Confession: Sometimes my kids really annoy me.
I know…as their mom, I’m probably not supposed to say that. But come on…I KNOW I’m not alone in this. If you’re honest, your kids have probably annoyed you at times too.
You can admit it. This is a safe place.
It’s not because they are doing anything wrong. It’s usually not that they are misbehaving…although that is certainly part of it, it’s not the primary thing driving my annoyance.
They are just being typical toddlers.
And sometimes typical toddlers are annoying.
Because they need me every other second and say “mommy” 50 bazillion times. And they never stop talking, EVER.
Because they want to watch shows that were created for the sole purpose of driving parents crazy, with ridiculous, cheesy songs that get stuck in your head. Because they ask you “why” about things that really have no other answer than “because.”
This can get annoying. But I must say…
Dear children, it’s not you; it’s me.
It’s really MY problem, not theirs.
So in those moments, I need help loving my kids. Of course, I always love them, in that unchanging way that is true no matter what. But if love is not just a feeling but an action, there are days I need help to love them and to act like it when I’m not really feeling it.
Some days, my primary feeling is not love, but frustration and weariness. What I really want is to be left alone.
I don’t want to do the loving thing and sit and read a book to them, or play on the floor, or take them to the park. I don’t want to do the hard work of discipline; I’d rather just give in and let them do whatever they want, as long as they stop whining about it.
But I am called to love, even on the days when I just don’t have it in me.
These are the days I need more than ever to be connected to the source of perfect love.
Instead of locking myself in the bathroom and hoping they forget I’m there (hypothetically), I can turn to Jesus in that moment and confess my need, and find so much grace waiting for me.
Because Jesus loves my kids WAY more than I ever could, and he has entrusted me with them to be the vessel of his love. He wants to love my kids through me, and it’s not up to me and how I feel that day.
When I try to love my kids through my own strength and based on whether or not I feel like it, I’ll fall short every time.
It’s no different in motherhood than in any other part of life. If I’m going to do anything good, it will always be an overflow of connection to Jesus.
So on the days when you’re annoyed by your kids and you’re just not feeling all warm and fuzzy towards them…
First, know that it’s normal, and you’re not the only one. It’s okay if you don’t feel it sometimes. That doesn’t make you a bad mom, that makes you a normal, limited human.
You were never meant to do this in your own strength.
Ask Jesus to help you love your kids. He’s WAY better at it anyway.
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