Motherhood is full of disappointments and surprises. It’s hard to let go of our expectations and embrace what we have been given. It’s been a frustrating and an exciting journey, and I do my best to trust God.
I did not plan on waiting until I was in my forties before having my first child, but I married at age forty, and today I’m fifty-one.
When I met my husband, I tried to convince him that we really should consider adopting because I didn’t think I was going to ever get pregnant. My husband is three years younger than me and didn’t settle with my lack of faith. Instead, he convinced me that with a doctor’s help, it was possible. And he was right!
I didn’t dream of ever having any complications during pregnancy, but pregnancy was scary. I developed a blood clot in my leg and I had to deliver both our children via emergency C-section.
I didn’t produce enough milk to breastfeed as long as I hoped to.
We had a miscarriage after our first child and just when we thought that we could never conceive again we got pregnant one more time. We still grieve for our little one in heaven, and believe that someday we will see this precious child when we go home.
Every night before I go to bed I check on both of my kiddos before I turn out the lights. My anxious heart can’t fall asleep until I make sure they are fine. I gently kiss their sweet little cheeks and I watch their chests to make sure they are breathing. I’m relieved every time I see movement in their body while they dream big dreams.
Without hesitation I can say that I am so very thankful God has blessed me with two amazing beings. I seriously can’t imagine what life would be like without them. They are my life and there is nothing in this world that I would rather have. My love for them is inexplicable and very emotional. But I’m confused by my behavior when parenting challenges consume me. My reactions surprise me when difficulties sneak up behind me. My heart sinks and I feel shame when I’m an unkind mom.
Every day I seek to do better, yet I’m miserable because there is no such thing as do-overs. Hurtful words stick, neglect punctures holes in the soul, and outbursts of anger create unhappy memories that don’t go away.
I’m not the kind of mom that I thought I would be, and my kids are not like me. I get tangled up in disappointment when parenting doesn’t go smoothly, but my heart changes dramatically the minute I accept my kids as they are.
Homeschooling is rough and my kids aren’t as compliant as I would like them to be. My parenting strategies are always changing as my kids’ needs change. The mind of a child is sometimes complicating. I have sleepless nights worrying about their well-being. I worry that I’m going to ruin them and I get caught in the trap of comparing myself to other moms, falling short every time.
Guilt knocks at my door when I’m in bed with a migraine instead of doing my duties. I feel bad about myself when I struggle with depression. My bouts with anxiousness make me isolated. But in my mess, I’ve been met with a loving husband, caring friends, and God’s spirit.
I’m learning to live a life of grace.
My mom taught me as a child that when we fall down in life, we have to get back up. We can’t always change our circumstances, but we can choose our response. My mom has been through so much. She struggles with her health, but never stops serving others. In her growing-up years she experienced war in her own hometown. Her son is in prison and she is a widow now. And still she takes care of her family at age 82! She feeds us and gives us advice, and she is a wonderful friend.
To be like my mom is to be thankful for everything that we have. She encourages me to look on the bright side, and do the right thing no matter what.
And that’s exactly what I intend to do!
Mothering is a privilege and a gift. I wouldn’t want to live life any other way.
Lisa is a homeschooling mom to an eight-year-old boy and a six-year-old daughter, and thinks it is awesome. Her husband is her best friend and they live in Colorado where the colorful Rocky Mountains sit boldly under the blue ski. Lisa is also the creator of two blogs, The Family Road Map and Joy Abounds. The Family Road Map is filled with inspiration for Moms and helpful parenting tips for all. Joy Abounds is full of encouragement and Godly Wisdom for Christian Living.