Being a parent is the HARDEST job I have ever had.
I really had no idea what I was getting into. Had I known, I may have run the other way. Yes, it is rewarding at times. Yes, I feel called to do it (apparently). And yes, I am giving it my all (most days). But it is still hard. And I feel like a failure more often than not. I have yet to find a "manual" to tell me exactly how to handle situations. That in itself creates more stress then I care to have some days. I would also be lying if I said that I have NEVER thought of just walking away. I know, I know. I would miss them. But the thought does cross my mind on occasion. I do cry at times out of frustration. And this week was no exception.
In fact, this week had some downright tough moments.
But just when I think I am at the end of the rope, there are these worthwhile moments. The moments that give me a little hope. The ones that help me get up the next day to do it all again (even those days every fiber of my being screams to not :)...
Here are just a few of those worthwhile moments that have kept me going...
- Getting a text from my child's teacher letting me know it had been a good day
- Picking up that child that afternoon and having him present me with this "ring" that he got from the treasure box. Instead of choosing something for himself, he chose something for me. And if I forget to wear it, he makes sure to remind me. (It is a bit snug though :)
- Making dinner with my daughter (actually, I have done that with both daughters this weekend)
- Singing to pop hits after dinner (Daddy's ipod in the background), dancing to the music together
- Watching a movie with the big kids that had us laughing until we cried
- Praying with Child 3. I make a point to pray with her almost every night, often praying for things she can work on as well as things we are thankful for about her. She almost always quizzes me after the prayer, wanting to know what I meant and how she can do something better.
- Going out to eat with the family and sharing a dessert. Even better, getting to the end of the meal and realizing that it really is getting easier. No meltdowns. No wiggliness. Just enjoying eating together.
- Spiritual conversations with the kids. The girls especially have been really asking questions about heaven, the fruits of the spirit, the meaning of Christianity.
- The moment Child 3 and I talked about heaven recently. She asked me if people who believed in God would be there. I told her that it would take more than belief. After all, even Satan believes in God. It would take FOLLOWING God. She asked, "Like when you and Daddy thought you were done with two kids, and God told you to go to Guatemala and adopt two more? You followed him?" I can't say that she came up with that all on her own; we have discussed that before. But she is actually listening to me!
- The thanks the kids give when we sit down to eat. At least one, usually two, will thank me (and whoever helped) for cooking the meal.
- Being told that we are the best parents in the world when we help a child organize his room.
- Hearing my kids say that Marley was the best gift they had been given. I won't tell them she was really a gift for me. :)
- Watching my boys cheer and clap for their sister on the basketball court.
- Having my youngest cheer when he finds out I am taking him to Sunday School. Then hearing him call down the hallway (repeatedly), "Bye, Mom!" I did answer about four times, but it didn't seem to quench his need to say it...
- Hearing my kids giggle.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that there are worthwhile moments. They may not happen as much as I would like. But they do happen.
For that, I am thankful.