I laughed as I read through them and thought about how even now, so much in my life was changing. But I have to admit that when I read #36 and #37 I paused and started to reflect.
36 Staying at home is way harder than working in a office
37 But I laugh more than I ever did before
Being a mom is tough. It really is the toughest job I have ever had. When the boys were little, I remember thinking to myself ‘once we are through with bottles or diapers or sippy cups or diaper bags then things would get easier. Or maybe when we were through the throwing of tantrums or toys, then it would be more peaceful’.
And is some ways, all of those things are true.
The fact is, all the baby gear has been given away now. We got rid of bottles & sippy cups only to replace them with water bottles and Gatorade. The diaper bags that were so cute with their name embroidered on them are in a closet while I drape ball bags over my shoulders now. Some days tantrums still look like they did when I had a toddler (I do still have a 4 year old) but they also look like an 8 year old who is panicked about his grade average or a 7 year old who is confused about how to spell a word.
I think maybe the toughest part of being a mom is being on display all the time. You see, it is easy to create a ‘front’ with friends and even sometimes family. But the fact is, my kids can see me at by best, my worst and far too often, in the middle. I have never tried to be perfect to my boys. I want them to see me fail. I suppose in some ways, they are the only ones I want to witness that. I just think they need to see that I do not always get it right but that I am trying.
I am learning that this most applies to faith. I can’t create faith in them. We say prayers at night. We talk about Jesus and God and stories in the Bible. We go to church. All of those things are great…but they do not create faith.
I was a teenager when I decided to give me life to Christ. It was on a ski trip with my friend’s youth group. I knew all about God by that point. I had been in church since I was a baby. My dad was an elder. My mom sang in the choir. I had learned the catechism. I knew all the Bible stories. I wore dresses to church (and hated it!). I knew all the hymns. BUT, none of it created faith in me…let alone a relationship with Christ. It took time for me to realize that faith was more about the relationship with Christ than it was about the admission of having faith.
I can give the boys all the opportunities to give their life to Christ but what they need most from me, is to see my faith in action. They need to see when I send cards to people who are sick, they need to see when I take a meal to a new mom, they need to see that when I am fearful or scared that I pray and they need to see that even in my fears, I am trusting God. The decision to give my life to Christ came after spending years with my friend’s family. I saw them weather some pretty tough stuff and through it all they were trusting God. They lived out their faith for me…and many times to me.
So no, I can’t create faith but I am trying to be more aware of showing my boys my faith.
What do you struggle with in raising your kids?