I have a strong belief that children, when we let them, are our spiritual teachers. Here to help us find and connect to our soul. My children tend to give me the exact right message at the exact right time to put me back in my place. Back to the moment and to what matters the most. Today that message came courtesy of my 3-year-old.
I’ve had a rough few weeks. All very small issues in the grand scheme of life but the parenting gods were definitely testing my patience recently. Sicknesses and temper tantrums galore. You know all of the things that your heart knows don’t really affect you, but your mind tells you to be miserable about? That kind of stuff.
As I was rushing my oldest daughter into dance and juggling the other kids, my 3-year-old had to use the bathroom. I’m ashamed to admit it, but in the moment I was annoyed. I told her to go before we left, she of course didn’t, and now I am doing the public restroom dance with 4 kids, one of which is already late for her class. I handed the baby over to my son and proceeded to follow my little one into the stall as she very abruptly shut it in my face. “Let me in please,” I said. “I need to help you.” Probably in an annoyed tone, which is ridiculous when you think about the fact that it is my responsibility to meet the needs of my children. Anyway, as I went to push the door open she shouted, “Mommy! I don’t need you!”
Ummmm what? Of course you do! I spend every waking moment providing for your every need. Most likely sacrificing far too much of myself to make sure your life is wonderful. Jumping on a whim. Taking care of your body, mind and soul. AND you’re 3! What do you mean you don’t need me? You needing me is the very premise of this relationship! A grown adult crying in the girls bathroom of a dance studio is completely acceptable, right?
All of those rambling thoughts belonged to a tired and overwhelmed mama. A mama whose heart knows that every part of her parenting journey is a blessing and to be cherished, but whose mind can at times confuse her into focusing on how stressful and overwhelming the younger years are. Not the true mama that I am. The not-so enlightened mama, if you will. And you know what? As much as her words crushed me, they were exactly what I needed right when I needed them. There are seasons to everything in life. Things are exactly where and how they are supposed to be by the very law of the way the universe works. And, after all, fostering independence IS part of my job as their mom.
I don’t want to wish ONE SECOND away. My first-born is almost 8! I can’t even wrap my brain around it. I’m living every day knowing how quickly it goes and yet in the less than glamorous moments I forget. Maybe I sound a bit dramatic but all of these little moments are representative of the big. A 3-year-old not needing my help in the restroom is a 18-year-old leaving for College.
Thank you my sweet daughter for reminding me that with each passing moment you will “need” me less and less and that the identity I cling to so hard and embody so whole heartedly will cease to exist as quickly as it came into my life. Thank you for resetting my thought patterns and reminding me to focus on gratitude and my blessings, which enables my peace, and in turn yours.
No matter what phase you are in on your parenting journey, I hope in the weaker moments you can listen to the little messages that are given to us. They are spoken to help us redirect our energy to the here and now. To grow and evolve and to become whole. This moment is all there is and nothing should take our focus away.
The Enlightened Mama