Mothering teens requires so much emotional, physical, mental, spiritual energy. Some days I’m wrung out. It’s in those days when I must remember the most important things.
We’re walking through an issue with one of our boys. It’s been hard.
Hit-my-head-against-the-wall frustrating, at times.
And yet, I love this boy with all my heart.
This is a challenging time in history to be raising up young men and women to follow God. Watching our kids leap into pitfalls can be absolutely heart-breaking.
The busy-ness of schedules. Keeping up with academics.
Taking time at night—when I’m weary from the day’s doings—to just be with one of our boys . . . I love, love those times. I do.
We talk about everything. And nothing. The point is, we’re together.
As parents, we must sacrifice somewhere—relating time with our kids, or sleep.
Laughing and giving back rubs, or our to-do lists.
As much as I wish I could, I cannot do it all.
Honestly? When the piles in my home occupy every flat surface . . . when my computer files are so out of control I can’t find an item, even by running a Search for it . . . my eyes might begin to bug out a bit.
Sometimes, I need to create order so I can think.
But what about when one of the boys needs a listening ear, the reminder that they’re loved so they can get their hearts—their souls—back in order?
Parenting requires sacrifice. Period.
It’s a constant weighing of priorities. Of establishing what’s best in that moment . . . and in the big picture of our family.
Sometimes, when my bed is calling me, a boy needs to connect. To come clean about something. Sleep is oh, so important, but what about our children’s hearts?
Where do we draw the line?
I don’t know.
I seem to mother by feel these days. There are times when I can tell my son, “I’m too tired to talk tonight, buddy. But I’d love to chat tomorrow.” Those are hard words to speak.
And, there are times I sense that one of our boy-men needs to talk. Right. This. Minute.
As moms, we must give ourselves grace. God doesn’t ask us to do everything that’s calling out to us. He wants us to seek Him to know what’s best in each moment.
God has given us a holy calling in mothering our children. He gave us our sons, our daughters. He knew we were what our children needed.
Not that perfectly put-together-mom who can be room-mom, team-mom, got-it-all-together mom.
Not the seemingly cool, “she-lets-her-kid-do anything-they-want” mom.
Our Father knew our kids needed our unique blend of love, mistake-making, parenting perspective. I have no idea why He chose Hubs and me for our two boys.
But this . . . These two treasures have forced me to draw closer to God. I don’t mother well without His divine touch and intervention in the hard, the confusing, the pain-filled, heartbreaking moments.
He knows we’ll struggle with our own selfish natures as we attempt to parent these kids. He brings us face to face with our own failings, so He can refine us, even as He uses us to mold them. Each one of these children is a gift to us.
Even when they are crazy-making, hormone-driven, hard-hearted kids. They are a gift.
As our sons grow older and the issues they face become more complex, I lean harder on Jesus. I’m going to mess up with my boys. I’m going to make decisions in the heat of anger that scrape against my sons’ tender hearts.
And I’m going to have to ask for their forgiveness. I’m going to have to love more intentionally to reagin some of the lost ground my words created.
I’ll have to say the hard no’s. To confront them with some of their choices.
I can only do this well if I am pressed close to Jesus’ side. In my own strength, I will mess up, and probably big.
When I seek the Lord for my own heart’s good, He shows me how to pray for His heart for our boys.
He gives me His perspective when the kid confesses something that’s really, really hard to hear. He helps me to respond with grace rather than anger.
As we continue to navigate this issue with our boy, I’m praying even harder for his heart. That he will find his identity in Jesus. I’m praying that God shows me what’s most important in His eyes even as we step through the minefields of the teen years.
What about you? How do (or have) you navigated the hard issues with your kids? What helps you to keep your priorities straight?