did i mention i have five kids under 10? six counting my adult step daughter. but yes, it’s a lot. so much busier than my previous blogging days. throw a newly tantruming 18-month-old and a 4-year-old with down syndrome into the mix, and you can say goodbye to your sleep/freedom.
i should make it known though, that i don’t always have the five together. the four oldest kids split their time between homes, their dad and ours. and while im totally blessed to work for the school district as a substitute mon thru thurs, i never get used to coming back to a quiet home.
in some lifetime ago, i would have loved the silence, the freedom, the ease, but it’s not the same when it’s out of your control. divorce is like that. a heavy weight. a nagging pain where the wounds are always reopening because the kids are always moving.
so whenever i talk about my past life, or my past choices, or the natural consequences, or the subsequent heart ache, that is what i am talking about.
as you know, my heart has always steered in that direction. if you ever read any of my previous writing, you would’ve had a glimpse into what i idolized… my family and the idealization of the nuclear home. granted, there is nothing wrong with striving for a good family life and placing a high value there, but three things hindsight has taught me: God first, husband second, kids third.
you see, my kids were my life. the collins clan is what i worshipped. and ultimately, ironically, those were all the things i lost.
why would you say that, you ask? well, it’s safe to say my kids were first because they are a reflection of me. thus, the worship was really of myself. in many ways i felt the need to fit the mold. the one that looks, well… normal for us moms. that supermom mode offers a teensy sense of control, a boost of pride to pat our uncertain egos. afterall, every. single. thing. we do or do not do with and for our kids determines their outcome… whether it be drugs and calling us from jail, or “living happily ever after.”
so we think [enter sarcasm (in case you don’t know me)]. thus our worry, our guilt, our drive to tip the scales. would it surprise you to hear i still battle the same fears?
the lie is tempting. as mothers we glorify our kids’ shaping influences (life experiences, events, and circumstances) because it’s true in some sense, they are the catalyst for making a child the person they will become. but, if that is the whole truth, then what hope is left for those who come into contact with the brokenness of a sinful world? (i.e. everyone) what then, when our kids encounter dysfunction?
we are left to think we are the answer. they need us. we can control their outcome. let’s fix this.
when we realize we can’t, or when we feel like we are failing, heap on the guilt. is it me, or is it hard to love someone so much and realize there is no exact formula to guarantee their outcome, let alone their days?
that’s why we have to dispel the lie.
the lies are different for every mother of course,
but for me, it’s the one that says
because of me, my kids will be messed up.
in essence, to believe that lie is to assume i am better than God. they are His after all.
so i find myself having to say God, these children are yours.
What control do we really have to shape our kids’ outcome?
- Entrust their outcome to God
- Show them how to have a soft heart via modeling and discipline
- Teach them how to react to the broken world around them
- Apologize when you fail
- Live the gospel message: we are all broken. we all need a rescuer.