For those who don’t know much about me- I am an elementary school music teacher. I consider myself a good teacher and a good parent. I have great relationships with my children.
However, doing school at home is challenging- even for a teacher. Some of the most difficult parts are working from home while being responsible for my youngest son’s education at the same time. I don’t think teaching my son is difficult. I think trying to do that while distracted is difficult. I am so thankful for my job! I am not complaining about it. It’s just a fact of life.
Another aspect that is difficult is helping him navigate a new type of learning, creating a structure and schedule and even learning what the expectations are for him myself. His teachers are doing a great job! They are putting in so much work and time. It’s just a curve ball for everyone, including the teachers. Believe me, I know.
I also am leading a women’s ministry with online Bible studies twice a week and putting in a garden. These are fun for me, and they add to the work load at home. Combine all this with all the extra cooking (I love this part) and cleaning (not so much love for this), it creates for quite a load of responsibility.
There are days that are up, where I feel like I can conquer the world. There are days when I wear the same sweatpants that I wore yesterday and I forget to eat, because I’ve lost track of time and I am grinding with so much online work. But, there is one thing I won’t do.
I refuse to verbalize disgust or anger over helping my son with his school work. After all, I’m his mother. My main responsibility- before school work or feeding him- is making sure his heart is strong and his character is developed. What would happen if I made him feel like a burden?
Don’t get me wrong- I have vented my frustration about the situation, but I always let him know that I love him, love teaching him and that I’m not upset with him or his teacher.
It’s totally possible to have frustration, to feel overwhelmed and not to feel the need to blame someone or to tear someone down.
In fact, full disclosure here- I got a bit rude and snippy with my husband this morning, because I was overwhelmed by another situation. I had to go back and apologize to him and let him know that my frustration should not have been taken out on him.
We truly need to live the golden rule right now. Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Caleb’s mom Diane used to teach her kids this timeless truth by adding, “If you were them in that situation,” when the kids would declare that they would love for someone to treat them in the manner she had corrected them on.
Why am I telling the internet this? I am so disturbed by the articles I am reading about the number one stress in people’s lives in this quarantine being their children. I have my own theory on why this is.
I believe we have become so fractured as a society, we have been so engrossed in our own little worlds, that we have left our relationships in the dust. Perhaps all the sports and music lessons and busyness have kept us in fun mode and productivity mode, but has taken us out of emotional intimacy mode.
It’s easy to do “things”, but it’s difficult to learn how to dance the relationship dance of communication, trust, forgiveness, selflessness, grace and mercy. We have forgotten how to process our emotions together in healthy ways- or maybe many people never learned how to do it in the first place.
On top of all this, many popular women’s authors are telling the world that it’s okay not to be a good mom, if that isn’t your gifting. How cute. Honey, being a mom isn’t a gift. It’s a calling. You may be having trouble with your highest calling, but no career path or form of escape will make up for the damage that you can do to a child by neglecting them emotionally. If you are struggling, the same God who gave your children to you can teach you how to be the best Mother they could ever have!
Being a parent is truly the most growing experience. You are stretched relationally and emotionally out of your comfort zone. And what happens when you are growing in uncharted territory? Your territory grows! You take more dominion and you become an expert on more than you ever could have asked or imagined.
You may feel like a failure today, but failing is learning. Learning is powerful! So, failure is powerful. Your inadequacy as a mother is all you need to allow God to bring you into new territory and to grow you as a person!
Relationships are number one on God’s to do list. He gave his only Son Jesus to restore our relationship with him. Our sin gets in the way. Through his sacrifice, and through faith in Jesus, we can have an eternal relationship with God.
God the Father is the best model for us all. His sacrifice, his grace, his mercy, his selflessness show us how to live in this time. He loves us and he takes care of his family. He can teach us how to take care of our families.
Through his Holy Spirit and through humbly admitting our need, we can be more than conquerors through him who loves us. If you are feeling fractured emotionally- pulled in a million directions- put your trust in him. He can heal and put the pieces back together. He will teach you how to live through his power.
Thankfully, he doesn’t expect me to put on a show for him or pretend I am perfect. He loves it when I am just honest. Let’s honestly admit our need today and allow God to work in our brokenness.