Note: I write this not as a ‘poor me’ article. But as a reminder to Future Jayme of the battles she’ll have waged. And as encouragement when Today Jayme doesn’t want to wage the battle.
Dear Mom of *THAT* child,
I see you. I see your struggles. Well, some of them anyway. No one can possibly see them all. Including yourself.
I see how you’ve read all kinds of parenting books and applied the stuff that resonates with you. And yet, you still feel ignorant beyond belief. You wonder why parenting was so much simpler just a couple of generations ago.
I see how you’re hesitant to take your children out in public, in fear of what people will think. How they’ll look at you. What they’ll say to you. What your kid will say to you. It’s an act of courage to go to Story Time at the library, the Shopping mall or the park. The zoo is almost worthy of a Peace Prize and hasn’t ever been attempted with all your children. You shudder at the thought.
I see how you stopped going to church for the last year as it became just one more place to do battle. One more place where your child doesn’t want to go into the classroom. One more place to hear how your child needed more instruction than others. One more place to hear that he “needs another change of clothes”. You don’t want ‘one more place’. You need fewer places.
I see how you are sad that birthday parties, sports teams and play dates aren’t a part of your world. I see how you’re also glad about that. It’s just more ‘fewer places’.
I see how you’re excited to enroll your child in pre-school in excitement for the structure and opportunities it provides. I see how you’re nervous to enroll your child in pre-school for fear of what the teacher may notice that you don’t.
I see how you’re worried about how your child will do in elementary school. Will he have friends? What will other kids say about him to their parents at their family dinner table? Will he be invited to birthday parties?
You’re starting to suspect homeschooling might be best for him, but that makes you nervous too. What would that mean for him? For you? For the others in your family? You’d always been intrigued by homeschooling, but under different circumstances.
You remind yourself that everyone is on their own journey and face all kinds of hurtles that you don’t see, but it’s also easy to fall into a pity party when things seem to come so easily to so many others. “What do they know that you don’t?”, you wonder.
You’re worried that the diet changes will help turn the tide in the struggles you have. You’re also worried that the diet changes won’t help. The implications either way keep you up at night.
I see how you wonder which battles are worth fighting and which are not. Which situations are best left alone and which are worth seeking out. I see how you pull back at times in order to rest and regroup. I also see how you dig in and continue to fight the good fight.
You cling to Galatians 6:9 – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
You believe in your kid. You believe in your family. You know you might not be the best mom. You know that you might not even be the best mom for your kid. But you know that he’s yours and worth fighting for. Even if it means battling him at times. You don’t always know that you’ll succeed, but if you’re gonna go down, you’ll go fighting.
*THAT* kid’s mom too