Just Another Desperate Housewife

Friday, October 1, 2010

Trying to laugh in a "desperate" situation:
Mom said "no more M&Ms"

After spending an enjoyable morning with two friends, their adorable children and a more experienced mother of five who poured out her wisdom on us, I had an epiphany:

I will never having this mothering job fully figured out. 

In high school I was an excellent student. One of the top in my class I graduated with above a 4.0 GPA, and honestly I didn't have to work very hard. School came easy to me. My grades slipped a bit in college but mostly because a) I was having too much fun and b) I didn't care enough to worry about getting As. And with the exception of a Biology class and a course in Economics I never really had to study too hard. Not to sound smarty-pants but I was good at school.

Then I entered the workforce (for all of 5 years!). And with the exception of the first transitional months I can honestly say I was really good at my job. I produced solid end results, pleased my bosses, worked hard, and enjoyed feeling successful.

Enter motherhood. I'm 17.5 months into it and have yet to feel that "easy-breezy-I'm-winning-this" attitude. Not that I feel like a failure each and everyday. I have up days and down days. Days where I watch my little guy give his friend a hug, or share a toy, or clean-up his legos and I feel okay; like I can do this and he's going to end up alright. Or even great moments when I can offer a suggestion to a new mom about sleep training or which baby foods to start with because I know I did a pretty good job with Landon at that time.

However, I am just now realizing that while my children are under my roof (or possibly until the day I die) I will never feel like I've completely figured it out. Unlike my past positions, motherhood is never "conquered." We are always in a new phase. Always adapting to new situations, new challenges, and unforeseen complications. And as someone who likes being good at her job (and really likes all the praise and accolades that go with success) this new understanding is extremely humbling.

But I think that's the point. I'm finding that nothing is more humbling than being a parent. When Landon is throwing a tantrum because I won't give him a fourth snack I find myself desperate for Jesus. It sounds overly dramatic or silly but in the moment, when he's screaming and I've lost my patience, and I'm not sure if he's hungry and needs to eat (although he already had three snacks in two hours) or just pushing my buttons I find myself at the feet of the Lord asking him to give me some guidance (and a bit more patience. again.).

And while some parts of parenting might be easier with subsequent children each new personality will present different challenges and learning experiences. Again brining me desperate before the Lord for guidance. And while the prideful part of me doesn't like the fact that I will never feel like a whiz at my job I know that the best place to be is at the feet of Jesus. So I'm going to do my best to stay there; letting Him be the expert.


Erin said...

I'm so there with you. Today I can't even count the times I prayed, "Jesus help me!!!" while both of my girls were screaming bloody murder. This parenting thing is rough but so rewarding. When I have REALLY bad days it makes me realize that I'm a pretty good mom... I mean I get through them and that's good:).

Rebecca said...

Oh I feel you. I feel like I spend so many days falling flat on my face. I keep trying to tell myself that it's normal for 2 year olds to tantrum and babies to cry-it doesn't mean I am failing. (I still have to address is though.) Saw this quote today, I love it: "I say this gently, as the parent of grown kids, knowing *insert parenting guru* is also the parent of grown kids: we have wonderful children — he does, I’m sure — and so do I. But without even knowing his children I can know this about them: they are not perfect. They hurt. They make mistakes. They struggle. They are prideful and overly simplistic at times; and crippled by shame and hesitancy at others. Yes — they are beautiful examples of human beings, his children (I assume), and mine (I know.) But they are not perfect. If they were, they would not be human. If it were possible to raise children to perfection, then God would have sent a parenting method, not Jesus. Our marching orders are not to raise our children by a method to be like *insert parenting guru* children. Our marching orders are to be Christians to and with our children."

The Pinheiro Family said...

Loved this post Anna! I can so relate... and I loved the way you have phrased it and pin-pointed it! I'm a few months ahead of you in the game and have been feeling much that same way for a long while... but have never been able to put it into words so well!

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