Monday, September 7, 2009

Calling the qualified...

My children, who are such wonderful blessings in my life, have been driving me crazy lately. Now, in their defense and my own if I sound like a horrible mother, we have had an eventful few weeks at our house. It was less than 4 weeks ago that we welcomed a beautiful new baby into our family. It was only 2 weeks ago that my 4 year old son started pre-school for the first time. It was only 1 week ago that we all survived a bout with a very nasty virus. We have been house bound for nearly a month now and our whole lives are turned upside down. We have no schedule these days, no regular routines, and we have yet to settle into a new normal with the baby.
So, considering all that has happened in such a short amount of time, it should come as no surprise that the children are not quite themselves, and I am feeling a little overwhelmed. The bickering between the kids is getting on my nerves, the messes they seem to make and never clean up are stressing me out, the whining, the complaining, the griping are out of control. Our whole life is lacking discipline. Right now life revolves primarily around diaper changes and refereeing the older children. There are entirely too many moments lately where I want to throw up my hands and admit, "I am not qualified for this job of parenting!"
There are many moments that, not only do I feel unqualified, but I also feel very alone in my parenting struggles. As it turns out, I am not alone at all. Recently, a few friends shared some of their parenting struggles with me. Even though these friends seem to be very confident, very good parents, they too struggle with disobedient children, power struggles, and temper tantrums. My friends' children, who seem so well behaved and docile every time I see them, have just as many moments of meltdown and fussing as my children. I certainly do not want to see my friends struggle in parenting their children, but I have to admit, it is so comforting to know I am not alone! It is nice to know my children are not evil or uncontrollable- they are simply normal children who love to push their limits and who still have a lot of growing up to do.
Parenting is not easy. Neither is childhood, really. But as a family we are called to support each other in our struggles and difficulties. We are called to forgive each other in our moments of weakness. Above all, we are called to keep going and to love each other even on the hard days. None of us is really qualified but God will see us through as long as we keep our eyes and thoughts focused on Him.

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