Whoever said parenting is supposed to be easy has either never been a parent or is a neglectful parent. I stand behind that 110%.
I've always thought that it should be easier. Not necessarily easy, but should it really be this hard? Yes. It is very hard. This past week, I've come to realize many of my own flaws as a person and as a mother, and how my flaws affect my children.
I always compare Sym to Thaniel. That is the worst thing I can do as a mom. I remember growing up and experiencing that with my sister and I, and how it affected our relationship. It pit us against each other and created bitterness and resentment where there was supposed to be unconditional love and friendship. Thankfully, God has blessed our relationship now and has turned it into something I truly treasure. I love my sister and am so thankful that she is here and just a phone call or short drive away. She has saved my sanity countless times.
You just have to know my kids. My Thaniel is super calm, laid back, goes with the flow, very obedient, never defiant, and very patient. My daughter is brave and outgoing, knows what she wants, tests our limits, impatient, passionate, and lives in the moment. I was so used to being a mother to Thaniel, that I couldn't understand why it was so much harder being a mommy to my daughter.
I had the mindset that we were doing everything the same way we did it with Nathaniel, so everything should have the same results with Sym. When I realized that it wasn't, it caused me so much frustration, defeat, and feelings of inadequacy as a mother. But then I realized that my job is not to be a perfect mom and know exactly what to do in every situation. My job is to try my best, love her unconditionally, protect her, and lead her towards the Lord.
There are going to be others who will put her down, tell her to change who she is, compare her to her older brother or other people, or question why she does the things that she does. If anything, I need to be there to protect and encourage her. Love her even when others don't.
I need to learn how to pick my battles. If she is in serious danger of getting hurt, I'll rescue and redirect her. If she's just being adventurous and wants to explore, I'll let her go.
I was so used to having Nathaniel stick right by my side that I didn't know how to deal with a courageous, wandering baby. I would overexert myself battling with her and trying to make her stay close by, but I've realized that just isn't her personality.
When I would get flustered, I saw that my frustration affected her behavior as well. I believe that our kids feed off of our energy. All the times that I let my emotions get the best of me are the times that Sym has done the same - let her emotions get the best of her. I need to set the example and handle myself better so that she can one day grow up to do the same.
I have truly learned to appreciate all the different personalities that God has created us with. Each individual is truly unique. I have learned to be more patient and love even more unconditionally, as this world is a world full of conditional love.
Lord, please help me to be the best mom I can be. There will be others who may give me stares and whispers when my daughter is screaming through the grocery store, or running around trying to climb on things and touch things, or throwing tantrums at a restaurant, but give me patience and courage to not be defeated by that. Keep my eyes fixed on you and what it is that you want from me as a mother. Help me to love my children, protect them, and lead them in way that is glorifying to You. In Jesus's name, Amen.