I discovered some time ago that I am probably a highly sensitive parent. Noise gets to me very easily. I cannot think or work if the hubby is playing his music. Crowds mean too much stimulation, and walking through a crowded mall usually gives me a headache. A classroom of rowdy kids always made my head want to explode. Visual clutter always got me very frustrated. Certain random smells made me sick.
And then I had three boys.
You know how it is with little boys. (Or even little girls for that matter.) Noise is a norm for them, and they usually live life a couple of decibels higher (and also have correspondingly deaf ears). They bang doors, they talk to you by shouting, they find it fun to shriek and tear through the house. You usually have one or more of them trying to grab your leg or hand, especially when you are trying to do something moderately dangerous, like putting something into the hot oven. They leave things strewn everywhere. Wet towels, dirty clothes, toys. They dirty the toilet seat, and the toilet always smells strange thanks to them.
After reading various articles about being highly sensitive, I began to understand why I tended to unravel at 5 pm, or why sometimes I just couldn't find the energy to face the kids after dinner. I just couldn't cope with all the stimuli of parenting three little boys, boys who seem to be programmed to destroy everything in their path as they hurtled through life.
And I wondered why. Why had God given us three boys?
These days have been challenging.
These are the days that I crawl into bed and I wonder. About how to get through these phases, about how to parent wisely. I feel like a terrible parent, and I wonder if I am doing it all wrong. I glance at everyone's highlight reels on Facebook, I read about other mothers sharing about their kids doing this or that, I see other kids behaving well and getting along well with others, and I wonder about what happened in our home.
I am not the perfect mother. Far from it. And my kids are far from perfect. I cannot give sage advice about how to make your kids listen, or how to make them do this or do that. Because there isn't a foolproof method, and I am just another struggling mum who is just trying to get through the day. All I know is that all these challenges have driven me to my knees, because I couldn't see any other way. And these are the times that God reminds me, that while He threw me into this crazy swirling mess of motherhood, He was always hanging on to me. And to my kids. And that is enough. If parenting was easy, if there were tried and tested ways to make my kids good, would I feel that desperate need to pray? Perhaps not. And I guess God knew that. Perhaps He blessed me with these three little bundles of energy to remind me that I can never be enough, and that I don't need to be enough, because He is enough for us all.
So I give thanks today, for an anchor that holds, even though sometimes we forget to hold on. And as we end each day, and the boys give me their hugs and kisses and "I love you"s, I am thankful for the generous little hearts of my boys, that forgive this mama who is far from perfect.