Some parts of being a mom come easy for me. Like:
Making my son chicken and dumplings when he has a cold.
Helping my daughter shop for the perfect outfit at a real bargain.
Making perfectly themed goody bags for special events.
The person that I am finds those things easy. I love to cook, shop and am somewhat crafty and into the details. But not all the mom stuff is like this. There are things that my kids ask of me, either verbally or with their actions, where I can’t figure out how to respond or what to do.
In the last year, one of my children was going through a struggle where I found myself not very helpful. It’s not that I wasn’t trying to help. My daughter and I had prayed, talked and cried many tears together. But she wasn’t making any progress. Not to mention the fact that I was so frustrated in the situation that I sometimes snapped a little on the innocent child and felt awful later. At that point, a friend said something to me that changed me.
“Dig deep. Maybe she is needing something from you that is hard for you to give.”
I needed those words so badly, and I’ve let them sink in and penetrate my thinking for months now. I had drawn lines about what I would and wouldn’t do without even realizing it. Instead of doing all I could, I was only doing the things that came naturally. I wasn’t digging deep and doing the hard things.
I started thinking and praying about what my child really needed from me and determined to give even hard things if necessary. It changed my responses, gave me more compassion and reminded me to dig deep as a parent.
Digging deep may mean staying up really late to have conversations that wouldn’t happen otherwise.
Could it mean letting the youngest sleep in our bed on occasion? (Something that I’ve held my ground on and refused for a long time.)
Digging deep may mean listening to an explanation about a scientific phenomenon that I don’t understand or care about.
It could mean taking a child and their friends on an outing that seems silly and uncomfortable to me.
All good moms don’t look the same. What comes easy to you, is hard for me and what I can do with my eyes closed, may be an area where you feel inadequate. Our differences and personalities make us unique and are usually the very reasons our families love us. But sometimes, there are situations where the best answer is to dig deep. Be open to doing the hard things that don’t come easily. Stretch and challenge yourself to be the parent that you know your precious and highly treasured child deserves. They are so worth it, right?