Someone once said that motherhood is “the hardest job you’ll ever love”. I support the sentiment. And it’s nice when you love it. It’s nice when you get the grubby handful of dandelions and a lisped “luh you”. It’s nice when you get the hand-drawn card and self-made verse. It’s nice to get a hug from one of your children. It’s nice when you get help with the housework. It’s nice to have a house full of your very own homemade people.
But *whispers* here’s the truth:
You don’t always love it. Sometimes you hate it. Sometimes the disciplining, the lecturing, the emotional roller coaster, the temper tantrums, the educating, the arguments, the doctor visits, the sleepless nights, the stuff that makes your heart ache til you wonder if you’ll ever get any part of this parenting thing right…it makes you feel like running away.
It’s a hard gig, this parenthood thing. It’s not for the faint of heart.
I am often faint of heart.
I took a quiz once that said I should have 0 children. I guess it revealed a deep inner selfishness or something. Maybe too high an instinct for self-preservation. Anyway, it made me laugh. Sometimes I yearn for the cloistered life I used to aspire to. Sometimes I long for singleness and solitude.
But then I look around, and I realize…this is the work of refining. This is the fire. This is the purification process, right here. My children, who sniff out selfishness like bloodhounds and reflect exactly what I have sown and nothing less, are God’s tools for turning me into who I need to be in the here and now. They are the lathe that carves me into something beautiful. They are the strong hands that mold the lump of clay.
We know that we shape our children, but even more than that, they shape us.
I am not the person I used to be. I am evolving every day. And I have my children, by and large, to thank for that.
So thank you, children. Thank you for bearing with me and putting up with my foibles and all the ways I fail you on a daily basis. I am your fellow sojourner here on earth, and I know nothing about anything. We are in this together. I love you dearly. I praise God for the days I pooped each one of you out.