The fog of war hits at the most random times. Life happens so quickly as my head spins to catch a glimpse. The constant needs pile up as one task is completed and replaced by the next in line. Sometimes I pause and ask myself what just happened here. How could I respond in a better way to meet the needs of each individual child? What works for one does not work for the others. The questions keep me up at night as I reflect on the events of the day.
My husband is going alone to an out-of-state family event in a few hours. Did I properly say goodbye? In a whirlwind, I try to spend time with my youngest while listening to one of my twins. I do this while driving to the nail appointment in preparation for prom. After the nail salon, I need to get one child to my sister’s house, coordinate with a friend to pick up my son for the weekend, and then drive the other direction for the prom getaway. Are the dresses getting wrinkled in the back of the car? The impending rain is going to cause all kinds of traffic. As I juggle my lifelong responsibilities to love and nurture my children, the anxious discomfort of another child manifests in words deeply painful for me. What just happened here? I am trying my very best to be everything I can be to my children, and I am still not making it work.
I had to remind myself that my children experience a situation differently than I do at times. I thought I had been rocking the family schedule and connecting with my children in a memorable way. I thought I was doing everything I possibly could to bring joy to their lives. The hurtful words during the drive were a result of a child’s anxiety over the impending “fun weekend.” Will she have anyone to talk with, dance with, make memories with, or will she fall flat and add an unpleasant or lonely memory to her list of growing pains? I don’t know how to fix this. God help me, please.
At that moment I could not focus on her hurts, fears, or worries, because I was feeling hurt. I worried that I was not good enough no matter how hard I try. I calmly say that her words hurt me, and that all my efforts go towards my children, whom I love with all my heart. That, of course, doesn’t make her feel any better. It doesn’t make me feel better either, but at least I didn’t yell or say anything that I regret. That was my only consolation. I am still trying to figure out what the best response should be in the future.
I need to ask the Lord, who calmed the storm, to calm the whirlwind in my life. I pray that God will help me to see through the fog, listen to his voice, and be the mother he created me to be. Until then, I will keep loving, keep growing, and keep praying.