So this week’s Full Disclosure Moment is brought to you by Toddlers and Costco. I really have to wake up on the right side of the bed in order to brave a trip into the mammoth sized grocery store that we all know and love…and with a toddler in tow…trust me…it’s not for the faint of heart.
I probably should have turned and tucked tail at the first sign of trouble (which may or may not have been when my toddler refused to get into the cart…in the parking lot); however, being as it takes us a little over 45 minutes to get to the closest Costco from our house, and (likely this is the larger reason) being that I’m somewhat (ahem) stubborn (only paralleled by two of my three children), I chose to dig my heels in and head into battle…armed with snacks, juice, toys, books, my secret weapon, (the soother)…and conveniently arrived in time for the free sample buffet.
One could say things didn’t exactly go swimmingly….however between the free samples, my weapons of choice, and some strategic distraction maneuvers of rehearsing nursery rhymes, counting, and some extremely kindhearted employees…we somehow managed to survive.
The truth is, that some day’s parenting isn’t all sunshine and roses…some day’s…it just plain sucks. Sometimes the tantrums outweigh the patience we can muster up and we find ourselves torn within trying to maintain every shred of peace we can so that the captain doesn’t go down with the ship. Sometimes we question our ability as a parent, and even our desire to do this parenting business at all…and in all honesty…that was where I was on more than one occasion during this trip. Seriously, never in my life have I ever experienced the wild emotions that parenting can bring…one minute I can be furiously frustrated, overwhelmed with anger…and the thoughts…oh the thought’s…”why did I ever become a mom?”, “this job is too demanding for me…I want out”, “how can I possibly love anyone else when I’m struggling to love my own child right now?!”….and then the next minute when the matter has settled and I’m looking into that sweet little face saying “I Sow-wy ” the just-as furious love that floods over…fierce and wild makes me a force to be reckoned with for any fool that would dare pose a threat to that little one. If one didn’t know the reality of those emotions or the frequency of them, they could be led to believe that there was something wrong with me….but I’m almost positive that I’m not alone in this and that it’s something that all of us, as parents to children – young or old – experience.
Here’s the thing…in those moments when the anger, the frustration, and the hopelessness seem more than we can bear…we need to remember that eventually it will melt away, the moment will pass, and life will go on. Take a moment, breathe, get out of the room if you need to, and don’t bite the lie that you’re a horrible parent for feeling/thinking that way! Accept that frustration is normal (because you’re a human being!!), and look up to receive God’s grace and love so that you can extend it outward to the little one (or older one) needing it so much. Love is not an emotion…otherwise our children would be doomed…ha hah…Love is a choice, love is commitment…and friends…love is a miracle….That’s how it was intended to be…so that when our strength becomes limited and our love supply runs dry, we can go to our Heavenly Father, the very source of love Himself, to be filled up in order to let it flow out.
It’s not easy this parenting thing…but it’s so worth it for those moments of joy and bliss (over a $1.60 hot dog and pop).
Until next week…keep walking in grace and love one to another…and keep it real.