When you still have to be Mom

If you haven’t been able to tell by my latest postings, I haven’t exactly been feeling the holly-jolly right within my heart this season. It’s been downright awful at times.

Like, wanting to hide out, board up the windows, unplug the phone and cancel everything awful. I want to be best friends with my bed and old lumpy pillow, to laze around and acquaint myself with a cup of coffee and simmer in silence.

It’s like I can feel the oncoming pain and have decided that it’s just easier to seal up my heart from it all.

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The “problem” with this solution is my two children. They are actually not a problem – at all, in fact. But when life is ramming your face into the carpet and you just want to say “uncle” and be done with it, giving up isn’t always the most feasible action.

You can’t give up.

There is room for a reprieve, though. On some days, the cartoons have to do more of the talking than you do. Sometimes, they get cereal for dinner or crackers with their breakfast. Because sometimes, you do what you have to do to survive the days where all you can think about it getting through.

I don’t have a sure-fire plan for when the days are dark, mom. For the weeks or seasons that are bleak. Where it’s hard to be needed by anyone because you’re the one in need.

I have asked for God’s peace, over and over again. And I don’t know what I expected when I made those requests. Perhaps that a dove would descend from heaven, rays of sunshine would wash over me and I’d be powered up, ready to go? But it doesn’t happen that way, just in case you were wondering.

I almost feel like what He has been doing, and still is doing, is opening my eyes and enabling me to see His blessings and activity in more places than I ever have before. It’s been a bit surreal, with lots of “has that always been there?” moments. Grace abounds more in times of trouble. I see that some now. We just notice is more when we are determinedly looking for it while things drop away.

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We see it then. 
And they help me see it.

The one thing that I have discovered time and time again and have begun to hold as an utmost truth in my parenting journey is this: our children actually are our friends.

I know that sage wisdom suggests, in fact INSISTS, that ultimately your children cannot be your friends. But I will tell you that lately, few have noticed and comforted me through my emotional upheaval like my own children, whether that is directly or indirectly. By being themselves, or by being intentional. And after trying to teach them to love others as Jesus has loved them, I cannot describe the blessing that it is when they first apply that knowledge and understanding with me and within our own home.

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I was hoping that one day they would rise up and call me blessed, perhaps when they were about to move out, or after I paid for their braces, or their first car. Instead, I get hugs and reassuring pats and kisses when mom looks a bit glum. I get children who give grace beyond their years. I get to see God’s hope in action, little seeds starting to germinate.

It’s small. And there is only so much they understand or should have to understand. But it’s real. And they are my rays of hope amongst the grey uncertainty.

So, perhaps when it comes to requests to stay up super late and watch movies, or to let them eat candy canes before breakfast, or to drive to the beach in the middle of winter, I should stick with being mom. One day when it comes to curfews, homework and chores, I’ll have to be the parent. Probably in 33 minutes when they’re arguing over the same toy or which cartoon to watch, I’ll be in charge.

But when it comes to the right now, I’ll settle for a play date at the park sans my smart phone.
I’ll settle for just being with them.
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