Here is a very truthful and affirming article, which was sent to me today by my good friend, Phil. I want to share it with all mothers out there, regardless of religious inclinations, due to the very accurate nature of the article's viewpoint. I find it sincerely empathetic and validating.
Religion or no, children certainly challenge their parents to be introspective! Having kids is not merely about bearing and rearing offspring until they are old enough to take care of themselves! In my opinion, regardless how "flawless" the instruction offered to his child, any parent who excuses-away the vast expanse of humbling and learning opportunities available to him throughout the years, has really missed his true "parenting" opportunity and the calling of why he, and not someone else, was fated to be the parent of this particular child. Having kids is an opportunity for the parent as much as the child!
As dearly as I love James, in my whole life of various challenges, I have never felt more incompetent or more unable to be patient and loving than now that I have a kid. Somehow, this loving little bundle always seems to bring out my shortest temper.
Yesterday was horrible, and by the time my husband came home, both James and I were having temper tantrums. To top it off, James decided last night to be wide awake from 2:00 until 5:30 a.m.! Ehhhhh..... Needless to say, I was grumpy this morning. I am so lucky to have a loving husband who is understanding and patient with us both.
Although I may be floundering hopelessly about, I can say that I have also never felt more called to try and put the virtues of my faith than into action with James. Although volunteering with homeless, hungry, and other people in need is very edifying - at the end of the day, I always get to leave the soup kitchen and its problems and go home to my cozy place! James, however, never leaves me alone! He is constantly lending me inescapable "spiritual direction," in that I feel the very immediate call to mercy, patience, kindness, understanding, charity, and love more than I ever have before. I don't know how any family with a baby could survive without those things!
And finally, in a very humbling way (whereas before I may have thought, "I'm a pretty patient person"), I am also able to discern my shortcomings and sins more easily. I no longer think I'm "pretty good at being patient" that's for sure! In an indirect way James helps me to be more humble in seeing and trying to correct all my flaws. He certainly helps me to "remove the beam from my own eye before pecking at the splinter in my mother-in-law's eye!"
The above article was exactly the affirmation I needed this morning. I think I'm going to print it out and carry it in my pocket.