So I just read an honest blog by a frustrated, juggling mother with a fondness for the f word. A little profane, but I slogged through it anyway because she was so honest. I’d have to count on both hands how long it’s been since I was in her shoes—okay, I might need my toes for that, too—but reading her post made me realize something important.Things haven’t changed.She’d probably take umbrage to that, since the whole point of her frustration is that none of today’s psycho gurus seem to understand it doesn’t help to tell young families to keep “balance.” If she could balance the chaos of raising kids, she’d be in control. And she’s not in control. That’s what having kids teaches you. Life doesn’t stay the same for more than twenty minutes on a good day and you are not in control.Things are always changing.I didn’t know “balance” is the new bullwhip used against young moms. When my kids were growing up, all I ever heard about was “quality time.” I haven’t heard that buzz phrase in a while, though. I think somebody figured out that “quality time” only happens in “quantity time,” and who has that?I only raised two children. If I’d been courageous enough to birth more kids to practice on, I’d have done some things differently. But that’s no guarantee I’d have been any better at mothering than I was the first two times. It might simply have been different and then I’d have had to birth more kids to try another approach and who can afford that many kids before you learn to be perfect?See, I think all those armchair childrearing experts don’t really mean ‘balance’ or ‘quality’ when they give out unsolicited advice. What they really mean is ‘strive for perfection’. But here’s a newsflash for you—God Himself was the perfect parent in that Garden and look what happened.Things changed.So to all you exhausted, guilt-ridden, disillusioned mothers of children with atomic energy and fathomless needs, here’s what I’ve learned about raising kids and keeping a marriage intact. Every day it changes. Every.Single.Day.And also this. Your kids will always love you. And someday they’ll even appreciate you. Especially when they become parents themselves.That never changes.
Photo courtesy of Colin Harris's photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/18091121@N00/5136926303