Children . . . (Sigh) . . . that word can either make you sigh with joy or sigh with desperation. I love my children, and I would never trade them for anything. I am sure, as any mother would tell you, sometimes they just drive you crazy! Chad will often look at me and say, “Is Connor 18 yet?” We both chuckle because we know when that day comes we will both be very sad to see our children all grown up.
When my children were younger, I would feel so guilty for the way I treated them. I have yelled, talked down to, set aside, spoken harshly to, and treated my kids as “less than”. I have made my kids feel like they are not important to me. Guilt over my lack of loving kindness towards my children is one of those things that I have wrestled with A LOT and still do.
I say that my kids have not always been a blessing to me, because there was a time they didn’t feel like a blessing. They felt like a burden, a HUGE one, that I “had” to take care of. There was a time I would become so irritated with them. The girl’s whining, complaining, and constant fighting and arguing. Connor’s meltdowns, tantrums, or the fact that he would not sleep through the night.
There were many days, and there still are, that I lock myself in my bathroom for a few moments of peace. And they will still pass Chad in the living room, come knock on the bathroom door, and begin with their many questions. I have told them more than once, “unless someone is bleeding or dying, don’t bother me while I’m in the bathroom.”
I knew my irritation was more than what “normal” mothers go through. I didn’t want to be around my kids. When I had thought about leaving Chad, I also thought about leaving the kids. One reason was because I thought they’d be better off without their crazy mother and the other reason was because I simply didn’t want the responsibility. I was tired of taking care of everyone else and no one taking care of me. It’s a completely selfish thought – Chad calls it “martyr syndrome”.
My attitude towards my kids changed when I learned about God’s attitude toward me. I can be just like my children – whiny, argumentative, know-it-all, complaining, crying when I don’t get my way – but God still shows me His love.
My Heavenly Father has been a perfect example of how to parent my children. When He looks at me, His daughter, I know He loves me because He made me. Because I am His child.
When I look at my kids, I remember how much grace and love my Father has shown me. And no matter how crazy our home gets, how noisy the kids are, how big of a mess they make, how often they fight with each other or with us, I love them.
Simply because they are mine.