I once met a friend with my two young kids in tow, who had not seen me since I had kids, and after several moments of conversation she said, “You have become so wise.” I reflected on her comment and realized that it was not book knowledge that she had seen on my face but rather the awesome mark of responsibility that is indelibly etched on the mother of two young human beings.
Funny how the Creator gives us the gift of parenthood, but at the same time forces us to come up against challenges, which ultimately cause us to grow. It’s a challenge to recognize and embrace the fact that growth isn’t always easy. Our wisdom develops with the needs of our children, and filling the wellsprings that we will draw upon in order to parent our kids requires the hard knocks of life.
When we experience parenting challenges, the search and striving to find solutions and carry on despite having to constantly care for the day in and day out needs of our children, creates the almost super-human that we become over time to guide our kids in the right direction.
When you doubt your abilities, or sometimes just feel like throwing in the towel; remember that it is not your inability to cope but rather the growing pains of becoming a richer, deeper, more complete parent. The joys, the hardships, the happy times and the difficulties all blend into a deeply rich tapestry that creates a home and family.
So where do we draw from when we feel that we have no resources? It is so important to have support from friends, family and the many resources that are available today.
Not physically close to family? Make the effort to stay in touch. Their wisdom and experience can be a life-line and solicited advice can bring you peace of mind.
You’ve had to move away from friends? It’s never been easier to stay in touch. A parenting support group was a life-line for me and it can be a sounding board for some of your thoughts and questions. There is nothing more encouraging than to realize that other mothers are experiencing the same challenges and difficulties that you are, and that some of the not so lovely feelings that you have are perfectly normal.
The internet is filled with resources that can help you find the answers that you need. Books, tapes, and articles abound with advice from others that have gone through the things that you are experiencing.
Make the time so that you can take advantage of the many resources available. Finding time is another challenge, but not an insurmountable one. Can you find some local mothers that can form a small play group that each of you watch once a week? This can give you time to pursue some of the resources mentioned above.
For working moms, finding time will be even more challenging, but nothing is impossible. A little creativity will reap many benefits. Finding time to get support is not frivolous; it is a necessity. Taking care of yourself to take better care of your kids is a gift to them.
So what helps you to keep yourself together for your kids? Leave your ideas and comments below.