Today’s post is short but (bitter) sweet. However, it’s a crucial step in our journey to gentle.
We’ve heard it said, “Hurt people, hurt people.” However, for the sake of this series, I prefer:
Perhaps you struggled through your afternoon today with a toddler refusing her nap, and a big boy melting-down over his multiplication tables; everyone left their socks on the floor and no one wants what you made for dinner. And your heart is coiled up tight like a spring that’s ’bout to pop, because you’re tired of the abuse. Eventually you do explode, throwing all of those wrong-doings back on your little tormentors. Yes, you pay them back tear for tear, fit for fit, complaint for complaint – abuse for abuse. Only thing is… they’re not really abusing you, mom.
There are many pitiful components to this victim mentality, here in the midst of motherhood. Of course, there’s the obvious grief moms experience on the backside of their anger, knowing that they’ve hurt their children. But long before they arrive at that sad place is this pathetic reality: all those things the children said and did, that hurt her heart and made her feel the victim, weren’t grounded in reality! Though they felt like real abuse, and caused her to really lash out, they were simply children being children… being children… being children… being children… all day long.
A wise woman once said, “Your child isn’t giving you a hard time, your child is having a hard time.”
But their hard time is hard on you, isn’t it? I understand that. But remember this, dear mom, they’re just being children, and they need you to just keep on being mom. Not a martyr, a mom. A mom who presses in then presses on – into Jesus and on into her long mothering days.
When we remember that we have been called to mother our children, moment by moment, and not march like a martyr through our days, we begin to see each challenge they present as an opportunity to parent them well. When we speak these words over ourselves throughout the days, “I am not their victim, I’m their mom” we start to see again, that they are not our enemies but our children. And as our eyes refocus on God’s good gifts, as well as His good plan for mother and child, our hearts begin to soften again.
Deep breath. “I am not a victim, I’m a mom.” Like a mantra.
Deep breath. “They are not my enemies, they’re my children.” Exhale.