06 Mar The toughest job you’ll ever do
By Laurie Green
Over the years, I’ve had quite a few occupations. I’ve been a babysitter, a lifeguard, a fast–food worker, and a medical receptionist. I currently have the pleasure of working full–time with my husband, Will, in our lawn care business. And while I’ve enjoyed most of these opportunities, I have to say my most rewarding job has been that of a mom. This is the one occupation that has stretched me, bent me, and grown me the most—even still today.
Often when people learn that I had two sets of twins 18 months apart, I will always get asked, “How did you survive four babies?” I always laugh and reply that I have no idea and that there was a lot of crying and not just from the babies. As I’ve gotten older, I have honestly realized that the ONLY way I survived was by the grace of God.
The thing is, when my kids were younger, I was always so scared to let anyone see that I didn’t have a clue what being a new mom was all about. I had perfected the art of wearing a mask and pretending I had it all figured out. My twins are 24 and 25, and I am still adapting and learning as they grow.
As a mother, I truly believe God has called us and equipped us like no other. However, I can’t help but wonder how many years of trouble people might have spared me if they had been honest with me about being the mom of a newborn, much less twins. I thought it should be all beautiful and blissful, and at times it was, but parts of it were horrid! I was tired, stressed, smelly, and, did I mention, tired. I felt awful that my life wasn’t a Pampers commercial. Seriously, as moms we NEED to let other moms know it’s okay to feel like you don’t have it all together. I often wonder how many God–given opportunities we miss to bless another mom by simply admitting we have survived the same struggles?
I am a complete lover of Jesus, but I am far from perfect. Over the years, my job as mom has transformed from caregiver of infants, toddlers, and teenagers to a promoted position of “mom of adults.” I admit over the years I’ve cried, screamed, and said hurtful things. I’ve slammed bedroom doors, all the while telling God I had had enough. I had moments I felt sick, tired, and simply done. How thankful it makes me for scriptures like Romans 8:26: “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”
In those moments that my words came out as a big old cry fest, the Holy Spirit knew what I really meant to pray about.
I have also had the pleasure of experiencing more joy and happiness than I ever thought could be possible through the eyes of my children. I don’t doubt for a moment how blessed I am to be a mom (and bonus mom) to seven of the most special people you could ever meet. Not to mention a “gram–gram” to six beautiful kiddos. So, yes, this occupation of “mom” can be a bit messy for a while, but I do want to encourage and remind you that we’ve been given the opportunity to pray earnestly over them. It’s a skill God has already equipped you with. Trust me, no one can pray for your child like you can! In the same way, no one can speak life into another mom like one who will be transparent and encouraging to others.
My personal advice: I tease that I don’t remember much of the toddler years, as sleep deprivation will do that to you. But I do recall those teenage years, and I’ll admit they can be tough. Teens can be full of spite, anger, and have a smart mouth, but this is exactly why God created moms! We possess an extra special kind of love for our children. (Seriously, who would use their own hands to catch a kid’s vomit? Only a mom.) It’s okay to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing at times. It’s okay to feel hurt and angry at moments. Trust me, no one has it all figured out except the Good Lord, I promise you that. I’ve learned a lot over the years and I certainly wish I had the opportunity for some do–overs to fix the mistakes I made. Again, this is the wonderful thing about God’s goodness and mercy. I am perfectly OK letting my kids know I made mistakes, too. Personally, I think that’s why we get grandkids, so we can have the opportunity to do better this next time around. LOL.
My hope for all us moms out there is that we can all strive to be more transparent with each other. Next time you see a stressed–out mom, take a moment and encourage her. We have all faced similar struggles, and in the end, let’s be thankful that God’s mercies are new every day.