Today’s Mentor Mom writer should be familiar to you. Belinda, mother of four, and wise, straight-shooter, joins us today to remind us of our goal in mothering. Leave a comment thanking her; it’s good manners.
I have had several conversations over the years with moms of all ages who say they don’t want their children to ever leave home. Maybe you even feel that way. If so, you must not have had a day like my Wednesday, which involved one broken DVD player, one upset tween, one overly excited dog that knocked over my neighbor, one kid who fell off her bike and scraped her knee, plus an additional 3 kids and a swarm of angry bees. All in the space of 30 minutes.
Truth be told, that kind of chaos is often the reality of life with small kids, and I don’t like that part! That sweet baby nestled against your shoulder is screaming 10 minutes later because he woke up and wants something. We don’t get to pick and choose which moments go on forever. I want to enjoy the golden moments and treasure them up in my heart. But I definitely want my kids to grow up. While it’s great to say how much you are enjoying your kids, how much you like being with them, the truth is when that kid is 43 and still lives at home, then people say, “Huh? What happened here?”
In our hearts, we know that’s not the result of successful parenting. We’re given these kids for a season, a season that slips by unbelievably fast. In that time, we have to love them, teach them, equip them with the tools to be successful, independent adults. That doesn’t mean they can’t come over for dinner every Sunday, call you regularly, or even live next door. But it does mean that although we never stop being Mom, never stop loving them fiercely, our role and influence in their lives changes, and should change, as they age. We have to allow them to grow up, to figure out how to be themselves. We can support them, encourage them, challenge them, but we no longer get to direct them the way that we did when they were 3 years old.
I once heard motherhood described as a season of personal sacrifice. That really stuck with me! Maybe you feel like after all you’ve done for your kids, they owe you. For me, part of this season is also the deepening understanding that it’s not all about me. Even my own life is not all about me. It’s been bound up with something greater. And so in raising my kids, it’s not just about what gives me pleasure in being their mom, it’s about what is best for them in the long run. Sharing the wonderfully good moments, and equipping them to walk through the challenging ones with dignity and grace. I’m not in this for the Hallmark cards I will receive some Mother’s Day down the road with the mushy, “I owe you everything” sentiment. Instead, I’m blessed to be along for the journey, getting to know up-close what wonderfully unique people God has created, what He has nurtured in my home under my care, and then seeing how they thrive as they live out the full, rich lives He has planned for them.
Enjoyed Belinda’s writing? Check out her other posts: