People often say that children are a blessing, but when you’re running on not enough sleep, the washing isn’t done and your child is arguing with you about the necessity of homework, it’s understandable that you’d wonder just who’s meant to be at the receiving end of said blessing.
Children are uniquely complex and highly contradictory (to you at least, certainly not to them). They’re probably the only thing (creature?) on earth that can simultaneously elicit a swelling of love, joy and pride, as well as waves of frustration, anger and worry.
But I’m sure that like Rebecca (“My life is a crazy journey: Bring on the ride”) and myself, you may feel exhausted and stressed all the time, but you would never seriously entertain the thought of abandoning your child. They may not feel like a blessing at times, but they’re still yours.
Blessings and being blessed is an interesting concept. It’s an oft-used hashtag, particularly among glamorous Insta-mums whose lives are always perfect, but is that really what it’s all about? Harriet Connor explores this in her thoughtful piece, “Putting #Blessed under the microscope”.
The reality is that life is messy and parenting even messier. We strive to do our best, but often feel like we’re failing. We wonder if despite all that we’ve tried, our children will still grow up to become entitled sociopaths. (See “Entitled children? Not with these three steps” and “Helping children spread kindness” on ways to combat this.)
But you know what? It’s having a community of other mums who are honest about their own struggles that makes things easier to bear. Because we look at them—those who have been through struggles like ours—and realise that if they can emerge intact on the other side, then perhaps we can do the same too.
In our February/March 2020 magazine, we're taking a look at the blessings in our lives: What they actually are and mean.
Editor, Mums At The Table