Dear Fellow Moms:
Yes, you are making a difference.
Those diapers you are changing will eventually be a memory in your mind. Soon you'll be teaching your sweetums to pee-pee and poo-poo in the potty. And, after sitting in pee-pee for the thousandth time or having to flush the results of their potty training until you are blue in the face, you'll conclude you haven't made a dent in their minds about the bathroom.
Yet one, glorious day you'll sit down on a dry toilet that has clear water beneath it and you'll know you made an impact.
Those meals that you lovingly provide, even when you are forcing broccoli for the fifteenth time in two months, aren't going to waste. Over the years your little one is going to go through hunger strikes and growth spurts and times where all they'll eat is ketchup and chicken nuggets. It's all part of the game they like to play with food called "CONTROL".
Keep plugging along, putting good food in front of them, and someday they'll surprise you by choosing carrots as their after school snack, right after they've wiped out three bags of chips.
Those problems they are having at school aren't going to be wasted. You are going to go through teachers your child loves and teachers you'll have to bite your tongue not to scream at. There will be tears and anger over friendships come and gone and come again. Your child will display flashes of genius and moments of stupidity, times of intense organization and times when they are running late for class, spilling papers out of their backpack as they go.
It's all part of the process of learning to live life.
So, pray over them every single day. Pray for the blessing of wisdom, a desire to do their best according to their abilities, and the gift of knowing and pursuing the gifts that God has blessed them with.
Pray for their teachers or caregivers, especially if you or your child don't feel connected to them. Pray that everyone would see the best in the rest. Pray that your child would clearly understand what they are being taught.
Pray for open lines of communication. Pray that issues with grades or behavior be brought to your attention early, so you can intervene and help. Pray that you would be open to feedback and that it would be given in a loving way.
Pray for yourself and your spouse, that you would be aware of learning difficulties. Pray for wisdom in this arena, specific answers to problems, and patience and persistence to get to the bottom of issues in God's great timing. And truly listen to what He says, instead of chasing the winds of the earth and the "maybe this will help"s.
Above all, give yourself grace. You ARE doing a good job. Sure, you can't see the impact you are having most days, but the effects will be evident someday.
It is a race, my friend, but not a competition against any other Mom. It's a slow, steady pace. Take in the scenery, instead of running like crazy trying to be the best. Stop for that water break and talk to the people who are running with you. You'll find out everyone is tired of the run and they are glad to hear other people feel the same way.
There will be moments you'll stumble and people will be sure to point them out. Ignore their criticism. This isn't their race. Pray to God that He would give you the grace to stand back up and keep running, even when the critics are still echoing in your ear.
There will be moments you have a runner's high and realize you ARE equipped to do this. Thank God in those times and ask Him for more glimpses of how well He has made you ready to do this terribly difficult, rewarding job.
There will be moments when you want to quit. In those moments, pray for strength and patience and persistence. The race may seem awfully long, but it will be over in the blink of an eye. Run the best race you can possibly muster.
Keep a record of the good times. Journal the wonderful things your kids do, say, and learn. Look back on what you've written during those times that aren't so hot.
Forget the bad stuff or, better yet, confess it, learn from it, and move on. Life with your kids is too short to waste time thinking you aren't adequate.
Run this race called "Motherhood" with Christ at the forefront of your mind. You are preparing your child for HIM. That is an equally great responsibility and privilege. And you ARE up to the task...He made you that way.
Go. Run. Enjoy the time you've been given with those little feet keeping pace with your life's rhythm.
Pray as you go. Learn as you pray. Confess the bad and remember the good.
Whatever phase you are in, it won't last forever. Thank God for even that, as you wipe the tears from your eyes out of frustration for where you currently are or out of sadness that this wonderful phase in your child's life is coming to a close.
Above all, thank Him for the incomparable gift of being called "Mom".
Running Right Beside you (and breathing rather hard),
"...Her children arise and call her blessed...." Proverbs 31:28a