“My day! You have no idea! One kid woke up from his nap in a worse mood than when he went down, another kid outright refused to nap, another one blew out his diaper, and another one refused to listen to me. And all of them were crying. At the same time!”
I had picked up my husband from work and was telling him about my day.
“All of them?” he asked. “How many kids do we have?”
“A lot. When they’re all crying, it feels like a lot.”
That sums motherhood up pretty well. A lot. This job feels like a lot. These kids are a lot to handle. No matter how many kids are running around the house, it feels like a lot.
I fill my day with exasperated statements. “These kids!” “This day!” The unsaid frustrations sit stale in the air following each thought. “…are driving me nuts!”; “…is too much to handle!”
And even though I am already dealing with a lot, I find myself wishing for more. More time. More rest. More quiet.
And then I read this:
Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him .
The sons of Obed-edom… were [names 8 children]. God had richly blessed Obed-edom.
1 Chronicles 26:5
Apparently children are a blessing. Who knew?
People who ache for lost children know that children are a blessing. People who don’t understand why their bodies won’t create or sustain babies to term know that children are a blessing. And every night, when I sneak into my children’s bedrooms and gaze at their sleeping faces, I know this too.
But in the middle of the parenting trenches, blessing is usually the last word on my mind.
How can my heart be so ungrateful? How, when these boys were so desired and prayed for?
This week, when I have felt my temper rising, when my patience has become non-existent, and when my tone of voice has reached unkind levels, I have reminded myself about how my boys are a blessing. And when I haven’t been able to shift my perspective because my anger is getting in my way, I’ve asked God to remind me. They bless my life, daily. And even when all of them are crying, they are still, always, a blessing. My gifts.
What have I learned this week? I have learned to be a better Mom. I have learned to love my boys better. I have learned to be thankful for my children, not just when they’re behaving, but in all circumstances. (1 Thes 5:16-18).
I love these kids. A lot.