Last month was particularly difficult on me in terms of my motherhood journey. I feel like I am entering another different phase of Aimee’s growth, in which she overwhelms me more than ever. When she’s smaller (still a baby) all she could stress me was her crying asking for milk (or other things else), growing bigger she stressed me by being a super duper kid climbing anything she could climb risking her own fall (and she did fall many times hiks). Now she stresses me with her whining, screaming, crying, and impatience! She’s learning her preferences and feelings, and when the reality or Mommy doesn’t go along with them she would throw those annoying acts (WSC = ‘Whining, Screaming, Crying’). Some days I am so proud of her achievements in her growth, skills, and characters, but some other days she stresses me a lot too 😦 Being a full time mother is very demanding both to my physical and emotional being, despite of having realized that is one major tool God’s using to shape my own character and holiness (surely He uses the best teacher ever – my own daughter! haha..)
I’m not planning to vent here, instead, I’m just sharing. Yep, I guess I am a very much “sharer” in which I don’t mind sharing to others what I feel (sometimes I can be brutally honest but sometimes I can shut myself like clam :P). I guess everybody especially full time moms without any helper (nanny, maid, grandparents, etc) have same stories too but nobody talks about, they may only share them with their close girlfriends. Well, I’m treating this blog and its readers as my ‘girlfriends’ then haha..
Back to my struggle. I tell my husband sometimes in the midst of my stress I wish I had a remote control where I could push ‘pause’ and ‘stop’ button for Aimee just so I could have my break hahaha… I smile as I’m typing this. I really wished I could have that remote control especially during the last two weeks when my husband suffered from toothache (in the end he had to undergo root canal therapy hiks). It felt like I was taking care of these two babies (hahaha) and because my husband had been too painful with his toothache (it made me suffered too watching him like that hiks), he simply didn’t have the energy to taking care of Aimee in turn as what we do usually and he was grumpy too (usually his patience is what makes me stronger in facing things). The physical tiredness plus emotional test for my impatience in taking care of Aimee especially when she threw those “WSC acts” had taken to my toll. Plus we are undergoing some life challenges and last week my faith wasn’t really that strong.
Thank to God, on Saturday the dentist had put his painful nerve to end and I’ve got my hubby back to his regular activities and mood! YEY! So, I’m at a stronger point now compared with I was in the last two weeks. Then last night before I slept, I thought I’d like to read another chapter of Sally Clarkson’s book “The Mission of Motherhood”, and I was very much surprised reading the subheading – “Serving Without Resentment”. It’s totally for me after doing very much complaining in the last weeks!!
Previously Sally explained one of very much wonderful qualities of Jesus which I really admire a lot from Him – His servant heart. In John 13, the night before He died at the cross, He washed His disciples’ feet one by one, giving them the real unforgettable example of what a true servant looks like. Sally said if she was Jesus and she knew how really important she was – how powerful and authoritative and worthy – she would want someone to throw a banquet in her honor, would at least want her closest friends to sympathize with her about the difficulty ahead of somehow acknowledge her greatness (wouldn’t I also want similar things if I were Jesus!). Yet, He chose to wash His disciples’ feet!
“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” – John 13:14
The Savior of the world had chosen to spend the night before His great sacrifice ministering to them – gently touching them, feeding them, cleaning them, and ministering to their deepest needs, so that they might truly know and feel their valued relationship to Him.
This is the kind of heart every mothers should have! And how much I really want to own it yet how it can be very much difficult for me too at many times!
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” – John 15:13
We, mothers, have to choose to serve Christ by giving our time and energy (our life) to our children – not just when we feel like it but when they need us!
For me, choosing servanthood will mean, for example, waking up at middle of night serving Aimee when she wants milk, encouraging her when she screams because she cannot put off her own shoes (no problem with putting them on haha..), acting out patience and administering love when she once again screams for snack (rather than asking for it gently) while I’m in the middle of washing dishes, cooking, or doing other household duties, or when I am just about to sit on the couch to relax watching TV or reading after such a long and tiring day yet then again having my hands being pulled by her because she wants me to get her something (toys, snack, food, milk) – all without complaining!
OK, this is the part where I am brutally honest: what I do usually when she does those things: “Aimee wait! Mommy’s hand dirty can’t you see! *in stressful tone* Arghhh Aimee when will you sleep all through the night rather than waking up asking for milk or simply crying, I need uninterrupted SLEEEPPP! *in complaining tone* Aimeeee Mommy is about to having a rest! I’ve been up all day can’t you just give me some time to sit and relax!!?? *again, in complaining tone* Aimee be patient!! If you can’t put off your own shoes don’t scream!! *in half screaming tone* (teaching your kid not to scream by screaming at her?) PHEWWWW….!
So many interruptions!
However, that chapter I read last night “Serving without Resentment”, explained me that children, by definition, take up our time! They’re supposed to do that’ it’s the way God made them. But if we don’t recognize or accept that fact, we’re bound to make things difficult for ourselves and our children.
God do not want us to resent our children for taking up our time! Neither does He want us to make them feel guilty for the sacrifices we have made on their behalf. We are called to give up our rights simply out of our love to Jesus.
Then Sally went on, “If I have had struggles and complaints over the years for these issues in my own life, they have been between me and the Lord, not between me and my children”
WOW! Another super great revelation I’ve received! A very much correction to my wrong perception, thinking and behavior!
I’ve never learned this kind of thing from anywhere else, not even from my own mother. I still remember how my mom mostly annoyed when I need her to help me doing something (she even complained having had to fit her own dress for my wedding, she said she didn’t have time). The kind of set pattern is wrong and I have to take a conscious action to choose not to follow!
“Once I had children, as any mother will understand, my time was never my own again! Children simply don’t fit into neat little time packages”
“Today Mommy has one hour to give to you for your needs- whatever you want! During this hour I am willing to do anything but you must understand that when this hour is over, I will have to leave you to yourself. You see, I have clothes to wash, food to buy and prepare, bills to pay, friends to meet, places to travel, books to read and write, movies to watch, work to accomplish, etc”
“Ridiculous, isn’t it? But practically speaking, I believe many women assume they should be able to do that with their own children. Many aspects of our cultures seem to be based on the idea that children should fit into neat little time slots. When we realize and accept that serving our children means giving them whatever time they need, whenever they need it, we will be far less likely to fall into the kind of bitterness and resentment we could have” (some sentences are edited or cut to make it shorter)
I am not a perfect mother, Aimee is not a perfect child, nobody is perfect, only God is!
I’m really asking and praying to God to give me strengths, enable me to be that kind of mother with a servant heart, serving my child and my husband and other people without complaining, to see and receive the pleasure of serving which isn’t derived from men’s praise, but from the joy of being obedient to You, Lord!
Please help me to change… please don’t let this truth only settle in my head, yet to sink deeper into my heart and be manifested into actions…. and thank You so much for revealing and teaching me these kind of things, Lord… I have made mistakes in the past, yet thank You for showing me how I should walk rightly in the future and setting the right and godly example for my kid…
Thank You and only You alone receive all the glory.