I’m the kind of parent who’s wellbeing is strongly tied to how well my children are doing.
How are they doing academically?
How are they doing physically? (eating, sleeping, exercise)
How are they doing emotionally?
How are they doing spiritually?
Just to name a few.
As a mother, I try to ensure they are doing their best and feeling happy. If they are not, I tend to feel like I’ve let them down, that it’s my job to make sure they are happy.
But this season has revealed something to me that’s difficult to grasp.
As a mother, as much as I try, I cannot fix everything.
Thomas, our six year old, is our live-in comedian. There truly isn’t any dinner-time or family time without the table bursting into laughter because of what he says or gets up to. He truly knows how to make us smile and laugh.
But during the time when Stage 4 lockdowns were announced, Thomas woke up crying. And like a world that has lost its sun, our household felt it. We all began to grieve.
As a parent, I tried to find something to make him happy again. What can I get you? Can I cook you something? What do you want me to do? I’ll do anything for you.
“I just miss my friends. I want to see them. Like really SEE them.”
I was still and silent…
“I just can’t do that right now…”
Suddenly I wasn’t doing well. I realised very quickly that I didn’t know what to do, and worse, I had no control over what was happening.
And it came down to tears (for both of us).
We held each other, we prayed to God and we took the day to just be with each other.
The week continued with more tears and prayer, but after some days, we started to feel better.
I realised that there will be times in our parenting journey when we cannot fix everything. Times when we need to let our kids (and ourselves) grieve; to let them feel it. Times to acknowledge grief so we can let it move on.
Sometimes we cannot simply fix things, but like a mother holding a child through grief, we can trust God to help us process how we feel, and then somehow make us feel supported, better and surprisingly, at peace.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:7
During this time of uncertainly, let God be there to hold you, support you like a mother to a child, and give you peace. Peace that not only will you not understand, but that will transform your mind in Him.