When the dream of motherhood ached deep into my bones and swooned around in my heart, I didn’t realize I would be signing up for strong-willed, hard-to-handle, high-needs children.
Loud intense voices, big emotions, and impulsive actions rolled up into two little bodies was not what I had in mind when I was an 11-year-old girl dreaming about my future kids. I had envisioned myself as a mother with five (yes five!) children, perfectly well-mannered, easy-going, and crazy about their mom. I thought for sure all I had to do was love my children well, and everything else would be easy. Love your kids, be a kind mom, and they would be good kids. Easy formula, right?
Oh, boy, was I wrong.
I love my kids so hard it hurt sometimes. I want to be the best mom in the world to them.
I provided my body, my time, my love, my sanity, all for the sake of my children. Sacrifices are made on the daily because they are so loved and worthy of it all. They are hugged often and given food for their bellies. They are listened to and cherished. They are surrounded by a supportive, loving extended family. Their needs are met in every way one could imagine.
My days are often met with backtalk, meltdowns, panic attacks, fights, strife, sibling quarrels, tears, and stress. Everything feels like it is coming at me at 100 mph.
The disappointment of planning something fun, only to be destroyed by my children’s desperate want to stay home.
The frustrations of the perfectly planned life I thought I would have couldn’t be further from what I am currently living, and that wrecks me to the core.
All caving on top of me as my days are more than I can bear. Struggling to see the light, to see the goodness God promises to have in store for me.
These struggles can feel like I am being torn apart, piece by piece. Little did I know, God was taking these broken pieces and creating something brand new as motherhood refines me. These hard days of motherhood are what lead me to open the Bible and dive into His Word.
The lack of control I have over my life has brought me to truly know my Lord and Savior in a way I never have before. The control freak in me finally realized I have no control, and it is not always all about me and my lovely expectations.
My motherhood journey is about finding contentment and surrendering my own ideas of what I thought my children should be like and allowing God to open my eyes to what blessings surround me even when things are not easy. It’s about knowing God is chiseling me away, whittling me into his own image.
God is taking my selfish desires, my wrong motivations, my idols and tossing them into the fire so His light can shine from within me.
I can relate to others so much more than if I had raised perfectly well-mannered kids (is there even such a thing?). I can’t judge. Not at all. No matter what. I literally have no room to talk, and this opens up space for beautiful relationships.
It makes me love mothers with such a deep love for all they do and go through. Especially you mamas with special needs children. Because motherhood is hard and mothering through special needs is a million times more challenging.
I appreciate the smallest moments so much more than if my days were full of easy. I soak in my children’s laughter, funny jokes, cool dance moves, and sweet voice when they say I love you mom after a challenging day.
Then I also realize it is not about my children. It’s not even about me.
It is all about a good God and His plan for our lives for His glory. When I release all of my desires and expectations and align them with God and put all my trust in Him, I find that my life is just the way it needs to be and I am so thankful for my children and for who they are.
May we surrender, rest in God’s truth, and remember, “but blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).