Being a mother is hard. I’ve been at this mothering thing for many years and I’m still no child expert. Even with four grown children I’m still learning.
But I believe in being real, and real wins over being a super-achiever in my book. Call off the bragging rights (well, we can brag some).Cancel the comparisons, moms! We all have different struggles. Some children are harder to raise than others. When I meet a mother of two compliant kids who gloats about her successes…Oops, I mean her children’s’ successes… I just smile and think, “Wait ‘til you have the third child.”
And on the flip side, I am amazed at what giftedness and wisdom some mothers have just to survived raising a difficult child. I just read the book, In the Belly of the Whale. by Jacob Alexander. It’s a heart-wrenching, true account of parents, especially a mother who goes to bat for their Asperger (highly-functioning autistic) child.
Near genius in many ways, Joseph’s social skills and ability to keep up with written assignments found him plunked down in special ed classes. Even though tested as gifted, the public school district wanted to push Joseph off in a corner and brand him a troublemaker. Ann fought for her son’s education. What she received was rejection and humiliation from her fellow teachers because of her son’s behavior. “Why does he ask so many questions? Why is he so stubborn?” The school administration lacked any understand of Aspies so as a mother who knew her child, she plowed up many roads by herself. Today she has the last laugh as her son is in law school and is serving God as he finds solace and encouragement in the bible.
So, if you don’t feel like your photo will ever be sprawled over Parent Magazine’s cover, relax. As I tell my daughters (who are in the trenches with the two-year old and newborn stages of parenting), “God sent a particular child to you.” That package of personality quirks, talents, and spiritual bends fell into the correct mother’s lap. Your college roommate or next-door neighbor didn’t get your child. You did, and He felt you were up to the challenge.
Take comfort in the knowledge that God planned your family even before you thought about diapers, Little League baseball and separate car keys for a teenage driver. It sure helps us back off from keeping up with the Joans of this world.
Now that’s a confidence builder.