Reminders arise in our mother-lives, haunting us or exciting us about a moment in history when we triumphed or failed. I am constantly reminded of this little guy wiping his butt every. single. day. We continue to have victories and failures over it, although he is now 8. But just yesterday- he didn’t ask for me to ‘check’ and make sure his butt was all wiped. Today may be a different story. In the big picture of life- I could really care a less. It’s a season like any other… and one thing I have learned the hard way? It will pass. In time. Come back with me three years ago, and be encouraged as you enter or rise through your seasons of motherhood.
“I WIPED MY BUTT MOM! I WIPED MY BUTT!”
Either paying me all his piggy bank money did it, or he realized that it would be a while before I got to him. Either way, I’ll take it! Victory!
Another phase completed. Another stage of life passed. Another “life skill” learned. Another step to independence completed. Another task taken off mommy’s “to do” list. Another burden released. Another triumphant achievement of great and significant proportions!!! Ok. Basically in the words of a mommy,
“MY SON WIPED HIS BUTT!!!!!” “WOOHOO!” “FINALLY!” Ahhhhh…….basking in the moment of glory. (You just don’t know how long these moments last)
There’s always a time when every mom wonders or worries about these growing stages and steps toward independence. Whether their child will actually cross over that throne of: eating solids, sleeping through the night, crawling, walking, potty training, leaving mommy without tears, stop the thumb sucking, letting go of a beloved blankie, growing out of this and that habit, be socially acceptable, learn to talk clearly, build a stronger immune system, stop bedwetting, learn abc’s, make it through first grade, make it through grade school, find good friends, respect authority, follow rules, don’t do drugs, don’t drink and drive, don’t get pregnant, graduate high school, work at a job with responsibilities and earn a living…..etc etc etc.
That list goes on and on and on in every year of our children’s life, doesn’t it? It seems when you feel like you have reached the threshold of one stage, the road takes another turn into some foreign land where you must navigate through treacherous waters and learn to not only survive the challenge, but to surpass it with a “well balanced” child. How exhausting, exciting, and fulfilling it can be, right?
Well, I don’t know about you, but I am only at the “starting gate” with my two, and I am already trying to learn to not sweat it for the most part! I used to worry to death about my first born because she was behind at every stage of development. From the moment she was born, there was drama and uncertainty. I had “professionals” tell me all sorts of horrible defeating stories that traumatized me to no end. I look back and think how submerged I was in every failing detail of my daughter’s rocky start in life. Starting with severe reflux, going to physical therapy, leading to sensory integration issues, realizing hearing loss, needing speech therapy, finding serious loss of vision, continuous sickness and asthmatic crises, my daughter’s journey continues through each trying stage of life. It truly grows you and throws you.
Every child has a story. Every parent has a story about their child. Some have deeply emotional and severely traumatizing stories, while others seem to have quite the opposite. But nonetheless, every one has a story.
We all encounter our struggles with our children as they grow, in so many different ways. And somehow, someway, we endure. Sometimes the result isn’t at all what we would expect or hope for, but we learn to accept the reality and embrace the uniqueness of our child. When I am able to do that, I seem to release all that tension within, and even though I am a little anxious about what may come of the next stumbling block of growth, I can remember all the others that came and went, and realize that this too shall pass. This too shall be a blur of a memory in the long and winding road of my parenting journey. I will look back at this moment and celebrate the hard earned triumph of tolerance and perseverance.
Whether your children are teenagers (oh I can’t wait for that stage!) or little toddlers…..motherhood is an adventure isn’t it? We can’t know it all….but boy, do we learn along the way don’t we? Let it happen. Just let your child be the miraculous version of who he or she is. Certainly, we want to teach them and implant all our values in their hearts. We want them to be the best of who they are. We do dream of their happiness and success in life. But in the end, it’s their journey, not ours. I am honored and grateful God chose me to bring my kids into this world and I try to teach them how to live in it the best I know how.
I seem to have this growing conviction to not judge other mothers because each child and mother have their own way of figuring it all out. I am definitely one of those moms that can do things a little differently! But I find that there is no recipe for the perfect parenting. Every home and family has their style and their priorities and their philosophies. God bless them all!
So with that I say to all you Mothers out there…
Oh mother, oh mother
What challenge awaits your day?
Stay strong and endure
The “endless road” some say!
Mother, ahhh… Mother
Embrace each moment or
You’ll look back and wonder
What did you do that for?
Oh Mother, dear Mother
The winding road you’ll see
That when the path takes a turn
Another road will be
Oh Mother, Mother, Mother….
Your days shine on and on
Full of victory and triumph
And failures come and gone
So Mother, Mom, or Mommy
Whatever stage your in
Remember that it ends
And a new one will begin.
Gotta go wipe someone’s butt…. (Sigh)