I talk a lot about the hard and the overwhelm of being a young mom, but there is something else I want others to know even more. My children are a great blessing. Psalm 127:3 teaches that children are a gift, or a heritage from the Lord depending on which version you use. Either way they are something special, even on the hard days.
See the video:
I truly enjoy my children, while being honest about the tough parts of motherhood.
I always wonder how people in other parts of the world would see my family of four littles, six and under. In Costa Rica it seems that everyone loves babies, but most people don’t want more that one or two. “It’s so hard,” they say.
Our children get plenty of attention, probably because they are not purely Tico blooded. Especially our two with blue/gray eyes get plenty of comments. Everyone says they are very cute, and I totally agree. It doesn’t make a difference what color their eyes or skin are to me either.
We have a 15-passenger van that someone once called our kindergarten. It does sort of look like it when we are loading up our little row! I also got stopped while walking in town once with my baby in the baby carrier, because an older lady wanted to see him. I suspect that a lot of people are observing us and know who we are, even when I don’t know them.
It’s not that we have met unkind people, it’s just different for most everyone that none of our children are “accidents,” and that I don’t say we are done having children, especially now that we have a boy. I don’t know what God’s plans are for our family, but I know I truly enjoy my children, and I would be happy to someday have more. We are so blessed.
I am certainly not saying that everyone should go and recklessly have all the children they can. We need to be able to care for the ones we already have more that the ones we could have. For some people, having less children is probably the way to best care for their treasures, but I want to make it very clear: children are a gift.
Just because I talk of the hard days and parts of motherhood, it doesn’t mean there aren’t blessings. There are so many ways my children are a gift to me, and it certainly outweighs the hard parts.
Ways Children are a Gift
Plenty to laugh and smile about.
My children have given me so much to smile about. They can get a smile out of almost anyone. Baby grins, toddler quotes, interesting perspectives, and so much more have made our home a lively place where we enjoy the littles ones.
Keeping our priorities in check.
Our children remind us of what is the most important in life. They remind us to slow down, that life is not about how much we can get done. They remind us that souls are more important than to-do lists.
Teaching us so much about ourselves.
I never knew I could be so short tempered so selfish. My children bring out the best and the worst in me and teach me what I need to change.
Teaching us to depend on God
Nothing has required me to rely on God as much as having children. They teach us to depend on God for strength. The very fact that having children is sometimes overwhelming gives us an opportunity to show our children how to respond in tough situations. Our children should not feel that they are a problem for us, but I don’t think it hurts if they sometimes realize that we are struggling. We can give them an example of apologizing if we fail, and of how to ask God for strength for the hard days.
When They Don’t Feel Like a Blessing
The other evening my husband put the three oldest to bed. After several tantrums and crying spells from the the girls, or at least the youngest ones, he came out of the room and said something about, “Finally the thunderstorms are sleeping.” We laughed, but some days it is hard to see them with a smile.
Sometimes we don’t feel love for our children. In those times we need to remember that love is not always a feeling, it can be a choice. Parents in some foster, adoptive, and special needs cases are way ahead of me in the game, but even with our own healthy biological children we sometimes need to choose to love.
The very fact that God says children are a gift will make our enemy want us to see that they are not a gift or a blessing. He wants us to see that having children is too hard, that having a bunch of children is not a good idea. He will work hard to make us feel that children are not a gift. So on the hard days remember what God says: Children are a gift.
There are hard mothering seasons, but it is not the only hard.
Again, because I am in the season of young motherhood, I talk, and will keep talking, a lot about the overwhelm and hard days. After years of dreaming about being a mom, it caught me off guard just how hard it could be. But I know very well that it isn’t the only hard.
It is okay to say that we are having a hard time. The hard that others face doesn’t cancel out our hard. But sometimes looking around at the hard things others face can help us put our own struggles into perspective. I haven’t had to face war, death of a close loved one, extreme poverty, rejection from family, and many other hardships others have faced. I think of how infertility would likely have cost me many more tears than the hard mothering days have given me.
Save it for later.
Remember, children are a gift.
We are not entitled to the blessing of having children. I am grateful for the gifts that God has given me. There are hard days. There is also so much laughter and fun that I get from my children. They are my gifts.
You may also be interested in reading about how you can be a confident mom.