There are some things you know in your head before becoming a mother. For instance, the days of sleeping in won’t happen again (at least not for many, many years). You have somewhat of an idea about sacrifice. And you know that it’s going to take a whole lot of money to raise a child. But there are some things that happen in motherhood you never expect. Here’s just a few…
Unexpected Lesson #1 – You Will Be Stretched in Ways That Seem beyond Your Limits…But You’ll Still Make It Through
At times I’ve felt that I couldn’t take another sleepless night…another day of dirty diapers, spilled liquids, toys all over…another day of bickering…another day of requests and demands without getting one moment to myself…another day of worry…another day of teen attitude…another day of rebellion…or another day of just being a mother.
Yet just when you think you’re going to break because you can’t take one more thing…a strength from within rises up. Sure, you might make a few mistakes in getting to that place. You might need to spend a whole lot of time on your knees in prayer. You might go to bed wishing to rewind the hands of time. But you will still make it through.
Unexpected Lesson #2 – Although It Sometimes Hurts, There Is Freedom in Learning to Let Go
I’m a control freak. I like to have all my ducks in a row and when they aren’t, well, it’s not pretty. Motherhood has been the greatest teacher in showing me that trying to control everything causes greater pain than I would experience in having no control. Sometimes God has had to pry my fingers open to help me release control. And although it hurt, the end result was a feeling of relief. I experienced true freedom. Freedom to trust Him with my children. Freedom from anxiety, frustration and stress. Freedom to enjoy being a mother.
Unexpected Lesson #3 – There Is No Such Thing as a One-Size-Fits-All Method of Parenting
I’ve read many books on parenting. I’ve listened to lots of advice. I’ve attended classes, workshops and seminars on parenting. I’ve observed the way other parents do it. Regardless of all these “helps” (I would argue that some have actually proven to be detrimental), the one thing I’ve learned is that there is no such thing as a model way of parenting. Not in the general sense and certainly not for all of my children because each of them are so different. And just when you think you’ve figured it all out, along comes reality to knock you down. Suddenly you have to come up with a new plan.
What works for your friend, neighbor or relative doesn’t always mean it will work for you. Our journey as a mother is unique, with varying circumstances that determine what’s best for each of us. Don’t believe the hype—there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all formula to parenting.
Unexpected Lesson #4 – Others Won’t Always Agree With (or Like) Your Way of Parenting…That’s Okay Because It’s Not Your Job to Meet Their Expectations
I’ve had many a person disagree with me about decisions I’ve made in parenting. Everything from my educational choices for my children to when I determined it was okay for them to walk home from school. I’ve been criticized for being too strict and at other times, not strict enough. I’ve been questioned on what I allow or don’t allow, the rules we enforce in our house and how I handle discipline.
If you think it doesn’t happen to you, it does. Sometimes it’s just not voiced out loud. But it doesn’t matter. Because in the end you are accountable for what you do with your family. It’s not your job to meet others expectations. The responsibility of motherhood is a heavy enough load without adding other people to it.
© 2015, Stephanie Romero