Friday, January 8, 2016

Children are a Great Reward

child wind playingI'm so glad I had no idea how much work having children would be before I became a mom. I mean, even if people tried to tell me (which I'm sure they did), I've since discovered there's no way to really understand being a mom until you become one.
That's what many people focus on today, though: how much work children are. How much they change your life, your priorities, your ability to have a shower by yourself.
I remember having a conversation with a coworker before he had children. I shared with him that children change every aspect of your life. He poo-pooed me saying that children shouldn't take over one's life and it was going to be different for him. Then his wife got pregnant. About a year into parenthood he came back to me and referenced our previous conversation. He said, "I get it now."
He got that I wasn't saying that children take over and rule your life, or at least they shouldn't, but when you become a parent it changes everything. And for me, those changes have been a huge blessing.
Now, in honor of full disclosure, I wasn't a great baby mom. Meaning that I sometimes turned into a monster and at others resembled a zombie more than a human. I have always had a great need for sleep and having 4 children in 6 years, none of which slept that glorious 11 hours straight until they hit 11 months (no matter what they ate, what kind of routine I had them on, or when we started whole milk) did not do well for my emotions or brain-functioning. But it taught me how precious those moments are when I do have an ounce of energy and to fully rely on God in my great weaknesses.
All of the work has been worth it. Especially when I take a step back, realize I've robbing my kids of learning responsibility and take the time to teach them to share in the work. But the relationships I've been able to cultivate with my children are a result of the huge amounts of time I've spent with them. Their gratitude is at least in part of the time I've spent doing things with and for them. Seeing them grow, develop and learn more about God and who He made them to be is a result of what God has taught me about His being my Father through my life with my children.
So, while I push back against the concept of idolizing our children, giving them everything in the world they want, being their servant, and letting them take over my life, I would not trade anything in this world for the way they've affected every aspect of my life.

They are a great reward - one that keeps on giving, multiplying, and blessing me each and every day I have with them.

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