamed in my wildest dreams that these kids would do something so dangerous. I was putting them in a place of safety and they chose to escape the boundaries. There was really nothing I could have done to prevent it.
They were in the wrong. The mommy guilt was not on me.
Thankfully, they were able to stay under the watchful, labor intensive and boring eye of Stephen for the rest of the day while I went home to recover my wits. I wondered what good could come out of such a terrible incident.
But now I know in part. To encourage other moms with my life experiences. Yes, I by far have had one of the worst mommy moments in the history of mommydom. I made it to the other side with children unscathed, thankfully. It could have been so much worse; but since it isn’t, I share it with those around me as a testimony of how we can have a horrible no good very bad day and make it to the other side with kiddos in tow. Safe and healthy.
Every parent will have days that shake them to their core: days that make them question what on earth they are doing, trying to raise people. The key to making it through is to rely on God’s sovereignty and His strength, knowing He make turn beauty into ashes and mourning into joy.