Yes, you read that right.
My husband almost chocked when he heard that was the title for this post. But once I explained why, he allowed me the space to share my heart with all of you.
Two days ago, I saw this graphic in my newsfeed and literally laughed out loud. Why is it so funny? Because it is TRUE!
Then last night I read this post and shook my head in total agreement. You see my feelings have nothing to do with the endless laundry, the never ending healthy meal planning and grocery shopping, the constant need for character building (insert discipline), or even the hour I spend in the car driving the kids home from school each day (actually I’ve learned to maximize that time with them to hear their hearts or pour mine into them). And it definitely has nothing to do with being THE MOM (which as we know is a 24/7 job without the paid vacations and benefits). It is our God given responsibility as women and one we can’t take for granted or be ashamed to proclaim that we are hard at work raising the next generation of world changers. Nor should we be ashamed that we struggle with it most days and sometimes forget that the grass isn’t greener anywhere else.
So where does that leave us? Needing each other. Without masks and willing to step into the mess in each others lives. Knowing we too might never be the same once we enter in, all the while saying to each other, “I’m here and you don’t have to be OK for me. Together we will seek God and when you can’t, I will.” What a gift that would be and how different it would feel as an adoptive/foster family to be treated this way.
NOTE: when you see words that are in italic and orange-yellow you can click on them to see the post I’m talking about.
Now take a deep breathe and let’s begin together working to understand one another and allow this post to create space for compassion, empathy, encouragement, healing, and hope. Oh Lord, let it begin with me.
After hours of reading tons of posts with similar titles I realized this is a very necessary topic to be discussing together. I also realized that my point of view comes with a different set of eyes, that have seen and lived through many challenges that make up our story. Friends, sharing our stories is needed and important, because despite what it feels like while we are going through the trials and circumstances we all face, not one of them is unique. Opening our hearts and allowing others into them is often the exact thing someone else desperately needs to hear so their own healing can begin. Which more times than not, is what they need to hear so they will stop feeling so alone and maybe have their own “AHA” moment.
With that said, let me be clear about something, I do NOT consider myself a parenting expert. Nor am I perfect in any stretch of the imagination at this job of motherhood, yet, I have experienced twenty one years of being called mom and that has taught me many things. So don’t throw the gauntlet at me just yet, sit back and allow me to share my heart on why I hate being a mom. Especially in the world we currently live in and what we face that no other generation has before us.
This post is going to be long, so if you can’t read it all now, then bookmark it or pin it so that you can finish it when you are not rushed.
Because many of you are skimmers, I’m going to share this post from over two years ago before I dive into what’s on my heart today.
Which always leaves me thinking about this quote.
Let’s move on now, shall we?
We’ve all seen this comic and come on ladies, am I right?
It’s taken me almost eight years to finally have a conversation without a child on my hip or holding onto my leg. However, that doesn’t mean I’m free to talk on the phone without constant interruptions or being able to use the bathroom without someone needing something they didn’t need three minutes ago, let alone three seconds ago. Privacy and quiet only happens when they are in school and those six hours are the most blissful of my day. Simply because I can turn off from being “MOM” and turn on being “ME!” I use that time to grocery shop, do the laundry, clean the house, prepare meals, exercise, pray, and be creative. Sometimes I do absolutely nothing at all. Not one single thing. I just sit and watch the river move in and out…which allows me to rest in the presence of God’s love. Doesn’t that just sound so good? Well, it is! You should try it. You will thank me for it later!
If you don’t know this already, I’m a mom to six beautiful children. They range in age from seven to almost twenty-one. We’ve adopted internationally and it radically changed our lives in ways we could have never prepared for or understood until we went through each adoption (and transition once they were home). Counting the cost of adoption is something I highly suggest you do and pray on it like your life and family depend on it, because they do. This isn’t just about you and your spouse. It will affect every area and relationship in your life. As I read through that post once again before sitting down to finish this post, my tear stained face was thankful to be on the other side of that much sorrow. Our struggles are far from over, but I see them with a new set of eyes and it has nothing to do with time. Time has not healed our wounds and I’m not waiting for it to either. I’m putting all of my hope and trust in God that He will finish the good work He began over eight years ago when our lives were changed by adoption forever.
I’ve seen just about everything when it comes to dealing with children. I know what it feels like to lose children. I know what it feels like to forgive children. I know what it feels like to dislike your children. I know what it feels like to be proud beyond words of your children and everything in between.
I’ve experienced just as many painful lows as I have mountain top highs with our children. I’ve cried from the deepest parts of my being because of them. If you would like to understand more about these statements then please go through this pin board!
Nothing could have ever prepared me for motherhood. Nothing. It is not like anything I thought or hoped. Not even a little bit.
It is the hardest thing I have ever done and continue to do.
It is the loneliest at times.
A few weeks ago I shared this on my Facebook profile, “Parenting. It is NOT for the faint of heart! The hardest job ever. The most painful. The most rewarding. The greatest responsibility ever. The most demanding. The most challenging. The most exhausting. The scariest. The deepest valleys. The highest mountain tops. The greatest sacrifices. The greatest blessings. The messiest. The prettiest. The richest faith journey. The way to true humility. The way to know our truest self. The way to see all of life through God's eyes. The greatest way to prayer. It brings me to my knees more anything else ever has or could. It never stops teaching me, that I need Him more and more each day. I need to show them Him by how I choose to parent them. I need to be His hands and feet always. And when I fail, which I often do, I must be willing to apologize and seek forgiveness. Today, I'm praying for every parent who is living with their heart walking around on the outside. God, have mercy on us all to do this with YOU leading the way!”
Which leads me to the title of this post, “Why I Hate Being a Mom!”
Last night at about 2am God woke me up to help me get straight to the point of this post. You see I’ve been writing this post for weeks and pondering it for a year. Some days I would just look at the thoughts I had written here and couldn’t make sense of them. Other days it brought me to a place I wasn’t sure would truly benefit you the reader. So I waited patiently each day knowing that God would eventually tell me when was the right time to finish this post, and last night was that time. I’m about to share the HUGE humble pie I ate and know this, I’m not looking for anyone to feel bad for me, I simply believe that sharing the truth about this crazy journey will help other moms be set free too! And I’ll eat humble pie every single day for that to happen.
Here is what His perfect and pure love revealed to my heart longing for healing over our family.
The number one reason I hate being a mom is because I’m not in control. The more that our children are out of control and fighting for control, the more it triggers a sense of fear in me to want to control the situation and them. Or maybe it’s their behavior I want to control or afraid of? Or maybe it’s my own PTSD and how their inability to be regulated trips me up right along with them? No matter what the reason is, the fact remains the same…I’m NOT in control. God, softly reminded me last night that I am still holding onto this with both hands. Not just one fist around this fear, but both hands are gripping at it with all the strength I can muster especially on our worst days. He has allowed me to struggle so that He can ultimately teach me that I must humble myself completely and surrender the exact thing I am fighting to have control over. Which is peace in our home. In order for me to truly have peace, I must do all that I can to help our children feel 100% safe to give up their need to control every little thing. I’m a work in progress. Aren’t we all? Can I get an AMEN?
God, has once again used the children to teach me another HUGE lesson that I needed to learn so I could stop living in my own misery.
There is my heart laid open for all of you.
I hate being a mom because:
- I can’t heal the trauma caused by adoption.
- I can’t stop the pain caused from our adopted children to each other.
- I can’t make it better.
- It hurts so incredibly much to fail them and yourself on a regular basis.
- The world doesn’t have compassion for their healing and pain. I can’t rescue them and hide them from the reality of this world no matter how hard I might have tried.
But suffering no matter how small or large is for our good and His glory. Which means I must stop trying to relieve them of their pain and trust that our leading them to Christ will bring them the ONLY hope for peace and joy as they get to know Him deeply through the suffering in this life. It’s one thing to know this truth and quite different when we set our hearts on living it out.
I have hated being a mom because of me! Oh friends, I have worked hard on myself over the last two years. I have spent so much time crying to God, yelling at Him because of my own shattered past and lack of knowledge on how to do this thing called motherhood. I would scream at Him, “GOD, don’t You know I’m not equipped to handle this much pain? Don’t You know I have no experience in dealing with such brokenness? Have You forgotten that I never had a role model to learn from? Why won’t You just fix this mess that you allowed?” I would spend weeks and months trying to figure out a way to just reject Him, and a way out of this nightmare that I was caught in. I wanted out. I was done. Literally and figuratively done. But GOD. My two favorite words.
God, will NEVER let me go. He allowed me every rant, vent, temper tantrum, and even gave me the door to walk away. Because He above all others understood my pain. He knows what it feels like to watch your child be rejected, abused, and then paying the price for all sins. He understands my mother’s heart crying in agony watching her child suffer. He has given all of us the perfect motherly example in Mary. His only begotten Son knew what it felt like to mourn, to weep, to be lonely, and forsaken. And sadly it took me until last night when He woke me up to see this all so clearly.
My inability to stop allowing their bad choices to effect how I felt about life and being stuck inside these four walls day in and day out dealing with it all, made me hate my number one calling. I was soooo stuck and unable to see what I was doing to myself and ultimately my family. I have hated the pain and couldn’t see my way out of it. It was literally suffocating me.
I hate being a mom because I’m constantly needing to explain the behavior of our children to teachers and the parents of kids in their classes. I hate that they keep trying to get me to see things their way, which has nothing to do with the reality we face every day in our home. I hate that they constantly give our children prizes and treats for good behavior. Which completely sabotages everything we are working on with them in therapy and at home.
I have spent way too long resenting that we can’t be like a “normal” family and do “normal” things. Going to new places can bring with it so much anxiety in our children and then the passive aggressive behavior comes out like a fire breathing dragon that we just end up going home. Heck going to places that are familiar to them with people they love doesn’t stop them from making bad choices either.
I hate that “this too shall pass” statement has lived on now for almost four years. When will it end? I don’t know and neither does anyone else. BUT GOD. Which leads me back to point number one, I’m not in control and need to focus on what I am in control of right this minute…how I act and react to every circumstance.
I hate that I sound like a broken record to my husband when he asks how my day went when he is not home or away for business.
I hate that our mornings rarely begin without someone melting down or breaking something or hurting someone.
I hate that somewhere along the line, the reality of “it takes a village to raise a child”, became a sentiment or an afterthought.
We are no longer raising our children together.
Our society has done something even worse than kept us busy, it has brilliantly put us against each other.
I wrote about this very thought here.
I hate that our children are made fun of because we have chosen to live dramatically different than their friends do.
Being different is a gift from God. Being different helps us all bring our gifts to the world. Being different isn’t a bad thing. Being different is what we are called to be as believers in Jesus Christ. We are not ashamed of being different.
I hate that the problem isn’t the children in class with our children, it is what they are being taught at home.
And just for the record, stop telling your children that our children are not saved because they are Catholic. Your children do not have to evangelize ours and please stop putting them down for loving Mary the Mother God. Hate begins at home. It is taught and caught. And if I’m not mistaken, hate has no place in our faith. They know who their Lord and Savior is. They know the Bible. They know The Truth. Can we all just act like we are the body of Christ and do what we are called to as followers of Christ?? LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS HE FIRST LOVED US!
Back to “It takes a village to raise a child.”
Let’s be honest, most families are too busy trying to make sure their children are cultured and involved in as many activities as possible, that they are unable to really enjoy each other.
Our society is so busy, that very few still eat together as a family every night, which consequently doesn’t allow the time necessary to know one another on a deeper level.
We are too connected to digital devices, rather than each other. I hate that children are walking around with cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc. They have access to things which they are not prepared for and have no idea how fast they are in danger. Please go look at this pin board and educate yourselves on the dangers of pre-teens and teens using apps none of us know about and don’t even know how to get onto. All schools should have a NO phone rule and zero access to all social media and any sites that are not directly used for the classes they are in while on school grounds. Sorry, but I have seen enough negatives of this to know it is hurting our children. Who by the way are not telling you what they have already seen at school or at a friends house. Nor do most parents know that their children are sneaking late at night to go onto digital devices while their parents are sound asleep. Nor do they know that their children have several log-ins and email accounts that they use to get onto sites that are meant for adults only. Friends, how many missing pre-teens and teens do you see weekly on your newsfeeds on Facebook? Every single day at least three or four new ones show up in mine. Doesn’t that concern you just a little bit?
I hate being a mom because this lie is EVERYWHERE!!!!
We are all running raged because we bought into the lie that we need more to be happy and content. Thus, our children are neither happy or content. They are sadly entitled and believe we are here to serve them up happiness.
We are too concerned with our children liking us, rather than respecting us and all authority.
We are too informed about things that don’t matter, and spend way too much time arguing about them.
We aren’t teaching them responsibility or accountability for our actions, thus, they are not being held accountable for their own.
We are too wrapped up in comparison, instead of compassion and understanding.
We must teach our children not to compare their lives to anyone else either. Because we can’t live up to or expect to have the highlights we hear about or see all over social media. We must teach them real life can often be boring, unadventurous and often times rather dull. Not to mention we all have a gift to offer and trying to compares ours to others, robs us all of the unique things we have to offer the world around us!
We are trying to enforce our beliefs on each other and have literally broken down any chance of us working together to raise our village as one.
Why? Because we are ruled by our fears and want to control the outcome of every situation. (Once again, point one made by God.)
We are not parenting by faith and trust in God. If we truly were, then things would clearly be different.
We are parenting based on what we were taught and our own perceptions about what is best for us and our children. Which is neither good or bad. It just is. But that often times causes more division among us parents and families. We need to find a way to put aside our differences and agree to love each other no matter what. Here are examples of the four basic parenting styles and as you can clearly see a few of them are setting our children up for failure as adults. Why? Because we are not giving them what they need and are unable to see our faults and often times un-willing to do something about them.
Right before hitting publish this morning I read the following here:
Do your children say thinks like:
“I’m really glad Dad spoke to me about that; I really needed his help.”
“Mom, thanks for caring enough to keep me out of trouble.”
The purpose of biblical authority is encourage and build up ( 2 Corinthians 13:10). But sometimes our children are last ones to recognize this. Here are three principles to help make the exercise your authority a blessing to your children.
First: Listen well so that you can speak well.
Commit yourself to be a skilled, aggressive listener. Your goal is to be able to repeat the words you hear back to your children in such a way that they can affirm that you really do understand them. You don’t always have to agree, but you must always understand. This attentiveness shows respect for your children and honor for your Lord. It also indicates that you view your authority as an opportunity to be a servant. Answering quickly, without fully understanding the intentions of your children shows a lack of love and respect. Proverbs 18:13 and Ephesians 4:29 teach that you must listen well in order to speak things that will benefit your children.
“Wow, mom, I had no idea you really understood me.”
Second: when you do speak, use language that is pleasant and gracious. Harsh, frustrated tones and sarcastic answers do not build relationships.
Your goal is to make God’s wisdom attractive. Sharp language indicates that you are pushing you own agenda rather than God’s. Pleasant language, even when firm, is needed for growth. Irritation often reveals self-righteousness. A soft, understanding answer spoken with pleasant words will help avert upsets and promote instruction that will actually bless your children (Proverbs 15:1 & 16:21)
Third: beware of anger. Anger and authority should seldom be seen together.
Anger is not the tool of a builder. Anger shouts that you, the parent, have been offended. Rather, the focus must be on God. The problems and struggles your children are having have more to do with God than with you. Your goal is to use your authority to point your children to Christ. Your anger does not make God important, it places the emphasis on you. Don’t excuse your anger because you think your children deserve it. Anger will drive those close to you far from you (See James 1:19&20).
“It really means a lot that you were not angry even though I messed up.”
These three principles will help make your authority a blessing that your children will love and depend upon.
For any relationship to flourish, trust must be the foundation. Children must trust you as the parent and caregiver. Without trust, they will try to find every which way to gain control. Children who have dealt with early childhood trauma often lack the ability to trust and will sadly (unknowingly) self-sabotage any chance at a healthy relationship with trust at the core. Children need us to learn how to trust in our selves, so they can trust in us too. They need us to learn how to be effective communicators where emotions are not leading every interaction. Emotions leading the way will rarely end in a positive outcome.
Ever walk into the room when your children are arguing and then a few minutes later or shorter, they are busy playing a new game together? It’s a beautiful gift watching this take place and I’ve learned so much from their ability to quickly forgive and continue on with life. They don’t waste time holding grudges. The only time I have seen them struggle to forgive and move on is when there is a threat of being hurt and they feel it is unsafe to trust the other child or person.
I hate being a mom because this topic is all over social media and NEVER seems to go away!
There is a constant battle and belittling going on by the pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine camp. I still can’t get over the cruelty towards any parent who is choosing to vaccinate less or not at all. Until you truly spend the time needed to investigate the truth about what goes into a vaccine, and how toxic they are to our immune system (check out this post too)…NO ONE has the right to tell anyone they must vaccinate their child. I’m not looking to argue this point, so please don’t start attacking me for being against mandatory vaccination. You have a right to your opinion and how you raise your children. I thank God I still have a right to mine. God forbid we lose the right to decide what is best for our children and families. Look at all the cases of medical kidnapping going on across the country, and one should become very concerned for what is next. We must stop trying to control everyone and everything. That is obviously getting us nowhere, but further apart as a country.
I hate being a mom because the world has disgraced the true meaning of family.
We no longer give it the value it deserves.
We don’t fight with everything we have to ensure it doesn’t break apart.
We have taught this generation and the one before it, that family is whatever we want it to be and they are disposable.
We have shamed stay at home moms and dads into thinking that they are doing nothing but taking from society.
When instead we should be praising them for making the daily choice to live out the calling God has for them as parents.
We have caused moms to feel like they are less than because they choose to stay home, society tells them they have zero value or worth.
God forbid they choose to home-school. What will happen to their children and can they possibly make it in the world today without the constant socialization? I’ve touched upon this topic many times and you can easily find other brilliant mom blogs who bust that sad theory apart!
Now allow me to help you to understand what it feels like to be a trauma mom. I struggle sharing our story, because most judge and throw around shame and blame.
I have yet to share what it is like to be an adoptive mom of R.A.D. children and several suffering from abusive pasts.
Just in case you have no idea what that means or looks like, I’m including the following graphics.
I hate that when I try to share our struggles with stealing, lying, cheating, etc. that goes on, immediately we the parents get blamed and told we are doing something wrong. Very few understand that what works for children without trauma rarely works for those who are living with it.
I hate being a trauma mom, because most nights I go to bed crying over the choices our children make on a daily basis. Goodness our one child has had more warnings and yellow cards then the entire school put together just this year alone. Our other child steals food every few weeks from other kids at school, the teachers, and us at home. The teachers try to convince this child it is because I don’t give them enough to eat. I’m SO sure that is helping the child or our situation. I hate being put in the position to go against their teachers. Especially when they have been told about these issues and educated by us on why R.A.D. children continue to make the same mistakes.
FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY – ADOPTED AND FOSTER CHILDREN DO NOT STEAL FOOD BECAUSE THEY ARE HUNGRY!
Their precious souls and hearts are hungry for something that this world can’t fix or fill. The only answer for them is finding a real relationship with Jesus. Who longs to wipe away their every tear and will give them the grace they need to find their way in this life. He will bring beauty from the ashes, if they allow Him to.
Moms we can’t fix them. And I hate that fact.
God is not asking me to stop wanting them healed and joyful. He is simply asking me and all of us trauma moms to let go and allow Him to work in us to get to them. Then once the door is opened for them to find Him, we must be willing to release them fully into His perfect and pure love which casts out all fear.
As I said at the beginning of this post, LET IT BEGIN WITH ME!
I hate being a mom, because of ME! My own expectations of them and me need to be put to a quick death. So I’m nailing that all to the cross and learning day by day to trust in Him more, while allowing His grace to seep deeper into my heart where all holy changes take place.
And you know what we all need to hear? Is this…simply this!
No matter how hard and dark it appears. The very hope of light is ready to invade your pain and frustration, it is a breath away – simply by admitting you need help and then cry out for it. He is always right here with us. Forever-n-ever-n-always.
God’s light shines best in the darkness. So fear not, you are perfectly positioned to receive greater grace as the clouds of life surround you.
And then this…
The beauty in taking weeks and almost a year to ponder this post is this, I’ve grown so much as a woman, wife, and mother that even in my hating it, I did the best thing possible. Each day I consciously chose to surrender it all to God and instead of trying to fix our kids, I’m fixing me.
And that is what I have been doing intensely for the last two years of my life. It has been incredibly hard and challenging. It has left me so tapped out and empty – that the only way I could keep going on was to press in that much more to God. Being a mom is a lifetime calling. I’m not done until He calls me home. I pray that something in this post and sharing our story with you, opened the door for greater grace between all of us parents. Especially us moms who truly need each other to raise our children all for the glory of God. That calling is something much greater than ourselves. It is worth the struggles and the pain. It is worth the years of endless discipline and character building, because raising world changers is the greatest gift to the human soul. It’s what lives on long after we have taken our last breath. Legacies are born from sacrificing it all for the greater good of those in our lives.
Cleanse me Lord, and let YOUR heart of perfect and pure love radiate through me.
This is the most beautiful reminder of all, that we are safe to rest because God has got it all under control, and there is nothing we can ever do to stop Him from loving us and caring for us. His plans for are for our good, filled with hope, abundant joy, and life ever-lasting. Nothing can compare to the grace He pours out for those who trust in Him.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have taken the time to read this post and journey along with me.
I am praying for each of you and trusting in God to do marvelous things as we continue to surrender our lives, families, hopes and dreams into His faithful hands of love!