When it comes to putting the kids to bed, my husband and I usually split up bedtime duty. He takes three and I take three. Of course, half of our children are fully capable of putting themselves to bed, but because the kids ask us to still do it, we oblige them.
For the past few nights, he has been working in the garage quite late repairing a friend’s truck. With him being in the garage so late I have been doing bedtime duty solo. He can do bedtime duty in less than 15 minutes, but with me, it takes me a minimum of one hour. There always seems to be one more thing that is needed:
One kid will always need another drink of water because apparently they just walked through a desert and are dying of thirst.
Yet another kid will feel compelled to ask why the earth is round, the grass is green, and gas prices are so high in our small town. (insert some sarcasm here)
Of course, I cannot forget the other kid who will want me to read another Bible story and pray just “one more time”……
Even as I walk away, I will hear “Mommy, I need one more hug,” or “Mommy, I need another blanket and my pillows adjusted.”
Or my personal favorite, “Mommy can you wiggle my tooth to see if its ready to come out.”
Last night was no exception when I was putting the kids to bed. When I entered my son’s room, I noticed the plethora of drawings littering his floor. He had been practicing drawing bomber planes and Porsche 911s. I also noticed that he had an absurd amount of duct tape and Nerf bullets suspiciously hiding in one corner of his room. And his closet looked as if a bomb went off in there.
Kool-Aid at Bedtime
By the time I actually got him to bed, I noticed the entire area around his face, chin, and nose was stained cherry red. Remembering that I gave him Kool-Aid in a water bottle, I asked him “how did you get your face stained all over when drinking out of a cup with a straw?”
He replied with laughter, “I don’t know Mom, I guess I am a boy.”
With him in finally in bed, I retreated to my bedroom to find my 12-year-old daughter waiting for me in my bedroom. Unbeknownst to me she wanted put pin curls in her hair and needed my help. But I just had spent one-hour putting kids to bed, answering questions, reading stories, praying, and answering even more questions ~~ didn’t she know that? Rather than tell her no I put her hair up in pin curls before sending her to bed.
I’m Soo-oo-oo Overwhelmed
I know that I am not alone in feeling exasperated and overwhelmed some days with my children. It seems on those days that every request, whine, or cry is going to send me over the edge.
And dear sweet mama’s and sisters in Christ you are not alone either. The Lord is never far from your side. However, it is in these moments that you or I have a choice to make, the choice to indulge or decline. The choice to give in to the temptation to say “I deserve my time” or the choice to say to my children “you are worth it.”
The Lord has blessed mothers with these moments with our children. These moments won’t last. Our children will flee the nest someday and our nest will become empty. May I encourage you to have grace in these moments. These moments when you are tired, overworked, and overwhelmed…that is when your child may need you the most.
Please understand that your child needs their Mommy to be there, even if you do not feel like it. It is our calling and our ministry to tend to these dear precious hearts that have been placed in our care. This is not a reason to spoil our children by giving them every whim of their heart, but instead a chance to give the best of our time and talents to our children.
Things make take longer. Your house may be messy. You may be tired. You may just want “me” time. But your house can wait. You can sleep later. You can find alone time on another day. But your child will not stay young forever.
Ask Yourself These Questions:
Do you spend more time looking at your phone or into your child’s eyes?
Do you get down and play with your child? Or do you waste your time doing other things instead?
Do you sit and chat with your child? Or do you spend all of your time texting your friends?
Do you have an excuse for running off somewhere without your child?
The time will come when your child leaves home as an adult. What is your child going to say about the time that you spent with them? Or what you have taught them? Can your child say that you have made being a mother a priority?
My goal is not to make you feel guilty but hopefully, encourage you to see how important your ministry as a mother is. As mothers, we are the nurturers, comforters, teachers, encouragers, listeners, nurses, and companions to our children. We hold an entire future generation in our hands and in our hearts. The impact that we have on our child’s life can be eternal. We have the power to teach the love of Christ modeled through our own selfless parenting. A mother’s love is one of the most influential and shaping forces in a child’s life, primarily during the formative years.
The Power of Mother Love
There is a quote from Dr. Brenda Hunter in her book, The Power of Mother Love, written on the back cover it says, “Mother love shapes cultures and individuals. While most mothers know that their love and emotional availability are vital to their children’s well-being, many of us do not understand the profound and long-lasting impact we have in developing our young children’s brains, teaching them first lessons of love, shaping their consciences … At a time when society urges women to seek their worth and personal fulfillment in things that take them away from their families and intimate bond.”….. Women are needed at home being mothers to their children.
I can probably guess what you may be thinking right now. Perhaps you think you have made too many mistakes as a mother or that it is too late to be influential in your child’s life. That is so far from the truth. Your child will always need a mother. Each stage of parenting is different than the next, immerse yourself in the stage your child is in now. Pray and ask for guidance on each new stage. Seek out the wisdom of older Titus 2 women who can help guide you.
Dear Mama’s and Sisters in Christ, please stop beating yourselves up over what you have done wrong in your parenting past and look forward to the future knowing that God’s grace is bigger than our biggest mistakes. 1 Peter 4:8 reminds us that, most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.