I can’t believe how big my kids are getting. It’s going so fast and, in a lot of ways, it’s very exciting. My oldest are 6 and 4 1/2. There are so many new possibilities. We can actually go out to eat again. Vacations are much more fun and the kids will actually remember them. Break downs are farther apart than they used to be. In some ways, discipline is actually easier. But this change in our family also exposes my weaknesses. I’m no longer just a caregiver and disciplinarian to them. Now there’s this relationship that has to be cultivated, nourished, and worked on. When I lose my temper, they know that it’s wrong. I’m capable of hurting their feelings and often do. I must react differently to each child based on their personality and not my own.
Right away, parenting teaches you a sense of selflessness because you are forced to take care of the baby before yourself. Feedings, changing, comfort during teething in the middle of the night. But now, as they are growing older, I see that there are still so many ways that I need to grow. I see more than ever that God uses family (marriage and children) to smooth out my rough edges. I realize often that the patience and selflessness I need to be a good wife and mother does not exist in me alone. I am blessed and so very grateful that God has given me the family that I have always prayed for. And now my prayers are changing. I pray everyday for God’s grace to be what each of my children (and my husband) need. That He would fill in the gaps where I’m lacking or failing (and show me those gaps as well), and take away my selfishness and sense of entitlement. I’m not entitled to a quiet night (duh… I have 3 kids!). Instead I want to enjoy these noisy, chaotic nights and days because I know I will miss them when it’s no longer so.