Friday, April 11, 2008

motherhood is not for wimps

They told me it would happen this way.

“It doesn’t really get easier, just different,” friends warned. Never tell a woman literally bloody from breastfeeding that parenting only gets harder. Seriously.

Nobody said parenting would be easy, and it hasn’t been. But lately I’ve been struck by how complicated things get as kids get older. The black-and-white of toddlerhood evolves into a less certain gray as children grow.

Can I allow baby b. to climb on the counter and play with knives? Of course not. But how about sending Twin A. off on a playdate with someone who may not be a good influence on him? What about encouraging Twin B. in a friendship that he’s been hurt in before? And what about sports and extracurricular activities? Do I allow them to be on the same team, knowing their tendencies to compare and compete with each other? What if separating them means one boy can't participate at all? Is that fair?

It makes the diapers and bottles seem like a piece of cake. (Notice I didn’t say breastfeeding. Nope. Breastfeeding the twins still ranks right up there as one of the most miserable pursuits of my life.)

I love my boys, all three of them. I’m thankful for the Moms who have gone before me who have offered endless wisdom for the specific issues we’re dealing with now. And, more than ever, I’m aware of how desperately I need God’s grace and wisdom for this parenting journey.


FrazzMom said...

Yup- and now we're looking at colleges for Teenage Son. Colleges where I will not even be there to guide him. Heck I probably won't even know 1/2 of what will even go on!

No- not easier, but definitely differant!

Andrea said...

I hate to say this but....
"Just Wait Til Their In Their Teens".
Ok I said it.
It's true, it gets harder...and grayer.
But don't let that deter you.
It's a wild trust...and hold on!!!

Andrea said...

Ok, I'm wincing at my grammar.
Just so you know.

Linda Vujnov said...

Yeah, I do not miss bleeding through breast feeding.

The fact that they can all feed themselves is a BIG plus!

Llama Momma said...

FrazzMom -- College! Oh my.

Andrea -- Yes. Teenagers. I haven't let my imagination go there quite yet. We'll be there soon enough. :-) (And no worries about the grammar. It really doesn't bother me.)

Linda -- I cheered when the twins started feeding themselves. Now, I can hardly keep up with all of the feeding!!

Marmot Mom said...

I'm completely convinced that one of the main purposes of parenthood is so that we can learn to lean, yet more, on God. I'm sure I have agonized over everyone of those things you mentioned with my children. Yet, all these years later I could never tell you how we made it through them. I just know that everytime I threw even the littlest thing at God's feet he always came through. One of the best things he delivered me from was worrying. God is good. All the time. For what it is worth, , I LOVE having teenagers. I can only speak for myself in saying it has gotten way more fun being around them. (Maybe it's the fact that someone's mindset never advanced past

Anonymous said...

Oh, I was just thinking about that very issue the other day when a friend was telling me about her conversation with her 12 year old daughter who is beginning to show real interest in boys. Ack!

I don't know how you do it without Jesus.

chrissy said...

It is different as they get older. One saying I remember from when my kids were babies and I was so stressing: "this will pass and remember little kids little problems, bigger kids bigger problems!" I think somewhat right, but maybe not bigger problems different less easily handled problems. More prayer and thought go into them! The fact that you are concerned just shows that you care and love your boys and want to do right by them, you will, with guidance.

Llama Momma said...

Marmot Mom -- I hope I can say the same thing someday about my own teenagers. :-)

SP -- Me either! I wouldn't want to try. One day at a time, right?

Chrissy -- I agree. Though I also believe that with the littlest ones, we're laying an important foundation for the rest of the journey -- love, respect, boundaries. But you're right. For the baby, I pretty much just need to keep him safe, fed, and rested. No big complicated issues, for which I'm grateful. :-)

Ted M. Gossard said...

Llama Momma,
Quite interesting. We never had a baby, so I'll have to pass this on to our daughter who is pregnant.

Anyhow I can see how what you say is so true. When they get older this only complicates everything. It's a challenge to give them the freedom they need with good boundaries, for sure.

Tim & Richelle said...

So true!

I'm finding it gets greyer...
and harder...
and better...
and most definitely worth every bit of effort.

I'll never forget the first time one of my olders came to me, asked for my advice/wisdom, and then made his decision which went contrary to my advice. And he and his sisters paid the consequences afterwards. It broke my heart and I cried and cried.

But now, my husband and I do know when he chooses to seek our opinions and then to follow our advice, it is because he wants to and because he loves, trusts and looks up to us. And we don't have to do so much of the discipline now, as natural consequences do much of the time - and we can work on growing our relationship.

What a responsiblity! What a privilege! What a joy!

Mommy Cracked said...

Ughh, mine is only three and I already worry about the very things you blog of. I still insist these kids should have come with an instructional manual.

much afraid said...

I am in complete agreement with you, Llama Mama. I have been lamenting this same issue for the past week (with accompanying histrionics). When I read your posts, I always find them exceptionally full of wisdom, depth, humor and joy. These gifts God has given you, that allow you to do the job you're doing, He will continue to give you. I also agree with Marmot Mom (who has been a great help to me on my spiritual and parenting journeys) -- I have found myself running out of "me" at a much quicker rate as I have parented my son.

My prayers will be with you.

Llama Momma said...

Much afraid -- And my prayers are with you this morning. Parenting is not easy. Parenting a child with special needs is really not easy. Blessings on your journey! I am learning that whatever the struggle, God is enough.