In my first few years of adjusting to motherhood, I made a lot of mistakes (and I’m not referring to buying a “colic machine” that vibrated my crying baby’s crib. Scam. I got a refund.).
I worried a lot and second-guessed myself. Why is she crying? Is she hungry? Why won’t she sleep? I struggled with trying to control this new little human. Some days I spent hours trying to get my baby to sleep and other days I would go to great lengths to wake my sleeping baby so I could feed her.
I think one of my biggest mistakes was not taking enough time for myself. I probably would have blamed it on being financially strapped but it was also simple neglect.
My glaring inadequacies were more noticeable and I began to understand for the first time as a new parent how God feels about me, His child. Parenting is God’s mirror: it shows us a reflection of ourselves as we really are. I see myself in my children—good traits and bad—the way God sees me.
If you’ve ever had a two-year-old have a complete meltdown, kicking and screaming included, in a quiet library filled with serious book readers, you know what I mean. I’ll never forget marching my child back in the next day, so we could apologize, hoping they wouldn’t recognize us. They knew exactly who we were. I don’t think I went back to the library for a year after that.
I am stubborn too. I want freedom and choices. I want things my way. God is there, a constant. He never stops loving me. He is patient. He waits. I can see it now: the reflection. The gentle way He parents me. His discipline comes from abiding love. “Yes, I’m beginning to understand, God.” Thankfully, God isn’t repelled by our neediness.
Mothering is a journey. We don’t ever truly arrive. As our children grow, their needs change. Problems come and go, but they will always be our kids. I still call my mom when I need her and she still comes.
I don’t want to wish away today thinking tomorrow will be easier with my children. I want to live today the best I can and learn from it. Mothering is more about me growing up then my children. I used to think becoming a parent meant I knew something but the longer I’m a mom, the more I realize how much I don’t know.
excerpt from Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Are Safe Sparkly Faith Is No Longer Enough