I've been thinking about this for a while, but I don't know how to open. It's probably not even enough to be a blog post.
I used to try to define my children, and their temperaments and quirks and talents, purely in relation to me. "God gave me this child to teach me this, God gave me that child to make me better at that." Hey, did you hear that thing about me being the center of the universe? Pretty awesome.
But what if, as usual, it's not about me at all? Maybe I just happen to be the best woman to help create a person (we get to help. create. human. beings. #mindblownpause ) who will prompt the other people in my house be the best versions of themselves they can be. Maybe my kids have each other for very important reasons, and sometimes I'm simply supposed to be the facilitator, the delegator, the cat wrangler.
Do you see where I'm going with this? Am I making sense?
They are people in their own right from the moment they come into existence. And while there is always room for me to learn and grow, it could be that another person's sole reason for being isn't just so that I don't get mad about clean clothes going straight back into the dirty hamper or lights being left on in empty bedrooms.
Let me tell ya- when I remember to stop imagining that everything my kids do or say has something to do with me, it's way less stressful around here. Because THE PRESSURE, y'all. The pressure when many little people with many temperaments are doing many sundry and often opposite things and you're running around thinking "what does this have to do with ME? What am I supposed to be learning here? What is the lesson for me? Am I supposed to become more energetic and more relaxed at the same time? How am I supposed to be reacting so that I get all the mothering gold stars and they have the best childhood ever and their futures are so bright that they have to wear shades??? MEMEMEMEMEME!"
After all these years it has finally occurred to me that God gave these kids to each other as siblings just as much as he gave them to me as children. I am for them as their primary educator and caregiver, sure. But they are not always for me. Sometimes they are for each other. Sometimes they are for their friends. Sometimes what's happening is a growth in their relationship with God. Not every day of mothering is a 9 hour graduate course in becoming a better person or else.
Sweet relief, friends. Sweet sweet relief.