Before I became a mother I was so naive. My pride would have told you otherwise, I would have proudly told you that I was ready and capable and knew exactly what was about to happen. I knew my children would never be perfect (no child is), but in no way was I ready to have a little being control all aspects of my life. I was determined teach them “right” before they ever got to the disobedience phase in life. Not like all those other mothers I had judged in my past. No, not I… I would have my kids under control and as close to well behaved as possible!
I was convinced that I had this whole mothering thing down and I knew exactly what I was and WASN’T going to do with my children. I would look at other moms with their children and secretly judge them. I even secretly judge my OWN mom and how she raised us and told myself all the things I would never do with my own kids.
For some strange reason at the ripe old age of 25, I thought I was more brilliant than all of the “experienced” mommies out there. Looking back, I can see how some of them may have made the same judgments before they had their own children. I’m ashamed to even admit it! If a child was acting out, I would tell myself I would have done something different to punish that rebellious, annoying child. If I knew a friend that had out spoken child and would be a disturbance while out… I would find some stupid reason to get out of hanging with them that day until they had someone else to watch their kid. I have come to find out that today it appears I’m reaping all my judgments that I placed on all these other mommies who were just doing their best to raise their child.
Lord, I was so wrong! No child comes with a manual and every child comes with their own sets of genetics, temperaments, will and drive. And usually it takes TIME to work those things out and learn who your child really is and will become. You don’t really know your child or who they are going to be after being out of the womb for only 2 months; they are an ever growing person that is learning the ways of the world. It’s hard to see that even at such a young age you can see the sinful nature that we were all born with starting to rear its ugly head.
I didn’t start seeing the effects of my judgments until Jayden turned two. I felt that Jayden was a VERY good baby. He was great at eating, slept through the night at almost 2 ½ months and was pretty calm most of the time. He even took teething and potty training like a champ. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. But as soon as he hit his terrible-two’s, I started to see more and more of an attitude and personality that was telling us that he was ready to show us more about who HE REALLY was. Pushing his boundaries, speaking out with an attitude often using that dreadful word “No”, finding more of his independence that I just wasn’t ready for; nor was I ready for all the dirty looks and questioning mothering techniques that I was so generous enough to give other 3 years earlier.
At times I feel so alone, like no one seems to understand me. I find that friends that use to love hanging out with me… no longer have the desire because it can be too stressful. I find myself in the same boat I placed other mothers in not too long ago. I am the mother of an amazing 2 ½ year old little man who is exerting every ounce of independence as loudly and frequently as possible. From what I have read this behavior is COMPLETELY normal, but I have come to understand how annoying it can be to others at times, especially if they don’t have a little one of their own. There are days that are so tiring and frustrating, but there is always something that God gives me to make it that much better.
So here I am today, pride broken and shattered on the ground. I am not the mother I thought I would one day be… PERFECT. I had no right to judge all of those other mothers. I didn’t understand what all they were dealing with or what was coming my way. They were only doing their best, just as I am today.
Have you seen the same judgments play out in your life as I have?