No chapter of my life has caused me to question my sanity, abilities, and preparedness quite like motherhood.
I have been blessed with two biological children: my son, Brooks (6), and my daughter, Collins (3). They are a combination of the best parts of my husband and me, as well as the challenging parts that we hoped wouldn’t be passed down. On top of that, my children could not be more different! Brooks is our “strong-willed blessing” while Collins is what I like to call “selectively passionate.”
Through the years, I’ve had many conversations with my Mom where I vent about one of my children or seek advice, and she just laughs and reminds me that, “The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.” She will tell me a story about a phase of my upbringing and then brainstorm ideas with me.
One thing has become abundantly clear as my family learns to go through life together: we are all very different people with unique needs, wants, preferences, tendencies, and “buttons.” As Julie Richard often says, “Family is funny,” and I truly believe that family is one of the best displays of God’s sense of humor.
The snuggliest Mom who loves to cuddle and read will have an active boy who craves action-packed days. The Dad who is passionate about extravagant grilling experiments will have a daughter who barely eats anything besides mac & cheese and a son who smothers everything in ketchup. The Mom who was part mermaid her whole life and loves swimming will have a daughter who “won’t get her ears wet.” (And yes, I’m talking about my family!)
Often, when I am rinsing and repeating for the thousandth time, I wonder if I am the best-suited Mom for my kids. I hear Julie’s voice saying that “You are exactly the Mom your kids need.” And, “If God calls you to it, He will equip you for it.”
Six years into my parenting journey and I can’t help but agree. Just when I think, “This phase will be the end of me,” we turn a corner. When I am at my wit’s end and ready to chalk the day up as “just a bad day,” one of my kids will say something so sweet or funny that I almost forget the bad.
Just as much you are the exact Mom your children need; they are the exact children that you need. No matter how you came to be a mom to your children, be it biological, through adoption or fostering, marriage or guardianship, it was God’s plan for you to be a family. You and your children were MFEO (Made For Each Other)!
And don’t just take my word for it. As it says in Psalm 139:14-16 “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
It was God’s plan for you to come to parent your particular kids. It was His plan before you were even born.
As a Mom progressively becoming more disabled by the disease Friedreich’s Ataxia, I often question if I am the right Mom for Brooks and Collins. The other night, Brooks was demonstrating his new hair drying technique. He said, “but you have to move your arms really, really fast!” He was just cracking up as I marveled at his speed and told him how smart he was to figure that out.
Then he got quiet and said, “I’m sorry that you can’t move your arms fast… or your legs…” We talked about how “that’s ok, that’s just the way God made me.” We talked about how even though I can’t move fast or talk fast, there are lots of things I can do. We talked about how I love watching him and Collins do things, even if I can’t do them, too.
He told me, “Mommy, I wish that you could go fast, but I love that God made you my Mommy.”
Even when we don’t think we are the right Moms for our children, God will remind you that you are MFEO! It likely won’t be smooth, easy, or problem-free, but remember, “If God calls you to it, He will equip you for it.”
You can do this, Mom! We are cheering for you!