Friday, December 6, 2019

The Children We Despise

There is a trend with young mothers right now who scoff and resist when their elders suggest they are going to miss this season of life.  For the most part, all parties are well-meaning and the argument (if you'd even call it that) doesn't need to be rehashed.  However, it highlights something we don't talk about.

There are children or times in our children's lives that we find ourselves despising these precious gifts.  It's not that we hate children or wish them harm, but feelings of resentment or harsh criticism repeatedly bubble to the top.  We don't like it and in some cases would NEVER admit it (because that would mean being a monster who didn't deserve to have children, right?), but in the silence of our closets when deciding on which piece of clothing you hate the least that day, you can't deny the volcano ready to erupt around this child/these children.

Sometimes it is a personality conflict - sometimes those precious daughters are just. like. YOU.  Other times it's a simple problem of more energy going out than coming in and anyone needing anything from you becomes your enemy.  Other times a mom just can't seem to make sense of this little boy who is trying to find his way to manhood.  The reasons can be as complex and unique as the children and may not really matter all that much at the end of the day.

The most important thing to remember when you find yourself struggling to love these little souls the way Jesus does is that these feelings are simply a signal - a notification, if you will.  This bubbling eruption is telling you that you need care in some way.  Sure, it is also a sign that your child needs care too, but that won't happen adequately until your attitude and head space is right. We are just human and parenting is a lot in this fast-forward, social-media perfect culture.  If you aren't feeding your soul and keeping your perspective healthy on a regular basis, then of course overwhelming feelings of resentment are likely to set up shop in our hearts.

When you're stuck in a cycle of exasperation, remember this.  We all respond better when we feel safe, heard and cared for.  That includes you!  Do you have a safe space to talk when you need it?  Are you making more healthy choices than not on a regular basis?  Are you spending enough time outdoors, something that is super important to mental health?  If your answer is no to all three, you need to do something about it!  I read a quote recently about the quality of the fruit depending on the health of the tree.  As a parent, you are life-giving tree and if you are crumbling you are likely to sour those around you.  Do you know a parent who is desperate need of care?  Help them out with a free night of babysitting or going on an evening walk.  Something to help us get our heads on straight so that we don't turn into volcanoes! 

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