Lately, I feel like I’ve been “surviving.” We get through our day-to-day tasks, everyone is clothed and fed and diapered, the house is presentable (most of the time), and laundry is clean, if not folded.
But, things are busy. Three boys 4-and-under comes with a lot of little needs that need to be met, and I’m very busy simply taking care of those needs.
And…… the “mommy guilt” creeps in — the self-doubt that eats at me, telling me I’m not quite good enough – not quite doing enough. Yes, my children are happy, but are they nurtured enough? Stimulated, played-with, taught, read-to, and prayed-with enough? After diapers are changed and breakfast is cleared, it’s time for lunch, then naps, then dinner, then bed – and where did all the in-between time go? You know – the time I always intend to play, to teach, and to nurture? The time seems to have vanished, and I am left with the guilt – the wondering how I can do more for my children – especially my special-needs child. Maybe if I just spent more time working on language activities with Matthew – maybe he would talk more? Maybe if I just spent more time working with his picture boards, maybe he would use them to communicate with me? Maybe if I could just do more …
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Today, neither Jesse nor Matthew went down for a nap. Jesse slept for 20 minutes in the morning, and thought he was set for the day, and Matthew fussed for a long time in his crib, never settling down – very unusual for him. So, I decided to load up the ‘babies’ and take them for a drive, hoping to lull them both into a restful, peaceful sleep, while giving Micah some much-coveted “Daddy time” at home. Jesse fell asleep right away, while Matthew happily and quietly enjoyed the ride.
Using my quiet time to pray, I started to unload my heavy heart, telling God everything:
Lord, please give me the strength and energy to be the mother You created me to be. Am I teaching Micah enough? He is so inquisitive – wants to know everything, and learns so quickly. He wants me to spend more time reading to him, coloring with him, playing with him … but I’m so busy taking care of other things – sometimes I feel like I can barely take care of everyone’s basic needs. And, what about Jesse? What am I supposed to be doing to play with and stimulate a 9-mo old, anyway? I’m so busy with the other two… And, my Matthew. We’re starting to feel ‘stuck’ again. How do I do enough for him? Do we need to add private Speech Therapy? Am I right to pursue the sleep apnea issue? How can I stimulate him more, teach him more? How do I give Matthew everything he needs?
Right then, I was interrupted by words that were so clear, so definite, they were almost audible:
“I have already given Matthew everything he needs. I gave him you.”
My breath caught in my throat.
A prayer so clearly, so quickly answered – and not at all expected. The road was starting to look blurry … An overwhelming sense of peace. A weight lifted from my shoulders. The best validation I could ever receive, and an incredible reminder that He sees me, in my everyday, ordinary tasks of caring for my children; that He cares for me and loves me, and that we are all in His hands.
And, that is everything I need.
He is everything I need.