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I’ve been struggling a lot lately with feeling like a really bad mom.
It’s hard work parenting. Some days I feel like I will never get out of a cycle of exhaustion. I let anger win out too much. I don’t see the fruits of gentleness, patience, kindness nearly enough from myself – or from my kids.
We’ve been enduring a season where the kids fight, physically and with words, and the discipline and correcting and trying to figure out what on earth to do with it brings me to the end of my rope. (I’m willing to take ideas, if you have any.)
I’m frustrated because it seems like nothing ever goes right, the apartment is always a mess, and I feel defeated every single night after tucking those sweet faces into bed.
And then yesterday I was trying to gather pictures from 2015 to make into photo books or something for Christmas presents. (Look at me getting a head start!) Seeing these memories … I just feel the joy.
There are the times we’ve done special things together – like this trip with my parents to Tweetsie Railroad, an amusement park; our now-yearly trip to Tybee Island; Easter egg hunts and museums and trips.
But just as often, I see big giant grins just because we are having fun together, because they are children enjoying life and being kids and loving wholeheartedly.
I might always feel the weight of yelling and dealing with problems and having crayon papers all over the floor. (Thanks, Joshy.) But the joy outweighs the bad.
When my kids wake up in the morning, they’ve released the stuff of yesterday and are ready to face the world with smiles and pep. I want to be the same way. Letting things go like a kid, and just embracing and giving thanks for all the joyful moments. When we look back, I don’t think we’ll remember the nit-picky everyday things, but we will remember building a snowman, playing games, cuddling and laughing.
Lord, I thank You for all the sweet joyful moments with these treasures You gave me. Help me embrace the good and let go of the bad, constantly remembering that You are with me as a parent. Let Your fruit abound in my parenting. Amen.