Hello From The Other Side

Hello from the other side

Dear Mom at Walmart with 2 young children in the cart and one strapped to your chest,

Hello from the other side. {Go ahead. Sing it! Belt it out. You know you want to!} I promise, I know what it’s like to be in your shoes. I too, had ‘stair-step’ children, one right after the other. I know you get tired of the “Are they all yours?” Or the “You sure have your hands full!” While I was wandering around today before I saw you I even received a “Looks like they brought the whole school to the store!” As a matter of fact, we did. Because we homeschool. 😉

Hello from the other side
Family Photo Christmas 2011

I heard when your child was screaming as you were trying to get him out the van. My heart completely went out to you. I wanted to walk over and tell you that I have been there too! Shoot. Somedays I’m still there! I know the struggle is real! It is HARD having 3 young children (or more! You might have had some at school today!) Then I saw the United States Air Force sticker on the back of your minivan. Oh, dear mom. How I really wanted to just hug you for the sacrifice you make as your family serves people like me. I was imagining you alone while your husband deploys or goes off to training. I hope and pray you have a support system of other moms here. I wanted to buy you a cup of coffee and whatever your special treat is and tell you to EAT IT ALL BY YOURSELF!

As I put my cart away and you passed by me, I hope you know my smile and “Hello” were one of complete sincerity. I so wanted to stop you and tell you my story. That I had 5 kids under 5 when my youngest was born. Motherhood is HARD work. BUT, there is light at the end of the tunnel. While there are still tough days, it does get easier. You will still have trials and struggles, you might get angry and frustrated, but someday you will reach the other side. And you will be saying “Hello” to another mother who you see walking the path you have already walked.

Sweet Mama, I hope you know you’re not alone. I wish we could sit down and have coffee and share our motherhood struggles. I wish I could encourage you that despite the long days, the trial, the discipline, the time-outs (for you! Ha!), the hiding in the bathroom to eat some treat alone,  that your children are indeed a blessing. While the weight of parenting might feel burdensome, you have a Good Father who will give you the strength, patience, grace, love, endurance, forgiveness, and joy you need to be the mother He wants you to be. Yes, we die to ourselves daily, but we are alive in Christ. Yes, I believe motherhood is probably the most refining thing we will experience!

The other side

To my fellow mom, I hope you let the comments roll off your shoulder. Smile and try to enjoy these days. I know everyone tells you how fast they go, but truly, they go fast. My oldest just turned 10 and my baby just turned 5. It seems like yesterday I had them. It seems like yesterday I was strapping one baby to my chest and making the rest sit in the cart so I didn’t have to worry about them running off in the store!

Some days, I still feel like I’m in the trenches of motherhood, and really, I am. Other days I feel a bit more “on the other side.” Few days are easy, more days still seem hard. But dear mama, it’s so worth it. Every struggle, every battle, every hug and kiss and snuggle, it’s all worth it.

Don’t grow weary of doing good. I have to remind myself of that verse in Galatians often, and I bet you could use the reminder too. In due season you will reap if you don’t give up. You may not have the strength to do it. Set down your strength, and pick up your weakness. Take it to the foot of the cross and then let Christ’s strength work through you in these tough days of mothering. Surround yourself with moms who will encourage you and pray for you, and maybe even take your kids for the afternoon! Look for the mom who has been there and done that, and her kids turned out good!

Someday, when you are on the other side, be the encourager! Be the mentor another young mom needs!

Happy Mothering to all you moms out there!

Gail

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